Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Garden festival at Eko Temple

Last weekend I visited the Garden Festival at the Eko Temple in Düsseldorf. I knew before that there was a japanese temple in Düsseldorf, but I thought it was more like a room in some japanese-inspired house.

So I was surprised to see that it was actually a "complete" temple with a quite big japanese garden and a few "praying spots" (not sure how to call them). When I stepped on the temple grounds I immediatly felt like I was in Japan.

First we were walking around the garden and then entered a building with an Ikebana exhibition. They had a lot of flower arrangements and they were pretty to look at, althought they might even be more interesting when you know the meaning behind them.

Then we heard the Taiko drums and hurried to see the performance. Taiko is not only a listening experience but also a visual one; you have to see the drummers to really feel the energy!

Afterwards we took the time for a few outfit pictures and then secured a place for the Koto performance.

Koto is a japanese harp and the performance was amazing! I actually applied for Koto lessons starting in october, but I only applied to them because it's the only traditional japanese instrument that you can learn in this part of Germany (I also would love to learn Shamisen, Shinobue or Shakuhachi). But after the performance I felt in love with this instrument as well! They didn't only played traditional japanese music but also more modern pieces.

Then they had a performance of traditional japanese dance. It's the same kind of dance style that Geishas dance and I tried really hard to understand it and see the beauty in it, but both the dance and the music are just not my thing.

Afterwards was a second Taiko performance which I liked even more because it had even more energy (I feel like western Taiko performers play more soft and 'floating' but I like more sharp movements).

Overall I really loved the garden festival and I was happy to see traditional japanese art here in Germany. Of course I also liked it because it gave me sweet memories of my trip to Japan again. I want to visit it again to enjoy the garden with less people and to see the altar and the tea room (which were not accessible during the garden festival).

Btw I was surprised there where more german than japanese people (however mostly old folks) and that we were still stared at because we were dressed in Lolita fashion (this festival was not one of those were you accidently run into or have it advertised in the newspaper).


The garden festival was not the only thing I did that day.

Before, we met with another friend (because I wanted to buy something from her ^^''') and we went to TenTen café for about an hour. We all ordered iced matcha latte and cake. The latte was like a frappe but less brain-freezing and more fluffy. My cake was citron tarte and delicious as well.

In the evening we went to Relax Café for their special scary dinner menue. The first course was Takoyaki with a spicy fruit sauce, the second was sushi with a spicy sauce and the third one was icecream with candy cotton and a balsamico-garlic-onion sauce. The icecream tasted actually good, however it was too much balsamico and milk products with vinegar does not feel good in your belly after a few spoons ^^'''

Afterall it was a great day and it was nice to spend it with a friend who has similar interests in japanese traditional art and food hehe.

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dokomi 2017

At the beginning of June it was time again for my favorite convention - Dokomi !!! In my opinion this year was the best one ever, but I also have to admit that I took much more advantage of the program than I did in the last years.

This year the convention was in 3 big halls for the first time (instead of many small rooms with carpet) and many people complained that it lost its "family feeling", but in my opinion there was much more space for sitting down and walking around, besides the fact that there was much more program and shopping booths to see. So for me it was a positive change :)

~*~ Saturday ~*~
The first thing I did when I arrived at the convention was to make a reservation in the host club for the next day, because it is always sold out so quickly (but not as quickly as the maid cafe which was sold out after 10 minutes haha).

Then I visited the most important booth "Harajuku Closet" which was selling Btssb \(*o*)/! They are a new shop in Germany, not 100% like a real Btssb shop but they had quite a lot of new items of Btssb! The prices are so-so, the dresses cost nearly as much as in the old Paris store, but accessories cost almost the same like in Japan. Because of this I bought a strawberry necklace from Btssb which I already wanted to own for a long time! I also talked a little with the shop owner and he told me that you can order stuff through their shop from the Btssb online shop.

Then it was almost time for the Tempura Kidz concert! Since you usually have to line up quite early for concerts at the Dokomi and I wanted a good seat, I arrived at the concert hall around 1 hour earlier. But this year there was no need to line up so early because the new concert hall was really big! Instead I had the opportunity to watch a cosplay competition for the first time in my life... yes I'm visiting Cosplay-related conventions since 6 years and never actually saw or did any cosplay-related stuff xD.

It was actually quite interesting and funny, however I expected the cosplays to be more "amazing", I had the feeling I could easily do the same (it was the official German Cosplay Competition after all). But maybe I'm underestimating the time and work you actually need to create an accurate cosplay and a matching performance.

Random picture of the cute Lucky Chocolate Maid Café charm I bought :)

Then it was time for the Tempura Kidz concert and it was sooo amazing! Tbh I didn't knew a lot of their songs, only "Cider Cider", which they unfortunately didn't peform ;__; But the dancers were actually singing live and sounded definitely much better then some of the famous Idol groups! Their concert felt a lot like a party and they were really animating the crowd to dance with them.

