This post came to be because many ladies asked me about the specifics of Japanese nails in Ask Anything. So I thought I’d make a post and hopefully answer a lot of the questions. Thanks everyone for asking, I’m always happy to do requested posts if I have the capability to do so :heartsmile:

Egg model Nemoyayo and her gorgeous nails from Carry

Egg Model Nemoyayo at Carry Ikebukuro

Etiquette

Make an appointment!!

Walk-ins are incredibly unheard of and I promise you will win the award of super horrible gaijin if you do so. Even if you walk-in, try to make an appointment in person for the next day instead.

Show up exactly on time!!

Too early and the staff feel rushed and it will unsettle the atmosphere. If you’re late it’s beyond unheard of. Apologize profusely. Lateness is considered a horrible trait.

At your appointment:

When you show up you will probably be asked to sit in the waiting area (usually small) and possibly asked if you’d like a drink. Usually it’s the choice of cold or hot tea.

My view from the waiting room of Shibuya Carry. Notice the giant Sparkly hello kitty? The woman in the pink jumpsuit is a hostess, we chatted a bit.

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Since I ended Ask Anything 2 and set up formspring I’ve gotten 120+ questions. The horrible thing about formspring tho’ is that it doesn’t have a search option so it makes multiple questions more prevalent. It’s also a bit of an annoying typing format :^_^;;: However I’ve gotten some great questions on formspring and I thought I’d share them here before I start Ask Anything #3 :rila:

Cute Toshiba Ad near Ueno Park mimicing the swan boats.

You can submit new questions for Ask Anything 3 in the comments below :cheery: My only request is that you do a google search to see if google can answer it for you, since well I don’t like being someone’s search engine :^_^;;: I’m open to anonymous questions, you’re welcome to put a fake e-mail or such. :wink:


Hi I REALLY want to become gyaru and i dont know where to start :( do you have any tips? or maybe some basics that i need to get in order to start looking the part? P.S your blog is AMAZING!! thanks so much!

Get every gal magazine you can. Buy, download whatever.

Those magazines being: Nuts, Ranzuki, Egg, Jelly, SCawaii, Popteen, Ageha

Then find what you like about those magazines. What clothing.hairstyle.nail.make-up in the magazines makes you squeal with excitement. Can you do it? Do you have something in your wardrobe like it?
Do you see street snaps in the magazines, is their a coordinate that you like? Why? Can you see yourself wearing it? Then get to it!

The key in beginning gal is to use your preexisting wardrobe. Then discover what you’d like to add that you consider gal.

Think about EVERYTHING.

Is your hair the gal style you want?
Is there something you can do with your current hair to make it how you like within gal?

Are your nails on point?
Read this article about current nail trends: http://universal-doll.com/2010/05/nail-trends-round-up/

Do you have clothing that mimics trends within gal?
If you’re read my site you hopefully know those ♥

Lastly: read this http://universal-doll.com/2009/11/gal-guide-vision/


Hi, I was wondering if you know anything about a gyaru scene in Okinawa? I know it’d be pretty small since its not mainland, but what about in Naha/the capital? by s0undboythrilla

I am sure it’s mostly seasonal since it is a tourist destination for many.

However there is a gal mall in Naha
The Naha OPA
http://www.opa-club.com/naha/
It seems more gal stores have come in in the last year, so possibly gal is rising in Okinawa! ^_^
There’s: Duras, DIA, Esperanza, SLY, Gilfy, Shake Shake, Lip Service, Egoist, Spiral Girl, Moussy, Rojita, Glad News, GOA, Heaven and Earth, ANAP.

They’re on the 1-3 floors. I imagine it’s a bit like the Fukuoka gal mall.

One of the best things to check out is the DIA staff blog of Okinawa.
http://ameblo.jp/dia-okinawa/

Shop Staff from the DIA in Okinawa from the DIA Okinawan blog ♥

DIA is extremely traditional gal (meaning all the things like leopard print, sexy combination pieces, gold detailing etc…). Their shopstaff looks super cute!

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In advance of the Ask Anything #3 post, I thought I’d post this first to fix up some FAQ I get. :stars:  My formspring is open for questions before I leave up a regular Ask Anything post. :note:

Traveling around Japan and living in Tokyo one of the most common questions I keep getting from readers is “Where is a good place for fun …?” or “Any good $^()^#$ places (insert location)?”. The better question to be asking is “What CAN you do for fun…?” The simple conundrum to this is that, fun is hard to come by in Japan. I know people will read that sentence and say “Wha– huh–?! But Japan IS fun!!” Well yes, definitely to gaijin it is, at least at first.

Nighttime in Fukuoka, Japan

However, the amount of fun things to do is limited in Japan. I always felt that way, but it wasn’t until reading this amazingly well written article Pachinko Nation, that I fully understood the difference between Western leisure time and Japanese leisure time.

