DC to Japan

My First Time in Japan, Bottling This Feeling FOREVER!

Hi friends and happy Monday!

Wow it’s February already and I am already planning for my May trip to Japan. *eek!*

As I sit here preparing posts on top of posts of shares from my last trip in November. (ikr! finally huhuhu) It’s been 2 years of (remote) building there ALREADY! *looks up 💭... where’d the time go?!*

In that time, though, I have been blessed to touch some amazing dreams of working in Japan. So I guess my time was being spent wisely.

Well I couldn’t help but become a bit nostalgic about my first trip to Japan. Though I had already been grounded in the tattoo industry for over 9 years, Japan in June 2013 was my first “vacation” as a working professional. It was so amazing and I think I was pretty successful in bottling that feeling forever.

Take a trip down memory lane with me~

My travel buddy (anxiety item) was the Kidrobot x Tado collaboration panda plushie. He now stays at home to annoy my beau when we’re apart. 😀

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let’s go Shinagawa Prince Hotel!


Check in with friends. Announce that I am alive. Die in my bed from exhaustion >.<


seriously?! how did we EVER get along with flip phones? SO ANNOYING >>.<<

FirstTime for Everything! ❤

Of course! It’s my first time in Japan … in a whole other  UNIVERSE so of course it’s my first attempt at life here, period. haha

♡ Hotels & Transit ♡

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fancy business hotels with cool greetings and … vending machine rooms?! #swag 😮😬😎

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first time riding trains in Japan …
looks like New York transit so this should be easy! ^^

so crowded … until now, I’d only seen this on YouTube! whhhaaa~

♡ Harajuku ♡


my, my HELLO Harajuku & Takeshita Dori. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu ~

♡ O Nom Noms ♡


fist time at a REAL izakaya~
there are plenty in DC, but none with that … feel! (yah know?!)

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kawaii obento!!!!! ❤ a welcome surprise made special by a friend

♡ Culture & Entertainment ♡

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I was complimented on sitting seiza effortlessly but it’s been my favorite way to sit since I was young … maybe reincarnation IS real *hee hee*

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I LOVE looms and happy he took the time to talk about the craft with me ❤ I was also proud I understood most things even though I couldn’t respond >.<
(shy AND my Japanese is still weak but gambattimasu yo!)

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I fell in love with Mitaka right HERE!

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hidden jinjya (Japanese temple) in Shinagawa

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checked out the homies, Dramatic Soul, at a polka dot themed music showcase event

♡ Randomness ♡

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I’m almost positive I’ve NEVER seen cats just chilling like this 😹

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(☝︎)I’ve never been on a random ferris wheel in the middle of a busy city
or seen such a beautiful view of a metropolis (☟)

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hey! I got lost and ended up here ^^

Awahhh~ KawaiiKiddy Land

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WELCOME to Japan!


Good Peoplex Good Times!

I never subscribed to the kindness of strangers until my first trip to Japan. As Americans we’re bred to be independent and self-contained. I never realised HOW self-contained I truly am … and I’m not talking introversion. I want to change this ~

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so many smiles with people I never knew before this trip was so refreshing!
most of us were language exchange friends online, ONLY, for years before I made the jump~

Thingsto Take Back …

♡ Kawaii Reads for Continuing Language Immersion ♡

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Shin Chan!!! I was so happy it’s easy Japanese ❤

trying to read signs is my new hobby there but if I don’t understand it, I take a picture and study when I return home ^^

♡ Kawaii Hauls ♡

friends (and the hotels) gave me so many welcome and parting gifts so I didn’t buy much

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According to society, as a black woman hailing from a single parent home and the ghetto neighbourhoods of DC, I am supposed to be an uneducated, unwed mother possibly on welfare.

But somehow God saw fit to guide my mom in raising me so that I can break out of the box I was placed in. I was am able to change my stars.

My first trip reminds me of this every time because I did it ON MY OWN – my money, my terms, and traveled alone.

These feelings that I want to bottle aren’t my feels fem being in Japan, but the feelings of dreaming and someday attaining those dreams.

I want to bottle this feeling so that it inspires other youth to chase their dreams.

Follow my snapchat + Instagram (@ipukekawaii) to Japan with me! ^.^

Gambare, minna


Imani (イマーニ)

Let’s keep in Touch!


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