Tokyo Air Bnb Experiences Featuring Le Angry Old Man Troll Under the Bridge

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hello, I'm back from my Tokyo trip! This is not going to be one of those travel posts where I saw you artsy shots of my beautiful sponsored shabby chic accommodation complete with bikini pictures by the pool. This is our 100% honest, mostly ridiculous but always interesting experience staying in some Air Bnb apartments in Tokyo! 

We zombie-walked into Tokyo after 16 hours of travelling on Malaysia airlines (red-eye flight too) straight after our last exam for the trimester. We're students, so we took the cheapest option for both flights and accommodation. Our first choice was 'Geek House' conveniently located in Shinjuku as we were only spending one night there before going to Hakone. It didn't say anything about sharing the apartment so we were expecting to have the whole apartment to ourselves! The shock ran deep when we discovered 'Geek House' is a pokey, cluttered three storey apartment complete with tiny rooms and around 10 other people! I think some of them were residents and some were guests, but it was super funny when we saw our room after lugging our luggage up to the third floor via the steepest stairs I have ever seen! 


I was standing outside the door when I took this picture. Yes all 4 of us shared this room and had no room to walk with all our suitcases inside! Oh by the way, this is Steph, Mickey and Yanto.

I wish I had taken a video or at least some photos of the place, because it was like nothing I have ever seen before. So pokey and crowded!



This is the entrance. Does it look dodgy? Don't answer that. 


I adore trees that look like these, spooky, yet so beautiful. 

I met my first Japanese friend that morning. I was the first one out the door on our way to the train station when this old man came up to me. He spoke to me in Japanese first, but I said I didn't speak it, so he translated it to 'you are a beautiful girl' which was very sweet, apart from the fact that he was very obviously drunk (at 10am)! We exchanged a few awkward sentences because of the language barrier, but he did point to himself and then said 'homeless' quite proudly! I guess that explains the intoxication and the safety pins holding his vest together. 

He asked me for my address to which I politely declined. Then he squatted down on the street and wrote down his address for me on a slip of paper- I'm not quite sure how he has an address if he's homeless, but I will never lose that slip of paper! Then all my friends came down and he said goodbye and stumbled away. Not before asking for a photo together though! Not the most flattering photo, but it has to be included for memories sake.


That concluded our stay in Geek House. We then travelled to Hakone and spent 2 days like this:

I'm laughing because we made Yanto press the self timer button on the camera, so he then had to scuttle into the bath which was REALLY hot that night and pose within the 10 seconds! Hilarious.
Before you ask yes we are a very nakey happy family here! This is a private outdoor room, but there are also male and female onsens. We studied the rules over and over before we entered the onsen- it's actually very complicated! See here for some idea of the rules and routines of onsen bathing.

In case you're curious, we all got over the being naked thing within minutes when we were in the single sex onsens. After that we couldn't get enough of the onsen! Admittedly going all together in the private onsens was much more embarrassing, but eh, we're all practically family anyway.


The ryokan we stayed in provided all guests with a yukata which we happily donned for breakfast and some casual lounging. We then, somewhat reluctantly, went back to Tokyo for the rest of our stay. Looking back on it, I think we should have ended our trip with a relaxing visit to Hakone to rest our sore feet!
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The next apartment of joy was located in Shibuya and looked absolutely amazing on the website! I commend the photographer for making the apartment look this spacious, light and breezy. And so cheap at $100 AUD a night! The following are some screenshots from the listing on Air Bnb.




We were astounded when we got into the place and it was dark, mouldy, cramped and almost nothing like the pictures! I love the 'artistic' shot of the bathroom above, where they managed to leave out er... everything!

When we arrived there, Leo the owner and the elderly couple downstairs greeted us and said they had 1 condition- that we do not stamp on the floor. We agreed, I mean who stamps on the floor besides a toddler throwing a tantrum? We entered the apartment and found a huge list of other conditions on the door eg. Don't stain the towels, no talking on the balcony (I'm serious), no playing loud music etc.


This is what it looked like from the outside and trust me, this was the better view. We were aghast at the inside. 

