30 Places to Explore Before I’m 30

One of my favourite to-do lists of all time has been my travel bucketlist. When I was growing up my parents made it our yearly goal to go on holiday – it didn’t matter how far or how close it was, but we would pack our bags and travel for a couple of weeks to a whole new place. But, sadly, as I grew up and moved out for university it all changed… I travelled a lot less – so much so that for a few years I didn’t go anywhere at all.

But now I’ve been hit by the wanderlust bug, hard. I just want to go out and explore! I’ve been scrolling endlessly through travel blogs and came across Kirsty’s post on ‘30 countries before 30‘ and it really inspired me to write this post.

So here it is – my ultimate travel bucketlist. I’ll put a little heart next to the places I’ve been and things I’ve done (that I might revisit one day).

travel blogger, holiday packing, 30 places to explore

Hogwarts in the Snow & 5 Reasons Why I Love Harry Potter

Hogwarts express, christmas, hogwarts castle, hogwarts train

I did the thing – I ticked off a major item off my bucket list by going to Warner Bros Studios Tour during the Hogwarts in the Snow period for Christmas. And boy could I tell you just how exciting it was! I had been planning this moment for months since the very first time I went but found myself on the day feeling quite a little bit clueless. And the most important questions? What the hell was I going to wear and how much my bank is going to suffer afterwards.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea at Kona

afternoon tea, alice in wonderland, food review, blogger

“Cup of tea, anyone?” is perhaps one of the most stereotypically British things we say and I felt oh-so-stereotypical when I found myself on the train to London for afternoon tea with my gal pals Chewiee and Maz. It wasn’t just any afternoon tea, though, but Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea. How amazing is that?! This was one at Kona at the Taj hotel, and it was by far one of the best afternoon teas I’ve ever had.

Whimsical Wandering: Himeji Castle & Hello Kitty Café

Himeji castle

Most castles in England are in ruins, so you could imagine what it was like for me to see a fully-formed and beautiful Himeji castle in Japan. It was a real building – all standing proud on top of a hill, and it looked amazing. I had seen photos of it before but it didn’t really do it justice… The only downfall was that the cherry blossoms hadn’t bloomed yet, but nevertheless it was so pretty.

Todai-ji Temple and Butt-Biting Deer in Nara

Todai-Ji Temple

While I did not enjoy getting my butt bit by a deer, it was an experience going to Nara. It was quite far from where we were staying in Kyoto so we made the decision to just visit the Todai-ji Temple and boy did we make a good choice. I had no idea just how harmoniously people could interact with nature, and it was amazing! Kudos to Japan for doing this, as it’s not the kind of thing I’ve ever seen in the U.K. especially when all of the deer were wild…

Roaming the Fushimi Inari-Taisha

fushimi inari taisha torii gates walk

The Fushimi Inari-Taisha was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was absolutely beautiful, and as soon as I crossed over into its territory I wanted to run up the mountain and through the thousands of torii gates. I stopped in my tracks when my eyes slapped onto a sign for kimono rentals and within the hour I was wearing a light blue set with cranes flying across it and a flower in my done-up hair. It took a while to get used to wearing the wooden sandals but soon I was walking like a pro and followed the crowd through the food stalls and to the entrance of the grand shrine.

How To Do Gyaru On Holiday – Travel Tips!

It’s that time of year when we’re jetting off around the globe, and enjoying the (hopefully) sunny destinations. There are so many places that I want to tick off my travel wishlist and after coming back from Japan just makes me want to go again! I aim to go on at least one holiday a year so you could say that I have experience with travelling, and being gyaru on holiday is a bit more challenging. I mean, we have to think about all of the awesome outfit ideas and the accessories to go with it, as well as figure out which styles of gyaru to pack! Below is my list of gyaru holiday tips to get you prepared for your summer escape. Hope it helps!

How to do gyaru on holiday - travel tips!

I Left My Heart in Tokyo: Gyaru Life in Shibuya!

shibuya 109, gyaru, japan

I remember the excitement building as I stood grasping onto the train handles, counting down the stops on the Yamanote line to Shibuya. I have been waiting for this moment ever since I found out about gyaru – it is the birthplace of gyaru after all, and I couldn’t wait to be walking along Shibuya crossing in front of my beloved Shibuya 109. After we stepped off at Shibuya station I whizzed straight to see Hachiko, the world’s most loyal dog! The story about how he waited for his master years after his death at Shibuya station is one of my favourites, and struck several heartstrings when I finally saw the statue in person.

And then it was time to join the crowd of people at Shibuya crossing to walk towards the beacon of all things gyaru – Shibuya 109. And I was extremely disappointed.

My Japan Haul – DaTuRa, MA*RS, Sanrio and Many More

I’ve been to Japan and haven’t bought a thing… Said no one ever! And trust me, I am still on the road to financial recovery despite it being over a month since I’ve been in the magical land of Hello Kitty and matcha KitKat. It was so worth it, though, but when I look back at my Japan haul I wish I had bought more, but it was physically impossible to fit any more into my suitcase. My suitcase weighed 17kg before and then 23kg after. Oops. I’ve made the decision, however, to buy more things over from Japan. It might not be good economically but their clothes are just so much nicer and I want to keep supporting my gyaru brands from afar!

