Lord Ace of the Fictional Lands (ensuing) wrote,
Lord Ace of the Fictional Lands

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Japan 2010: Tokyo D (4/3/2010-4/6/2010)

Awww, this is the last proper Japan trip post. Well, until I go to Japan again, but that'll probably be in three years or so. I'll miss doing these. This time it's a big post! 81 images! They're all worksafe, but if you are offended by graveyard pictures, please don't click the cut. Otherwise, this post is filled with cherry blossoms, fangirling, silliness, and a bit of whining. The best pictures were taken by Nur.

We headed over to Ueno Park to join in the crazy commotion over there. They had these beautiful wraps on some pillars. Each one represented/was shaped to look like one of the museums in the park using different musical scores. My favorite museum in the park is the National Museum of Nature and Science, so that's the one I chose to share. =3

MAGICALLY CROWDED!!! …for obvious reasons! The cherry trees were at their fullest in Ueno Park and there were people from EVERYWHERE there. Most of the tourists were either Chinese or German. There were an awful lot of Germans, it seemed.

It's like trees with paper blossoms or something.

Tons of people were saving spots for viewing later that day. I love the table! I mean, how cool is that?!


I love the mixture of colors in the park.

Japan, I am so jealous of your cool manhole covers EVERYWHERE.

Okay, okay, check this out:

This is the beginning of the trip!


This is the same section of the park, but from the end of the trip. It's like nature's magical girl transformation. Hurr hurr.

Leaving the park! This sign marks the Keisei(?) Sky Liner Ueno Station. I like the sign. And Yodobashi Camera is behind it. The top floor has tons of gashapon machines and the floor beneath it is full of awesome toys. And see those yellow things at the bottom of the building? Those are all gashapon machines. AWESOME.

I know people seem to enjoy these. I think this one is fantastic because the guy on the right looks so damn pleased with himself. He's totally going to write about what a nice guy he is in his blog later.

It's time for some G-G-G-GGGGGIIIIIIIINZA! Wow, telephone booths. I haven't seen telephone booths in like… forever. There used to be a cool red one kinda like these outside our local library. I wonder what happened to it. =\

We couldn't find it last trip, but this time Nur made sure he knew exactly where it was! GODZILLLLLAAAA!!!!!! FEAR HIS TERRIBLE REIGN….

…OF ADORABLE. What a cute little kaiju. ♥

Ginza is a pretty nice place, but it has some structures that look totally out of place, like this train bridge. I absolutely love things like this. It gives the area a lot of character, I think.

So we were walking around, looking for the kabuki theater that was going to be destroyed. I had a general idea where it was, but I didn't have a map or anything, so I was just sorta feeling my way around. Our wandering bore the most delicious fruit though, as we stumbled on...

…A POLICE MUSEUM. I FREAKING love law enforcement. I love learning about it, I love seeing it action, I love love love it.

You could only take photos on the first floor, but it was filled with old police vehicles. HOW COOL IS THAT? *_*


They had stamps we put in our journals, and the guy working there was kind enough to give us sticker sheets to put in there too. We didn't quite get what he was telling us until reflecting on it later though. Sorry cool police museum man.

The other floors had really neat stuff… The second and third floors has uniforms, maps, notebooks, and old records. The Japanese police seem to be based off of Australian and French police forces! How interesting! Floor four had a section for police who had fallen in action, Police band instruments and music, forensic information, police dog info, and how to spot counterfeits. We watched a video on police boxes and their purpose in the community and UWAAAH I WANT POLICE BOXES IN AMERICA. So neat. *_*

After the delicious police surprise, we began to wander Ginza in search of the theater once more. This is a cool building. I guess it's pretty famous too? I see it depicted in dramas and manga pretty often.

We finally found the theater! And we found a policeman monitoring traffic. It's sorta hard to see, but he had AWESOME gloves. The were long and flared out. I was hoping we'd see him chase down someone, but cars were behaving while we were there. =3

This is the kabuki theater! We visited last time too. Alas, we didn't see a production in it, but it's a cool building to see nonetheless. To the right, you can see a digital sign. That counted down the days until the building was demolished. It's not earthquake safe, so they're going to rebuild it. I wanted to see it before it was torn down, because it's so neat and I'm not sure if it'll be the same style when it's rebuilt.

So pretty!

Nur poses for a quick shot. =D

I love this guy's pink and blue bike.

Since we had completed our Ginza mission, we departed to go shopping in Shibuya!


Of course, we were doing cool people shopping, so that pretty much meant throwing money at the people working in Mandarake and Book Off.

So many people in Shibuya! We were heading to the station to go to our next destination.