The very first night we were in the apartment, we were walking like normal humans- with a heel-toe gait and trying to keep as quiet as possible. Before we entered the apartment we even reminded ourselves to keep quiet! Lo and behold, 2 minutes later the angry old man from downstairs knocks on our door and starts saying we are being too noisy. He pointed at our heels and said do not walk on them! And to only walk on our toes! He even gave us a demonstration of how to 'walk' around the place.

We watched with horror as we realised we were expected to TIPTOE around the apartment for the next 10 days. 

This is inside a few days after we moved in. It's literally one tiny, dark, run down room separated by a curtain. When the 2 beds are unfolded (to accommodate 4 people), they cover the whole floor. Now looking at the listing, I see other people have left negative feedback regarding this place and the discrepancy between the photos and the actual apartment. Why didn't we read those reviews?! 


But alas, none of the reviews mentioned the angry old man downstairs.

The next morning, the troll under the bridge struck again. Mickey accidentally dropped the fold out bed frame on the floor from a height of 10 cm and we all stared at him with horrified eyes. We heard steps coming up to our apartment and the dreaded knock on the door. Steph and I went to hide in the back room and Mickey conveniently went to the toilet which left poor Yanto to open to the door. 

This time the old man starts YELLING at us! Saying this is an APARTMENT, NOT A HOTEL! 

We must be quiet and more respectful! He went on and on. Yanto had to apologise profusely and was quite upset because of this experience. Who wants something screaming at you for something you didn't mean to do (or didn't do!) your holiday! 

The rest of the stay we lived in utter fear of the old man downstairs (hilarious now, not at all then). We talked in whispers and got really good at tip toeing. It completely sucked. When you're on holiday, you just want to go back to your room/apartment and have a good laugh and unwind with your mates! 

I will never stay in an Air Bnb in Tokyo again. Unless I can afford an expensive one.


Oh and here's the bathroom. The rug on the floor was sopping wet when we got there and it stank of urine. Granted the toilet bowl wasn't that dirty before we got there, it's grey because of a charcoal accident haha.


The view from the shower which would turn ice cold on me if I stayed in longer than 5 minutes. Once when Steph was having a shower, the water completely stopped!


I had trouble manoeuvring in the tiny shower and kept banging my elbows. Imagine how Mickey felt!


This is me standing in the bathroom to show how much floor space we had from the shower to the toilet. It's mind boggling how small it is!


Another aspect of Japanese living is sorting the trash. We realised half way through that we actually had to sort the trash thoroughly into separate bags for combustibles, plastics, papers, PET bottles, non PET bottles and glass bottles.

Not pleasant when you have to dig out half rotting banana peels from the trash *vomit* (I despise bananas). I'm genuinely glad we got the experience though- no where else in the world would you have to sort your trash so thoroughly.


And that ends our fairytale Air Bnb experience in Tokyo. All the other times we have used Air Bnb around the world, it has been fantastic! For the same price we got a fabulous, 3-4 star hotel standard apartment in Melbourne right in the middle of the city (QV building!) last year. 

I'm laughing right now just thinking of us huddled inside that dark apartment speaking in whispers and jumping at every rustle. Everything else about our holiday was absolutely fantastic, and the accommodation was by far the worst aspect of the trip.

My next post will likely be on Disney Sea or food! I have lots of pictures of food ^^.

Have you had any hilarious accommodation stories? Please tell me!

DIY Black to Ash Brown Hair without Bleach- Loreal Superior Preference and Nordic Blonde Toner!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ah I can never go too long without changing my hair. My most recently change is dying my super natural ombre black hair to ash brown! This is my first time trying a blonde dye on my black hair in the hopes of achieving a natural brown colour, but according to many Google searches, heaps of Asian girls do it.

I went to Priceline and bought the famous Loreal Superior Preference dye in 9.1 Viking (light ash blonde) and the Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde toner.




Ignore the 'this shade is not advised' warning hehe. I applied the dye according to the instructions and left it on for 35 minutes. Ya'll don't need to see what's inside the box! And I'm far from a hair expert- I literally just slapped it on and hoped for the best.


Hello!

