How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka lookbook vol. 4 & Giveaway announcement!

I started working on the 8th of October 2012. I remember choosing a suit, I remember my first day at work. I was 22, only 4 months after graduation. Before I came to Japan I had multiple piercings and blue hair, which naturally, I had to give up on. The dress code of my company clearly states:

Women are expected to wear a dark suit (matching jacket and skirt/trousers) with a pressed collared business shirt/blouse. Any jewelry worn should be understated. Hair should be tidy. Earrings anywhere other than the ears are not acceptable. Similarly, visible tattoos are not acceptable.

  It’s the 16th of October as I’m adding this post and so guess what! This time tomorrow I will be in Korea, where I’ll spend eight awesome days traveling in Seoul and Jeju. It will be the first time since October 2012 that I won’t have to wear a suit for eight full days! You see it guys? E i g h t days! I guess it makes me more excited than it should, but I can’t help it (I had my wardrobe for Korea sorted a month ago already, that’s how completely excited I am to wear normal clothes). I will sure have a lot to post next month, but meanwhile check out my 6 rather reasonably priced outfits for September.

 You can check my previous lookbooks here:

Lookbook vol. 1

Lookbook vol. 2

 Lookbook vol. 3

Lookbook vol. 4

 

1.

/photo taken before I headed out to Shinagawa to get my new visa; special thanks to my tripod for being such a good cameraman/

Top: bought at Shillin market in Taipei for 250NT = ¥880

Cardigan: bought at Zhongshan Station mall for 190NT = ¥670

Favourite ripped jeans: WEGO, about ¥4000

Shoes: Jeanasis, about ¥6000

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2.

 

/photo taken at Tokyo National Museum in Ueno/

Top: Wego, ¥800

Skirt: GU, ¥1200

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3.

 

 

/photo taken at Akihabara/

Dress: ANAP, around ¥3000

Boots: STYLENANDA, they cost about ¥6000 BUT! This review I did on STYLENANDA’s fake tattoos and nail stickers was chosen the best review and I got a coupon for ¥2000! I used it straight away, so in fact I paid ¥4000 for nice boots YAY!

Hat: random hat shop in Shibuya 109, ¥1600. That one time I thought I’d look good in a hat… I was wrong.

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4.

 

 

/photo taken in Shibuya, near Cafe, Dining and People cafe I wrote about here/

top: BOY LONDON (bought here in Tokyo for a little over ¥3000, so I can’t really be sure of its authenticity)

Jacket: GU, ¥3000

Skinny pants: probably UNIQLO,¥1998

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5.

 

 

/favourite September coordinate; photo taken in Roppongi at the Polish Festival ♥/

Top: WEGO, ¥500

Shirt: Heaven and Earth, bought on sale for ¥1000

Skinny pants: GU, ¥1500

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6.

 

 

/take a look at my new fabulous header on the top of this page; photo taken in Shibuya/

Shirt: GU, ¥1500

Skirt: GU, ¥1500

GU FTW!

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Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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A small announcement!

Maybe some of you remember I’ve mentioned a few times that I’d like to hold a giveaway for my readers, just to say thank you to all of you guys. I started blogging 5 months ago and I have received so many positive comments, thanks so much! All I’d like you to do is to like my FB page (that way I’ll know you really are following my blog and you’re not participating in the giveaway only for the noms) and answer this very difficult question: When did I come to Japan? You don’t need to share any photos on your timeline, just comment under the photo on my FB profile or send me a private message with the answer. You have time until the 24th of October, that’s when I’ll be back from Korea.

Shichijyuuni Blog FB page 

And this is what one lucky winner will get their hands on!

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Good luck!

Girl Talk episode 1: Rino and Mika

I tend to write long introductions when what I really want to do is to get straight to the point. Okay, so I’ll try not to go off the topic too much today. Have you noticed I don’t write much about kawaii culture (I did my thesis on that, so I might share pieces of it sometimes though), idols with high-pitched voices, Lolita fashion, that sort of thing? I think there’s been enough articles written about that stuff on the interwebz.

Anyway, what I want to say is… Japanese girls are much more than just a pile of kawaii stuff.

