When in Tokyo [Part 1] – Harajuku Kawaii Tour 東京に行ってきた{パート1}- 原宿カワイイツアー (from Japan、なんと日本から!)


When in Tokyo [Part 1] – Harajuku Kawaii Tour
東京に行ってきた{パート1}- 原宿カワイイツアー

Article and photography (unless otherwise stated): Sabrina Tang (@tealmenagerie_frill), K. Seet
Special thanks: Harajuku Kawaii Tour team, Ai (@aiakizuki), Hamuka (@hamukahamu), Mimi (@cinnamonlolita)
スペシャル・サンクス:原宿カワイイチーム、Ai (@aiakizuki), Hamuka (@hamukahamu), Mimi (@cinnamonlolita)

Hello everyone, Sabrina here again- but this time my report isn’t about Singapore! I took a long holiday to Japan in October and wanted to share one of my Tokyo experiences with you. I was very engrossed in having fun and sightseeing and hope to capture those emotions through my more candid mix of both smartphone and camera photography.
It was a really sunny, windy Monday and the weather was perfect for walking. Our meeting point was Harajuku Station where our Kawaii Guides Hamuka-san and Ai-san (of Wonder Teatime) were waiting. They were very easy to spot with their bright pink flags with their very stylish logo, I absolutely love the stripy socks! I also got into contact with a Mexican lolita, Mimi, who happened to be in Tokyo and we planned to spend some time together. As mentioned, it was a windy day so our hair got a bit crazy in all our photos!!!
はい、みんな、こんにちは、サブリナです。再登場! でも、今回の私のレポートはシンガポールについてではないのです。少し長い休みが取れて、私は日本に行ってきました。その楽しい体験をみなさんと共有したいと思います。楽しいことや観光に没頭してしまって、スマホとカメラのスナップショットばかりだけど、うまく私の感情が伝わればな、と思います。
あれはとてもよい日差しの、ちょっと風の強い月曜日でした。お天気は散歩にもってこい。待ち合わせの場所は原宿駅。カワイイガイドのハムカさんとアイさん(Wonderのチームメート)が待っていてくれます。すごく明るいピンクの旗を持っていてくれたから、迷うことはなかったわよ。彼女たちの履いていたストライプのソックス、最高! それから偶然東京に来ていたメキシコのロリータ友達ミミにも連絡をして、いっしょに遊びましょうということにしていた。最初に言いましたけれど、その日は風がちょっと強くて、写真に写った私たちの髪形と言ったら、ちょっとひどい状態よね。


After meeting up at the station and going through a courtesy and safety briefing, we headed off and took a brisk walk through Takeshita-dori. Since Harajuku culture is something of a tourist attraction in itself, Takeshita-dori can be extremely crowded even on weekdays as you can clearly see in the background of our group photo. As always, people do ask to take photos of us lolitas and if you are uncomfortable just politely decline. Ai-san recommends going on a weekday tour as it’s a never-ending sea of people on weekends. As we walked, our main guide for the day Hamuka-san shared some information about the various shops and artworks along the street as we trickled through the crowds (below: Cute Cube Harajuku, where Pompompurin Café is located)

Hamuka-san then guided us to “Moshi Moshi Box” Harajuku Information Centre that marks the start of the area known as Ura-Harajuku (the namesake of Crunchyroll’s new anime). This was a surprise to me as I never noticed it was an actual office (I’ve walked past it dozens of times before), I would have definitely popped in during my previous trips to Harajuku when I had trouble navigating. The clock face itself features various “kawaii” items on it, as well as other time zones of global cities. I found Singapore!

Next stop was “Princess One Spoon”, the sister-shop to the popular “Alice on Wednesday”. It is a princess-themed store with a lot of magical little touches like a glass slipper on the stairs leading up to the store, as well as photo spots within the retail space. As Halloween was approaching the Villains and Queens area of the shop was decked in spooky décor with exclusive Halloween-themed merchandise. I saw a lot of things I wanted, I wish I could buy them all!
その次にいったのは「Princess One Spoon(プリンセス・ワン・スプーン)」といって、人気の「水曜日のアリス」の姉妹店。王女をテーマにしたお店で、店内に続く階段の上にはガラスの靴が置いてあって、魔法のように魅力的なものがたくさんそろっている。店内で写真を撮ることもできるのよ。ハロウィンが近かったから、お店の悪者と女王様エリアには、そのテーマの商品がずらりと並んでいました。欲しいものだらけだった。全部買ってしまいたい!

