I was in Tokyo to meet with a few modelling agencies. I wore my navy coat and the tallest shoes I had. I left my hair the way I always do, the way it is when I first wake in the morning. My driver picked me up at nine, white gloves and all. It was raining outside and I stepped over the puddles in my four-inch heels. I felt like a really giant Alice, slightly jet lagged, and having just fallen down the rabbit hole into an entirely different world. A world where everything was as kawaii as could be and pink pom pom earrings were the norm.
I spent my afternoons eating sushi, drinking sake and singing karaoke. I was one big cliché and I couldn’t have been happier. I explored the streets and photographed the nooks and the crannies that made up my new neighbourhood. I visited American Apparel and tiny jewellery stores. I fell in love with a new type of tea that I’ll never know the name of and ate more than my fair share of takoyaki. I saw the first lot of cherry blossoms and a lonely Harajuki girl amongst the crowd. I ate expensive cheesecakes, sat at rooftop tables and caught the subway. But eventually I had to leave, return from this wonderful fairytale land and say goodbye to my little neighbourhood, Akasaka.
Words and photos by Nicole Leybourne