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Japan you outdid yourself once again with a pop-up shop and cafe collaboration in Tokyu Plaza for the release of the Ferragamo Incanto Amity fragrance. Yup a cafe collaboration with a fragrance. I had no idea if it’d be cool or horrible.

I ended up at Tokyu Plaza in the first place because I just finished a four hour hair appointment for cut, color and straightening nearby in Harajuku. My hair ended up being 10,000 yen in total (about $98) and I was riding on a cloud. 98$ for cut, color and straightening, let that sink in. OMG thank you Hot Pepper coupon and Harajuku salon (for those curious I went to LANGE Rope).

But I was starving! I always end up planning my hair appointments to run through lunch. Urg. So I thought I’d go get a small sandwich and latte from Starbucks in Tokyu Plaza, but the Starbucks was packed. I headed back downstairs when I spotted the Omohara Cafe and the pop-up store for Incanto Amity by Salvatore Ferragamo. Aptly named since Tokyu Plaza is at the intersection of OMOtesando and HARAjuku.

Once you see the pictures you’ll realize why I had to stop by.

 

First the Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Amity pop-up store!

Check out those Spring colors! I was here during Spring and it was just quenching all my feelings for flowers and pinks.

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Inside the Pop-up store there was a floral bench for photo-ops.

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Ferragamo Incanto perfume line is actually three fragrances. The main one is Incanto Amity (green bottle) then Incanto Charms (pink bottle) and Incanto Dreams (blue bottle).

You could spray each fragrance and test them out.

I was at the time actively searching for a new fragrance. I love Gucci Guilty and Coco by Chanel but was a bit tired of their scent. So I ended up buying Ferragamo’s Incanto Amity. It’s smells like jasmine and orange and was only 3,600 yen for the spray. Six months later I still like it, which is high praise from me since I get bored of fragrances easily.

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Since it was a pop-up shop they had a gatcha set up with mini perfumes depending on how much you bought.

Instead of doing it my shop staff plucked two travel fragrances for me of the scent I liked so I wouldn’t have to play chance. So nice!!

More on the shop staff below.


Omohara Cafe

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Omohara Cafe is a small 6 table cafe with mostly drink options. A bonus are the free current issue magazines you can read while sipping and taking a shopping break.

If you’re in Harajuku and just need a quick chill I recommend heading to Tokyu Plaza to the Omohara cafe or to the top balcony to rest your feet (see other food and chill recommendations in Harajuku below).

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Here is their normal menu. I’ve tried their green kiwi soda, tortellini and cheese as well as their cafe latte. The drinks are good. The food is just okay.

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And just for that month a perfume collaboration food menu!

I regret not getting the Tiramisu. Orange sponge cake with a marscapone mousse and a raspberry top. Yummy!

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Instead I got the Mandarin Sparkling Soda and Tortellini with Cheese. The tortellini was just alright, but the drink was great!

Never thought I’d drink a perfume inspired drink.

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It matches the set, awwwe.


Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Amity shop staff

My shop staff was so friendly I asked to take a picture of her. And she decided the best place was at the swing photo-op area. She was pretty happy to do the photos as you can see.

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Check out her cute shoes. I think she’s in the famous Ferragamo bow flats. Ferragamo’s bow items are pretty popular in Japan.

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Such a cutey!

Pop-up stores are the best.

That day I also treated myself to eyelash extensions. What I thought I’d be paying on hair 20,000 yen ended up being for hair, new perfume and eyelash extensions. #treatyoself


Harajuku chill & eat recommendations

If you’re in Harajuku and need a break my ultimate recommendation is the Q-Pot cafe, but for a quick sit enjoy Omohara Cafe or Beads Labo in La Foret has waffles and coffee and is usually not packed.

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My tasty waffle from Beads Labo + cafe in La Foret.

For food in Harajuku slightly pricey but Bills also in Tokyu Plaza is delicious (post later) but always a wait, cheaper is Gold Rush hamburg joint which is delicious always available seating and just down the street from La Foret.

