shinsaibashi

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♡ Adventures at Sanrio Gallery, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan ♡

Hello everyone~!! Yesterday, my love and I spent a whopping 9 hours on our little feeties in various parts of Osaka, crawling through backstreets and unknown underground paths to explore some of my favourite fashion brand stores and also to scope out some good deals on used camera lenses for our photography endeavours~!!

One of the very last places we visited was Sanrio Gallery in Shinsaibashi. It’s three stories high and filled with the stuff of dreams ; 7 ; 

I treated myself to an early Christmas present and bought this adorable Kiki and Lala wallet and wristwatch. There were so many other items I wanted but I was too sleepy to choose~!! I will definitely be sneaking back in there with a basket at the ready. I’m really happy with the cuteness and quality of my items, I just love Kiki and Lala so much. I was even given a little sticker attached to my shopping bag as if the staff knew which one to choose hehe ♡

Place: Daimaru Shinsaibashi Sanrio Gallery
Address: 1-5-21 Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 8:30pm
Nearest Station: Shinsaibashi Station or walk from Namba

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Osaka September 2014 Part 4 - Namba

Crissey and I decided to spend our last night in Osaka’s Namba district, mostly because she hasn’t been there before, and because I haven’t seen it at night yet. Another shared first for us! 

At this point, we were a lot more relaxed already, after spending hours shopping at Umeda. We took the train to Shinsaibashi, and thankfully, I still remembered which exit to go to once we got off the train. We ended up straight at the entrance!

Shinsaibashi is like a long shopping arcade where you can find different local and foreign brands. If you like fast fashion, you’ll probably want to stay in this area versus Umeda / JR Osaka Station.

The Trissey diet is composed of coffee and sweets, lol. Anyhow, I introduced Crissey to my favorite Doutor iced honey cafe au lait when we arrived at Kansai airport.We found another Doutor in Shinsaibashi, so we ordered the same drink again. WHAT IS ADDICTION

I have so many feels for this particular drink. Every time I go to Tokyo, the first meal I have is always in the Doutor in Narita airport. It’s the one in the area before N'EX, Skyliner, etc. I order the exact same drink every single time, and I guess it has become my official “Welcome to Japan!” drink. 

Remember my RANDA posts? One of the largest (if not the #1 largest) RANDA store can be found along Shinsaibashi! The ones that I’ve seen Shinjuku and Shibuya are a lot smaller, and don’t offer non-shoe products such as clothing and accessories.

The shoe design that half of the customers in the store were inquiring about. RANDA created a Barbie collaboration shoe, and it is all sorts of kawaii! You can’t really find anything like it anywhere else.

Bling for your feet!

The RANDA store in Shinsaibashi is probably 4 or 5 times bigger than the one in Shinjuku. Check it out if you’re looking for quality shoes for everyday use!

Current fall trends include wide-brimmed hats, camo prints, and stripes.

Looks like a spring coordinate except for the tweed shorts that usually trend during fall and winter seasons.

Japan’s white shoe game is still going strong. It was the #1 shoe trend last spring-summer, and it’s nice to see it in non-sandal form now that the weather is getting colder. 

When in Shinsaibashi, go to the huge Lowry’s Farm store. I mentioned this place in my old Osaka post, and I’ll mention it again for emphasis. 

There are normal Lowry’s Farm stores around the city, but this one has a complete collection of their more chic, ladylike lines - apart by lowrys (my favorite) and mikoa LOWRYS FARM. 

All WEGO stores are always worth checking out. 

Sailor Moon iPhone cases! I regret not getting the one on the right! u_u

For those times when you want to pretend like you’re a bride…? It’s amazing how these Harajuku-style marriage veils are actually marketed to be worn as an everyday accessory!

And Japan’s Sailor Moon obsession continues…

SUDDENLY, HALF-NAKED YUKO OSHIMA /le shock What a way to grab attention!

I failed to take a closer photo, but this girl was wearing black lipstick to match her black lips bag!

Don’t know if it’s just me when I say that purikura machines are harder to come by in Osaka than in Tokyo? Good thing we found a game center along Shinsaibashi, or else Crissey wouldn’t have had her first purikura experience!