After washing the dye out of my hair with warm water, I applied the Nordic Blonde toner to cancel out any red or yellow tones in my locks. I left it on for just 5 minutes as per the instructions.


Before

My hair was a technicolor mix of orange, red and warm brown tones from using a temporary dye.

After

All red and orange tones are gone and my hair definitely has that green-ish ash tone to it! These photos were taken at night under florescent light which makes the colour appear a lot brighter than it actually is.

In daylight, my hair is a lovely dark brown to ash ombre because I had ombre hair before dying. The roots of my hair were mostly virgin and the dye definitely lifted the colour a few shades, but the undertone is not as ashy as the bottom of my hair. The previously lightened parts of my hair took the dye very well and I am so happy with the colour! 




See how the roots are warmer?

A further plus is that my hair did not feel damaged at all after dying. I attribute this to good hair care- thanks LUSH's American Cream conditioner! I only purchased one extra product to maintain my ash colour and that is a purple shampoo. I bought the cheapest one and it sucks, it makes my hair feel like plastic so I will probably end up buying another one. I tone my hair with the Nordic blonde every 2 weeks to keep it fresh!

Previously, I have paid up to $200 in salons for colour. Those days are gone, I am happier with my DIY job than I have ever been with a salon- the guilt that comes with paying that much money for someone to do my hair just kills my joy. Every time.

All the hair products in this post cost me under $35 and you can find them in Priceline

Do you like my new hair? Should I go lighter?!

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Thank you so much Jenny for nominating me! Check out her adorable blog :).


What's the 'Versatile Blogger Award'?

The Versatile Blogger Award is given to bloggers, who are popular for their good quality style of writing and overall the quality and uniqueness of their blogs.

Rules:
- Thank the person who nominated you
- Share 7 facts about you
- Nominate 15 other blogs 

1. When I have a day off at home I lounge. Oh, I lounge hard. In the warmer months, my attire of choice is a beautiful lilac vintage kimono I got for $10 at a market in Japan, or my 'proper' (ie. expensive) kimono my boyfriend purchased for me, also from Japan. In Winter I wear one of my two onesies: Michelangelo ninja turtle or generic panda.

2. I adore aquariums. See my post on Kaiyukan aquarium Osaka!

3. I absolutely believe in the Law of Attraction and whenever I find myself slipping into 'negative Nelly' mode, I watch the Secret DVD.

4. On my travel list is: Santorini, the Maldives, Hokkaido, Vietnam, New York, one of China's 'longevity' villages, Tibet, Hawaii, Fiji. And many more because you can never travel too much!

5. I plan on starting a Youtube channel once I finish my degree.

6. Most of my family is comprised of doctors, lawyers or dentists. 

7. We are living in a rented place at the moment, but we have managed to grow a lot of or own organic produce in pots! We have: silver beet, thyme, rosemary, basil, mini chillies, cucumber, garlic chives, blood oranges, tahitian lime, avocado, spring onion and parsley! My boyfriend wakes up early every single morning to tend to the garden and the whole family enjoys the fruits of his labour. Let me know if you want to see photos of our little pot garden!

I am in Tokyo as you are reading this, catching the last of the sakura! Im sorry if I made you jealous- here's a cute photo of #Pikapomeranian to make it better!


I nominate these wonderful girls:

It's Skin Prestige BN Cream EX Review (Bird's Nest & Gold)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

This is my last review for Bntnews before I go off on my Japan holiday! To date I have received 10 boxes from Bntnews and am so thankful for their support. So it's with a heavy heart that I have to forgo next month's box! It's also a blessing though, because we get to welcome more bloggers to the Bntgirls family, please check out Berries in the Snow (her blog is amazing and Laven is such a sweetie!) as she will become the new addition to Bntgirls reviewing the latest and greatest products to come from Korea. 

The It's Skin Prestige Bird's nest cream certainly packs a punch with it's packaging. Everything about it shoots off 'fancy' vibes! I almost feel unworthy when I hold it in my hands. Purely based on the packaging, I expected this product to cost over $100, but was nicely surprised when I saw Koreadepart is selling it for $45.54, which is much better but still pricey.

The BN line also includes a toner, emulsion, serum and mask.


