I started working for a company a couple of months ago (I won't reveal the company due to privacy). Due to family commitments by my co-workers, I was asked to go on an important business trip for the company. I'll be in Japan from December 20th-January 5th with work from the 22nd-28th. I know the time I'm there, there will be huge sales. Has anyone experienced this before? I'll also be wearing lolita too and I hope to see some lolitas. Any places with a lolita atmosphere I should go to in Tokyo?
You could visit cafes like Swallowtail or the Vampire Cafe. Also Tokyo is really into Christmas lights (though they call it "illumination") so if you have a decent camera you can take some great pics.
There's the big fukubukuro sales on New Year's, other than that you're missing the majority of sales (second week of january for general sales, and then Laforet Grand Bazaar end of Jan). Grand Bazaar is absolutely nuts, a lolita literally grabbed a blouse out of my hand while I was still looking at it at Baby! Everyone's shouting the whole day. Worth it though!
just FYI, make sure you check if things will be open. right around the new year a lot of places are closed so people can spend time with their families. between xmas and new year's stuff should be open though.
I'll be there around the same time period (Dec 27-Jan 14) and am wondering a lot of the same things, because I've never been to Japan before. From lots of Googling, Laforet has fukubukuro on Jan 1, and other most other major stores appear to open on Jan 2? Smaller ones are closed until Jan 4.
A lot of stores especially groceries stores and often restaurants are closed jan 1-3 or 2-4 depending. Im sure most places in the center won't be though. I lived an hour from central Tokyo and only konbini was open. Try really hard to avoid Meiji shrine on NYE and NY day. Up to a million(?) people visit in the first few days of the new year. When you do visit Meiji shrine look at the pillars to see all the dings from coins being tossed on New Years from far away. I'd go to another shrine just to see the Craziness and festival booths/street food On the first or so.
Not OP but I'm also planning on going to Japan at around the same time, from Dec 25th to Jan 5th. I'm sad to hear that I won't be around for the huge sales, maybe I'll post-pone my trip by a few days to try and catch the second week of January ones.
Anyone know any more about how to navigate the sales, which AP stores have the most leftover stock, and the procedures for the fukubukuro? I'm bringing the hubby as well. I might dress him up in some Aristo or goth. Will AP let him buy as well or only if he's also wearing AP?
Man you missed the boat then. There's heaps of Halloween special stuff because it's a dress up holiday, but I imagine it'll be all gone by then
Milky Way Cafe is pretty cute. Honestly apart from the obvious places like Harajuku it's going to be more about themed cafes than anything else.
Not actually lolita, but stores like Axes Femme have specials on Jan 1st where you can buy a trunk for ~120$ that contains a bunch of actually good clothes far exceeding that value. I went to one with my exgf back when I studied abroad. Other stores have similar promotions, so see if you can find out online.
Laforet Grand Bazaar is also insane, there are lolita things in there, but like other people said, shits gonna be crazy. Worth going, though. Look up the stores inside ahead of time and make a beeline for your top priorities. Mild shoving is OK, use your gaijin bubble as much as possible.
If I were you I'd avoid the Harajuku branch of AP and try the Shinjuku location instead. Fukubukuro season at Laforet is intense, and in my experience the Shinjuku location tends to be less hectic.