PikaBot (pikabot) wrote,
PikaBot
pikabot

OK SO THAT JAPAN TRIP THING

OK so first was the plane trip over. Short flight to Toronto, then a whopping twelve hour flight to Narita airport. Read Mostly Harmless on the way over (good book, but not Adams' best) and watched the following movies:

Gran Torino - good movie, but the plot sort of meanders midway through.

Inglorious Basterds - I liked a lot of scenes from this one but it felt like it had one hitler assassination plot too many.

Episodes of the Office and 30 Rock - lol. I need to watch these more often.

Anyways, after making it through customs and immigration, I arrived in Tokyo proper, and had to negotiate the train system to get to Ueno station, where tobu_ishi was waiting to meet me, which I did successfully. From there we were off to our hotel!

The hotel is located in the Minami-Senju area, which apparently used to be a slum until Japan hosted the world cup or something, after which it was spruced up into a fairly clean hotel district for foreigners.

Had my first taste of Japanese cuisine that night: jumped straight into Sashimi. Wasn't bad, actually. The shellfish wasn't great, and the octopus was a bit rubbery, but otherwise fairly palatable.

I also learned something else about myself: Even a little alcohol makes me think I'm unsteady on my feet. I'm not actually, I just think I am. Which is silly, but what are you going to do.

The second and third days, we went to Comiket. Comiket, for those who don't know, is pretty much the world's biggest doujinshi market. I grabbed all sorts of stuff, from a hilarious Olivier doujin to some Jojo's stuff to some cute Brawl and Mother stuff and onwards. I found a pair of Zoro/Tashigi doujins, with the focus on Tashigi, which was a very pleasant surprise. I might make a separate post talking about all the doujin I bought.

The One Piece section was, sadly and predictably, made almost entirely of Zoro/Sanji. Most of the remainder was random Supernovas porn. There was an amusing 'Doflamingo molests random people' trend, though.

tobu_ishi brought her Aeris costume on the second day of Comiket and I remember to bring my camera, so I got pictures of her and other cosplayers! Her costume was unbelievably popular. Seriously, she couldn't move more than two feet in the cosplay photo area without twenty japanese dudes with cameras mobbing her. As follows:
















































At Comiket we bumped into a couple of tobu_ishi's friends, and after the second day of Comiket we went out to Kareoke together. Got to show off my falsetto. Fun was had.

After that, we went to Shibuya, bummed around and tried to find as many TWEWY landmarks as I could.

Here's me next to the statue of Hachiko:



And here's 109:




Here's a phone booth! I'm pretty sure it's not the phone booth, but close enough for me!





And here's me in front of Tower Records!




One New Years Eve, we went to a Temple to ring in the new year. It was actually pretty cool. We got to ring the bell! I smacked me head on the ringer on my way down from the pavilion, lol.

Here's the temple priests ringing it:




And this is us with Ms....Ishiyama? Something like that. She was this nice lady at the temple who showered us with historical fact about the Temple and the surrounding area, and was just RELENTLESSLY nice. I don't think we could have dissuaded her from being helpful if we wanted to.



New Year's Day we went to a different temple, the name of which I have forgotten. It was really jam pakced, as you can see from this photo of the entrance:



There were shops lining the entire way in, which was pretty cool. One was selling these super-fancy badminton rackets (no, really):



Check this one out:



Yes, that is Michael Jackson.

This is a really fancy-looking part of the temple, off to the side on the way in:



Here's tobu_ishi on the steps of the Tokyo Opera House, which if I'm not mistaken is the set of stairs April and November 11 chilled on while waiting for July to find the target in Darker than Black:




And here's a statue that was right behind me while I was taking that shot:



Most of the rest of the trip was spent in unstructured wandering around Tokyo. We went to Mandarake in Shinjuku and spent way too much on doujinshi (and a cute Nia figure). At some point we went to Animate! and I got a Professor Layton mug and a few posters.

In Ikebukuro, we saw two movies! She provided a quick running translation as we did. As a result we were leaned in really close together so as to not disrupt other people's listening experience, and some of the other theatergoers might have gotten the wrong idea, haha. Anyways, those films were:

One Piece: Strong World - SO AWESOME YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA. I now have two copies of Chapter Zero! One that I got at the door, and one somebody left in the theater.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva - Not quite as awesome as Strong World, but extremely cute. Also this Remi girl was INSANELY BADASS.

Also in Ikebukuro, we went to the parfait place called the Milky Way (which does serve other food, but...you go there for the parfaits). Here were our respective parfaits:




Oh my god, SO DELICIOUS.

Also cool was Odaiba. Odaiba is where just about all the real-world segments of Digimon were set, and you can actually spot the locations they were set in. For example, here's the building with the ball in it:




It's the Fuji TV building, and actually exists. You can even go inside the ball!



Also found in Odaiba:



Yes, Palette Town.

Here's the Giant Sky Wheel, which we rode. I tried to take some pictures from up there, but none of them came out. Sad day.



And Odaiba also contains the best train station name ever:



Last place we really went to was Harajuku, which is the Weird Fashion district. I bought a new hat there, to replace the one I misplaced during the trip.

Here's me ont he famous bridge! It's the one Hei gets thrown off of int he first episode of DtB:




This is the hotel we stayed in. The second one, anyway:



And here are some amusing signs from Ueno station! Sorry that they're on their side, I forgot to flip them before uploading.





And one parting shot, taken right before I boarded a plane back to Toronto!



On the way back to Toronto, I watched the following movies:

Up - OW MY HEART

The Dark Knight - Still amazing. Still sexist. Oh well.

9 - Amazing visuals, terrifying monster designs, great soundtrack, fun characters, but the plot and the script were incredibly duuuuurp.

District Nine - Good movie on the whole, but could have used some more subtlety. Yes, I get it, the humans are like the white people during apartheid and they were bad. You don't have to hammer that in at every single imaginable opportunity.
Tags: japan trip, photos
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