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Japan Expo 2012

Published Tuesday, 1 January 2013 by sydneysunnyray

Every summer in Paris people gather. Maybe tourist or romantic couple can be seen in globs at museums, parks, and famous streets. However, Paris is more then a city with historical places. It is a new, modern city too with young rulers. Paris is home to Japan Expo the largest Anime/ Japanese Culture Convention/ Comic Con in Europe! This event takes place every summer in Paris around the end of June or the start of July – when exams are over in schools and universities. I hope to share with you some tips and personal fun time!

Aurore’s Japan Expo Poster for 2012

After my hassle of figuring out my last few days in France and flight tickets, I walked to FNAC in Amiens and bought a Sunday ticket for Japan Expo (JE). Places like FNAC is not only an entertainment store, but a great and easy place to buy advance tickets for events, concerts, and even museums. So, I was ready to go the morning after my full day at the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Summer Tea Party. Yet, getting to JE was tricky and I was nervous. The expo was outside of Paris and required taking the RER. The expo take place at the RER stop “Par des Expositions”, which is right beside the “Charles de Gaulle 1″. I find the RER to be a bit more confusing and troublesome to use, not to mention more expensive. Even though this troubled me, I was not too nervous about this. I bought my RER ticket for zone 4 in advance at the metro station. No worries. My worries was the hoards of people and finding my friends. My friends, the two Marines and Nico, were the experts who go every year and everyday. Although my hotel was one metro stop or a walk away from “Gare du Nord” RER, I took the RER all the way to the other side of the city to meet my friends. I walked over to the other side of my exit platform to take the RER in the other direction. Once we met, we all gave “bisous”. They handed me Birthday presents – that I didn’t expect, and I handed them “merci” gifts. Finally, we climbed on the RER train. The train was already crowded, but we found blessed seats- I believe, 5 people to 4 seats. As the RER went through Paris, people continued to get on and nobody got off. Men in suits could not get on in “Gare du Nord”; locals watched with annoyed faces; people on the train had cat ears on, funny clothes and lolita dress on (us) refused to move; the train filled over the legal capacity.

The entrance and inside had a lot of people!

The Marines and I with the protectors of Japan Expo! *Marine’s photo*

The Marines and I with the protectors of Japan Expo! *Marine’s photo*
In the end we made it. I followed my friends in the labyrinth to the entrance. Before I mention some of the highlights, I will say, “THIS WAS HUGE!” I have only gone to my little Anime Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, MTAC, before Japan Expo. There was so much and more then I can tell or remember!

Me and the artist Aurore BlackCat. *Marine’s Photo*

My first stop was to see the artist Aurore BlackCat. She became my favorite French artist while I stayed in France because of the “Bande Dessine” Elinor Jones. I badgered my friends to stop by her booth first before I forgot with excitement. I bought a small sketchbook, an Elinor Jones postcard and a pin. I was nervous to ask for her signature while she was working, but Marine kindly asked her to sign my postcard. I am such a fan of her art! It is very rich in color with a style inspired but not limited to Japanese manga.

Marine, Me, Karima, and Marine shopping. *Marine’s Photo*

We got free Hello Kitty shopping bags, I found my favorite booth,official Studio Ghibli, and we posed in a manga booth for Thermae Romae manga. *All from Marine*

Next, we walked around. Anytime there we were free, we walked among the booths. The booths were in groups of categories. I had a lot of fun looking at all the things people made or the cute things from Japan. Of course there were humble booths but also booths that were more like stores full of manga or crazy things. A whole section was dedicated to video games were the boys gathered. However, close by a Hello Kitty mascot had a crowd of surrounding her. Also, girls typing in there emails for a much need Hello Kitty bag to put all their goodies in for the day! And of course when you are walking around at a convention, you get to interact with people!

We are part of a classic ninja and lolita movie! *Marine’s Photo*

Our big event was worth the 2 hour wait. We went into a large area with a stage. We sat and watched a Cosplay and fashion show. It wasn’t super exciting, but after walking all morning, having a place to sit, and lunch felt great! Marine brought me a classic French sandwich that always tastes like a million dollar French dinner – a baguette with cheese and tomato.