I also had the feeling that P-chan was winking at me a few times during the concert but maybe he was winking to someone else behind me or to a camera or whatever xD. I was suprised that the concert wasn't very well visited but I think Tempura Kidz are just not that famous. For me however it was great because no annoying crowds, no pushing, no huge guys standing in front of me, instead I could easily stand front row directly at the stage!

I have to say Tempura Kidz are sooooo cute! Really I loved them and I wished they would have a second concert on Sunday as well ;___;

Picture is from Tempura Kidz' twitter. I'm on the very left with the bear ears xD

After the concert I went shopping again, it was really nice to meet many friends, even some people I haven't seen in a long while!

I also found a nice shop called "The Ichigo Shop" with korean make-up. I checked the prices online and the shop had really good prices! So I bought a few items there.

In the evening I visited the signing session of Tempura Kidz, again they were sooo cute and funny, especially when they posed for pictures and were always goofing around between pictures xD

~*~ Sunday ~*~
I arrived quite early and took the time again to look around the booths. I found out about the Nintendo booth where you could play Mario Cart! Since I was walking around alone I had to play with strangers and it was fun but not that much fun because I didn't knew them haha. I hope next year I can find some of my friends to play together! I also played another racing game and now I really want to have it haha!

Then I went to the "character auction" (people can put themselves for auction and if you win you can spend 2 hours with that person - ok sounds weird but the money is raised for a good cause ^-^). The auction is always quite funny but this year there were 2 guys in Cosplay on stage besides the usual hosts and I think they wanted to be entertaining but sometimes they were a litte aggressive and didn't knew where to stop, so I was annoyed by them and didn't watched the whole auction.

Afterwards I visited the Lolita meet-up and hoped to find someone to visit the Host Club with me, and I was successful :D Shortly after the meet-up it was already time for my reservation, so we visited the Host Club and I liked it quite a lot. However I didn't liked that each host had a group of 6 people at the same time, so when my friend and I visited the club, we had to share our table with 4 strangers which was a little awkward. I mean the other girls were very nice but still we didn't really had a lot to talk about. So next year I also should find more friends to visit the Host Club haha.

Unfortunately the Host Club didn't upload the pictures with the host and me yet :/

Afterwards I wanted to watch the Dance Off Competition. I like this kind of dance and I wished I had a friend which whom I could participate in the competition ^^''' However I wasn't really impressed by the first few entries because they weren't the best dancers, so I got bored and left the competition quite soon (of course I know how hard it is to dance and I would probably fail horribly if I would participate myself haha).

In the afternoon I visited the signing session of Tempura Kidz again, took another look at the shopping booths and talked to some friends.

I already can't wait for the next Dokomi :)

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Magnology 2017 - Sunday

On Sunday was the Tea Party. We had to get up reeeally early because the event already started at 10 am D: However the staff of AP arrived only at 11 am because they wanted to sleep longer xD

When entering, everyone got a pink tote bag with a button, AP postcards and some flyers from indie brands (picture on the bottom). After a short welcoming we had brunch with a very delicious buffet! The brunch was great idea because I surely didn't had time to eat breakfast.

Afterwards we had some free time so I watched the Taiko group. I would love to play Taiko as well haha.

My outfit (this picture was also featured in the newest Kawaii.i episode, watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWP9xWxHvmT/?taken-by=ivypanduh)

Then we headed to the bus to drive to a ship. We took a cruise with a historical ship. It was really nice because I didn't had time at all to do sightseeing in Hamburg, so at least I could do something during the Tea Party haha. The staff was very nice and loved our outfits. We also got cake and coffee, tea and soft drinks as much as we wanted. There was also a lot of time and opportunities to talk to the AP staff... if you could speak japanese haha. The cruise was 3 hours but after 1,5 hours it already got a little boring and I wished I had a card game with me (I even brought one to play at the train but of course I left it at the hotel >_<).

Maki and Asuka wrote in the guest book of Court of Fables (picture by ncvs2b)

My outfit at the ship (sorry for bad shoes and bad hair, we had to wear flat shoes and it was very windy)

After the cruise we drove back to the venue and we had the raffle and best dressed competition. They had nice prizes but not as many as at the Tea Parties in Paris. Everyone who didn't won something (like me) still got a present which was a small towel and a postcard. Actually I needed a new towel to put in my handbag so it's really nice that I have one from AP now :D
For the outfit competition Maki and Asuka chosed their favorite 2 outfits.
Then the Tea Party was over and we left very soon as we didn't had a lot of time to catch our train back home.

Items from the tote bag, raffle prize etc.