We chose this machine with Dakota as the model! We originally wanted to try the newest machine (with Tamashiro Tina as the model) but the line was sooo long, huhu 

SOMEONE PLEASE BRING THESE PURIKURA MACHINES TO THE PHILIPPINES! Instant alien eyes!

Game centers in Japan are 999999999x more epic than all the other game centers in the world! Usually, we’d see arcades that are only as big as a restaurant, but Japan has multi-storey buildings just dedicated to this stuff.

Gudetama!

Their game centers are so epic, you can get these high-quality figurines as prizes.

P.S. I need Shingeki no Kyojin’s next season asap

Only 200 yen or 80 pesos to play! I suck at crane games though :(

One of the prizes! DYING AT ALL THE CUTE

The view once you’re done with Shinsaibashi. This is one of Osaka’s most iconic places, so naturally, there are always a lot of people (locals and tourists).

Picking up from what I left in my last post…

I got so excited for Crissey since she could finally take a photo in front of the popular Glico Man in Dotonbori. A few days before our trip, I was already telling her about it, so I guess she had high expectations too. During the duration of our trip, she was also telling me about how psyched she was about it, after seeing how every tourist in Osaka has a picture in front of the Glico Man.

HOWEVER, THE GLICO MAN WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Apparently, it was under restoration during the time of our visit.

I knew it. I am seriously cursed, lol. Or maybe it’s Crissey, hahaha

We were blessed by temporary Glico Girl Ayase Haruka instead. The billboard didn’t have any lighting though, so it was just dark and weird amid the bright landscape. I had to adjust the levels of these pictures on Photoshop because it looked so out of place, lol. The least they could have done was put a spotlight on it, or something.

Oh well! No worries! This only gave us more reason to come back next time!

Also, hello to our photobombers! This in-between part of Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori always has a lot of guys hanging around, inviting people to visit their clubs, restaurants, etc. Very similar to Shibuya at night, when guys would try to talk to you while you’re walking to your destination. Best thing to do is to ignore them, but it also works when you tell them that you can’t understand a thing they’re saying, and that they should speak in English. They get so scared, lol

My favorite Tokyo girl Ashley was in town that weekend, so we met up for dinner! 

Her luggage. Kawaii all day, every day. This made me miss my dogs Bailey and Angel!

Beautiful Dotonbori at night. I think I prefer this time, compared to when I visited in the afternoon

Monki on the left, H&M on the right. Global fast fashion is slowly invading Manila, and I think Monki should be next in line!

I was so scared for these two, but they had perfect balance omg they are secretly ninjas

Kani Doraku! 

Bright lights to contrast the dark sky. The Forever 21 here is also huge!

Last proper shot before dinner! This was taken on the same day as my last post, but I changed my jacket and shorts when Crissey and I dropped our shopping haul off at our hotel. Instant evening look!

Trissey’s first proper meal since we arrived in Osaka. We went to Botejyu, a popular chain of restaurants. I think they have branches in Singapore and Taiwan too. Hopefully, the Philippines is next.

Saved the best for last. Okonomiyaki with egg, and takoyaki with cheese. YES. WITH CHEESE. 

Nino has so many endorsements recently. <3

One last look at Dotonbori before we left for the nearest station.

Before going home, Ashley had to buy a charger or a powerbank, so we went to this awesome store called Smart Labo.  

It’s basically a store that sells the best cellphone cases in the world. Most of their items are a little on the expensive side, but they’re all sure to be conversation pieces.

Kiki and Lala!

Disney cases for iPhone 6. THE ALICE IN WONDERLAND ONE OMG <3 I asked them if they had the same case for iPhone 5s, because I’d totally buy it. Sadly, it was only available for iPhone 6. :(

Just some EXO when we went back to our hotel. KORE WA OVERDOSE!

Thanks again Access Travel and Tours for helping us arrange this trip! Don’t forget to check out EnjoyJapan.PH for your daily dose of Japan travel inspiration! 

Osaka April 2013 Part 2

Second part of my Osaka trip is all about free time and shopping! Since I made the itinerary for the whole trip, I’m pretty sure my whole family expected 1-2 days for exploration… a.k.a. mall hopping. Thankfully, none of them complained about having too much free time, as they also had their own share of unique fashion finds!