I’d like to present a few short interviews to you, or should I say “girl talks”, I had with the girls and women I know. They all agreed to be a part of my little project and they all had some interesting thoughts to share. Please spare a minute or two to learn about the world from their point of view. I didn’t add anything from myself, all I did was provide a translation. It’s all their own words.

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RINO

She’s a lovely and talkative 17-year old girl. When I first met her, I was surprised to see how serious she is about things. She studies hard to get into her dream university. She loves fashion and designing her own clothes. She loves Harajuku fashion and she dreams of being one of those young designers you can meet there. In this photo she’s wearing a top her mom used to wear as a young girl and some accessories she made by herself.

Meet Rino.

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Rino about me: First time I met you I noticed your blonde hair and thought “She looks like a ‘real’ foreigner” — a foreigner like I had imagined them. You were friendly and fashionable. I like talking about fashion with you and I want to go shopping in Harajuku with you one day.

Rino about fashion: I have always liked cute things and had an interest in different styles. Once my friend, who is just one year older than me, organized a small fashion show by herself. It was very low-key, with just a bunch of her friends. We all enjoyed it and  that’s when I saw that fashion can make people happy and we can express ourselves with it in so many ways. I started making accessories like brooches and bracelets. I’m still a student so I don’t have much money to buy clothes, but I can make them! My mom gave me a lot of clothes she wore as a teenager and I love second-hand shops, where I find interesting pieces of clothing and play with them. I have a big dream of working in the fashion industry. I could be a minor designer, or even just work for a fashion magazine. They wouldn’t even have to pay me, I’d even be happy if I could do it as a hobby!

Rino about the future: I’m a little scared of the future. I realize it’s really difficult to get noticed in the fashion industry and it’s often not really a stable job. Sometimes you don’t even have money to support yourself, let alone your dream.

Rino about life here: In Japan, they always show Paris on TV… that’s why so many Japanese people want to go there and that’s why they imagine it’s so great. European cities are beautiful, aren’t they? I did a homestay in England a few years ago, but I couldn’t speak any English at that time. I remember that everybody told me the food would be terrible, but guess what! I really liked it. And we always drank tea over there, I guess that’s a really British thing. Kids at school were so talkative, they would tell their opinions and take an active part in debates. They could drink juice in class and I envied them, because they seemed so free. Here in Japan, we can’t say anything at school, we don’t have discussions and don’t express our opinions. Everybody has to have their mind set on one opinion. We are really good at adapting to situations, ‘cus we don’t want to stand out. Maybe that’s why so many Japanese people are not good at communicating with others? We get embarrassed really quickly. But of course, don’t get me wrong, I love Japan. I like that even if you lose something valuable, like your phone, you will get it back because no one would even think of keeping it. I love Japanese food, everything is delicious, right! I like that Japanese people do everything properly — but it also depends on the person, of course. I feel that Japanese feel very confident while walking in a crowd of people. You know, we don’t wanna stand out, we just keep walking as one group.

I’d like to be different, though. When I go to university, I want to dye my hair or perm it, I dont know, do something to look different.

Rino about boys: I have to study for exams, I’ve never even thought about my ideal type or anything. Looks don’t matter, but I like boys who wear glasses. They look smart and I think that what boys really need to be is smart, not necessarily handsome, right? Anyway, for now I will study, study and study some more. I will work hard to make my dreams come true.

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 MIKA

Mika is 17, too. I met her at the orphanage where I volunteer. I remember meeting her for the first time. She was really bubbly and, unlike I expected, she wasn’t shy at all! She started talking to me straight away, from the moment we met a million words pouring out of her mouth. Since the very beginning she seemed to take my presence at the kids house as something obvious, like “Yeah, Stasia visited us and she will come here every week from now on, we can talk and study English and watch movies together, that’s nice”. She’s a lovely, smart girl. I can see how much she has changed since the time we first met, how much she has grown.

Meet Mika.

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Mika about me: I thought that you were fun and beautiful! The adults* told me that a foreign girl will visit me every week and I just couldn’t wait to meet you! I think I would have been a little scared if you were a guy though. I didn’t really know what I should talk about with you, but that was before you came here. Now I know that we can just do whatever and it’s fun.

