Mimi’s adventure in Tokyo Part 3/3 (SF Shopping)

Phew, this is the last part of my adventure report…SHOPPING!

You might be surprised, but this was actually my first time ever shopping for Sylvanian Families in Japan! I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was!!

Before I start mumbling about SF shopping destinations in Tokyo, I have to let you know that although Epoch set aside whole a lot of free time for me to roam around Tokyo, my craft addiction just had to be satisfied, and I ended up spending much of my free time adding things to my diorama.  So I only had time to visit 3 SF locations out of 5 which are located around Tokyo.  Forgive me! I just had to craft!! >.<

 

<Sylvanian Kitchen at lala port tokyo bay>

The first SF location I visited was Sylvanian Kitchen at Lala port Tokyo-Bay location in Chiba prefecture, which is a neighboring state of Tokyo.  Although it is in Chiba, it was about 30 min train ride from Tokyo.  Tokyo Disney land was actually along the way to this restaurant, and I could see it right in front of me from the train. (Of course, I had zero interest in Disneyland… I really only cared about Sylvanian Families…true story. lol)

This is the front view of the restaurant.  The chef chocolate rabbit welcomes you warmly.  I also spotted a chocolate rabbit boy waving at me on the balcony.

  

A part of this restaurant is a SF shop, and you can find SF items from around the world, including many discontinued items.  You can just go to the shop part of this place without eating here, if you don’t have the time.

 

This is the main menu.  You choose one main menu, and sides and drinks are buffet style at these restaurants.  The quality of food was pretty good, I thought!  I found all the food kids love to eat, too!  I was told that this restaurant gets pretty crowded during the day with families with kids, and becomes less crowded at night.  In Japan, most restaurants have a life-size, plastic display, of what the food will look like after you order it, to help customers decide what they want to order. I wanted to explain what you’re looking at in the picture below, in case you were unaware of that. 😀

The drink bar had super cute writings on the buttons..for example, for the oolong tea, it says “even bears are drinking it,” and for orange juice, it says, “Fielding Mouse girl loves it.”

This is a picture of the inside of the restaurant.  This location in particular is geared towards little kids, and the spaces between tables are pretty wide, allowing little kids to walk around rather freely.  From the little house with a TV on the wall, chocolate rabbit girl will come out to do meet and greet at set times.

Cute high chair!!

Throughout the shop area and eating area, there are lots and lots of SF decorations!

    

 

 

<Sylvanian Families Shop /Master Piece at Venus Fort>

Sylvanian Families Shop/Master Piece at Venus Fort Mall is one of the two SF shop locations in Tokyo.  It is only one train station away (or about 25 min walk) from Tokyo Big Sight, where the Toy Show is usually held every year.   They sell SF items from around the world just like at the Sylvanian Kitchens.

 

I got some SF goodies! I’m saving these for a giveaway I want to do sometime in the future. 😉

   

The special thing about the SF shops (not Sylvanian Kitechens) is that they have stamp cards for your purchases, and when you have enough points, you can get “Momoiro (Peach color) rabbits.” These rabbits are only obtainable this way, and probably one of the hardest and most expensive Sylvanians to collect.  I got this little girl only because I was super shopaholic, and also this particular location was doing the limited time “rainy day point boosts” (yes, it was raining when I went.)

 

 

<Sylvanian Kitchen at Yokohama World Porters>

This Sylvanian Kitchen at Yokohama World Porters is a bit away from Tokyo, about 45 min train ride.  It is in a very urban but beautiful location by the ocean.

 

The size of this restaurant is about the same as the Lala Port location, but I was told that this location is designed more toward teenagers and young adults.  It did have a bit more hip feel to the inside decor, I think.  The menu is exactly the same as Lala port location.

What makes this location worth your visit is the exclusive “Shiokaze (Sea Breeze) Rabbit Family” sold only in Yokohama (well, except that they do have an online shop for people in Japan).

  

If you’re lucky, chocolate rabbit will meet and greet with you here as well.

This is what the shop area looks like.

Cute SF decorations everywhere!

 

 

<NOTES>

All locations have SF capsule toy clank machines.  The prices vary on the type of machine, but they’re usually 200 yen or 300 yen each try. You get one capsule per try, and they have miniature SF items. (A miniature of miniatures! Hahaha)

  

Sylvanian Kitchens sell exclusive “Chef & Waitress” doll sets.

It’s also good to note that every SF related store carry different items as far as their inventory is concerned.  I shopped A LOT at each location because I kept finding things I didn’t see in other locations…

 

Well, that’s it for my Tokyo report! I hope you could feel the glimpse of the excitement I felt there, and thank you so much for your support and cheers!
You fellow Sylvanians mean so much to me, and I very much appreciate your fellowship! It was so much fun reading your comments here and on SNSs while I was there.  🙂

 

 

Mimi’s adventure in Tokyo Part 2/3 (My Diorama)

Welcome back! In today’s post, I’m going to talk about my diorama.:)

Let me first answer some of the questions I’ve been receiving.

  • My diorama was 180cm × 90cm.  When I first heard about the size, I thought Epoch was kidding, and I had to double check. lol
  • I had about 3-4 weeks to work on this diorama, and it took about 300 hours.  Usually I don’t take that much time making my diorama, but this was my first time showing one to the public, and I had to make sure it looked good in every corner – which is not what I usually have to do.  Also, I wanted to make this diorama touchable for photo shooting, so it took more time to reinforce.
  • The theme of the diorama was completely up to me, but because I had just purchased the new town series, I really wanted to make it using them, and thus this diorama was created.
  • For this particular diorama, because it was going to be used by Epoch, I could not use any store bought miniatures etc.  Everything you see in this diorama other than the SF products, was handmade by me.

Moving on to the photos…this is the view from above the terrace.