Me and my brothers at Kyoto Station. Our trip also had Kyoto and Nara in between (which I’ll be blogging about in the next few weeks) but in the end, we had to go back to Osaka to take the plane home to Manila.  

Traveling from Osaka to Kyoto (or vice versa) is so fast and easy that you can just take a day trip to one place but go back to your original hotel at night.  

After dropping off all our luggage at the hotel, we headed straight to the Shinsaibashi area for some sightseeing… err, shopping. We stayed in the same hotel in JR Osaka Station, making it very convenient to just take the train straight to Shinsaibashi Station.

My brother Calel waiting outside Tokyu Hands. Always a good place to start shopping.  

No one in their right mind would attack without filling their stomachs first! Before we did any real shopping, we went for some katsu in one of the underground passageways.

Wonderful wedges!

Shinsaibashi-suji is a covered shopping street that is a must visit for all shopaholics! 

I particularly loved the Lowry’s Farm here as the store was huge! I make sure to drop by Lowry’s Farm every time I get the chance (also available in Collect Point in Singapore and Hong Kong) because they are one of the most affordable Japanese brands I know that carries quality trendy items. 

Allamanda by INGNI. The mannequin on the left makes me miss my long hair so much! It would probably be this length now if I hadn’t cut it short. 

I didn’t buy anything from this store (though I would have, if you presented these clothes to 20/21-year-old me) but it was a delight just looking at their clothes. Everything was extra sweet and dainty. Florals and pastels galore.

one spo’s summer collection is to die for! I’m a sucker for black and white with yellow color accent so I pretty much ogled at everything when I was here. Daisy prints are huge right now and I couldn’t blame them for placing them everywhere - tops, skirts, caps, accessories and even shoes!

Dotonbori billboards.

The famous Kani Doraku built in the 1960s.

Why hello there, Nino! <3

Osaka Shochiku-za, a theater for kabuki plays.

Taken just before the influx of people who went here to eat dinner. Good thing I managed to snap this photo before it got crazy! 

Me and the iconic Glico man, originally installed in the 1930s. 

The end of Shinsaibashi-suji.

The start of Ebisubashi-suji. (Crowd was starting to get crazy here)

Dotonbori canal just before sunset.

Went back to the entrance of Shinsaibashi-suji!

I saved the best for last. Went to Shinsaibashi OPA for 11 floors of Japanese fashion goodness! This is my favorite place in Osaka for shopping as it’s reminiscent of Shibuya 109.

Laguna Moon’s S/S 2013 collection was also resort-inspired like most of the other brands. Not a bad thing though, as the palm tree prints and light, breezy materials are perfect for us living in tropical countries. Matching top and bottom set is also a big trend.

LANDS OF Eden had these cute neon yellow/green accents to give spunk to dark colors and neutrals. Peplum is also not yet over!

Retro girly is still in for spring! This style is something the Japanese will never get tired of, I guess! 

Sky high strappy platforms at Esperanza. Got lucky with a pair of two-tone white/yellow pointy pumps at 50% off!

OMG, SLY. I’ve been obsessing over their current collection/s for the past months. This brand has also converted me into wearing more dangling earrings and statement accessories. This is a huge leap considering my usually conservative taste in jewelry.

Current collection features Keith Haring collaboration items.

EMODA, of course. Love the leaf print series, as well as the all-white coordinates that look so neat. Minimalist but chic as always! I didn’t splurge too much here because I already knew I was going back to Tokyo anyway for EMODA’s TouchMe show. I already blogged about it here!

KOJIHARU by the entrance to OPA. She’s my AKB bias! Too pretty!

Creative Marc by Marc Jacobs store display! The head scarves make me want to try this style out one of these days.

Yakitori for dinner.

Went around the area (at this point, I didn’t bother knowing which street was which) and spotted some unique stores. Surprisingly, there was also an American Apparel in the area.

Vintage-inspired tank tops at this place where they sell gas masks and military stuff, lol. The contrast!

Vintage adidas everywhere! They were selling a lot of discontinued and limited edition items that are now apparently super hard to find.