Obligatory Hachiko shot.

As we approached the station, some lady came up asking for donations for Haiti. After I politely refused, she switched from Japanese to English. Lady, I got you the first time. Don't pressure me, especially after I declined to donate a second time. She made me feel like a bad person. >={

I… love… this… poster. I think it's cute and looks neat and it can be read JUST ICE. And that amuses me.

These couple pictures don't represent it well, but this part of the station was spectacular. It was in this strange long stretched egg-shape with unused train tracks running down the middle. I can't even explain it well, but it was VERY neat.

Nur watches me geek out and flail over the cool station.

We headed to Shinjuku to buy some pens and pencils (totally worth the trip there, these pens and pencils are the best I've ever used), then to Jimbocho.

Christopher Butcher talked about this place in one of his Japan trip posts. It's a little shop in the second floor (you can barely see the door there). They have lots of old, out of print manga and some original pages. I didn't find any original pages from series that I read, but I did buy a set of the Kikaider manga and a printing plate for Akira. I left the store VERY happy. The printing plate was one of my best purchases in Japan to date. I still need to find a frame so I can display it properly.

Jimbocho, if you didn't know, is book town. It's glorious and gorgeous and totally drool-worthy for any fan of the written word. Both times I've been there I've just stopped by for a short amount of time, but one of these days I'm going to spend a good amount of time exploring it!

A trip to Jimbocho means I need to visit my bosses' bosses. Hi Shueisha!

And a couple doors down… my other bosses' bosses! Hello Shogakukan! I was hoping to get a tour at one of these companies but it just didn't work out this time because of timing issues, among other things. Hopefully next time I'll be able to!

The Day's Adventure Route

The next day was my cosplay day. What fangirl cosplayer could pass up cosplaying a character in their natural environment? Ikebukuro means Durarara!! cosplay! I already posted pictures from the day a couple months back, so I won't post too many others.

Erika and her static-y dress waiting in front of Sunshine City. Waiting for what? Maybe for Nur to cosplay Walker for fun otakuness times. =D

I'm REALLY good at standing in boring poses. But who is that on on top of the pole?


The best. ♥

Lalalala I'm a Durarara!! fan and took pictures of everything I remembered seeing in the show~ I wish I had remembered to get the DRRR!! map so I could visit the different "important" locations from the show.

EEEEEEE OOFURI~♥ There's a Durarara!! banner next to it too. Booyah.

This was a banner for the Haruhi movie when we here at the beginning of our trip. /pointless information

We visited the Animate in Ikebukuro, and it was crowded beyond belief. A lot of people were super rude too, blocking stuff and taking up whole aisles. What the hell, people? The rudeness in there was VERY frustrating. (Later in the day I visited Akiba's Animate and it was not NEARLY as crowded! I wonder why…)

Video shot from a subway car going from Edogawabashi Station to Korakuen Station. Sorry the video flips on its side early on. I didn't really think about the outcome when I did that.

Such neat colors for this subway station.

And a different station! I want to explore the tracks, I can just smell adventure waiting down there!

We travelled to Akihabara, where we split up to do our individual shopping.

Nur spotted this during his travels. Someone REALLY likes Rei.

As I left Akiba's Mandarake, I heard a bunch of cheering, so I went to go see what was happening. It was a big Street Fighter IV event! Too bad I got there right at the end.

Nur and I planned to meet up at the Sega game center at a certain time, but I finished early so I just wasted some time playing (and utterly failing) some UFO catcher games. I found some boxes to pack our stuff into and waited by the street. I must have looked strange, a white girl in a static-y chinese-style dress, hair falling out of my hat, with big bags and cardboard boxes. XD;;

You can see Toranoana in this picture, it's right next to the Game Taito Station. Animate is one building down from Toranoana.

The other side of where I was sitting. Gamers is down these, just a bit beyond the train bridge.

Once Nur came, we played a couple more games. He's quite good at them. I just sink money into them. I put some ¥3000 into one machine, trying to get Maid!Hayate sheets. Alas, I finally gave up in the end, but I really wanted those sheets. And I'm not even a big fan of the series. XD;;

SPORTS ANIME YEAAAAHHH!!!! I love that Akiba station always has otaku ads.=D I still need to watch Giant Killing. I enjoyed what I read of the manga.

We headed back to the room, got dinner, slept, blah blah blah.

Ueno -> Ikebukuro -> Akiba -> Ueno

The next morning I woke up well before Nur, so I competed in the challenging "Stack Animals On Nur" game (it's harder than it looks!). I was able to get all ten of them on him. But shortly after he moved, ruining my hard work. Thanks a lot, man.

