Best summer activities in Vancouver BC! CICA Vancouver Sorayama, Capilano Bridge, Miku sushi, Fairmont Pacific Rim.

hajime sorayama cica vancouver bc space travelers robots

Domo arigato, Mrs Roboto! I had a grand time this summer in Vancouver, as I do my best to avoid travel in the high season (too expensive and Collapse-prone these days).

Instead, I stayed home in British Columbia and enjoyed art exhibitions (including Hajime Sorayama’s sci fi futurism), sushi on the waterfront, day trips to islands, and outdoor activities.

Read on for my offbeat, artsy guide to the top summer activities in Vancouver, BC — and check out the accompanying videos/reels on my Instagram @LaCarmina.

El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo satanism book la carmina

First, an announcement on the writing front…. My latest publication, “The Little Book of Satanism,” was translated into Spanish! It’s available now from Spain-based publisher Melusina, who did the translation and new cover design above.

To get a copy of my translated book, Google “El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo” (and more info below en español). The Little Book of Satanism is also available in English through AmazonKindleBarnes and Noble and Simon & Schuster. Canadians can find it at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon Canada — or simply search for the title to find it near you.

spanish book satanism melusina El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo lacarmina translation

Here’s the Spanish description of my book “El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo”:

“Con demasiada frecuencia, el satanismo se malinterpreta como una religión que hace sacrificios de sangre a un malvado Príncipe de las Tinieblas con cuernos y cola. En realidad, los satanistas modernos no son violentos ni teístas, y consideran que el Diablo es una metáfora significativa para la búsqueda del conocimiento, la razón y la justicia.

Nos asomamos así a la marca de la bestia en los movimientos culturales e históricos a lo largo de los siglos, que han informado las creencias y prácticas sinceras de los satanistas en la actualidad. Escrita por la galardonada periodista de cultura alternativa y bloguera La Carmina, esta completa guía incluye información sobre los orígenes bíblicos de Satanás y sus diversos nombres, apariencias y símbolos; su trato en la tradición esotérica del siglo XIX, así como su papel como chivo expiatorio, desde los juicios de brujas medievales hasta el «pánico satánico» desatado en la década de 1980. El libro concluye con una revisión concisa de la filosofía y las prácticas modernas, centrándose en la Iglesia de Satán, La Biblia satánica escrita por Anton LaVey y el activismo del Templo Satánico.”

EL PEQUEÑO LIBRO DEL SATANISMO de La Carmina, una obra que ahonda en sus valores afirmativos como inspiración en la vida. 14 x 21 cm. Páginas: 112. ISBN-13:978-84-18403-80-4. Precio: 14,90€.

satancon the satanic temple convention little book of satanism paperback review

To grab a copy of my Spanish-translated book, Google “El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo.”

The English version (“The Little Book of Satanism”) is also available worldwide from all major retailers. See links below, or Google the book title to find it near you.

la carmina the little book of satanism book review rating amazon goodreads

I asked ChatGPT to describe my book, and the AI spat out: “The Little Book of Satanism” provides a brief overview of the philosophy and practices of Satanism. Written by La Carmina, it covers topics such as the history of Satanism, the Satanic Bible, and the rituals and practices of Satanism. “The Little Book of Satanism” is a concise introduction to the basic ideas of Satanism and the worldview of its adherents.”

Order my Satanic book worldwide via AmazonKindleBarnes and Noble or Simon & Schuster. Those in Canada can find it at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon Canada. Thank you for reading — gracias!

hajime sorayama space sci fi sexy women robots fembot

Speaking of robotos — I was chuffed to visit the CICA Vancouver in Gastown for the first time. The Vancouver Centre of International Contemporary Art is a space for boundary-pushing works like the sci-fi visions of Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama.

space travelers hajime sorayama robot ai sculptures in tanks

Sorayama’s superrealist Mrs Robotos and visions of artificial intelligence / femininity / human emotions are out of this universe. CICA’s “Space Travelers” show features this immersive installation — doesn’t it remind you of an alien movie?

sorayama iron man marvel japanese sci fi painting

Since the 1970s, Hajime Sorayama has been mesmerizing viewers with his robotic-space-fantasy visions, which have a surprising warmth. I got to see his earliest commercial works from the 1970s, and large-scale paintings with pop culture themes like his take on Marvel’s Iron Man. (Wearing a leopard print active jacket by Mulu.)

hajime sorayama dior robot mrs roboto superrealism japan artist

Sorayama is known for his sexy robot ladies, which inspired films like Robocop and Ex Machina.