I remember taking a photo of similar vending machine in Fukuoka, and it didn’t look anything like this, hahaha

Stylish young mom in front of McDonalds. I went to Japan just before Golden Week and they had these special burgers that I failed to try, lol. Maybe next year? *hopes and prays*

The next day, which was our last whole day in Japan, we just killed time around JR Osaka Station. There was a giant Yodobashi (electronics heaven) so we went in and geeked out for a while. Took a break from all the fashion and got myself a quirky camera bag for my dSLR and lenses. It is white and red with floral prints. ONLY IN JAPAN! Been looking out for cutesy ones for the longest time now but have only been seeing boring black ones which I know have more functionality and stuff but sue me for being a girly girl

Who can say no to all this beef? 

The eggs are for our tamago kake gohan <3 I don’t normally eat a lot of rice but Japanese rice (especially with egg) is my weakness.

Chanced upon this new place called NU Chayamachi by the Chayamachi exit of Umeda Station. 

There were many artists exhibiting their work in the area, but I was fortunate enough to watch this girl create her masterpiece from scratch. They weren’t just limited to drawing on walls though! Some of them created 3D art and placed them everywhere – on trees, lamp posts, etc. 

KATE SPADE SATURDAY! This is only available in Japan so I totally spazzed when I saw it accidentally.

I was able to talk to one of the shop staff who wanted to practice her English! She told me she used to work for Uniqlo where she was able to meet a good friend who also happened to be Filipino like me. Now her friend is working in New York! She, on the other hand, would love to go to Paris one day. I also told her to visit the Philippines too, and then she went on and on about some of her friends loving every bit of Cebu and Boracay. Yay!

Another artist’s work. 

One of the store displays along EST. Transparent bags were also everywhere, in different shapes and sizes. These heart-shaped ones were absolutely darling, and now I regret not buying one!

For cat lovers! They even had cat-shaped tape dispensers!

Afternoon coffee at this quirky bookstore. 

HEP Five, also a must visit for those interested in shopping for fashion in Osaka. It’s a quick walk from JR Osaka station and you can’t miss it! There’s a bright red ferris wheel on top!

After shopping, I had some free time to sneak in some shots of people’s outfits. Everyone was walking so fast though, and my photography skills were rusty. Couldn’t keep up. :P

This girl’s shoes are killing me (in a good way)! I can never pull this look off but she worked it so well. Fell in love with the whole pastel color scheme that even matched her youthful face and hairstyle.

Ugh, they make oversized clothes look good too! <3

Entrance of HEP Five. Spotted two girls wearing vertical striped bottoms and denim jackets. Another huge trend in Japan now.

Positivity all the way! Even this brand agrees with me! 

JR Osaka Station at night. It was my last night and I wanted to explore on my own a bit. 

Managed to catch Arashi ni Shiyagare on TV just before I went to sleep!

Osaka was super fun - I can’t wait to go back. If someone were to ask me to choose between Osaka and Tokyo, I’d be so torn. This place is so endearing in its own special way! <3

4

LumièreShinsaibashi [dinner] (continued from here). Continuing with their tend of light dishes, their signature peach on peach on peach dish (that’s peach granita, peach sorbet and peach soup) was nice and clean, and of course, refreshing. I liked the little crispy peach skin garnish. Oh, look Lil, there’s a peach foam!! The caramel flourless tart lacked a bit of richness you would normally expect, however, it wasn’t bad. At this stage we were both a bit full (and pissed from all the wine), nonetheless, petit fours of chocolate lolly pops with popping candy and little panna cotta “droplets” could not be ignored. 

One of the most interesting things about Lumière is Chef Karato’s approach to cooking French inspired food. He chooses to make fairly light dishes, avoiding a lot of cream and butter. I mean, after a fair bit of food, the walk back to Shinsaibashi station wasn’t so bad. In fact, I remember saying I was satisfied but didn’t feel like I had over eaten. Don’t get me wrong, I like heavy sauces and things seared in butter, but sometimes I can feel a bit overwhelmed after eating such things. This was not one of those days. For this and other reasons Lumière is indeed worth a try.  

Good knowledgeable service. Variety of wines was awesome. ¥20000 pp (including wine). Tabelog entry here.