Kamora Millan headshot
Kamora Millan
November 10, 2023

Happy Birthday~!

Hello, Hola and こにちは~!So! It is November and that means that its time for Scorpio season! Although I'm not really into zodiacs, every morning the news gives little blurbs about all of the astrological sign's luck for the day and what to do to turn your luck around if its not so good. With the new month also means that my birthday was coming up, and I very quickly learned a friend I had made here in Japan had hers the day after mine.  I had a location I had wanted to go to as a bit of a present to myself since every time I would see advertisements for it I would just brush it off since I wasn't in the same country. But a rush of adrenaline surged through me the moment I realized that I was only a train line or two away and I was off to the races to figure out how to get to Ikebukuro with my birthday buddy! We were heading to a collaboration cafe—Specifically a Holostars V-tuber collab to get some limited edition merchandise!

Ikebukuro and Fashion Aesthetics

One thing about me is that I do not actually like spending large amounts of money on things. Seeing big numbers makes me nervous but I made a deal with myself that day that I would get myself some nice things in order to celebrate! So we made plans to go on a mission. To find this place and not get side tracked on the way there! From where we both stayed it was about an hour trip and one transfer away, but once arriving in the right station I immediately figured out why this location is sometimes referred to as a female anime lovers dreamland. It really did feel like a slightly smaller different Akihabara, complete with the insane amount of people walking around! One thing I had learned was that Ikebukuro was home to a Butler Cafe (sort of like a mirror to Akihabara's Maid cafes) However it was really just the one famous one named Swallowtail. We ended up not going for the reasons being you have to reserve a time two weeks in advance but also because it was even more pricey than the cafes we had been to before. Perhaps one day my dream of going there will be fulfilled but I digress.

We were heading for Sunshine City! The shopping mall complex that housed a bunch of really cool little stores that we proceeded to get distracted by immediately upon entering the place. Namely the place we zoomed towards was the Pokémon Center that just so  happened to be there! It was extremely crowed, but we still wormed our way in just to look around and marvel at all of the Pokémon goods you could buy. The line was quite literally going out the door, so we decided to come another day if we wanted to buy anything but dang was it cool! What we did do instead was go across the way to the Pokémon cafe and get some very cute slushies—And everything in this area was just adorably Pokémon themed. Statues, A Pokémon go space, like the entire area was just decked out and it was more magical than anything to just randomly find here.

Besides the Pokémon Center we also ended up roaming around looking at the One Piece Shop, the Sanrio Cafe, and plenty of random clothing stores that I must say opened my eyes to just how good fashion was here in Japan. Walking around in my casual clothes I felt a little tinge of feeling like maybe I should put a little more effort into my outfits when seeing all of these really nice aesthetics around you know? Like it was the way all of the clothes flowed into each other that always astonished me because I know it must've taken some time to put together right? It was down to the little trinkets that could be seen on bags and such that I really admired while browsing through clothing stores.

FINALLY! After about two hours of walking around aimlessly in this shopping complex we found the small little collaboration cafe we were looking for. We had already eaten thanks to all of the random cafes around but we were there for some keychains and to take some photos of the venue since holy crepe we made it to the limited time collaboration! I know the place wasn't all that but it was really more about the fact that I managed to go at all was what I was truly happy about. I did something I never ever thought I would do because of distance and it made me feel absolutely amazing just accomplishing something I set out to do! Even if it was something as silly as going to a V-Tuber collaboration event. I love my V-tubers, and getting to see them everywhere, not only in this one cafe but just around in Ikebukuro was really really surreal!

Akihabara (Again, I know)

I can't help but not go to this place any chance I get, I mean it is only 45 minutes by train—Why wouldn't I if I enjoy the atmosphere so much? It is all of the things I love on full display everywhere with people who also enjoy said things, why would I not want to go as much as possible? Especially for my Birthday with some friends to a maid cafe? It was spectacular~! The atmosphere is always electric and the staff are always so nice! It honestly is a blast every time I go with friends to one of these cafes and then afterwards we just had fun at some arcades for the rest of the night. This to me was a dream come true of a birthday. It was just running around and sort of enjoying the day with this sort of magic in the air that is hard to capture sometimes. It's the feeling of warmness that you can't even remember the conversations that were had but you remember the sounds of laughter and moving around with such freedom that it makes your heart ache a little. Maybe I'm just being poetic or looking at this all with rose tinted glasses but my head I'll remember these moments of just having fun with my friends with a smile on my face because it felt like nothing else in the world mattered. Just thinking about whether or not we were going to make the last train that night.

Quick Wrap-up

This one feels a bit shorter than I would usually write but I suppose it's because this is just about running around these two locations without a care in the world huh? A very large trip to Hiroshima will be coming up and I'm going to be doing my best to condensing what that will all be about when the time comes but I must say I'm quite excited! I've always been in or near really large cities so going somewhere that...Not that—should be interesting and new! I suppose I'll put a few bullet points of quick things that occurred as well since every day is an adventure to me after all. But I hope everyone is staying happy and healthy! Bye bye, Adios and じゃね~!

  • My friend got me an entertainment pass so I could actually keep my scores on the dance machine I keep obsessing over every time we head to the game center together!
  • I have become known as the "Ichigo Milk" girl at an Izakaya (snack bar) I went to with my host family because both times although it is customary to order alcohol, I just ordered a few things of strawberry milk. It was absolutely delicious and I regret nothing. (I also had whale again and my goodness was it still tasty~)
  • I did buy an outfit while in Ikebukero, and I felt really cute wearing it because it was sort of cosplay like and made me feel like a super star while dancing and wearing the outfit. I still live for the random people that stop to watch me dance hehe~
  • I'm planning on taking out my hair to go for my afro for the rest of the semester, so although not looking forward to how long it'll take me to handle all of that, I can't wait to see people's reactions to it since it is such a drastic change from what I've had this entire time.
  • I have learned that Pocari Sweat is just Gatorade without flavoring and has become one of my favorite things to have after an extended dance session! They are really tasty and I feel like it shall be another thing on the list of "I'll miss that when I return to the States"
  • Playing Overcooked both with my Host family and my friends has been so much fun and I really am glad I bought it. International Overcooked was chaotic (Japanese, Spanish, English, Vietnamese) and hey you just had to be there for that session~


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Kamora Millan headshot

Kamora Millan

I am an extroverted, amicable and overall goofy nerd who loves throwing herself in the deep end and coming back to tell the tale of how I did it! I love anything about culture, history and languages. I try to write for your enjoyment~

2023 Fall
Home University:
Southwestern University
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