(*they call their caretakers “the adults”)

 Mika about the orphanage: I came here when I was 12. I like it here. We’re like a big family. I’m the oldest girl on this floor, but I don’t mind spending time with smaller kids. When I get older, graduate from the university and all, I want to work here. I will take care of all the kids! Why? I love them! Of course it’s hard sometimes. Kids get angry, they shout and cry and hit walls with their little fists when they get frustrated. But I understand it. I remember being angry myself. I was at that difficult age, everything made me angry. But it’s over now and it will be over for them too, we just have to be patient, right?

When I first came here I was scared. There are strict rules, there are many things we cannot do, we have to go to bed at 9, we have to study hard. I knew it was for our own good and I quickly got used to it I guess. When the time comes and I have to leave this place, I will really miss it. The adults and the kids. That’s why I want to come back here and help, like they helped me. I guess the kids will be really grown up by the time I come back here though!

Mika about school: Studying is difficult. Our classes and teachers are so boring. We don’t do anything fun, creative, all we do is read textbooks. I like Western pop groups, they’re really cool. I wish I could understand their lyrics or sing along with them. I hate English. I mean, I love English, but not the English I study at school. It’s all too difficult and I can’t memorize grammar formulas and words and phrases and all that… I like music, it makes me so happy when I understand even single words in the songs. But classes are so boring, I don’t think I’ll ever learn anything. Can you imagine how boring my classes are? Most of my classmates sleep through the class. Teachers see it, but they don’t do anything. They know we’re tired and bored. I will soon go to New Zealand for 3 weeks, I’m so excited to see something brand new! I worked hard to make it come true. I got a part-time job and paid for everything by myself, though I couldn’t buy anything nice while I was saving up my money. It’s okay, I’m really happy I got this chance. I will stay with a host family and I really want to study real English!

Mika about boys: There’s a boy I like, but I don’t think he sees me as a girl. He just sees me as a buddy and it’s okay because we can spend time together. Boys should be nice. And tall! But honestly, I don’t care what they look like, as long as it’s fun being together. I think that’s very important. What if he’s really handsome but you’re bored with him and he can’t make you laugh? That’s kind of pointless, isn’t it?

Mika about life: What makes me happy? Everything! I love everything! I really love food. Sweet food, spicy food, sushi, gratin, burgers, ramen. I’m happy everyday, but sometimes I get sad when I’m bored. I start thinking about things. Thinking too much, do you do that too? Then I try to think about everything I love and I’m happy again.

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Thank you for reading the thoughts of two amazing girls. If you’d like to tell them something, I’d be more than happy to pass it to them. Thank you ♥

EORZEA Cafe — Final Fantasy themed restaurant in Akihabara!

I have a horrible confession to make — I don’t play any video games, I don’t watch anime, I don’t read manga. It’s not that I don’t like them or think they’re inferior to the traditional culture of Japan and I absolutely don’t take pride in not-liking them — it’s just, I don’t know, I was more into visual kei, fashion and history. It doesn’t mean that Akihabara bores me, no! It’s quite the opposite. Because I never got into that culture myself, it’s really interesting for me to see it. And I get to see it in the place of it’s origin, which makes it even better. In my last blog update I mentioned watching Ghibli Studio cartoons for the first time at the age of 19, which I regret hadn’t happened earlier. I quickly realized there was so much more to see, learn and discover and movies and cartoons were a good way to do that. After absolutely magical Ghibli creations, I decided to get a glimpse of the world of fantasy made in Japan. And that was when I watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. I’ll be honest here — I don’t remember much, but I do remember I liked it. Is it a good enough reason to check out the new Final Fantasy themed restaurant in Akihabara? Of course it is!

 

 ♥

FINAL FANTASY EORZEA Cafe

PASELA RESORTS AKIBA Multi Entertainment 2F
1-1-10 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Opening times: 11:30-22:00

(actually, what served as in inspiration here was Final Fantasy XIV, not Final Fantasy VII)

website (JP)

map (you should check it carefully, even though it’s like 3 minutes from AKB station, I still managed to get lost)

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I have to admit that I don’t have enough knowledge about Final Fantasy to try and pretend to be an expert here, so I will resort to some reliable sources I’ve found online.