After he woke up, we got ready for the day and headed to the station for our usual breakfast at Andersen Bakery. They were filming something on one of the bridges we use, so that was pretty cool to see.

This was my breakfast. It was very delicious, even though this picture doesn't look very good. I got curry bread and "bacon" and cheese bread. It's not really bacon. But it's still good! I should have taken pictures of all the crazy breads we had during the trip. I think Nur took a bunch with his phone, but those pictures are on my other computer and I'm much too lazy to dig them out right now.

After breakfast we went to Kappabashi.

If you haven't guess/don't know, Kappabashi is kitchen town. You can get anything you need for your kitchen or restaurant there, minus actual food.

There are all sorts of neat buildings there.

It's a kappa!

Near Kappabashi, we found a… I think it said it was a teaching temple? It was a big building. Those symbols on the gates are plants, but it looks like a crab to me.

Nur and I split up after Kappabashi. I wanted to go explore Shiodome and go to the Pokémon Center again, he wanted to spend more time in Akiba.

After getting some cash from the post office, I walked along the underground passage that connects Ueno station to Ueno-Okachimachi. They had a lot of cool art things in it. I especially like this baku(?).

Shiodome! I wanted to see the TV station there, because I remembered it being a neat building. It had been sprinkling all day, as you can see from this picture. I was able to pick up some neat flyers about the upcoming Detective Conan movie. And! I just happened to be leaving when…

It hit noon and the Miyazaki Clock started it performance! I wasn't able to catch it all on video though, and my angle wasn't great. There were a number of us enjoying it. =D

The Pokémon Center isn't too far away, so I scurried over there, trying to protect my flyers from the rain. There's a neat but sort of random Italian sculpture garden along the way.

They had started a new promotion at the Pokémon Center (for Charizard!), but a lot of the stuff was sold out when I got there. I was still able to pick up a few cool things, including a clear file to protect my Conan flyers. =D The lady checking me out asked if I wanted extra bags and after I said yes, she gave me a hojillion of them. They've always given me extra bags, but holy moley, I think she gave me half the store's supply! @_@

This picture is from a bit outside the Center. I was hungry, so I went to a World Trade center nearby. It had a bunch of food places in the basement, so I grabbed some ramen. Because my Japanese sucks and I was super nervous to be in a not very tourist-friendly place by myself, I kept messing up giving the people money. I kept giving them too much (he would say how much I owed him, and I was like, "what? huh? huh?") PLEASE WRITE IT DOWN, SIR, I CAN READ JUST FINE. T^T I SWEAR I'M USUALLY NOT THAT STUPID WITH SIMPLE JAPANESE!!

After lunch, I decided to wander around. I wanted to find a Book Off, since I had picked over all the ones around us in Ueno and was still on the look out for Robo and Usakichi volumes. Suddenly, BAM!!! I was right in front of Seishoji Temple. With Tokyo Tower in the background, it looked very impressive. It's quite a large temple. We actually saw this last time from Tokyo Tower, but had no idea what it was.

I don't know much about this temple besides the fact it's very large and it is a Soto Zen Buddhist Temple. There were a lot of people at the temple that day, but I'm not sure why. I got to see a monk ringing the temple bell. So cool!

The main building!

Jizo statues! There were tons of them, each with their own bonnet and pinwheel.

A little further in was a courtyard filled with these lanterns and almost bell-shaped objects.

I felt a little awkward taking pictures in the cemetery, but I really loved the colors the rain brought out, especially mixed with the red-orange of Tokyo Tower and the green of the trees.

Grave markers with the temple in the background.

One more shot of Tokyo Tower before we head out~!

Hahaha, okay, so at this point I was thinking, "So I'm going to make my way down to Hibiya Park and take some pictures and keep my eyes open for a Book Off on the way." Well, I started walking that way and the rain got heavier and heavier and heavier! I had to stop every half-block or so to take shelter and shake off some of the water. I really should have brought an umbrella! The only other person I saw without one was another foreigner, a businessman. As the rain got worse, I finally decided to just dash to the nearest subway station and get back to the hotel. There was NO WAY I was getting sick again so soon. I was finally getting better from the kitsune curse cold! So I got back to the hotel, changed my clothes, just hung out for a while, then went out to meet up with Nur in Akiba again.

Akiba was an interesting trip. I was looking for DVDs in a shop when I guy came up to me and said (in English), "Do you have some time?" I thought at first he was asking me what time it was, but I noticed he had a watch on too. So I told him no, and he asked me something else sorta strange (I can't recall what it was), and I made up some excuse and fled. I think he was trying to pick me up? I'm sort VERY stupid about things like that, so I don't know. Sorry if you really just wanted to know what time it was, random Japanese guy! But yeah, awwwwkward times.