Need more shop staff? Mostly clothing shop staff are here

Need more pop-up shop cuteness? 6 Princess by Shu Uemura pop-up shop in Shinjuku station is sure to delight

Need more perfume talk? All about gyaru brand perfumes and body sprays here

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I traveled to Shizuoka 109 this spring (previous posts) and stumbled upon Gyda’s producer Yuria Kushido doing an in store meet-and-greet known in japan as a “raiten ibento”(来店イベント). I’ve chronicled stumbling into Momoko Ogihara at these types of events, went to a Sakurina event, and the Liz Lisa My Melody event. I thought I’d show how an instore event looks and how to find one near you if you’re traveling or staying in Japan.

What’s an in store event?

Anything or anyone famous holds an event in connection with a store. It’s usually one of three types: producers, models or characters.

Producers usually hold in store events to greet their fans and up sales in that particular store.

For Liz Lisa they have their character that visits select stores. Characters are such a big boom that they often have events in big stores.

Brands that do collaboration work with models often have in store events, for example Amo and Candy Stripper or Yui Kanno and Liz Lisa.  TWNRoom had three models appear for their opening event. Models also appear for magazines, new magazine Larme has a few events a year. Since most stores are based in Tokyo, Tokyo events are more common, but they happen all over Japan. Events can also coincide with store openings or other big store moves like design renewals.

How to find out about in store events?

Follow blogs of stores and models you like. This is the number one best way to do it. Blogs are likely where people post about it. Most of the time the in store events notices are only that week so you have to be quick to catch them. Twitter and instagram in store notice posts aren’t as common, so definitely check blogs.

One I’m aware of: Larme and its popular models have an upcoming model event for Halloween at La Foret 10/25

What’s required from you?

In store events are usually to increase store sales numbers, so in order to participate you have to buy something. The dollar amount varies.

At the Yuria Kushido for Gyda it was 5,000 yen ($49). The My Melody event was 20,000 yen ($198). The amount you buy is usually only for purchases made the same day of the event, meaning for the My Melody event it buy 20,000 yen that day. Okarie the director of Ank Rouge recently had an in store event (raiten ibento) at Tokyu Lala Port, you had to purchase 10,000 yen that day for a photo and autograph. The Nameko event was free but I had to ask for a ticket.

You are given a ticket and when stand in line and it becomes your turn you give the ticket away.

For Popular events QUEUE EARLY!

As early as you can and accept to be waiting a long time. La Foret mega meets always attract a ton of fans and they are dedicated.

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I arrived on time for this popular La Foret event.

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However everyone else came earlier. The line for it stretched up all 7 floors of La Foret and outside the building curving around the street.

If you really want to see a big event show up early as you can and be prepared to stick it out waiting in line for a long time.

This is only for big events, small in store events aren’t as crazy. The only pressure for in-store events is when they are opening events. Then of course more fan fare and people are expected to show.

What’s allowed and how many photos can you take?

You can take as many photos as you want of the surrounding area usually, but of yourself and the person or character it depends. Usually it’s just two devices and one photo on each such as a regular camera and an iPhone or if friends are posing together then their two smartphones. They will usually just shoot one photo on each device.


 

 

Japan In-Store meets with models and characters

GYDA Yuria Kushido at Shizuoka 109’s GYDA

I stumbled onto a GYDA event for their producer Yuria Kushido when I was taking a day trip to Shizuoka. I keep stumbling onto events, which is a fun suprise.

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In the GYDA store they were using this sign next to the cash register to let customers know of a raiten ibento (来店イベント). Signs were also around the 1st floor of Shizuoka 109.

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But even if you didn’t go into the store you’d notice by the crowd of stylish women queueing up to meet Yuria Kushido.

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Yuria Kushido is both lovely, confident and extremely friendly. Her fans were also well dressed in their GYDA best. Yuria made everyone’s day who stood in line that day and spent a nice amount of time talking with each.

As you can see the guy handler is the photographer/bag holder. There he is walking and offering to hold the girl’s bag. A male assitant/photographer/bag holder is very common at producer in store events.

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She signed everyone’s bag with a little note.

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Bag on arm the male assistant takes photos with a GYDA staff camera and the fan’s phone camera.

Yuria was doing the same pose in every one because she knows her angles.

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 She’s so petite! Look at her in HEELS next to schoolgirls! Making the schoolgirl’s day.

and now for a completely different event…

Nameko photo event at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya

Nameko is a derpy mushroom character that has had a series of popular smartphone games and character lines as well as gamesen catch-game plushies.

