Am I the only one who feels truly free only when in a foreign country? That feeling of liberation from judgement, because you’re a stranger in a land full of people who don’t know you, and so don’t have preconceptions of who you are because they have no idea how you normally behave. Consequently you can be anyone you want to be – you just have to dress the part! Japan, of all nations, seems to be the most open-minded – just look at the different subcultures and how crazy all-out some can be with their dressing!
When in Japan, I find myself making a little more effort with my makeup, my hair and my dressing. Of course, with limited resources (I packed very light for this trip), there’s only so much I can do unless I shop up a storm (I’m buying a little here and there but nothing close to a whole new wardrobe).
For the Otaru day trip, I wore my The Velvet Dolls dress which I like to save for special occasions (not too formal, but a little dressy). It has a lovely thick embossed fabric with intricate patterns, lace trim, and studs. The cut is quite flattering too! I also spent about 20 minutes putting my hair up in braids. As for makeup… I don’t even have eyeshadow packed for this trip, so it was just Lancome’s UV EXPERT BB Complete (BB cream) + ZA two-way foundation + Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer as the base, then Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover, KATE Lasting Eyebrow in BR-1, KATE Super Sharp Liner in BK-1, and Benefit Roller Lash mascara. Nothing on the lips. I really should start using lippies!
Mario tried to help me with taking OOTD shots, but both of us are still trying to figure out my better angles, haha!
I wore peep-toe wedges purchased on a previous Japan trip, but paired them with patterned black stockings because it was quite cold in Sapporo (about 15-20 degrees celcius). It’s strange, because I used to think it was a faux pas to wear any kind of socks/stockings with open-toe footwear, but the Japanese all do it! Perhaps for practical reasons…? In any case, it doesn’t seem to be a fashion crime here…
I spotted a tree that had been there when I visited 1.5 years ago, during winter! It was less impressive in summer, though – the crystals look so much prettier when surrounded by snow…
After our walk around the canal, we went in search of a famous restaurant specialising in fried chicken. Along the way, we got distracted by a food stall selling giant takoyaki!
It was HUGE – quite yummy, but different from the regular-sized one because there are more ingredients, so the outside wasn’t as crispy and the inside was softer. I suppose the outside would have been burnt if they’d tried to make the inside more cooked, since the takoyaki was so huge.
After that, we went to the chicken-specialist, Naruto!
They make very good fried chicken! Unfortunately, we had just eaten the giant takoyaki and didn’t have a lot of space in our tummies to fully enjoy this meal. 😦
I don’t have photos, but on the way back to the station, we’d actually spotted a very basic-looking hair salon that offered cuts for 1,500yen for men. Since Mario was in need of a haircut, we went in. It was very large and had customers streaming in and out. To our surprise, a complimentary hot towel shave was included! How wonderful and what great value for money! Mario enjoyed his virgin experience getting a shave by a barber, and got a good and fast haircut too!
We went back to Sapporo and decided to have Hokkaido ramen since the famous ramen alley was just next to our hotel. Big mistake – because we generally prefer tonkotsu ramen (Ichiran Ramen is basically our PERFECT ramen) and don’t like miso/soya/heavy-tasting ramen with thick noodles. But we thought we might as well try it since it was the local specialty. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t to our liking. Oh well!