6% DokiDoki’s shopgirls , Yuka and Vani, posing in the fashion show.

Finally, the Harajuku Kawaii in Paris fashion show started! All sorts of street fashion walked out in wonderful outfits! Of course, I found my favorite – Lolita. At the end 6% DokiDoki dances out. Yes, they danced out like crazy! I was so surprised! I love $6 DokiDoki! Their things are widely coveted for their great bright colors! Personally, I wish I could be as bold at Yuka and Vani with crazy color and clothing!
You can read about Lunie-Chan’s experiece as a model for 6% DokiDoki: HERE.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in concert!

Then then area got quiet. We waited for a long time. Then we heard it – the crazy pop music, and two dancer went crazy on stage to prepare the way for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! Kyary made her international debut in Paris, France, and I screamed along with the rest of her fans. Marine smiled and laughed at me. But, I was excited. I’m just a girl who grew up in hick-town in a hick-state. So never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see so many people that have always been trapped in my computer screen and iPod. So, I willingly played along with the hand motions and sang out with the crowd!

Here I am buying from the 6% DokiDoki shopgirls. I almost bought that dream skirt! oh. *Marine’s photo*

Afterwards, I got to go to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and 6% DokiDoki’s booth! I bought things from 6% DokiDoki – bows and stars. I was getting a skirt, but sadly, I didn’t have the cash on me! I was so embarrassed when I told them to stop folding the skirt. I swore I had a few more 50Euros on me! haha! But, I went shopping Saturday too! Silly. The Shopgirls didn’t mind, and I got a poster instead which they signed!

Sweet petite Asuka and Maki wearing Angelic Pretty’s newest collection …with a skyscraper- me. *Marine’s Photo*

Sweet petite Asuka and Maki wearing Angelic Pretty’s newest collection …with a skyscraper- me. *Marine’s Photo*
Later, we walked around to booths. The Japan Expo was on its last hour and last day. Yet, surpisingly, I ran into Asuka and Maki. We asked for a picture with them. I hope they didn’t mind. At one point Asuka turned to call Maki over for the photos, and I leaded forward. I lost a bit of my balance and put my hand on her lower arm out of reflex. Not a smooth move in the Japanese culture… She just looked over a bit more surprised then someone from a western culture. haha… smooth.

The Marines and I waiting for the train.

We left around closing time. Thus, the RER problems began again. There is a trick that you can play. Instead of taking the train to Paris, try taking the train going away from Paris and switch on the next stop. You might be able to find a seat and fight a smaller crowd. Yet, we didn’t for some reason. Marine figured out the train was the same or something. There was a “train crowd” police – like what is in London. So we lined up on the line hopeful for the door to stop in front of one of us.

Top: 6% DokiDkoi and Aurore BlackCat purchases Bottom: My birthday presents – a French Vegetarian Cookbook, Angelic Pretty hand mirror, and bunny ring (MERCI) // My outfit was full Baby, the Stars Shine Bright with Marine’s cuffs and Secret Shop tea party shoes.

I said my goodbyes and gave “bisous” at “Gare du Nord”, bought a smaller then normal baguette from Paul’s in the train station, and took the Metro to my Hotel. I was tired, but this wasn’t then end for me. I had one more day in Paris with my friends! Just one more day…

Bonus Videos:

Fancy Princesses at the Palace of Versailles

Published Tuesday, 27 March 2012 by Sydney Sunny

As I mentioned in my last post about the Tea Party, I made some friends, and we planed an adventure! Our adventure planned over sweets and tea caught us all in the moment of high excitement. We planned to go to Versailles. This was not to be a “normal” plain old trip to see a palace. No! Instead, we wanted to be the princesses of this palace. Thus, our plan to go to Versailles in frills and lace was set.