Tokyu Hands is a popular chain that stocks home goods, stationary items (Like the Liz Lisa x Sliccies collaboration) and character goods. I got a message from Lucie that Nameko was doing a character event one Saturday and Alice and I are both nutty for Nameko so we quick trained ourselves from Harajuku to Shibuya and rushed to Tokyu Hands.

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Inside Loft there’s a character section in the bigger stores. The character rotates but it’s usually filled with merchandise.

There was a small sign notifying that Nameko would make an apperance.

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Here’s a close-up of the sign. It says Nameko will be doing three sessions starting at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00. Each session is limited to 30 people and you can only take one photo a piece.

There was nothing needed to buy so we just asked a shop staff and were given a ticket.

 

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Sure enough Nameko arrived. In the big mushroom felt-flesh.  :bow:

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At Liz Lisa Harajuku Takeshita store I finally got to take the Shop Staff Snap series outdoors! Liz Lisa Takeshita store is a stand-alone store that used to house Liz Lisa Chambre a Coucher  on the second floor and now houses the Jugetta brand (previous shop staff snap). The Takeshita store doesn’t always have as much merchandise as the Shibuya 109 store or the Shinjuku Alta store, but if you’re in the area it’s a good check. Also because there was so many foreign tourists their English is better.

So happy I got to take a picture of this shop staff in particular because she was showing off the true feeling of classic Liz Lisa and it was super princessy. Now Liz Lisa like most brands have moved to the retro pin-up style and a Larme mix so they are not putting out as much princess items. But last year this girl was showing it all off.

 

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Somehow the combination of white and beige and her brown hair aren’t toned down but rather turnt up by her wonderful feminine styling.

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Check out her cute and simple Liz Lisa pumps. I took this picture in November, but the Liz Lisa christmas trees were already up. Aren’t they perfect?

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Her princess necklace is so lovely. I’m currently all about pearls, I wish I bought that so I could at least pretend I was as fancy as her.

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She had the perfect silky hair. Harajuku along with neighboring Omotensando has a hive of hundreds of hair salons so you’ll always see great hair around there. Luckily I had just come from a treatment or I would’ve felt very unworthy.  :up:

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You don’t see over-the-top acrylic nails as much anymore but wow. She’s such a princess.

Of course it being Takeshita which is always 50% tourists as I was taking the pictures tourists came up and started taking pictures of her and me. URGH! Takeshita is the worst. I would avoid it, but the lovely Liz Lisa store and its always kind and beautiful shop staff and the great selection Tutuanna are always reasons I head back.

I am laughably behind on shop staff snaps, which I guess is a good thing. I’ve got so many more, maybe 40 to do so they’ll slowly come out. But since it’s becoming Fall I’ll try to focus on Fall and Winter style ones for now.

Looking for more Liz Lisa posts? I’ve got you covered! So many Liz Lisa shop staff to come and mentions about their new style soon. But for now check out previous posts here

Looking for more shop staff snaps? Stay tuned and view over 100 previous shop staff

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I went to an owl and hawk cafe in Tokyo called Hawkeye (facebook) or Taka no Me (鷹乃目). My friend Stella (who owns cutey Frances) asked me to go but I was busy the day she went and didn’t feel to enthused going to an owl cafe. I mean it’s original, right? But seemed expensive and stinky. It was the stinky part mainly that shied me away. I’ve gone to 5 different cat cafes in Tokyo and the odor ranges from nothing to cat lady house to hoarder.

But then I saw her pictures and how everyone had the best time so I blocked out some time to go.

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So many owl cuties, so much derp.

It turns out Hawkeye was neither stinky nor expensive. It was probably the best 1,000 yen ($10) I’ve spent in Japan in ages. Anyone who I find out is going to Tokyo I tell them to go to Hawkeye. I even recommended it to my vet (who was going).

Hawkeye Cafe is located close to Asakusa Shrine and Tokyo Sky Tree. It’s within walking distance from Sky Tree.

A little Hawkeye Cafe background

It’s in a more residental quiet area and it’s run by Mr. Kawashima (jp interview here) who comes off as an ex-salaryman who quit and decided to follow his dream. He loves hawks and owls and will talk to you for as long as you want about them. You’ve just come into his land of dreams. He actually decided to open up the cafe because he loved parahawking. Parahawking combines training hawks to fly with you as you paraglide.