The popularity of pachinko and of the other forms of Japanese gambling is rooted in the absence of entertainment in Japan. After the war, Japan had effectively no leisure activities. Japan could spare little space for recreation. Japanese work schedules allowed few opportunities for play.

Even today, leisure is more expensive and harder to find in Japan than in the U.S. People go to pachinko parlors or the kyotei because there’s less other entertainment they can afford.

Price

I think this is a really important concept to understand first when thinking about fun and leisure time in comparison. In America we’re absolutely spoiled on relatively cheap ways to have fun. We can go to several choices of sporting events, we can watch movies, play minature golf, go bowling, etc…

However these types of activities in Japan are much more expensive. Seeing a movie in America may set you back $11.00, in Japan it’s more like $21.00. Bowling, darts, etc… will cost you a lane fee and then start adding up. These places are often in Shibuya and Shinjuku so their rent is figured into their expensive costs. Zoos and the like are also more expensive.

So fun is especially limited when you’d like to be cheap. Say when you’re a gal and trying to spend your money on clothes, hair and nails. :oops:

Alcohol

All countries have a drinking culture, but in Japan that culture is extremely extremely related to life.

If there’s an office party its to an Izakaya (bar with snack foods) for all you can drink. It’s often to several Izakayas until everyone is packed into taxis to pass out at homes.

Even Japanese professors at the end of the year will take their students to drink and pick up the tab. (Which is quite fun, btw)

Goukons (group blind dates) are often held at Izakayas so alcohol helps people feel more relaxed.

Companies from well known salaryman always drinking on Fridays to all the 109 staff-chans all go to Izakaya and drink a ton. Most pictures you’ll see of models and staff on their blogs out for a night, they’re usually holding or there is alcohol in the picture. Check my last Murua post, you’ll see the staff-chans have alcoholic drinks out in front of them in their izakaya picture.

I’ve said this before, but drinking to an extreme excess is common. Office ladies (OL) and the like have learned to puke and go back to drinking.

Alcohol is a means of fun, often the most common means. That doesn’t mean that alcohol is exactly cheap. It just can be made cheap by the amount you drink at nomihodai (all you can drink). The cheap places offer 1 hour 1000 yen nomihodai. So it’s a test to how many drinks you can slam down within the hour. Not exactly healthy.

Inside one of the many covered walks in Namba, Osaka, Japan

Clubs

Clubs are fun in Japan although can be hit and miss. Cover charge can get obscene from 1000 yen to 5000 yen ($12.00 to $54.00) just for one night, and maybe 2 drinks. So yet again money plays into the fun aspect.

As I’ve said before, do not expect men to buy you drinks as a come on. After you’ve talked to them for a while and possibly danced with them or whatever they’ll buy you a drink, but often it’s right before asking you to a love hotel. So as a lady do not expect a ton of cheap drinks. Not to say it hasn’t happened, but it’s not common like in America.

Clubs are best when there are event nights or guest djs. Event nights at gal clubs include gal fashion shows featuring gal models and freebies (like an event night scrunchie to the first 200 girls). Lip Service and Gilfy have both done fashion shows at ATOM. The Nuts girls are a common occurance at ATOM. Some of the SCawaii ladies also visit, especially Angelica to the hiphop floor.

In any club in Tokyo you’ll often find the type of gaijin you’d rather not. That fresh off the plane Akiba-nerd looking for some hot Japanese girl (any will do), or the local American military boys who I cannot all cut down since a few are really nice guys. However, in packs they do tend to become the cluster-douche you’d expect. It’s rare to be the only gaijin at a club, do not expect to be. However it’s common to be one of the only fashionable ones at the club. :sparkle2:

Japan style club wear and American style club wear, so different. I’ll try to break down the looks in another post.

Nighttime in Kobe, Japan at the connecting above street walkways

Karaoke

Karaoke is one of the most common forms of entertainment. It’s hella fun and I hate going a week without doing it. I love karaoke, even though I’m not a very good singer :^_^;;: The more cheap looking karaoke boxes will still have the most current songs, so it’s best not to go for the fancy looking places. You’ll pay more, but still be in a tiny box.

Karaoke has peak times, so of course going on the weekends is much more expensive. Sometimes people do all night all you can drink karaoke.

Yet again alcohol is involved :evil:


…and that’s about it. Some other cheap ways to have fun are throwing parties and drinking cheap conbini canned liquour, renting a movie at Tsutaya (if you have a gaijin card you can do this), or if you’re in Tokyo going to Kabukicho and people watching in the McDonalds on the main street.

Honestly though, if you plan to stay in Japan for a while and the tourist bug rubs off (which it eventually does for everyone), it’s best to understand that leisure time is a different concept in Japan. However, like anyplace a situation is fun when you make it fun. :stepup:

When I lived in Shibuya, my friends would come over and we’d do each other’s hair and listen to club music to get ready while drinking cheap conbini alcohol. Then we’d walk to clubs since I lived close-by. It kept us cheaper and stopped us from drinking expensive liquor at the clubs.

