While practicing my new Japanese conversation skills with a few lolitas one weekend in Harajuku, I was invited to go to Alamode Night 16. I knew there were events, but up until now I hadn’t known what they were called, where they where, or how to go to them. I decided I need to see what this was all about, checked the website for information, printed out a map, packed a small rolling suitcase, and headed to Tokyo for my first all night dance party. I wore a white puff sleeve blouse with my Metamorphose crown print skirt, but I completely forgot to take photos of my outfit before I left the house.
Now, living in Tsukuba means getting to Tokyo is a pain in the ass, but fortunately it’s good for long naps. I had to take a bus from the dorms to the bus station, where I waited for another large long distance bus to take me to Tokyo Station. From there I take the chuo line to Shinjuku, and in total, depending on traffic, takes about 2 hours. If I go to Harajuku it’s another train from Shinjuku to Harajuku on the Yamanote line, but that’s only like a 4 minute ride.
I managed to get to Shinjuku around 11pm, it was freezing, and the map was very vague, I stopped at a few convenience stores for directions and clomped around in my oversized platforms for 45 minutes until I spotted a few other visually dressed people and proceeded to go into awkward stalker mode and casually follow them. It was a good idea, as while following them I passed what looked to be the venue, but I wasn’t sure, so I kept going, then realizing when they ducked into a nearby convenience store and triple checking my map, I indeed had passed the entrance, and quickly doubled back.
I descended the stairs, and a doorman took my money and gave me a drink ticket, and let me in. The venue was underground with black wood beam ceilings, a dance floor, a bar, and a few pop up shops. There were several musical acts dispersed between the dj dance party sessions. I can’t remember them, except I do remember listening to Seria sing for the first time, and I was blown away by his vocal range. Not to mention singing in opera in Italian. I really had more respect for him that night moreso that I already did for his impeccable style and work within the fashion community.
I met a lot of new people that night, another western lolita dressed all in Moitie, who turned out to be a totally crazy person. I gave her my drink ticket (not a fan of drinking when my bed is 2 hours away). She said she was there to do graduate school research, and went around asking people multiple questions for a her survey. My Japanese skills were still lacking to be able to talk to any of the locals for longer than 5 minutes, but I managed to dance and enjoy all the shows. Afterwards, Moitie girl took me with a group of her friends to Coco’s, a Denny’s style restaurant, for some pancakes and a public group nap. One thing about Japan I have learned is that restaurants that don’t have time limits (many require you to leave within 90 minutes), like Coco’s and McDonalds, turn into makeshift napping stations. Japanese people are extremely adept at sleeping while sitting in a chair and resting their heads on their arms atop the table. Everyone slept while I just felt silly and uncomfortable. Around 10am, M arrived and I went to pick her up from Shinjuku station for her first Sunday in Harajuku.
The only evidence I have of going to Alamode Night is this tiny photo of the dance floor, but it’s better than nothing I guess.