I didn’t even know such a cool thing was a thing.

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From the Hawkeye website. Taking his owls for a day trip near Mt. Fuji to watch other parahawkers.

Inside the Owl and Hawk Cafe

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Hawkeye Cafe is an actual cafe so once you enter you’re greeted by a super friendly hostess and a bar with stools for coffee or tea. The bar is quite different because it faces owls. Your 1,000 yen price comes with a drink which you can choose to take either before or after.

The cafe has only a few rules: no flash photography because it upsets the birds, no food or drink inside the owl & hawk area and wait for instructions on who to pet. That’s it.

Of course I said I’ll have my drink later, I’m seeing some owls!

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It looks like a painting, right? They’re actually alive and in front of you.

The reason I mentioned Mr. Kawashima earlier is he loves to tell all his stories and they are good stories about the owls.

On the left is Lady Gaga a barn owl. Lady Gaga is the only owl that gets free reign anytime customers are in because she loves the owl on the right. On the right is Ta-chan who is a large Eagle Owl. He’s gigantic in person and when you enter your eyes are drawn to him. The rest of the owls fear and hate Ta-chan because he’s so big. When the owner brings him near the smaller owls they squawk and puff up as big as they can (which is hilarious and the owls calm down immediately). But Lady Gaga loves him and Ta-chan doesn’t mind Lady Gaga. Awwww owl slash.

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I’m holding an owl!

Once you break the feeling of shock of being surrounded by tons of owls who look almost fake because they’re so fluffy and puffy and and giant eyed, you can hold them the small guys. Or they can hold onto you. Depending how comfortable you are with them Mr. Kawashima will just keep putting owls on you.

It’s a shock holding them because they’re calm and sweet and they weigh absolutely nothing. I know your brain works out that of course for something to fly it needs to be light but actually holding them it’s like soft fluffy air.  And they like being stroked on their back. So you can hold and pet all you want.

but then there’s the Hawks.

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My friend Cassie and her great picture of the hawk.

You get a falconry glove. You’re holding a hawk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHawk town. I’m in it.

Man hawks are cool and I learned so much.

That beak looks menacing but it can’t do much. They only catch prey with their feet. Mr. Kawashima was trying to train one of the hawks (there are four!) so he was tossing it meat and teaching it how to catch with its feet. He said hawks are like dogs while owls are more like cats. In my short time with them it felt that way.

I was quite in awe on the hawk side of the area. They’re trained to stay in the area but it’s an openish space. Hawks weighed a bit more, but it could’ve been the giant leather glove. Mr. Kawashima went glove free.

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Hawk side profile realness

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Back on the owl side there’s one extra fluffy owl that only ladies can pet. #patriarchydefeat

And seriously look at that flatfaced puff that is the most pettable thing ever.

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Going in

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You’re a lady, you shall pass.

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I have accepted you, madam. Reminds me of Mogwai from Gremlins.

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All the owls are awesome and cool, but he got little crocheted hats for the little ones to wear. Luigi owl. Goddamn Japan.

He looks like a little train conductor. If Japan can make a cat a station chief then a small town definitely needs to one-up with an owl chief.

And now owl gratuitous photos.

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So many owl types to love.

So about the owl restroom breaks, they just go off the back of their perches onto newspaper. It’s behind you and them and not where anyone steps. They don’t poop much or often because most of them weigh a pound or so. I noticed no smell and I’m very smell picky.

The trip changed my views on two animal species and made me love both. I had lovely conversations with both Mr. Kawashima and his owl cafe hostess who was a lover of the tv show “White Collar” and the new series “Dallas”, random but… okay. Meeting people who are passionate at what they do even if you are not passionate about it, they draw you to them and make you like their passion.

I really really recommend visiting Hawkeye, you’ll have a wonderful time and have tons of memories. I’m so ready to go back!!

Directions to Hawkeye

Hawkeye Cafe address is: 1-8-9 Sumida, Tokyo 130-0002

Here’s some simple google directions from Tokyo Sky Tree or you can alternatively access it from the Oshiage station via the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or the Asakusa Line.

 

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Just a five minute walk through a residential area. Simple and easy to get to. They’re open from 1:00-9:00 on all days but Thursdays and Mondays are closed.

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