So shiny and chrome… To see how the light reflects off the metal surfaces and mirrors, watch my video of the CICA Sorayama show. (I always set my reels to the best space disco songs!)

space travelers cica contemporary art museum vancouver sorayama hajime

Sorayama has become more well-known in recent years due to his collaborations with Dior (above), Uniqlo, and more.

Space Travelers: Hajime Sorayama canada solo exhibition

Hajime Sorayama created mecha-dino sculptures for the film Jurassic World, which continue the theme of sentience vs AI. A remarkable show at CICA — and I can’t wait to see more of his works when I’m in Tokyo, where the artist is based!

long blue black dyed hair asian japanese hairstyles alternative dark

Here’s a first look at my new blue-black hair by Katya at Kore Salon in Vancouver. Happy to change up my look from the purple, which I’ve now had for years!

I took my new lilac cloud bag from Verafied to Buntzen Lake in Anmore, BC. My jacket is Mulu — love the cropped fit and breathable fabric, and glad to rep a woman-run, size inclusive label (up to 7XL).

mulu love activewear leopard print jacket fitness designer clothes

Buntzen Lake and this pier were the shooting locations of horror films Lake Placid, Freddy v Jason, and Jennifer’s Body. Quite a few cult movies were shot in BC, which is known as Hollywood North.

fairmont pacific rim hotel rooftop pool cabanas

Here’s the purple-blue hair I had before switching it up. Catching the breeze at the rooftop pool of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. I was writing a review of this stylish luxury hotel, which gave me an opportunity to hang at their waterfront property.

(Wearing a black MISBHV shrug and UK Swimwear top.)

vancouver waterfront hotel pool fairmont pacific rim willow spa review

You couldn’t ask for a better summer day at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s outdoor pool fringed by palm trees, overlooking the North Shore mountains and harbour.

fairmont hotel pacific rim cabanas rentals outdoor pool

My friends and I lounged in this private cabana, and devoured salads, falafel, poke, and Prosecco.

See my Insta reel / video of our Fairmont Pacific poolside hang here.

botanist restaurant food dinner menu fairmont pacific rim

And then, dinner downstairs at Botanist Restaurant, one of the most exquisite fine dining spots in the city. The Chef’s Selection at Botanist was to die for: gorgeous, gorgeous cocktails and full-flavored Pacific Northwest creations like a quail’s egg on a floral black truffle nest, and perfectly charred kanpachi on creamed corn.

capilano suspension bridge park totem poles vancouver

I also served Sporty Spice for a day at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I hadn’t been to this iconic North Vancouver landmark since the 90s, and discovered that there’s so much to see and do now — like a  daredevil cliffwalk and treetops adventure, and encounters with birds of prey!

I’m into the Y2K crochet bolero vibe these days. It’s hand-knit by Maryuan77, who sells them here on Depop.

capilano bridge tickets hours entry tips north vancouver

The Capilano Suspension bridge hangs 140 metres above the rocky river, and sways as people move across. The bridge was originally built in 1889, and became a leading tourist attraction in the 1980s. (Rest assured that there’s nothing sus about the bridge’s safety!)

exercise dresses white tennis dress active dress activewear

Capilano Park now has many other outdoor activities for all ages, like the Treetops Adventures. I had fun moving across seven footbridges hanging between tall fir trees, and looking down at the forest floor.

vancouver bc totem poles art capilano artists outdoor sculptures

Another highlight: Capilano’s totem or story poles, which were carved by local indigenous artists. They depict spirits and animals that have special meaning in their culture, like the Raven and Bear. (If you’re interested in BC First Nations art, I recommend UBC’s Museum of Anthropology as well.)

girl walking across capilano bridget tourism travel blogger

Be sure to wear sneakers or good walking shoes. I’m a fan of active / fitness dresses these days, which come with shorts and a built-in bra.

capilano suspension bridge vancouver park landmark bridges

Would you step onto Capilano’s suspended bridge?

y2k crochet boleros knit shrug arm covers

Check out my video from Capilano Bridge Park here (it’s set to the Bee Gees!)

capilano bridge park trees hike, birds of prey wild bird

The forest is home to birds of prey, like this adorable kestrel.

capilano skywalk tickets entry visit

The Cliffwalk was beautifully designed — it’s a narrow cantilevered walkway that curves around the Capilano River Canyon.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is lovely to visit year-round. It will soon transform into Canyon Frights for Halloween, and the attractions are then lit up with lights for the winter holidays.

vancouver content creator influencer fashion style instagrammer

Who here is part of Leo Nation? For my birthday on August 17, I received the best present imaginable from my favorite Vancouver restaurant, Miku. They invited photographer Joey Wong and me to try a seven course kaiseki of dreams!