Having a raised terrace and stairs added more excitement to the photos.  I wanted to make sure that the visitors can create their own stories with their dolls, and locations like terrace and stairs worked quite well for that.  This kind of non-flat diorama is a bit more time consuming to create, but the results tend to be very rewarding.

Here are three fountains I made. They all have very different looks.

  

A shallow water way was another feature I really wanted to create ever since I first saw the town series products.  It was very interesting to see lots of people carefully touching the resin, realizing it wasn’t real water.  🙂  Having a bridge and a boat created some more spots for photo shooting.  I made three different kinds of railings in this diorama, around the terrace, on the bridge, and along the river.  I think having different styles in architecture and designs really give this town a real town like look.  After all, towns are made of lots and lots of different elements.

  

Another thing I worked carefully on was the distribution of flowers.  Because the town series buildings are all different colors, I wanted to use as many colors as I could with flowers, too.

      

The most time consuming part of this diorama was the pavement around the tram track.  It doesn’t look much, but I used about 10 different colors for the rocks.  Not to mention, carving this was a bit of a work.

I will do some tutorials on how to make some of the items I haven’t posted yet in the near future.  Let me know if you have any specific requests!

Many people did reports and reviews on the toy show and their blogs and SNSs, but today, I’d like to share Aki*’s blog with you. She did a marvelous job taking beautiful photos and writing a great report.  It is in Japanese, but you can still enjoy her photos! Here is the link ->>> Aki*’s blog “Life* Memory”

I had so much fun talking to the visitors and listening to them talk about their love for Sylvanian Families! I really tried to talk to as many people as possible, but if I missed you, I’m very sorry. 🙁  And thank you so much for the gifts! I was literally hands full!

Lastly, here are photos of some of the Sylvanians I was lucky enough to take photos of.  I apologize if I miss yours! I didn’t start taking these until very late! >.<   Oh, and I only cleaned up the photos and didn’t add watermarks, so please feel free to take and use the photos below if you find your Sylvanians.

It was such a pleasure to have your Sylvanians visit my town!!  I had a wonderful time seeing your favorite, long-loved Sylvanians in my town.  Thank you for taking your time to come visit the show, and for those who cheered for me from far away, thank you for your support! It meant so much to me!!

And lastly, thank you, Epoch, for letting me have such a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow Sylvanians! It was such an honor to be a part of your show!!

                           

Tomorrow’s post is all about shopping for Sylvanian Families! Yippee!

 

Mimi’s adventure in Tokyo Part 1/3 (International Tokyo Toy Show 2017)

 

Hello, hello!  I’m back from Tokyo!  The jet lag has subsided, I’m feeling rejuvenated, and I’m ready to type!

Since there are SO MANY pictures and SO MUCH to write about, I’m going to separate my report into 3 sections.

I’m going to start with the main purpose of my trip, the International Tokyo Toy Show 2017, which was held at the Tokyo Big Sight – Tokyo International Exhibition Center.

It was a BLAST! I got to see first hand, just how much Sylvanian Families (Calico Critters) are really loved by people; surpassing generations, gender, and nationality!!  I was very honored to be able to spend time with people at Epoch during the show, and have learned that everyone at Epoch loves Sylvanian Families more than we can ever imagine.  There’s a lot that goes into their products, and they’re not making “just another trendy toy,” they’re making something that will always be part of many of our lives forever.  There were tons of toy companies at the show, but Epoch’s booth had a very different, clam, and joyful atmosphere with the toys that are made with love and pride, with people that absolutely love what they do.

As expected, the show was very crowded, but it was super exciting to be a part of.  I’m going to show you photos of SF booth in this post.  (You won’t see many people in the photos because I took them before the show started, FYI.)

The Sylvanian Families Town Series won the award of excellence in girls’ toy category! Hooray!!

As usual, the Epoch booth had a gigantic diorama upfront, half of it being the town scenery, and the other half, village and ocean.  There were a few gimmicks, which made this diorama very exciting to look at; things like a moving tram, dolls that rocked back-and-forth, as well as some revolving doors.  My favorite was a little TV, which showed a cute SF animation that you could watch.  (Sorry, I totally forgot to shoot a video of it!)

  

At the center of the booth, was a play area for kids, which was constantly full with little kids.  I thought that the SF play mat on the table was super cute!

There also was a night scene diorama in a showcase.  I shot a video of this one, so check it out!

Night Scene Diorama

On public days, there were a couple of photo booths for the visitors where they could stand and get their photo taken with life sized(?) Calico Critters!.  I was totally in love with the little sofa! <3

 

Outside of the photo booths was a place to stand and get a photo taken with some of our favorite Sylvanians.  Apparently, the big sister Toy Poodle was there too, but in spite of being there for four days straight, I missed her! Garrr.

 

Here are some photos of some of the upcoming houses. You can combine the starter house and a big town house in a lot of different ways to enjoy a variety of formations.  The town house also has wall lights, which look very, very beautiful when lit.

   

Oh, they also had the furniture that will come out in Japan pretty soon! They’re all much more detailed than previous products, and gorgeous! They told me you can change the upholstery of the chairs of the living room set.

      

A cute little diorama! I think this set up is pretty clever for photo shooting!

They also had prototypes of new dolls out on the public days, though photos were not allowed in that area.  As far as I can remember, there were Pomeranian dogs, Papillon dogs, sloths, tigers, alpacas, horses, river otters, and sunflower rabbits.  My favorites were horses (VERY COOL LOOKING), alpacas (CUTE!), and sloth (DIFFERENT!!).  Personally, I’ve always felt strange to have horses as livestock in peaceful Sylvania, so it was cool to see that they were considering making horse characters too. 🙂

Tomorrow’s post will be about my diorama and the cute little Sylvanians that came and visited it.