Versailles' glory

I left Amiens very early to get to Paris at 8. The trains have been recently arriving 10 – 20 minutes late, and I wanted to be sure to be on time. I was a bit nervous to go to Versailles alone, but it was really easy. My tips for going to Versailles is to buy you tickets at the Metro you plan to leave and return. I bought my tickets at Gare de Nord. This one ticket was my Metro ticket to St. Michel, and the RER line C to Versailles. I believe most tourist believe the RER tickets are bought at the RER stations, but this it false. Because I bought my ticket at Gare de Nord and used the metro, I think I saved a bit of money then if I took the Metro and bought my RER ticket.
I might try to do a post on the public transportation system in Paris. It is really good. But for now, I will just leave a link : here : for the Paris public transportation system. It helps for making plans. For example, it can aswer the question, “How long can I stay with my friends and still make my train?”.

I met Marine in the RER platform. She had been on vacation for a week, and she had been busy sewing and crafting! She made her bag (we found one made of the same material on sale at Versailles!), customized a cut-sew with lace, and made lace cuffs. I asked her if she could make lace cuffs for me, and she did! She did an excellent job! They are made of a embroidered flower ribbon, edged ironically with pick Rococo ruffles, bottomed with large white and pink Swiss dot lace, and finally topped of with pink bows. I love them very much! The things she gives me are so special to me!

Lolitas getting on the RER

Later Stephanie and Yumi met us on the platform, and we took the train to Versailles! Versailles is outside of Paris, but Paris has swallowed the surrounding countryside that once separated the palace. It is hard to imagine a world of royals living in Versailles Palace. Women in high wigs and outlandish wide dresses, but I guess, they never imagined tourist to come to their bedroom by the thousands- daily!

Princesses in front of Versailles.

Anyways, we had a great time. I heard later that some lolitas in the past were refused to be let into the palace. However, we had no problems. We did not have on wigs or crazy high shoes, but we where in lolita and did stand out. A lot of people wanted their picture with us because we looked like we belonged! Inside the palace is a world of rich velvet, gold, crystals, paintings, and windows. It is a true wonderland. I cannot describe the wonderful  rooms very well. Also, my friends seemed to glow -as if we had the blood of Marie Antoinette in our blood! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
My personal favorites are the Hall of Mirrors and Queen Marie Antoinette’s Bedroom.

Stephanie's tights and checkered floor.

Stephanie's Hall: Her Dress (BtSSB) matched perfectly. Also I am very proud of this picture.

The Chapel.

Marine's wonderful smile by the light of the huge golden windows.

Marine's room: It is one of the many red and gold rooms. This only had white, so I thought it matched her white ribbons.

The Hall of Mirrors' gold statues holding crystals and candles standing by the windows.

Me in the Hall of Mirrors!

My room: The Queen's Bedroom's floral designs is very dreamy and romantic. I am in love with it. I had on a pink jumperskirt and with hint of flowers.

Yumi's Statue: Yumi with her matching chocolate man.

After the wonderful trip inside the beast’s belly, the gardens awaited us. The gardens around the Palace is huge. I never knew just how huge the garden were. The famous fountains are just around back but beyond there is a maze of hedges hiding more fountains split by a cross shaped narrow lake.

A small hidden fountain we found.

We decided to  walk to Marie Antoinette’s secret getaway- as if we were asked to tea. We visited her stunning Petit Trianon and Le Ferm. I found the Petit Trianon as a mini fashionable Versailles. It seemed more feminine then Versailles. And the Farm was not as pretty as I hoped, because it was a gray day in February.

A room for the ladies to sit.

Yumi is with the god of love.

A gray passage way at the farm.

Yumi and Marine resting at the Farm.

At the end of the visit we walked back to the RER with our sore feet with dreams of high hair in our heads. I hope to return for a better viewing of the gardens.

My full outfit: Blouse, JSK, Underskirt, Bunny Bag, Hair clip, Umbrella(Marine's)- BtSSB // Flora tights, Fawn collar- H&M // Pink socks- Bodyline // Shoes- Secret Shop // Bow(Me), Wristcuffs(Marine)- Handmade

I have many more adventures to post! So thank you for reading and looking at the wall of pictures!

Marine’s post of our day is here.