For my bday dinner, I wore this eyeballs puff dress by Sourpuss Clothing.

miku cocktails yuzu cocktail vancouver bc

Miku is part of Aburi Restaurants, which has become a worldwide name for their creative Japanese cuisine (they invented the pressed salmon and jalapeno oshi sushi, which is often copied but never surpasses the original).

Predictably, I ordered all the cocktails with yuzu (it’s my birthday after all). The Paper Crane (whiskey, amaro, aperol, yuzu) came with an origami bird.

miku omakase kaiseki tasting menu japanese chef

The chefs spoiled us with a multi-course menu featuring the freshest catch of the day and Miku’s signature aburi nigiri. Everything was beautifully plated on handmade Arita plateware from Kyushu, Japan.

vancouver best japanese restaurant miku aburi restaurants

I loved visiting Tohoku last year with the Japan Tourism Board. The Iwate wagyu croquette with yuzu creme fraiche and black truffle snow brought back tasty memories.

best sashimi japanese food vancouver high end pressed sushi miku

Here’s a video of my Miku kaiseki meal. The chef’s selection of sashimi came with dramatic puffs of dry ice, and each slice melts in your mouth (scallop, tuna, hamachi).

vancouver pan pacific hotel at night rainbow lights waterfront harbour

Miku’s waterfront setting and attentive service are also unbeatable (no wonder the Japanese restaurant is Michelin recommended). You can sit indoors or outside on the patio, and take in the lights of Canada Place convention centre and ferry terminal.

miku wagyu beef minami japanese vancouver restaurant

I’m a little allergic to shellfish, so the chefs changed up the menu and invented this wagyu x sukiyaki sauce x mushrooms dish just for me!

miku aburi oshi sushi nigiri kaiseki japanese sushi vancouver

The nigiri platter was a show-stopper. Vancouver is known for having some of the world’s best sushi, and Miku’s high quality fish / seafood paired with creative sauces and ingredients are top of the line.

vancouver birthday dinner restaurants dessert miku

And the sweetest ending: peach earl grey mouse (even Joey got a belated birthday cake). Thank you Miku for a kaiseki dinner I’ll always remember. (Check them out in Vancouver and Toronto, and sister restaurant Minami in Yaletown too.)

bowen island bc ferries horseshoe bay

I leave you with some photos from a day trip to Bowen Island, British Columbia. It’s a much-loved summer getaway spot for those in Vancouver — Bowen is only a 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, and you get to take in these spectacular views of the water and tall mountains.

tunstall beach bowen island british columbia

When you arrive, stop at the pier for Earnest ice cream and smoked salmon tacos. Then, head over to Tunstall Bay beach — I’m wearing AmyLynn Clothing on the shore.

amylynn clothing puffball white dress dresses

The waters are cool and oh so clear. (Photos by Yusheng.)

bowen island beaches attractions tourism what to do see

Thousands of you loved my video of the Bowen Island day trip — come give it a view, and see more Instagram @LaCarmina reels here.

bowen island tourism travel park killarney lake

I’m not a camping / hiking type, but it’s lovely to get outdoors in the Pacific Northwest during the hottest months. Wearing fashion from Tokyo at Killarney Lake on Bowen Island.

la carmina spanish translation little book of satanism EL PEQUEÑO LIBRO DEL SATANISMO

Did you have a fun summer as well? Now, let’s get ready for spooky season… including Halloween in Japan! Follow along @LaCarmina on social media to see my costume and adventures in Tokyo and beyond.

And thank you for reading my book! If you’d like the Spanish translation, Google “El Pequeño Libro del Satanismo” to find it. “The Little Book of Satanism” is also found on AmazonKindleBarnes and Noble and Simon & Schuster. Those in Canada can find it at Chapters/Indigo or

I’m back in Japan for Halloween! Shibuya The Church Goth bar, Akihabara cosplay & arcades, Dawn Avatar robot cafe.

japan gaming center arcade portraits pictures inside

It’s going to be the best Halloween ever… because Japan National Tourism Board is sending me back to 日本 for a month and a half!

From October to November, I’ll be Goth-ing it up around Tokyo and other cities. You’re invited to join me and friends for spooky festivities on Oct 7 (Yukiro’s drag Casket of Horrors) and Oct 29 (Mistress Maya’s Bizarre Night Circus with a performance by Yukiro) — full info below.

Read on for my fab Halloween Japan plans — as well a look inside a Tokyo church-themed bar, robot cafe, and more.

electric town akihabara subway exit crossing street

I’m grateful to Japan National Tourism Board for supporting my upcoming trip. In return for the flights, train passes and more, I’ll be delivering travel articles and photos about my experiences for leading publications (stay tuned).