→ Final Fantasy Wiki ←

“Square Enix and Pasela’s collaborated Eorzea Cafe is a Final Fantasy XIV themed cafe located in Tokyo’s Akihabara. Opened 31st July 2014, the cafe is modeled after the Carline Canopy, an in-game location, and is named after Eorzea, the region where Final Fantasy XIV takes place. The décor uses details from the game, such as weapons, armor, and moogles, as well as a giant map of the world. The cafe has computers where patrons can play the game. The food and drinks served at the cafe are Final Fantasy themed; the menu has 33 articles of food, and 28 articles of drink. Many of the drinks are named and presented after alchemy recipes familiar from the game.”

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 The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of Pasela Resorts, just a stone’s throw away from Akihabara Station. When we finally arrived at the 2nd floor, ready to grab some of that Final Fantasy inspired noms, two nice ladies greeted us and asked if we had a reservation, which, apparently we did not have. One of the ladies asked when would be good for us, 4PM or 7PM, and then I realized that I should have probably checked their website before actually turning up at the place. What we should have known about but we had no idea at that time was….

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….THIS.

Don’t repeat my mistake and be aware that there are actualy only 4 tours when clients can come in and enjoy the real-world Eorzea for a limited time of 2 hours.

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 We could take as many photos as we pleased and naturally I took the opportunity to snap a million shots, so here’s my photo guide for all of you who plan to visit Eorzea Cafe.

Weapons hanging on the walls, looking cool and stuff.

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Some more weapons, magic creatures and probably a video of the game being played by someone.

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Eat delicious food and play Final Fantasy aka geek paradise! I don’t play computer games myself, but I think this idea is pretty darn awesome.

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THIS IS COOL.

Voted the best restaurant interior element I’ve seen to date. (Voted by me and only me.)

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Magic potions being made….

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Moogles! It was the first time to actually see these creatures, but look how adorable they are! Awwwwww ♥

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Time to take a look at the…

MENU!

 

Drinks like Garuda, Bahamut, Titan, Good King Moggle Mog, Leviathan, Odin… Sounds familar? Yes or no, you’ll have fun choosing from a rather rich menu.

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Our magic potions ♥

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 FOOD!

Pizza named after Infrit — a powerful demon “with control over scorching flames hot enough to turn the whole world to ashes”? Or Camp Bentbranch vegetable quiche? Feeling like nibbling on something sweet? How about Moogle honey toast then?

<I may not know much about FFXIV but I did my research>

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And my magnificent 岩神タイタンの大地の重み! It can be translated as Titan Yagami and the weight of the Earth…? Anyway, it was pretty decent! Not the best burger I’ve had in my life, but they bought me with that fancy Titan seaweed. Remember, if you want to impress me, get me some Titan seaweed.

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If you feel you’re so hungry you could eat a horse, don’t order the steak. Japan is the country of miniature stuff, miniature dogs, furniture, apartments. And steaks.

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FREE STUFF!

 Every time we placed an order, each of us got a coaster. Since we placed quite a few, we ended up with like 20 of them. I still don’t know what to do with them, but YAY freebies!

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All in all! Going there was fun and I really liked the interior. I mean, look again at that stained glass thing. The weapons, the Moogle statues, and the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in a restaurant — actual gaming PCs! The food and drinks were okay, a bit pricy though, but I expected that, no surprises here. As a person, who knows nothing about FFXIV I enjoyed my experience at EORZEA Cafe. I can only imagine how exciting it has to be for the fans!

Final verdict: RECOMMEND!

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Big thanks to this lovely couple, Kim and Micky, for being such lovely companions! Thank you guys for everything!

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 Thanks for reading and please let me know if you decide to check out Eorzea Cafe after reading my thoughts ♥

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You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook (← I will soon hold a giveaway!) and YouTube — though I don’t have anything there yet, there will be some fun videos coming in the near future so stay tuned!