japanese fashion haul

Take it from me, packing your life into thirty kilos is no easy feat. Although most of my luggage was dedicated to wardrobe when I came to Japan, it was pretty obvious I'd be buying a lot of clothes once I arrived here! Not that I'm complaining though, I adore Japanese fashion and how put together everyone looks. A lot of the girls here have very feminine styles and wear flowy skirts, preppy blouses and heels on a daily basis. While comfort will always be number one for me, I've definitely accumulated more than a few purchases to share...



Retro Girl tee and cami set: Tank tops layered over tees may be a 90s trend, but it's also perfect for Japan's tendency towards modest clothing. While I love the bell sleeves on this tee, the best thing about this set is that the cami's detachable for endless t-shirt combinations.

     

GU skants: Although it's not that well-known overseas, in Japan everyone and their mum shops at GU. Basically it's from the same parent company as Uniqlo, and can be best described as its cooler (and cheaper!) little sister. I definitely had no qualms stocking up on their skants, otherwise known as a skirt and pants hybrid.



Forever 21 denim skirt: I picked up this skirt in Tokyo since Forever 21 just doesn't exist in my prefecture. I love the cute 70s vibes, although I only wish the fabric was a bit sturdier since it wrinkles like crazy.



H&M green jacket: You know when you stop searching for something and it appears right in front of you? This was one of those purchases. I've always wanted a khaki anorak, and this one just so happened to be in the sale section. I really love the casual vibes it gives any outfit, and the fact that it's perfect for rainy days.



Ingni blouse: Finally, I saved my favourite buy for last! I was searching for a peasant blouse for the longest time, and was about to give up when I came across this gem from Ingni. I love that the sleeves are super floaty and delicate, and just hits my elbows. It seems to be pretty well-made too, which is great considering the price.

This isn't even everything I've bought since starting exchange, but for time's sake I'l stop there! I'm already dreading the day I have to take it all home, but that's a problem for future me to worry about. Anyway, I hope you're having a good week!
Posted by : Mani

hanabi taikai

The thought of summer conjures up different things for different people. As for me? The beach, barbecues, and sand between my toes are what comes to mind. But here in Japan, summer is synonymous with hanabi, or the fireworks. In fact, the biggest cliche ever is to go on a date to see the fireworks, and it's the theme of many a shoujo anime or high school drama. There was no date to be found in my case, but of course that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the fun! I went with a group of friends and it was definitely a night I'll never forget.

      

Yep, I finally fulfilled my dream of wearing a yukata! Not to be confused with the kimono, yukatas are made from cotton and intended to be worn in the summertime. Don't be fooled, it still felt like a million degrees underneath all that fabric but it was worth it. I love how Japan is one of the few countries where traditional clothes are worn in a urban setting, even if it is only on special occasions.







Waiting on some piping hot takoyaki. The typical yatai, or outdoor food stalls that can be found at summer festivals are a food lover's dream come true. Takoyaki, yakisoba, shaved ice, and candy apples... you name it, I'm pretty sure they had it!





I only managed to get a few good shots of the fireworks sans tripod, but take my word for it – they were just as amazing as they were hyped up to be. In fact, they were so huge I could feel the ground shaking beneath me as each cracker went off. They went on for a full hour and were really like nothing I've seen before, leaving no inch of sky untouched.







A little compilation of videos I took of the fireworks! Despite my aversion towards crowds and the fact that pretty much the whole city came out to see the show, it was such a good night. I couldn't think of a better way to kick start my summer holidays than by the lake, taking in the night breeze with some of my favourite people by my side. Look forward to more of my summer festival adventures soon!
Posted by : Mani

a weekend away

If you told me I'd come all the way to Japan to go on camp, I probably wouldn't have believed you. The last time I attended camp was in my high school days, yet when my university offered the chance to go away for a weekend I couldn't say no! The experience was unique, to say the least. Coming from Australia, morning exercises and making curry over an open fire aren't exactly my idea of typical camp activities. Yet no matter what country you're in, there's a lot of mischief to be had when a hundred or so young people board together...



      

Sadly I don't have many pictures from the camp itself, but on the way home we made a pitstop at Tsuruga Castle, a famous tourist spot in Fukushima. Even though it was only a replica of the original castle, it was still pretty impressive! The walls were so white they were almost glistening. I also had an awesome musk melon soft serve there, which was the perfect thing to combat the stifling heat.



      



And that was my little stint in Fukushima! Before you freak out, the place we visited was far away from the actual city, which was affected by the nuclear accident in 2011. There's a lot of contention over whether it's safe now or not, but it's worth noting that Fukushima the prefecture is a place where people still live and go about their lives normally. Even if it was only for a couple of days, I'm really glad I had the chance to go and see it for myself. Until next time!
Posted by : Mani