First of all, a big thank you to those who commented on the bang post. Oh hell I love comments on any post, but I really appreciate your comments and critique. I promise to do better!! :sparkle2: My motto for myself is: I did great yesterday, I’ll do better today :cheery: Because we need to be positive gals, getting fabulous and fearless together :hearts:

Also a big thank you to the super hot and talented pinksugarichigo, for the doll plug on her tumblr. Oh shucks it always warms my heart when people do unexpected kind things, I’m a giddy happy gal right now :stepup:

I opened up my formspring again since I have the time again now. Curious? Ask at missmitsu

So back in Ask Anything #1, malignita asked for a really good topic (actually tons of good topics), and I’ve been writing this off and on since then. It’s a lot of text, but a lot of info…so enjoy :sparkle2:

Education & Work Opportunities: Practically speaking, what opportunities exist for girls who want to continue with gyaru style but go to school or have a career? Gals be ambitious!

Hmmm this is looking at the question from a very American standpoint. I think about it, too since I am fine with being with a man and working instead of letting him provide solely for me.

MARRIAGE

However, most women hope to quit their jobs for marriage, so it’s more common in Japan to look very short-sighted in terms of careers.  This sentiment is changing a little with the movement for women to have an independent and happy time in their 20s and marry later.


But Tsubasa Masuwaka and Naoki Umeda decided waiting wasn’t such a good idea… :oops:

Within gal I don’t think that sentiment is as prevalent, especially with more getting knocked up it’s just not the case. Condom use is spare in Japan so getting knocked up is always a possibility. While abortions are very common Japan supposedly has the highest abortion rate of a ‘developed’ country, the US has the highest of a developed Western country so we’re not far behind (although the prevailing motivations in both countries are different read more about abortions and galmama hood here). I’ve heard men say to friends “I’ll marry you if you get pregnant, so honey let’s not use the condom”. It’s not just Tsubasa who gets pregnant, a 21 year old housewife here whose favorite websites to go to are hair and nail salons :sparkle2:


Celebrate baby-time with DECO :sparkle2:

EDUCATION

Of course it’s possible to be gal and go to college. A few go to my university and pull of gal wonderfully, and look even in 1999 this old-school gal was going to college and a more recent gal who shops at 109 buys AgeHa and is a college student. When I went to Keio University’s winter festival my friend and I ran into a gyaruo-sa who went to Keio. Keio is considered the second best university in Japan and 3 of the last 4 Prime Ministers graduated from Kieo. So you best have done a ton of studying in high school to have those kind of grades. However, when going around the festival I saw no gal ladies. Japan has risen up in gender equality surveys from last year, but honestly I still feel there is a similar mentality. Many women at Keio looked like Ebi-chans (Ebihara Yuri) who is considered the face of OL and many men’s ideals.

Everytime I’ve been to Keio campus I’ve seen the same type of girl. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t gal-types at higher universities. As a girl who plans on continuing to graduate school, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving style and study at the same time.

However, many Japanese girls head into trade schools instead. These two-year colleges where they expect to come out as OL later and possibly work as secretaries or something similar. A few of my gal friends are currently in college doing this.

109 stores do not usually hire college students to work part-time. Gilfy mentions that it does not want college students, but a staff-chan I know who works at Cecil McBee is a college student.

College in Japan holds different expectations than European or American universities expect. In America we might laze around in high school and finally decide to work and challenge ourselves in college. Instead, the Japanese school system is different and once you past your choice of college’s exam and get accepted then you have it moderately easy in Japan.

I’d tell my Japanese friends I can’t do something because I had school the next day and they’re like…so? It’s JUST college. :icon_eek:

College is also cheaper and more state subsidized in Japan so you don’t leave with a pile of debt (hello my life :(   )

Blea has long been considered the gal college and highschool, and does happen to be located in Shibuya. Fashion, hair, nail and make-up courses are taught there. So they are teaching gal skills. However, BLEA girls do get a bad rap around Centaa-gai. A faction from the school are known for being the most out-there kogals. The blondest hair, the shortest skirts, the loosest socks; they have to have it all.

Seeing them in stores and around Centaagai with extremely older men it’s obvious there’s an amount of enjou kousai (or paid dating) between it. Whether it’s dates or pure prostitution who knows…

Other than BLEA there’s other beauty schools or deco schools to learn a gal trade such as deco, extensions, hair, or nails. Often these trade schools don’t expect a high school degree so some gals drop out early and go into these. BLEA is not the sole answer for fashion education.


Go to BLEA and you can have your class taught by Gilfy’s Emina.
No seriously, read about it here.