The top of the box has a beautiful, almost holographic peacock pattern printed on it.


The main action of this cream is whitening and hydrationSwift nest extract contains various skin-friendly ingredients yet boosts moisture and vitality of skin for a flawless texture. Pure gold (that's right!) gives a high-end treatment to the skin and takes care of its health while giving a natural glow. The cream absorbs easily, making your skin feel soft.

Swift nest extracts and pure gold are the key ingredients in this cream, both of which I am not familiar with in my skincare regime. 



Oh my, isn't it absolutely gorgeous?! It's weighty as well, and looks fit for a Queen's dresser. 


Nails done with my Konad stamper (my current obsession!).


Compared to the size of the packaging, the product container is much smaller because the lid takes up a lot of space. 


The cream is ivory white with visible specks of gold floating in it. It smells very fresh and 'powdery' to me and the scent strength is mild to moderate. The cream looks thick in the jar, but when I spread it out, the texture is fairly different to what I expected!


It has a gel-like texture, very cooling and reminiscent of Nature Republic's Super Aqua Max combination skin cream (review here)! It thins out and spreads very easily, leaving a veil of reflective moisture on my skin- almost as if I have rubbed in an oil. The gold flakes do not dissolve as easily, so I end up having to hunt them down on my face and rub each flake with a finger before they break down. You don't want gold flakes remaining on your face (or do you?)! The cream is definitely rich enough for my combination skin. In terms of brightening, it hasn't done much because I have a ton of acne scars at the moment which need special care and very specific products/ingredients. I can say that it hasn't broken me out and makes a great, hydrating night cream

However I do think that this product is too expensive for the likes of poor students like me. I think you can find other products that do the same thing for a much cheaper price. The gold flakes are quite cool and novel though!

Have you tried any bird's nest or gold skincare products?


*I was gifted this product for review, all my opinions are 100% honest.

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
See more of my reviews on Korean beauty products

Check out the other BNT Girls: JoanneDorisBella, Alene

PS. I will be in Japan for 2 weeks relaxing in hot springs, eating ALL the food and buying ALL the Sailor Moon merchandise. So forgive me if I am slow to respond to emails and comments. To all my fellow bloggers- I will catch up on your blogs when I return!

Vassen Lucky Clover Cocoro Hazel Circle Lens Review

Sunday, 5 April 2015

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter break! I for one have been studying because I have final trimester exams this week, no rest for le chiropractic student. Oh but I did go to Ed Sheeran last night, what a talented man! I'm not an avid fan, but I really enjoy his songs. He performed some amazing mash ups including a very impressive rendition of 'In Da Club' by 50 Cent!

Today's review is the Vassen Lucky Clover Cocoro Hazel lens which happens to be my favourite lens this year!

Origin: Korea
Diameter : 14.5mm
Water Content : 45%
Base Curve : 8.6mm
Life Span : 1 year disposal





The lens is very thin and translucent which I was happy to see because that usually means the lens is going to be comfortable! They do look very yellow in the case, but don't worry, it blends in seamlessly with brown eyes, giving a very natural look. The pattern comprised of yellow, green and brown 'smudgy' lines radiating outwards from the pupil.



The enlargement effect is minimal, which is fine for me because that means I can wear these as an everyday lens without feeling self-conscious. I love how you cannot see the outer edge of my iris at all, because the lens blends so finely with my natural eyes! I have tried other more translucent lenses, and I have always been able to see the lens extending over the edge of my iris, which made me look quite unnatural. Eg. My Vassen Fynale grey lens review.

Now I have lighter, ash brown hair, the lighter lens colour suits me perfectly! I adore the bright-eyed natural look of the lens! These are definitely my favourite lens of the year and I have been wearing them to events a lot.


The only negative that I an think of is that the lenses were uncomfortable the first time I put them in. This happens with every single lens I try though- my sensitive eyes just need a few tries before a particular circle lenses becomes comfy I guess? They give me no problems now, although I would say the wear time for these is 6 hours, as my eyes start to become bloodshot by 8 hours.

Adore these lenses and highly recommend them! Loveshoppingholics is selling them for $23.90. 

