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Dolly Lonely Planet: Where in the World to Travel with Dolls

Mar 4, 2012

    1. So, I'm heading to Singapore for the weekend, and it's going to be my first trip abroad with my dolls. Previously, I've only gone on flights around the country with them. Now, this has got me thinking: what attractions/places do your recommend when you're traveling with your dolls?

      And by that, I mean, do you have any favorite places in your hometown/country where you think anyone who owns a doll should see? Or, are there certain attractions that are great for taking photos of dolls, or places that are doll-friendly?

      Aside from that, are there any regular doll-related events happening in your neck of the woods? It'll be great to come up with some kind of inspiring database for those who love to travel with their dolls :D
    2. Sounds like an interesting idea to have a database of doll-friendly places.

      Unfortunately, I don't have any.
    3. Aww, that's alright :3 Well, hopefully, someone's got something to share. I might have a few, too. I'm just a little lazy to make a list at the moment.
    4. If I had a BJD, I'd like to take a picture atop the Tokyo Tower. I'm sure BJDs are a common enough sight in Japan, right? Or, balanced on the ledge of the Grand Canyon here in the States.
    5. Singapore is a bit of a troublesome place to shoot anything, dollies or people. We have some standard areas of reasonably nice scenery, but they tend to be small areas and may be somewhat scattered. If you're down for a weekend, though, you could try visiting Orchard Road, which is our shopping street.

      If you go up one end of it, you'll reach the Botanic Gardens, which is always nice for shooting at. It is also fairly large (well, to me, at any rate), and some locations take longer to walk to, so do pack water and a comfy pair of shoes.

      Along Orchard, there is a mall called Orchard Central, which has a rooftop garden that looked pretty nice. It's rather small, though, so shots might be limited. Within the building, there are many restaurants and cafes that you could hang out at too, which are still pretty spanking new and clean, and somewhat quiet. Usually, no one would disturb us when we have our dolls out at the cafes and restaurants. By our subway (MRT), you'd get off at Somerset to get to Orchard Central.

      Further down the road, there's a small park called Istana Park. It's one stop down by subway, but really within walking distance. I like shooting dolls there because they have a footpath or two that are more doll-scale than human scale. It's also fairly quiet, and conveniently located. The subway stop is Dhoby Ghaut.

      Even further down the road, you start approaching Fort Canning, which is a little hill that used to have a fort on it. The fort gates are still up there, and some walls. It's kind of a standard location for wedding shoots, because of the old-style architecture, but you could probably get a few nice shots there with dollies too.

      On the other side of Canning Hill, you would have reached the Singapore river. The river sides are pretty well decorated, and there are pretty bridges alone the length of the river. It's definitely not a big river by global standards. May not be a very good spot to shoot, because the two sides of the river tend to be filled with restaurants and bars, but you might get lucky in the quieter spots. There are also two malls that are located in the area, Liang Court and The Central. Both have good Japanese food, and are quieter than the malls on Orchard Road, so they are nice places to chill.

      Another location you could consider would be the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay. They have a rooftop garden, which would give you a nice view of the bayfront area, that has recently been prettified for tourism. The area around there is fairly scenic, but designed more for human-sized tourists than doll tourists. ;)

      The last place I can think of off the top of my head is CHIJMES. It's a former school compound that has been converted into a dining area, with colonial architecture and I think there's a chapel there. There are SD-scale old-timey streetlamps on the grounds.

      There may be more places to visit, like Sentosa, or Marina Bay Sands, but you can probably refer to our tourism website for better information on those tourist places. And don't worry about visiting 'tourist places'. They are designed for your enjoyment, after all. Singapore is very artificial, so please don't worry too much about authenticity. Just be warned that the food and especially the drinks tend to be a bit more pricey in those areas.

      Right, also, if you want more specific details or instructions or information, do feel free to PM me.
    6. I travel around a bit, and I visited Singapore last October.
      As lexis says, it`s rather artificial, and natural shootings are very hard to achieve >_<
      As we were on a tour, I didn`t have time to drag big dolls never less they`re heavy and the transportation we had were the bus, which we couldn`t really leave anything in. I took shots during High tea, some airborne shots while looking at Marina Bay Sands from the Singapore flyer, and then some shots while on the ferry with the Merlion in the background. Oh and USS.