Our next stops were 6%DOKIDOKI and Kawaii Monster Café, both of which were conceptualised by artist Sebastian Masuda. Photos are not allowed in the 6%DOKIDOKI store, so do take note! During our briefing, it was mentioned to always ask the shop staff if photo-taking is allowed. Locally, I am really used to taking photos of store items so sometimes I do forget!
Kawaii Monster Café was a really fun experience and we arrived just in time for the show. Their monster mascot is really cute!! I was looking forward to visiting Kawaii Monster Café, and had no regrets at all. It really is a crazy, neon-hued Wonderland that embodies the idea of “Shocking Kawaii” as Hamuka-san shared with us! We sat down for teatime to enjoy the show (When signing up for the tour you will get a chance to state your dietary needs, be it nutrition-based or religious. Your guides will check again to make sure!)


On the way to “Alice on Wednesday,” we were introduced to some notable kawaii stores and their history especially MILK and how they pioneered girly cute fashion. Right above MILK is Baby The Stars Shine Bright’s Main Store (or “honten” in Japanese), which got me really distracted as I have never been to that outlet.
Unfortunately, I did not manage to get photos inside “Alice on Wednesday” as it was really crowded. According to our kawaii guides, this is unusual for a weekday. If you plan to go on your own, do note there might be a waiting time to enter the store!
「水曜日のアリス」に行く途中、可愛いお店やその歴史も教えてもらいました - 特にMILKがガーリーなキュートファッションを始めたいきさつなどね。そのMILKのすぐ上がBABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHTの本店。その店に行ったことがなかったので、そっちばかりが気になっちゃった。

Our tour concluded along Omotesando just as the sun started to set (around 4pm in autumn) and the weather started getting chilly, and I was a little sad to say bye to everyone. Even though this was not my first time to Harajuku, I learnt a lot and had tonnes of fun.
I definitely recommend taking the “Standard” tour if you are a first-timer to Harajuku or want to possibly meet lolitas from other countries. For those with partners or spouses who are not into Japanese Fashion; my boyfriend also found the tour massively informative and said he thought the day was well-spent since not all the information shared is readily available online. The Harajuku Kawaii Tour was conducted in a very professional manner and an English translation is provided at all times. There’s also the “Personalized” tour package for a more premium experience. I would definitely recommend doing the latter if you have very specific things you want to do but don’t have the time to plan it out – like a day tour but more catered to your audience!
Each of us were loaned a wireless walkie-talkie (the blue device around our necks) that made communicating easier. We also took home a cute map and a souvenir badge each. I felt welcome and think Ai-san and Hamuka-san treated us really well. They were genuinely nice and kind and took the time to chat with us about lolita fashion and our respective countries. Do note that the guides for the tour do change depending on schedules, but they are bona-fide lolitas and you will fit right in!

I hope lolitas from Japan find this an interesting read from a foreigner’s point of view, while international lolitas find this a fun thing to do in Tokyo! As the Harajuku Kawaii Tour team has many people behind the scenes, there is a Part 2 coming soon. Do look out for the next part of this article: “When in Tokyo [Part 2] – An International Interview”
For more information about the tour visit or take a peek at their Instagram @harajukukawaiitour
To see more photos please check out Harajuku Kawaii Tour’s Facebook post here: (no log-in required)
外国人の目から見た日本ということで楽しんでいただけたらと思います。海外のロリータさんたには東京の楽しい過ごし方を知ってもらえたかな。原宿カワイイツアーチームにはたくさんの人がいるので、パート2もまたすぐに。「東京に行ってきた〔パート2〕 インターナショナル・インタビュー」もお楽しみに。
そのインスタグラムは @harajukukawaiitour


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