The event was so lovely and amazing, I'm sad that it is over *sniff* I hope next year they have another Lolita event but I don't think so (because it is mainly an Anime, Manga & Gaming convention) ^^'

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Thursday, June 29, 2017

MaGnology 2017 - Friday & Saturday

Around 3 weeks ago I visited the MaGnology convention in Hamburg, Germany. The reason was Angelic Pretty They had a 3-day event there and it was amazing! We could spend 3 days with AP including Maki, Asuka, Ms. Honda and Aya (Shinjuku store manager). The event had a relaxed atmosphere, no competition-feeling you sometimes have at big events. And also a lot of time to meet new people!

~*~ Friday ~*~
On Friday we arrived quite early in Hamburg and also around 1 hour before opening time at the venue because we wanted to be one of the first people at the AP booth :D. However a friend already sneaked into the venue and told us that AP only had dresses with them because one package was still in german customs... I was a little bummed because I didn't really wanted to buy any dresses, I wanted to buy tons of accessories :(.
Then the convention also started too late; guests with Lolita VIP tickets were supposed to have 30min early access, but in the end we had to wait more than 30min for the opening. However we were let in earlier into the "Lolita tent". Yes there was a special Lolita tent where only people with a Lolita ticket had access to, and it was really nice because everyone could sit down at a table and we had a buffet with cookies, fruits, vegetables and drinks all day long!
When we were finally allowed to visit the Angelic Pretty booth, people literally started to run to the booth to get the best stuff. But since we already knew they didn't had any acessories, we didn't run and instead took advantage of the buffet :D

After eating a little we visited the AP booth and as expected we didn't bought anything. (However they had 3 Lucky Packs which also didn't arrived, but in the evening I found out that we could reserve them. I reserved 2 or them, but since the package still didn't arrived Saturday evening, we had the possibility to gave the money back, which I did).
Then we visited all the other booths at the convention and had for example a nice conversation with a guy who sells japanese stamps, because my friend wanted to buy one. He gave us a mini-lecture about Kanji (japanese signs) and loved our Lolita outfits.

There weren't many visitors that day (probably because most people had to work) so we could take a look at all booths very comfortably. I think we spend the whole day looking at booths, talking and also waiting in the tent for the storm to be over D: (there was a little storm that took around 1 hour and it was super windy and rainy). Because of the bad weather, a program point with Angelic Pretty was moved to the next day.

booth from Court of Fables (german Lolita club)

My outfit - sorry for bad photoshop xD

~*~ Saturday ~*~
On Saturday we wanted to sleep longer but the Q&A and Meet&Greet with Maki and Asuka was moved to the next morning, so we had to arrive quite early again. The Q&A started and first the organizers asked some interesting questions they prepared beforehand. Afterwards the audience could ask some questions and I asked 2 hehe. I tried to write down the answers in my phone so here is some information:

- How long does it take to create a dress from the first idea to the final version? 
=> 1 year

- What are your favorite print themes? 
=> Maki: prints with Ponys (she loves Sugary Carnival)
=> Asuka: prints with strawberries

- What do you think was the most popular dress / print among your costumers that you have ever released? 
=> Misty Sky

- What do you like as a designer of AP the most?
=> Maki: going to events and see how everyone is coordinating the items
=> Asuka: going to events and see new creative outfits

- If you wouldn't have become a designer (of AP), what would you have done instead?
=> Maki: would have become an artist
=> Asuka: would have become a desinger for a different clothing style

- What do you like about Lolita the most? 
=> Maki: that you can be what you want
=> Asuka: that you can be a princess and that you can wear everything the way you like

- How do you think Lolita changed over the years?
=> Maki: Lolita became more mature
=> Asuka: nowdays you can create more different Lolita styles

- What is the difference between japanese and western Lolitas? 
=> western Lolitas create more invidual outfits with own ideas and self-made accessories

our amazing translator Mimi from the JStore Hamburg who helped out the whole weekend

Afterwards we could take pictures with Maki and Asuka.

I would have liked it better if we could take pictures while standing, here we sit so far away from them haha but this way is probably more comfortable for them if they have to take pictures with tons of people

Then there was a Taiko (japanese drum) workshop which I wanted to attend. It had already started during the Q&A, but luckily they had a free spot so I could join half-way haha. It was really fun (but too easy for me haha).

Of course we also checked out the Angelic Pretty stall. One staff member from the Paris store came all the way to Hamburg that day and brought a lot of accessories with her. Before the convention I told myself I'm not going to buy stuff if it is from the Paris store because it is so expensive, but guess what, I directly bought 4 items for waaay too much money haha.

I also bought the postcards from Magnology as a memory

In the afternoon there was a little performance with a Shamisen x Piano. It was really interesting because I never heard a Shamisen irl before. After the performance the player also took the Shamisen apart. She told that even in Japan it is very rare that people can see this, so it was a very exclusive view (so exclusive I forgot to take a picture of it haha).