      Now in Japan, though many assume BJD`s are "popular", not everyone accepts it and there is mockery involved. Doll owners don`t carry them in their arms or anything out in the open, so people who don`t know them really don`t know they exist. Sometimes taking them out for open shoots involve throwing of the doll and babies chomping down on your DD`s head. You`re really not going to get too much help from the police regarding damaged dolls, our police sucks. Not to mention we are very crowded. You`re going to have to ditch the idea of taking large dolls to the Skytree and the Tower, people WANT to walk around, and placing dolls to take photos means taking up quite a bit of space and blocking people. Staff may actually say don`t take the dolls out. You`re going to have to learn the Japanese culture first, we do stay silent about it, but it`s important you absolutely don`t get in other people`s way (Seriously, remember how smoothly our 3/11 lunchlines were?). So unless your doll is very easy to pull out (like Yo-SD`s), please don`t do it. That is how "oh they`re dolly people they`re ill mannered and get in other`s way. Lets`s mock them" occurs. Please think courtesy first, pictures second. I really can`t stress this enough as Doll owners are bashed around a bit unlike popular belief.

      As for photo-opportunity places inside tokyo, I recommend the Ikebukuro Namjatown, if you don`t come as a huge batch of people and aim for the weekdays. It`s a popular place to go during the weekends, and does collaborations with popular anime and such and does get crowded during them. However, one thing you should know is that it`s rather DARK, so carry if possible flash with a whitescreen on it with you. Otherwise, the areas are themed quite well and is enjoyable. You can also if you enjoy aquariums, go to the Sunshine Aquarium located a few floors above it. Again, weekdays are recommended.
      Other Tokyo areas where you might be able to pull off photos is the pathway to the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. The pathway is HUGE, so unless it`s new years you`re probably going to be able to take photos standing right in the middle. I recommend summer here when the leaves are lush green.

      Now, if you love photospaces made for BJD`s, you`ve got Volks Showrooms if you own their dolls, and Dolk+ will have photo spaces also and they accept all dolls.
      You`re going to need someone who speaks japanese to reserve (photospace needs reservation), but you can also take photos in Milk Crown Cafe located in Nakano. This is a NORMAL cafe, usually, and they do ask you "don`t get in other customer`s way".

      Places you can go still relatively near the east side.
      I`ve found that Hot Springs are a nice place to take photos of if you stay in a nice Ryokan. Hakone has a Petite prince museum, where their garden allows you to take photos. (But not the indoor exhibit) You`ll have to watch out for possible strong winds though, it knocked my doll off stairs once. Also, on the way to Goura from Hakone, you can ride on a so-called "pirate" ship. You can take photos on the deck or where you sit, or take pics of the ships from the dock in the background. If you stay in a room with it`s own private Onsen, dollies can get right next to the bath. In the winter when it`s snowing, you get a really beautiful view. Not to mention some rooms look drop dead gorgeous and traditional. Now, going away from Hakone, another onsen spot, Kusatsu will have Yugama, which has snow if you`re lucky till the end of May. The thing about Yugama is that it`s one place where the onsen water starts off from, and is the color of sea green. Which is quite an interesting sight.
      I went during golden week and there weren`t that many people there as the hill you`ll climb is rather steep. Kusatsu also has a Tropical park, and you may just be able to take some photos of dolls with the animals as even though it`s huge, not many visit.
      Now if you`re an active person willing to walk around, I can recommend going to Mt. Takao. At the base of it is a Trick art museum,&#12288;which obviously means photo taking time. Tokyo tower also has one, but it is crowded unlike the Mt. Takao one as it`s quite a distance away. Mt. Takao also has a colorful temple and great scenery(In the fall it`s very beautiful). You can also see Mt. Fuji from here.
    7. Oh no, my ignorance is showing! Seriously, thank you for the enlightnement. I, admittedly, know little of Japan outside of the JRPGs I play, which is sad in and of itself, I know. I thought it would be more wide-spread and accepted there, however. But thank you for the correction and the insight into your culture. I would definately be deemed as a "stupid American" and be glared upon profusely if I ever got the chance to go there!
    8. I really love taking my smaller dolls with me to Disney World. Epcot in particular has some great places for pictures.