The whole Blea class


Emina even doing a girl’s make-up :sparkle2:

Jobs without Education:

Freeters – On the side of streetsnaps you’ll often see a girl list freeter as her occupation. Even some girls who appear in magazines often and seem like they are part of the regular cast might list themselves as freeters. Daichi Tanaka before he got his designing gig kept saying he was a freeter even though he’s been quite popular in Men’s Egg for a long time. Freeter is simply someone who works a part time job or baito. They tend to do it for minimum wage and don’t consider the job as a career or rung of any job ladder. When people say they’re freeters they could work handing out tissues at train stations (a very common way of advertising in Japan), working in fast food or retail, working as an on-call model appearing in ‘street snaps’ or working in a call center or such. Freeter usually means any menial job they can get to meagerly support their alternative lifestyle.

Most freeters live with their parents and use their earnings for themselves while their parents are still feeding and housing them.

Soapland – Soapland is basically a brothel. The term “soapland” originally came from sexual masseuses who gave their clients a sponge bath with sexual undertones either ending in a handjob or blowjob. Now soapland refers to all sexual massage parlours, hooker joints, and sexual kyabakura places. Yoshiwara and Kabukicho both have these kinds of places in them for entertainment. Although they may be hookers many are pulling in good cash for this.


無料案内所 (Muryou Annaijo) – aka a Free Information Desk to direct you to hostess and sex clubs

Some may be curious about stripclubs, and the fact of the matter is there are not many. When you can get much better “service” it’s hard to enjoy the blue-balling titllation of strippers. I always wondered how Japanese men tip strippers since 100yen and 500yen (around 1.5 and 6 dollars) are in change, so uhhh instead of “making it rain” you “make it hail”? OUCH~! :x  Actually the men give bills (usually 1000 yen or $12.00  folded via chopsticks). Who knows maybe it’s another thing about how Japanese prefer to hand money over while not making contact with a person (i.e. all the money trays in Japan). :!:

Hostesses – Hostesses are women dressed in gowns looking like Barbie/princesses who exchange witty banter with their clients and occasionally go on paid-dates with their clients in order to receive brand goods in return. They work nighttime and often stay out late. Sex is not considered the end-game with female Hostesses although a woman may choose to. To say hostessing is an easy route is completely wrong. Most ex-hostesses talk about the wear on their body, and being near several during hairset appointments I did not feel they were looking healthy (i.e. tired skin, smokers cough, frailer than average bodies). :^_^;;:


Two hostess clubs in Kobe.

Jobs with Education:

Hair/Nails/Facial aka the Este bunch: Most of these get into a beauty school which works in a similar way to American schools. After they graduate they work in the jillions of salons that powder Japan. In more populated areas you can pass a hair salon every 30 seconds of walking. Not to mention all the nail, facial, eyelash exte, hair exte salons that cater to all types of Japanese women. Egg Model Nonoka works at ISM body which is primarily a waxing salon. Many of these girls aren’t planning to do this for their life, just until they meet someone. Therefore staff in most of the este places are very young and managers even are quite young.


pictures from the esNail salon in Shibuya, other staff pics here.

Apparel: Apparel is often the pinnacle of a gal profession. Many gals really hope to get into this, you’ll notice many models will move into apparel. Egg’s Romihi, Men’s Egg’s Joy, Daichi, Umeshan and others… Apparel is pretty much working for a brand to decide looks, choose fabric etc…  109 brands do not sew their own clothes or such.

How 109 clothes come into the making is this: They get a set of materials that they can work with for their collection. Fabrics with prints, buttons, etc… that can help make a collection distinctive. Then they draw mock-ups, attach fabric samples and send the work to a Chinese factory. The factory sends a mock-up back and the design team in Japan makes choices on whether or not to alter it. Then they order a set amount and continue the design process. The whole back-and-forth happens very quickly and continuously so it needs a lot of staff. These staff are often trained by colleges (usually 2 year) to work specifically on apparel. It’s essentially a trade school. :panda:

Now to say that there are many gals in apparel isn’t exactly true. Most have graduated to onee-gyaru and enjoy celeb-kei or mix mid-range brands such as Marc by Marc, Tory Burch, and Burberry Blue Label with adult gal brands. Their hair isn’t the type you immediately associate with gal often, even at the DIA headquarters. It’s a bit more simplistic and often closer to black. Then again these girls have all probably had at least 4 years of dressing gal under their belts, which tends to make someone go more onee-gyaru or blend with higher priced items.

I’ve seen these types of girls often, because I lived close to many main apparel brands on my street, so on my way to pretty much anywhere I could look in or pass by these types of gals. Even though apparel is a coveted job, many of these gals do not go full out with their looks. Instead they prefer a more Japanese high-low style.


The main headquarters staff of Delyle, not very gal really… :oops:


A girl who works apparel at Spiral Girl.