Travels 2010: Taiwan and Japan

I love traveling. I really do. Ever since I took my first trip to Italy, I was hooked. Now, with a husband who flies planes for a living, I actually have the opportunity to fly anywhere in the world and yet, I still have that pesky problem we call a "schedule."

Thankfully, I'm still in school (but not for long!) and decided to utilize my winter break this year in Asia. People usually give me a funny look when I tell them that I haven't been to Taiwan, my motherland. So now, I am proud to say I have finally been to the place where my mother and father grew up. I feel closer to my roots and anticipate returning soon.

So this fantastic opportunity to spend a week in Taiwan appeared when one of our friends recently moved there for his job. We were extremely lucky to have him host us and be our guide for the entire trip. Thank you Regan!!

Because of some technical difficulties with ticketing, we spent one night and one day in Tokyo which gave me just enough of a taste to make me want more. Tokyo is now in my top 3 stylish cities along with New York and London. I noticed a lot of funky outfits, doll-like features on girls, and of course, super cute boots. I already knew the Japanese had a unique sense of style from my many hours poring over the Japanese street style magazines I've accumulated over the years but once there, I was even more impressed with their ability to put an outfit together. Pieces you would never consider pairing together seemed to magically trick your eyes into believing the entire outfit was meant to be.

First, a disclaimer: The inconsistencies of the quality of the photos are due to the switching out of three cameras. The first, the Kodak Easyshare Z612, my look-a-like DSLR, captured the best photos but the bulk prevented me from using it most of the time. The second, my little pink Fuji camera was best for night shots and streamers, but I just realized since this trip that the day shots are really lacking. Finally, the camera I probably used the most was my camera phone from my new Droid. Easy to use and very portable but definitely the grainiest of them all although it works surprisingly well in low light without a flash.

Because of the photo intensiveness of this trip, I will be breaking it up in different posts. This post is dedicated to our first night and day in Tokyo. Enjoy!

This is our little hotel room in the Ikebukuro district. When I mean little, I mean it was very tiny. It was the perfect size for a night's sleep, and I was especially digging the mushroom lamps.

There are tons of little noodle houses along the streets. Good thing because I'm constantly craving noodles!

A view from the train station in Shibuya. Notice the hoards of people trying to cross the street.

vintage purple beret : Gap Kids fringe scarf : vintage leopard coat : Wal-Mart gloves turned fingerless : Nasty Gal Rebecca drape jacket underneath : Flying Monkey jeans : Desmo purse

A popular photo op with the statute of Hachiko next to Shibuya station.

Walking to Harajuku from Shibuya while dragging all our luggage is not fun I tell ya.

Here is one of the gallery walls bedecked with brightly-colored paintings inside Harajuku's fashion mall, La Foret. This mall has tons of really neat and well-curated shops but be prepared for the prices! I even tried on a pair of really hot Jeffrey Campbell boots that cost over $300. Still trying to find them online. :(

Funky-looking hair salon. Just the decor would make me want to get a haircut there. One thing to note about Harajuku: I noticed a few vintage Vivienne Westwood shops in the winding alleys that had a ton of great items for reasonable prices. I will definitely spend more time in this area when I'm back in Tokyo.

Entering the Meiji Jingu Shrine.

A beautiful walk amongst the trees.

Although it wasn't the weekend which is when many of the kids come out to Harajuku in their most outrageous wear, I did catch some youths hanging out along the Jingu bridge.

I love foreign vending machines especially the ones in Asia. I love the mystery and getting to take home a cute item to add to my shelf.

Finally, I left Japan with the memory of this fast food eatery. Fried balls with sushi on the inside. Yum! I looked them up and apparently California already has some.

Come back for the next installment of my travels with photos of Taiwan!


  1. Ahhh gorgeous! I adore Japan :) I just wrote a post about it on my blog! Can't wait to see your other photos :)

  2. lovely pics!!we never stayed in Tokio but we really want to visit it!!!
    however, leopard coat is stunning!! <3


  3. Wow, amazing pictures, Japan is on my must visit list for the future :)

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog, these photos are fantastic quenching my thirst for Tokyo! Look forward to the photos of Taiwan.

    @ The GUILTY HYENA †

  5. lucky!!! i long for east asia. i used to eat at that harajuku lotteria all the time when i lived in japan.

    taiwan is my motherland too...very glad you got the chance to go. it's got to be one of my favorite places in the world.

  6. that hair salon is outta control!!

  7. WOW!
    amazing, gorgeous, FANTASTIC!
    i have to go there one day! It's incredible!!

    you look gorgeous, and the pictures are wonderful!:)
    xxxx darling!

  8. Tokoyo looks amazing! And I love your outfit, especially your coat!



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