In the meantime, though, let’s delve into my Japan haul a.k.a the part where I sold my soul.

Donki

The very first part of my Japan haul was when I splurged on was some Hello Kitty and Sanrio goodies from Don Quiote (also known as Donki). I was just so happy to be surrounded by so many kawaii goodies so I didn’t hold back! I also bought some amazing 2-in-1 curlers and straighteners, and I’m pretty upset that I couldn’t fit it into my suitcase. Oh well, maybe next time.

Sanrio Items from Donki (Don Quiote)

Chilling with Hello Kitty – My Trip to Sanrio Puroland!

I first fell in love with Hello Kitty when I was around 8 years old, sporting a little red and white t-shirt with her face emblazoned against it. But like all things do, I grew out of love with it, until it reappeared in my late teens and has stuck around ever since. So you can only imagine my excitement when I found myself walking down the pathway to Sanrio Puroland, the home of all of the Sanrio characters that you could ever think of. We followed all of the incredibly obvious signs on where to go (e.g. the Hello Kitty banners, Sanrio town map, Pompompurin signs at the train station… You couldn’t really miss it) and after taking the typical snap of me looking like an excitable puppy in front of Puroland, we went in. Cinnamoroll was the star of the show as it was his 15th anniversary and everything was so on point – from the staff to the benches to the decor in general.

Sanrio Puroland Puro Village

Ravenclaw Rebel at the House of MinaLima

hogwarts letters, house of minalima

Yup, I dressed up as a Ravenclaw again, but could you really blame me for doing so on the day that my friends and I went on a trip to the House of MinaLima? Where they’ve filled in every nook and cranny of a super old house with everything graphic design and Harry Potter? It’s crazy to think that even a simple video shot of Harry’s trunk had to be well thought of, from the designs of his school books to his house crest. Kudos to Miraphora (Mina) and Eduardo (Lima) for designing these – they are as magical as the world they designed.

Let’s Get Spooky at Warwick Castle!

halloween, warwick castle, rokku gyaru
I put a spell on you…

Can you believe that Halloween is just right round the corner? I’m SO excited for it, and when I heard that there was this 2-for-1 offer for a Halloween special at Warwick Castle I immediately jumped on it. I’m terrible when it comes to spooky things so me and my partner went during the day time, and it was a good thing we did because there were lots of events to see there! There were also a lot of children, but most dressed up as witches and the like which really cheered me up. The Halloween spirit is finally settling in in the UK! I was decked in my rokku gyaru attire – gosh I love this style so much – and it was the first time in a million years that I dug out this leopard print coat. It was so comfy and warm, and a good thing too as pretty much all of the shows were outdoors.

All Hyped Up: Hyper Japan Festival 2016!

hyper japan, jfashion, agejo, lizzie bee

If I had to choose between all of the conventions in the world, it would have to be Hyper Japan. It’s the perfect place for all those Japan-lovers out there whether you’re into fashion, “kawaii” culture, food, manga, or just Japan in general… They have everything you could possibly imagine. I can’t explain how excited I was for it – I’ve spent the previous month figuring out what to wear and organising everything. I also bought those Sailor Moon nails I’ve been eyeing up from my last blog post, and couldn’t wait to pair it with my new MA*RS dress! Pssst, I’ll be doing a review on the nails very shortly.

The event was held at Olympia this time round (much better than last winter’s) so all of the stalls were back to back and I didn’t have to walk for miles to go from one place to the other. It was super hot at the venue and it felt like I didn’t have enough time to visit each and every stall, however I did have plenty of time to catch up with friends! I saw so many people there and it made me miss being able to travel to London on a whim. What made me really happy was that a few people approached me saying that they read my blog and followed me on instagram/fb. It was the happiest feeling ever and I’m so glad you read my blog!

I brought my DSLR with me so that I could get used to snapping photos, but my love was taking most of them as 90% of the pictures were of me and my friends. Whoops! Maybe I could have more practice the next time round.

I’m a Barbie Girl, in a (Sealife) World…

hydrozoa jellyfish sealife

I love nature, but I have to admit that the sea really does freak me out. I just hate that feeling of not knowing what’s beneath my feet in the depths below and to be honest my fear of sharks doesn’t really help…

You can imagine how excited I was when my friends and I decided to go to the Sealife Centre – I can see pretty fish without having to swim thousands of leagues away (an exaggeration) and not crap myself if there’s a shark (not an exaggeration). I could merrily skip past the shark tanks if needed!

I really wanted to wear something mermaid-themed but I only really have one blouse that was way too cold to wear at the time (it’s super hot now in England which is lovely!). Instead I settled for my Barbie outfit I put together in a previous post, having been inspired by Nikki Lipstick. I missed wearing dark makeup and pink clothes!