My plans: first, I’ll be in Tokyo from early Oct to Nov — of course, I timed the trip around spooky season! Get ready for a deluge of Halloween coverage on my @LaCarmina Instagram featuring friends who will also be there (John, Trevor, Yukiro and other familiar faces).

sanrio hello kitty train subway car

Then, I’ll spend two weeks hopping around by train, thanks to the Japan Rail Pass from JNTO. l plan on maximizing the unlimited 14-day train pass and hitting up Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, Kanazawa and Shirakawa. Let me know if you have tips for any of these destinations.

tokyo japan arcades game centers ufo crane games

If you’re in Japan this fall, I hope you’ll come to the following events with my pals and me!

⛧ Oct 7: Casket of Horrors, Tokyo’s leading drag queen extravaganza masterminded by Yukiro. His Haus Von Schwarz and guest performers will be strut the stage at Shinjuku Club Science. Get discounted advance tickets here, or at the door.

⛧ Oct 29: Mistress Maya (of Midnight Mess) presents Bizarre Night Circus at Salon de Suigeikan in Kamakura. I can’t wait to see the venue, which is a funhouse filled with taxidermy and outsider art. Maya’s Halloween event includes a kinbaku rope show, a drag show by Yukiro, and other alternative performances (it runs from the afternoon to 8pm). More info here, and I hope to see you there!

sailor moon evil chibiusa black wicked lady costume halloween cosplay hair

Currently planning my Halloween costume for this year… (Above, I was Wicked Lady / evil Chibiusa from Sailor Moon last October).

Do you ever wonder how I have Internet on my phone when in Japan? My trick is to get an eSim from iFree MOGO for my smartphone! In the old days, people could only insert physical SIM cards into cell phones — but now, you can digitally activate a data plan for your device, and get online when you’re in Japan or traveling elsewhere.

MOGO’s website has electronic SIM plans for over 80 countries and different lengths of time (I got their 60-day 10GB Japan eSIM for my new iPhone 15 Pro). They offer stable connections and coverage at affordable rates, and have 24/7 live chat support. If you haven’t heard of eSims, check out iFree MOGO — it’s the easiest way I found to have the Internet on my phone when I’m abroad.

akihabara maid cafes maids giving flyers in streets

To get us even more excited for Halloween in Japan, here are some Akiba photos from my trip last fall, taken by Joey Wong (the tourism board sent us to Tohoku on a press trip, before the country re-opened to tourists). No wonder Akihabara is known as Electric Town — the vibe is electrifying here.

japanese teen cosplayers bandage over eye guro

Akihabara is known as Tokyo’s anime / manga / otaku / Jpop culture district. You’ll come across young Japanese dressed up in alt fashion or cosplay, like these two friends.

tokyo japan cosplayers festival outfits cosplay dancers

People come to Akihabara to unapologetically “geek out.” You can cosplay as your favorite cartoon, comic or video game characters…

akihabara akiba streets signs buildings

… and shop for figurines, body pillows, retro game cartridges, you name it.

japanese girl in video game arcade tokyo taito gaming center

Head to one of the many game centers to try picking out a toy with a UFO catcher. (Japan’s gaming arcades don’t allow you to take photos inside, but Joey managed to sneak a few shots.)

akihabara maid cafes signs billboards amime

Then, have lunch at a maid cafe — these theme restaurants are still popular in Akiba. (The staff wears French maid outfits, performs cute dances and treats you like royalty.)

Guro Lolita Yami Kawaii, gurokawa fashion street style tokyo girl

We loved this local’s guro Goth style and genki poses. (The eye bandaid is for aesthetic purposes only.)

tokyo cosplay outfits anime manga costumes

A typical scene in Electric Town. You’ll see lots of people dressed in anime/manga outfits giving out flyers.

akihabara electronics stores camera tech shops

Akihabara is the place to get new or used tech as well — robotos, computers, cameras, cell phones, etc. You can also get funky snacks like Sega-shaped taiyaki, and dine at themed restaurants like the Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe.

japanese weird vending machine girls sexy dvds

We stumbled upon a racy Japanese vending machine… This one contains adult DVDs. (VHS tapes in this genre remain popular as well in Japan.)

cute cosplayers japanese teen girls costumes makeup anime

Quite a few of my close friends will be in Tokyo for/around Halloween… can’t wait to dress up and celebrate with them!

tokyo robot cafe robots waiters ai restaurant

Akihabara is near the Dawn Avatar Robot Cafe, which is run by a staff of Mr Robotos! Here’s our video of the Tokyo robot cafe, which lets you see the androids in action.

dawn avatar robot cafe akihabara robots servers

At DAWN Avatar Robot Café, different-sized robots are remotely controlled by disabled workers. They greet you with a bow and wave, take your order, and serve it to your table.