Afterwards there were 2 Angelic Pretty fashion shows. The first one was at the main stage, and the second one in the Lolita tent. The second one was supposed to have 2 dresses that nobody have seen before (but I don't know which ones, I feel I have seen all of them before haha).

That's it for the first 2 days of the MaGnology. In the next post I will write about the AP Tea Party :)

Not all pictures were taken by me. All photographers that wanted to be credited:

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Btssb children's book

Hello dears, I recently bought the new children's book from Btssb and I want to make a little review about it.

When I saw the release announcement on the website of Btssb, I directly thought I neeeed that book, because it is full of drawings with Usakumya and Kumakumya, and you probably already know how much I love them! Plus the book comes with a little Usakumya plush, so I can get another one for my family *o*

However when I recived the book, I was a little disappointed. The problem is I didn't thought of it as an actual children's book, but more as an artbook with pages full of detailed master pieces of my favorite characters. However the drawings are just normal drawings, of course very cute, but still more dedicated for children.

However the drawings are not bad or anything, and also not worse than the cover. Actually they are exactly like the cover, so again, I don't know how I could develope such wrong expectations haha.

Sooo for the actual content, the book has 22 pages and the story looks very cute (something about visiting a princess castle and dressing up in Lolita clothes, what else would you expect haha). The paper and the print have high-quality.

However the Usakumya plush has not such high quality, which added to my disappointment. It is definitely not like the normal Usakumyas which you can buy at the Btssb store. The fur is different, the satin on the hands and feet feels very cheap, and the eyes are sewed on too far from each other which makes my Usakumya looks a little creepy haha.

 Of course I know that the quality of such mooks has to be overall cheaper than the real deal, because first the price is lower (2800yen for the mook, while a Usakumya alone costs ~4700yen in the store [not related but I just wanna mention here that Btssb rises the price with every release, it used to be ~3500yen haha]), second the price also includes the book and packaging of the mook next to the plush, and third the price also includes winning margin for both Btssb and the publishing company. So there had to be some cutbacks to make this mook still profitable.

I'm just mentioning it here, so in case you are thinking "let's get the mook so I can get a Usakumya for a cheaper price", don't buy the mook. However the mook is not a complete waste of money, if you are a collector like me, or you are a Lolita mom who can read hiragana, then go get it!

You can still buy the mook here at CDJapan: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/NEOBK-2025028

I hope this review was a little helpful, and if you have more questions about the mook then just ask in the comments :)

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Another small meet-up

Hello dears!

Last weekend we had a small meet-up again. It wasn't an official meet-up because my friend just wanted to visit a certain café to order a cake, but then more people came haha.

The certain café should have been the cupcake café which we already visited numerous times, however the owner kinda forgot that she has closed that day for a private party, so we were walking through the cold, rainy and windy weather to find a place for 7 people on a saturday in a super crowded city center >_<. One person suggested a fancy café where we still had to wait around 30mins to get a table, and me and a friend were already on our way out to try our luck with another café, when finally got a table. And now I'm happy that the cupcake café was closed, because otherwise I would have never found out about the super delicious cakes the fancy café has!

I know many fancy cafés with a huge amount of cakes and tartes in the display, looking very tasty, having a high price tag, and then just taste meeeh. But this one not! Ah I want to visit it again! (It was Café Reichard at cologne central station if you want to know xD)

I ordered a citron baiser tarte (on the left):

More or less good group picture haha:

And my outfit for the day (I chose a super simple one because it was just too cold. I was even wearing black leggins, not tights xD):

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Small Meet-up

After a looong time, I organized a meet-up again! Well it wasn't that much of a long time, I actually organized one in summer and one in December with one of my friends! BUT this is the first one I'm blogging about haha!

Last weekend was the "Cologne Kyoto Festival", which at first sounds really great. Kyoto is a partner-city of Cologne, so the Japanese Culture Institute celebrated it with a festival. But a better word would be "small get-together for the eldery". Haha I don't mean it in a negative way, but the organizers didn't really made any kind of advertisement, so of course who else would visit such an event. Also the program wasn't that much, but then again, with such a few visitors, not many exhibitors would want to come anyway. There was a very small (and a little bit ankward) selection of exhibitors - a technology company, a knife seller, and a travel agency. Well now that I think about it, if you can speak japanese, this festival would be perfect for practising your skills. But the event wasn't a complete fail, at least I now know that the Institute has a small libary which looks interesting, so I might visit it some day.

So after a short time, we visited a local café and had very delicious cake! I have so many small and interesting looking cafés around my home, I want to make many meet-ups and visit them all!

My outfit:

A group picture which was taken from the Japanese Institute (not our complete group though!):

Aaand the food:

Thank you for reading,
Miuko~ <3
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