After finding inspiration on the web for the rustic baby shower / going away party, I was ready to hit the stores and start DIY-ing! Prepping for a party in a foreign country is different than at home in the US. Like most families in Tokyo, we don’t own a car so any decor has to be train friendly and light, compact, and sturdy enough for me to carry to the party location and back without any breakage. Small or light supplies with maximum impact are great like the details from my virtual bridal shower.
Like any big city, we don’t have space to store party supplies so one-time use supplies are best. If I buy anything that needs to be stored, I make sure that they’re versatile for many different events or for everyday home use.
Most supplies are more expensive so it’s important to pick and choose the elements that are important to you and bargain-shop or DIY the rest. For example, inflating regular helium balloons are surprisingly expensive, and the service is available at very few places. Flowers are also a premium in Tokyo, and the selection is much smaller than in the US. And if you want anything vintage or distressed, prepare to pay an arm and a leg for it.
The biggest difference is that a lot of the past and current trends found on the web haven’t (or will never) make it here. On the flip side, there’s a lot of cool Japanese-style goods that haven’t made it to the trends too. So when you’re out shopping with ideas in your mind, it’s important to be flexible and keep your eyes open for things you didn’t imagine. Also, it’s good to plan ahead in case there’s anything you’ll need to DIY.
After all is said and done, just relax, breathe, and have fun! The best decor for any event is guests chatting it up and enjoying the party!