I also came across a police patrol robot at Narita Airport… AI is indeed taking over. Check out my footage of helpful Japanese robotos in my Instagram video.

japan arcade games neon lights futuristic

Japan is full of contradictions… the robotics and arcade games are futuristic, but many businesses still use floppy disks, fax machines, and websites that look like they were coded in 1999.

miffy games stuffed toys ufo crane game

Miffy has become omnipresent in Japan, much to my delight. It used to be difficult to find Miffy items…

miffy crane game ufo machine tokyo

… but now, you can find her X-mouth all over Tokyo, including inside UFO catcher / crane games.

tokyo drag queens events japan drag shows

Now, let’s hang with my friends in Shibuya. I met up with the glamorous Triesste before she conquered the stage with humor at the Tokyo Comedy Bar.

tokyo comedy bar drag comedian performers japanese

Tokyo Comedy Bar has stand up shows in English and Japanese, and draws a friendly alternative / LGBTQ crowd. Shota had the crowd in tears from his hilarious story-time.

japan lgbtq pride parade drag queens

Can’t wait to see more comedy, music, and drag performances when I’m back in Japan. Of course, I’ll be sharing all these stories with you on this blog and @LaCarmina social media.

the church shibuya dogenzaka bar

And then, my Goth comrades and I had a blasphemous night out at The Church. This slightly sacrilegious Christian-themed bar is the Dōgenzaka district of Shibuya. With stained glass windows and crosses, the exterior looks like you’re about to enter into the house of the Lord.

 the church nuns christian cathedral themed bar shibuya nuns

Nuns in full habits greet you — but instead of blessing you, they’re here to tempt you into licentiousness and liquor!

 christon cafe tokyo japan bars club halloween parties

Christon Cafe in Shinjuku is now closed, but The Church takes over with a similar kitschy Christianity vibe.

the church dj booth altar goth gothic bars japanese

The Church’s altar doubles as a DJ booth… but the music consists of live EDM instead of Gregorian chants.

tokyo satanic heavy metal pub the church satanist bar

The interior decor continues the sacred theme with Holy Bibles, rows of wooden pews, crucifixes, and pointed arches.

dogenzaka the church tokyo shibuya bar drinks entry

Ask one of the nun bartenders for a glass of blood red wine, and give a toast to Satan before dancing the night away.

japanese bible the church theme bar shibuya dogenzaka

We’ll always make time on a Sunday to go to church… if it’s The Church in Shibuya!

shibuya hard rock heavy metal store

I’ll leave you with some final demonic snaps from Shibuya. I popped into Blitz rock shop, which sells heavy metal and hard rock merch.

pokemon gengar toys plushes tokyo

Shibuya is one of my favorite shopping districts. In Don Quixote and Village Vanguard, you’ll be confronted by shelves of kawaii mascots like Pokemon’s Gengar.

sanrio store goods shops hello kitty kuromi

The devilish Kuromi is popular in Japan, especially around Halloween.

kuromi toys accessories village vanguard shibuya

I love how plump they made these Sanrio characters!

miffy shop store tokyo shibuya kawaii merch

Miffy the Dutch bunny has her own row of goodies at Village Vanguard.

japanese weirdest mascots scary character mascot

You can find retro and lesser known characters in the basement of VV.

shibuya 109 sanrio store hello kitty plushes kuromi

I’ll never grow tired of Japanese kawaii character design.

hello kitty stores tokyo japan shopping collectibles

I was into the subdued colors and rounder shapes of this Sanrio collection inside Shibuya 109.

special edition sanrio japan kuromi toys

You can find Hello Kitty shops all over Tokyo, including in Shibuya and Shinjuku.

sanrio purses bags hello kitty designer purse tote

In Japan, there’s a greater selection of Sanrio goods as well as limited edition pieces like these Kuromi bags.

tokyo cute mascot stores sanrio hello kitty keychains

The yen remains low, so I’ll be doing some damage when I’m back here…

hello kitty themed subway cars train japan rail sanrio

See you cuties in Tokyo and other cities this Halloween! (Japan Tourism is sending me to the Land of the Rising Sun from October to November — join me at the alt parties on Oct 7 and 29, described at the top of this post.)

For tons of spooky Japanese content, add @LaCarmina on Instagram, as well as FB, TT and X (is that what we call Twitter now?). またね — see you later!