Finally! After a month of putting it off, the time has finally come…for me to talk about my “epic” 38-hour trip to Tokyo, Japan, for my birthday and for Tokyo Fashion Week.
My friend Inge (of YouTube fame) and I had been messaging for weeks about what outfits we would bring (me: several options), what makeup we needed to bring, the shoes, the activities, etc. I was still stinging from the fact that I’d been invited to shows that I couldn’t attend, but I shook it off. That night I checked in for my flight on my phone.
I was put in a first-class seat. I thought it was a mistake.
Let me start from the beginning. In an effort to burn my Skymiles (because I don’t fly Delta between Asia and the U.S. anymore and I have mileage accounts with the Skyteam members I do use), I decided to use them for my trip. Economy wasn’t available, but business was, so why the hell not? Fast-forward two months later, and I’m left scratching my head at my first-class assignment.
“I won’t think about it now,” I said to myself, “I’ll just go to the check-in desk tomorrow and see what’s up.”
But…it wasn’t a mistake.
So I called the Skincare Guru to tell her of my good fortune. “Do you think it’s because you’re flying on your birthday?” she asked.
“Do they even do things like that?” I asked back.
I got my answer a few hours later while snuggled in my seat and feeling good after a few drinks in the lounge: the second-in-command flight attendant came up right to me and said, “Ms. SeoulChild, happy birthday!”
If you remember my post about preparing for this trip, the first thing on my To-Do list was to eat some yakisoba, a Japanese dish I’ve been halfway obsessed with since I was a child going to Japanese baseball games. The concierge desk at my hotel was closed, but one of the check-in staff was all too happy to assist me with finding a place that served yakisoba (after he side-eyed my choice of dish, of course).
So I trekked to Roppongi’s main strip and waded through the hordes of late-night partygoers to find my destination on a quiet side street. It was called Donaiya Dining, and it was primarily an okonomiyaki spot, but they gladly served me yakisoba and a nice, cold beer. Yum.
After meeting up and getting ready, Inge and I finally headed out to take Tokyo Fashion Week by storm…or so we thought.
We first went to Shibuya Hikarie, a huge shopping plaza-slash-possible conference center that was one of the main venues for Tokyo Fashion Week. We arrived in-between shows, so the area was dead. We decided then to go eat some delicious ramen.
Then we went searching.
First, we decided to look for Beam, which is Japan’s version of Aland, a clothing/lifestyle store here in Korea. After finding it and being mildly disappointed, we decided to go to Omotesando Hills, which reminded us of Garosugil.
Here’s the thing with Tokyo Fashion Week: I’ll chalk it up to us only being able to attend on the last day of the actual shows, but…you don’t really see anybody out and about. The Saturday shows were all contained indoors, really, so there was little-to-no milling around, and hence, no photo ops. The few people we did see that were associated with fashion week looked no different than who we would see at Seoul Fashion Week. So, really? It was a bust for us. I feel like I would have seen a lot more at the events I got invited to, which makes the fact that I wasn’t able to go suck that much harder.
After changing into more casual attire, we went to Harajuku, even though we arrived a little too late to take in anything of substance. We walked around, snatched up some beauty buys, and took in some evening sights.
Then we ate…Chinese food. Don’t hate. Nothing else in the area was open, and we were way too tired to search for other options.
To sum up our experience, Inge put together her very first vlog! Check it (and our outfits) out![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_hV4BlbL0c&w=560&h=315]
It was time for me to go.
I stuffed myself into a taxi, and as I traveled back to the Hamamatsucho train station, I took a couple of touristy photos.
Upon checking-in at the airport, I was surprised to learn that, despite what Haneda Airport’s website said, I did indeed have access to the Sakura Lounge, where I proceeded to fill up on food, wine and sake until it was time for me board.
No first class this time. Oh, well, it was no longer my birthday.
Final word: my (first) time in Tokyo was WAY too short, but I had a great time. Japan better watch out, because I’ll be back!