Do you match your lenses to your current hair colour?

*This product was gifted for review, all my opinions are 100% honest.

LUSH 2015 Easter Treats!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Ah Easter, that time of the year where everyone exchanges chocolates and I smile and accept politely,  despite knowing I can't eat them *cries* (I'm lactose intolerant). Fortunately LUSH (thank you so much!) sent me out some of their Easter goodies which are MUCH more my kinda thang! It's refreshing to see that none of the products are chocolate 'flavoured', which would be the obvious way to go. Instead, the items are bright and rainbow themed, giving the collection a mischievous and playful feel! 


Clockwise: Hoppity Poppity Bath Bomb, Pot O'Gold shower jelly, Bunch of Carrots bubble bar, Golden Egg bath ballistic, Somewhere over the Rainbow soap.
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"Drop in the bath for a fresh, herbal experience that will leave you feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Hidden inside this enchanting white rabbit is a pink center for soft pink bath water, and popping candy coated in green lustre for a poppity good time. Sit back and listen to the bunny hop and pop around your bath tub, whilst enjoying the beautiful fresh fragrance". 

This one sounds like so much fun! I love that it's unexpectedly herbal scented and cannot wait to play around amongst the popping bubbles.
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"It’s what everyone hopes to find at the end of a rainbow! At the end of every rainbow lies sweet, decadently-scented jelly. A jelly packed full of golden ingredients; pineapple juice, orange peel decoction, glimmer and lustre to add some shine to your showering. A rich and sweet vanilla, myrrh and sweet orange oil scent fragrances this luxurious jelly: some of you may recognise it from Creme Anglaise body lotion."
When I took a peek inside, I was transfixed by the metallic sheen of the liquid gold treasure. It looks so rich and smells absolutely amazing! I have never tried a shower jelly before and am quite confused by it's texture- it looks like it would just slip off your skin? I will try this tonight!
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"Back from last year, this time as a bunch of three smaller carrots, so each one can be used when it’s at its freshest.  Place one (or the whole bunch) under running water to create lots of bubbles, then pop aside for another time.  Fragranced with the buchu, lemon and bergamot, there’s also a little bit of nutritious carrot oil in each one, which is rich in vitamins and an extraordinary skin soother and rejuvenator."

I remember these from last year- aren't they adorable?! I've had a go at using them already, you can either swish them through your bath water or hold them under the running water. I tried swishing them and sadly, two of the carrots came detached from the stems! They smell great though and are made of quite a hard material that does not dissolve easily. Strangely enough, they turn the water green, not orange! I imagine these lasting at least 5-7 baths, which explains the price. 
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"A special Easter treat inspired by chocolate cream eggs - we reverse it and coated the hard bath bomb centre with a creamy bath melt shell. The outer bath melt mix is made using our beautiful fair trade, organic, Colombian Peace Village cocoa butter and olive oil from a brand new permaculture project we’re working with in Palestine. Scented with the best selling Honey I Washed the Kids fragrance, it’s coated with environmentally friendly golden lustre."

I bought the Golden Egg last year because I couldn't resist the gold shimmer and the buttery , honey (Honey I Washed the Kids soap was one of my first ever LUSH products!) scent. It was so luxurious to use and I enjoyed it immensely! You will step out of the bath with baby soft skin covered in gold sparkles, what's not to love about that?!
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"Wash with a chunk of the rainbow to melt your troubles like lemon drops. As well as the beautiful colours, you’ll see the snowflake lustre sparkling throughout the soap, making this look as wonderful as it smells. Fragranced with a new scent, called ‘rainbow’ it’s an uplifting blend of mandarin, neroli and rose to help leave you happy and energised."

I'm a little hesitant to use this one because I seem to be sensitive to rose products. It smells like pure joy though and would be a fantastic one to use in the mornings for an energising wake-me-up call! 

A big thank you to LUSH Australia for sending me out this surprise box of Easter treats! I think the collection is so cute and playful- perfect for kids and adults alike and a great replacement gift for unhealthy chocolates! 

Have you hopped into a LUSH store to pick up any Easter goodies?

*These items were gifted, all my opinions are 100% honest.