Japan Trip: Square Enix and La Floret Bazaar!!!

21 Jul 2008

Initially I wanted to visit Odaiba but after 2 hectic days of walking with a bad intestinal problem, I decided to go easy on myself.

I had some udon for breakfast and it really has the same taste and texture as Waraku. The price ? 525 yen (about SGD 6)

Who says one has to eat instant noodles in Japan?

I decided to take a spin in Yobodashi Camera, searching for a new camera and travel adapter to buy. The Xacti has reached its useful life. So I bought a Casio 10 Megapix camera for abt SGD 270 (with face capture function). After getting my phone and laptop charged, I made the decision to visit the Square Enix shop which only opens in weekends and public holidays. It’s Monday. But it’s Umi no Hi (Marine Day), a public holiday!!!
So off I went with my map, walking and looking at the tall buildings in awe and stopping passersby for directions,until I reached the Hatsudai area. The long journey makes the goal even sweeter as I skipped towards the ‘ulu’ shop.


Goal! Its the Square Enix Shop!!!

Goal! It's the Square Enix Shop!!! Check out the slime smiling at me!

I entered the tiny shop and voila, I was greeted by a pile of soft toys and all sorts of final fantasy and dragon quest merchandise. I saw caps priced at SGD 120 and tees selling for SGD 60. Totally out of my budget. There’s a small elevated room where all the coolest goods were kept. The first thing that greeted me was this cool costume from Dirge of Cereberus.
Wonder whats the size?

Wonder what's the size?

And an amazing sculpture of Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile… which I did not finish…
Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile!!!

Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile!!!

Then there’s Cloud Strife from FF7 which I’ve never played before…
CLoud Strife from FFVI

CLoud Strife from FFVI

….And Sephiroth!!! OMG, It’s lifesize!!! In the floor of the shop!!! Even the hair looks real enough to comb. Unfortunately he gets stepped on by everyone including me …
Life-sized Sephiroth right under my foot.

Life-sized Sephiroth right under my foot.(^^)

Poor Sephiroth...

Poor Sephiroth...

It’s a really nice place with glass displays of rings, pendants, necklaces, key chains and other metal accessories. I couldn’t help but swipe SGD 110 from my card for those stuff and the sabotender soft toy.
A very satisfied person.

A very satisfied person.

After contributing to Square Enix’s revenue, I headed for Meiji Shrine. It’s a long 10 min walk and well, it’s worth the calories burnt. It cannot beat Kamakura though. If I’d a choice, I’d rather go trawl the bookstores of Ikebukuro. The whole area is so huge! So are the crows.
Crows as big as cats.

Crows as big as cats.

The main shrine

The main shrine

I washed my hands, threw a coin and made a wish.
Then went out to the wishing tree where people were writing their wishes into the forms.
A donation and the form is then sealed in the envelope before placing it in the box.
The fee to get my wishes fulfilled is SGD 1...

The fee to get my wishes fulfilled is SGD 1...

The wish is then placed in the box.

The wish is then placed in the box.

Bored, I made my way to Harajuku, the center of Japan’s teenage fashion.
I had lunch at Yoshinoya and was served by a China lady who thought I was from her country when she spoke to me in Mandarin and I responded. Jeez.
Then I left to join the thronging crowd into the street lined with clothing shops selling the craziest and weirdest fashion for kids.
full of the craziest fashion!

Harajuku Street: full of the craziest fashion!

There are also kids dressed up as lolitas and goths. I decided to seek refuge in Daiso where almost everything is sold at 105 yen (SGD 1.50 )!
It was 1 hr later, until I was standing at the checkout counter when I realised I had left my Square Enix bag at Yoshinoya!!! Oh my GOD!!!
I dumped the basket at the counter and ran back to the shop just in time when I saw a Jap guy walking towards the door, carrying the black Square Enix bag.
I was so relieved at that time when he asked whether the stuff was mine.
On hindsight, he was planning to take it home (i.e. steal it).
But hey, good thing he was more concerned about avoiding a ruckus than insisting the bag belonged to him. (-w-!)
Perhaps the Meiji Shrine trip was worth it after all…somewhat.
I returned to Daiso to pay for the merchandise and followed the crowd until a huge building loomed. There’s a mad crowd in there… in La Foret where Chihaya san suggested me to go.
La Foret. Craziest shopping experience in my life!!!

La Foret. Craziest shopping experience in my life!!!

The mall was thronging with people and it was soooo crazy! The shop assistants were CHEERING, yelling and clapping. They even made huge sign boards declaring hourly special sales. It’s really like cheering the customers on to buy. Consumerism is a sport here!
I stumbled into a shop where the lady assistants were cheering that any 2 items in the shop are priced at 3,150 yen (about SGD 33). It’s crazy because we’re talking about knitted dresses, shoes and pants! I can’t help but bought myself 2 dresses. And the best thing is a pretty lady assistant came up to me and said I’ve made the right choice and that I’ll look kawaii in the dress. I don’t care if she’s lying but it made me feel damn good. (-w-)
I ventured to other floors where it got crazier as I was pushed about by stampeding customers. It’s really amazing to see and hear men and women of the shops yelling and cheering the customers on till their voices were hoarse.
So there, weary from the retail workout, I headed straight to the JR station for a ride back to my hotel to take stock of my latest catch.
about SGD 140

Catch of the day. Total: about SGD 140


Tokyo… I doubt even one week is enough.


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Filed under Spending Spree, Travelling:Outstation

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