As Larme fashion continues to gather speed we decided you have a second sakura themed Larme meet admiring the flowers in Shinjuku Gyoen park. Larme fashion as been described as "innocence with a splash of poison" so lavishly admiring flowers whilst wolfing down fruit parfaits seemed a perfect setting.
We picked Shinjuku Gyoen as it is one of the biggest parks in Tokyo and also there is a 200yen entrance-fee, which weeds out the riff-raff and guys hanging around the cherryblossoms looking for their hatsukoi (first love). The park itself has a distinct Central park feeling, with the huge Tochoemae government building looming overhead that looks strikingly similar to the Empire State building. The park itself is made up of lots of themed gardens including a British, French and of course Japanese garden, with the chance to see many different kinds of cherry blossom.
From the end of March until the end of April the cherryblossoms start blooming and so everyone heads to their nearest park for a big alcohol-fueled picnic; expect to see many red-faced salarymen face-planting under the cherry blossom trees, women cackling loudly to their bosses jokes and plenty of debauchery. As its busy at this time of year, people usually get to the park in the early morning to reserve a spot under a nice tree and placing down their tarp. For the perfect hanami you should prepare a big tarp, cushions, blankets, a decadent picnic and plenty of booze. Shinjuku Gyoen closes at 4pm, which is extremely early for Tokyo, but other parks people do hanami into the early hours of the morning. This is extremely annoying if you live within earshot of a park and woken to the sound of "Yamada-san! we are out of chu-hai! go to the conbini, you are the youngest after all"
We picked a nice sunny spot, laid down our tarp and then enjoyed a day of lazy feasting until it was time for the park to close. There are ponds and lakes filled to the brim with koi carp, I assured my friends that if we ended up stranded in the park after hours I would catch them a nice big fish and make them yaki-sakana, but they weren't amused. Seeing pretty girls under the cherry blossom trees is supposed to be healing, although by the end of the day I mostly felt tipsy and fat, everyone was cute though.
Larme fashion is still relatively new and expanding so it was nice to meet in a big group and discuss our favorite brands and models. Some of us were meeting for the first time so we each did a self-introduction, and I discovered we had girls from all over the world, it was lovely all being connected through the love of a fashion. We discovered that E-Hyphen World Gallery Bonbon and Swankiss were the most popular Larme brands amongst us and Risa Nakamura was our favorite Larme model. Compared to other Japanese fashion styles Larme is a lot easier to put together if you live overseas, as shops such as Forever 21 and H and M stock similar pieces.
I wore a see-through black bouse from H and M and offbrand gingham pencil skirt with fishnet tights; fightnet tights in various colors are the most hot and popular fashion item in Tokyo right now.
It is also becoming popular in Larme fashion to weave ribbons into your hair, I styled my hair using a tutorial from Larme magazine.
The flowers actually had not fully bloomed yet, but they were beautiful nontheless, sneezing a rain of pink petals onto us, it was the perfect place to take pictures. My favorite part of hanami is how fragrant the air becomes when its filled with dancing pink petals. Before we knew it, the park began playing the "goodbye" jingle and we left to our next stop; the Kajitsuen fruit parlor.
A short walk from the South entrance of Shinjuku station, the Kajitsuen fruit parlor is a restaurant, patisserie and fruit stall all in one, meaning you can buy fruit to take home too. Japan actually sells some of the biggest, juiciest - and most expensive fruit in the world. The square watermelon isn't a myth, you can actually buy it for around 80GBP!
The cakes at Kajitsuen are also particularly decadent, especially the snow strawberry chiffon cake, but we came here to eat one thing and one thing only - parfaits. The parfaits are all about 1,300yen each, which as far as desserts go in Japan, is pretty cheap and are choc-full of ripe and extremely sweet and juicy fruit and ice cream. If ice cream is not your thing, they also do a selection of pancakes! If you find yourself in Shinjuku with a sweet tooth, I completely recommend this place!