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Friday, August 8, 2014


Japantown, Japantown. Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away a little boy named Sydney loved anime so much, he spent the majority of his allowance on the most peculiar and utmost strange paraphernalia.

Six years later, I cringe on the thought of 12 year old Sydney buying the most useless anime gear ever. Ever since I was young, I had always been a huge fan of Japanese animation. I remember waking up every morning back when I lived in the Philippines; and around the time I would eat my breakfast, Sailor Moon would be on and right after, Yu Yu Hakusho would play. 

I guess I can say that Anime and Manga have influenced me greatly in terms of my own personal drawing style, my sense of humor, and my overall outlook on things. Up to now I can honestly say I still love anime, but thankfully, not as much as 12 year old Sydney. After all, my love for the Japanese culture pushed me to learn the language. はい、日本語が話す事ができます。でも、私の日本語は少し話しますから、ちょっと下手ですね。すみませんでした!(Yes, I do speak Japanese. But, I speak very little therefore, it is very rusty! Please excuse me!) 

Nowadays, I'm more focused on Japanese fashion and art. One thing I've noticed about the Japanese when it comes to clothing and the arts is that there are only two very broad sides. One side being the simplistic and very minimal, and the next being an overabundance of everything and anything rolled in one. I dabble in both sides to accommodate this brain of mine.

ANYWAYS DIRECTLY TO THE POINT NOW, we headed over to the second objective of the day, which by now is probably very, very obvious. Japantown! Mine and Amber's childhood friend Kim wanted to meet with us there, and since she lives near that area, it was absolutely perfect timing. Nikki and Tiff know Kim as well from high school.

 I've known Kim since elementary school! It's actually been two years since I've seen her so it was so great meeting up and catching up with her again! It's kinda funny because every time she's in Vegas, I'm not and every time I'm in San Francisco, she isn't either.

Quick thing, the lighting in these photos is absolutely stunning. Japantown, your lighting is spot on.

FUNNY STORY! Since we were in Berkeley a few hours earlier, we decided to BART the trip instead of taking the bus. The BART stop for Japantown is at Civic Center which is kinda sorta maybe where a ton of vagabonds live. Amber said the walk wasn't so far and since we being tourists, went ahead and walked.

We walked through a very shady area and my grip on my bag was deathlike. But what surprised me the most though, was the fact that even in shady situations, San Franciscans are extremely helpful!

Anywho, I was just glad the walk was breezy because it was sunny as heck! The hills made everything so strenuous but the breeze made it bearable.

It was my first time at Japantown actually, and I was surprised that it was basically one big square filled with restaurants and such. 
 Patisserie shops were around every other corner. 

Nikki and her dad. Hi Mr. Maruyama!

Since the Japantown center had a ton of selections based on stores we were kind of floored on what to do next. The first thing on my list of to do was to go and explore Kinokuniya. Kinokuniya is the largest chain of Japanese book stores, spanning several around Japan, and around the world as well. 

 Another store that I wish Las Vegas had. I guess I'm happy that they have an online store as well. However, nothing beats actually going there. 

GrumpyCat and Boo were displayed outside!

My jaw dropped at what Kinokuniya has to offer. The massive selections of books in regards to design, art, and fashion almost gave me an aneurysm. How I wish to have bought them all.

Kinokuniya's upstairs had all the literature and design books, the downstairs housed all their Manga.

Fell in love with this poster by Korean illustrator Kim Jung Gi.

I haven't been an avid reader of Manga in a while, so it was pretty interesting seeing new titles pop up.

I found it so cool that there was a Manga version of BBC's Sherlock.

I love the art style for the ones on the top row.

They had a tiny zen garden at the base of the stairs.

Kinokuniya, is also where I dented my wallet. But that's for another post.

After our little bookstore experience, we went to PikaPika, which is a little arcade(?) area in which you can take PuriKura pictures. PuriKura is basically Japanese photobooths that you can go and customize your pictures with sticker images and whatnot. I'm so sad that they don't have it in Vegas! I remember taking a bunch of PuriKura pictures in the Philippines though!

Amber's friends met up with us. I loved how they have a booth made for a huge group of people!

Once we took the pictures, we went ahead and customized them! I customized a bit, but I gave Amber the pen so I can take pictures of the place.

The booth we went into was called the HimeGumi PuriKura which translates to the Princess Group LOL Check out that description though!

They had various types of photobooths. Not really sure what the difference was though, other than the sizes.

There was a table of props and Kim and I could not resist.

Our PuriKura!

We went into a few anime stores, makeup stores, and whatnot. Browsed for a bit and let the girls shop while I rested. Traversing through the hills of San Francisco in Converse Creepers wasn't really the best idea, but hey, we suffer for fashion.

I loved how almost all of the restaurants in Japantown had the plastic food models in front of their restaurants!
We settled to eat at this Japanese restaurant whose name I forget. I ordered some of the best tasting Curry I've had in a very long time.

There are Curry places here in Vegas, but they're so far! Gah, I want Curry now.

After eating we made a beeline to Daiso because it was closing within the next hour. I didn't take pictures at that point on because I was getting pretty tired LOL. I however, did take some before we left.

A Japanese man and his daughter taking pictures in front of this:

Once we headed towards the opposite wing of the mall, we saw this beautiful wall with pretty cool umbrellas on it. I day isn't completed without an OOTD.

Tiffanie said my pictures make perfect desktop backgrounds. I wouldn't deny it!

Afterwards, we decided to have an impromptu sleepover with Kim. It's been such a long time since we saw each other so it was only appropriate we catch up in that sense. We knocked out at 2 AM, but before that we spent the majority of the time telling each other stories and stuff like that.

Well, this blogpost ends here, and as do the pictures! Day Six and Seven were our last two days and we spent it just chilling. I'll be posting something though in regards to that soon. Thank you for reading and stay tuned!


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