I met up with Nur again. He had won a bunch of cute plush while waiting for me. Including a kitty plush I was trying to get the day before! XD

It was our last night in Japan, so it was time to pack! I emptied a bunch of my stuff onto the bed.

It took until 1am to pack everything. Nur had a really cute washcloth, you can see it on top of our boxes.

Nur's travels! (mine were a bit different~)

Ready for the trek back home! We grabbed some breakfast to go from Andersen and got our the Skyliner tickets some three minutes before it departed. We hopped on RIGHT before it left the station and had to try to make our way down one of the cars as it jostled back and forth. I had trouble with my big bags, but Nur had a lot more trouble trying to roll the luggage cart straight down the aisle! You don't really realize how much that train shakes when you're sitting down!

One of my favorite breakfast foods I had in Japan! An "apple pie" as they called it. Half a baked apple coated in cinnamon, wrapped in a flaky crust. SOOOO GOOD. And my ever present gigantic water bottle. (Hahaha, it's water from Mt. Aso, the mountain I was too weak to actually get up. Hahahaha!)

We got to the airport plenty early, so early that we had to wait around for an hour and a half before we could check in. As we were waiting, we found out our flight had been delayed two and a half hours. Bleh! But they gave us vouchers to get lunch. That made it a little better.

We got ramen.

We wasted time looking at the shops there, bought some books and some sweets to bring home, got some Starbucks and just bided our time. Then our flight got pushed back another thirty minutes of so. At least it wasn't cancelled! When we went to go to our gate, they didn't let Nur bring his tripod on the plane. It was fine on the way to Japan, but going back to the states it was too big. Strange! At least they let him check it in without charging him.

When will our flight come~ When will it come~

I actually had some fun riding the moving sidewalks down the terminals. I like those things.

Nur says, "We stayed up late packing, we've been here for half the day. I'm tired. D=" I hear you Nur! But look behind you! Our plane is finally here!

They showed us weird stuff on the plane. Like... Royal Pains. But it was the last episode of the first season. Why show that instead of, you know, the first episode? Whatever. I spent my time trying to make Satsu an origami hat. I had varying degrees of success.

Customs back home questioned us about our boxes. We told them we had books and toys and they asked us, "Books? Can't you get those here?" No sir, not these ones. (Not easily, that is!)

AND YES. THEN WE WERE HOME. My mom picked us up from the airport and told us all about the field trip she went on with her students and we were greeted at our apartment by Dyson eating his own vomit. Ahhh, home sweet home.

BUT YEAH. Swag and stuff that from our final days in Tokyo I didn't take pictures of before.

All the Robo and Usakichi volumes I got in Japan. It's a fairly hard series to get. I think I bought every volume I could find because I have fantastic plans for them and still only got this many! Never got my hands on a copy of volume 4, hmmm… At least I have my own full set. (Guys this series is FANTASTIC. My favorite manga series. ♥ Read it if you can!)

Allll sortsa stuff! A lot of manga (it's all good, but some standouts: Boku Otariman, Tetsuwan Birdy Archive, Sengoku Youko, Nanairo Inko, and Tsurikichi Sanpei), a Sket Dance cloth, a Spice and Wolf cloth, a Nurarihyon no Mago mug, my Shikishima Heavy Industries shirt (from Tetsujin 28), the Baccano! artbook, and Baccano! DS game.

Flat stuff: movie programs (Brave Story, Aquarion, Cyborg 009, and the 7th Detective Conan movie), clear files and pencil boards (Durarara!!, Kino, Tintin, Pokémon, Spice and Wolf, Detective Conan, and Bakuman), cel phone straps (Eden of the East, Tegami Bachi, Kino, and Spice and Wolf), my little Lawrence figure, some screentone of this tone that is BALLS to reproduce for work, and my AMAZING AWESOME Akira printing plate (in the upper right corner). ♥

Doujin! Dennou Coil, Utawarerumono, Fate/Stay Night (which I haven't actually watched much of but have a number of doujin for, hmmmm), Tales of the Abyss, Pumpkin Scissors, Gunparade March, Detective Conan, Cyborg 009, and Darker than Black.

You can see Nur's stack in the lower right corner, including his sexy Kouhaku Kuroboshi doujin.


I'll do one more Japan post. It'll be a silly one, with pictures of engrish signs and other crazy things we saw. It should be fun!
Tags: anime, brave story, cosplay, crime enforcement, cyborg 009, detective conan, eden of the east, japan, kino, manga, nurarihyon, photos, pokémon, spice and wolf, tegami bachi, trip
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