Hi everyone! It’s been so long~ I’ve been super busy lately, well right now, I’m on holidays. But this is the last week(´°̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥ω°̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥｀) I managed to survive my studies yay! This will be my final year so yeah!
It’s hard to belive it’s almost been a year since I went to Japan, the plan was to head back again last year but… I was super busy as I stated earlier. I would go this year but since I’m doing honours, I’ll be even more busier! But I’ll defiantly will go back when my studies are over, although for more (language) study purposes (and job hunting).
Today’s post will complete last years Japan adventure. It was so much fun! I should also mention that the human brain can only remember so much, and each time a memory is recalled it is changed ever so slightly. So my recollection might be even more exciting(≧∀≦) Let’s begin!
I was ready to leave Saitama, at the time I was staying with my lovely host family. My host mother dropped me of at the nearest train station, and we parted ways. This time I was headed to Tokyo, Asakusa. I am still amazed how someone like me with no sence of direction, who always gets lost in his own tiny city, can managed to navigate Japan’s super complex railway system, without getting lost thus far. I spoke to soon. I kept catching the train back and forth between different stations. How the hell am I meant to get to this Asakusa station in the middle!!
Finally I gave up, and got out at Akihabara station. After all, my child hood dream was to alway go to Akiba.
Ignoring all the stores and attractions I walked all the way to Asakusa and reached my accommodation.
This time I stayed in a hotel, so much cheaper and cleaner than the disgusting hotels in Australia!
I never mention this but, I had a stop over in Sydney. I had to wait a day to catch my plane to Japan so I booked a hotel near the airport. It was horrible. Why? It seem normal at first, until I saw some dead bed bugs. I proceeded to remove them with a tissue. Lied down. Shut the light of. Suddenly my head started to itch. I directed the backlight of my phone over the pillow and about a dozen or so bed bugs of various sizes retreated back behind the pillow. After exterminating all of them, and still paranoid I took a second shower, handed in my key, and walked back to the airport. Only spending a total of 4 hours in the hotel, it was about 3~4am in the morning, when I headed back. How much did this experience cost? $100!!
Anyway back to the lovely hotel in Asakusa.
Finally a private bathroom!
This gets cleaned everyday!
I love futons! Since coming back to Australia, I swapped my bed for a futon. Here is why:
- Cheaper than a complete bed
- Easy to take care of
- Takes up little room
- Very good for your back
The last point was very important for me. I always experience back pains, at first I thought it was something to do with Kendo haha… but in actual fact it was the mattress that was causing so much issues. After switching, all these problems were resolved.
Everything you need, a kettle for your cup noodle, a fridge for your beverages, and a tv for entertainment and I mean entertainment. For some reason this hotel has a hidden channel. They tried to hide it behind the analog button. A technical guy like myself would wonder, “Why does a remote have an analog button”. So a pressed it. Waaaahh! no warning at all, sexy noises came out of the TV. I had to quickly mute it. Yes it was an AV channel… I’m innocent man.
All in all, it was small but enough for me, with everything I needed, even a heater! Since the hotel was very close to other buildings no sun came in and I can’t tell if it was day or night, you could still open the window, but you could also touch the cement of the building next door.
This is the view outside of my hotel. It’s okay the sky tree is not blocking the view, because IT IS the view.
I also got sick in Saitama, since Japanese houses are so cold due to the way its been constructed. So I headed out to get some medicine. I’m so grateful it’s written in hiragana, my kanji is not so good. Because of my illness, I spent most days sleeping, what a waste.
お正月(おしょがつ) new years, near the Sensoji temple there is a festival that went on for several days. But especially on new years eve so many people are there for the first prey of the year. I just go there to eat, since I lived right behind the temple.
Few days after new years, I met up with a lang-8 friend, let’s call her Sayaka. We met up in Harajuku, near the train station is a famous clothing store called “GAP”. It was huge. But anyway it was the most generic meeting places, everyone waits there for someone. I was looking for a Japanese girl. Teh… all of them were Japanese girls. Many girls looking at me while I waited. I started to get a bit nervous. So I turned on my WiFi connection, and found an email from Sayaka. She’s already there… I replied, “I’m holding a pocari sweat bottle”, and that’s how we found each other, well she found me.
We headed to a large temple in the area, it was so weird. Since a short walk from the city lead to a forest. So many people. It takes so time getting use to it. I kept falling behind in the crowd, and couldn’t keep up with Sayaka.
She taught me all about how to prey, and cleanse yourself.
In harajuku we went to a calbee store. Their potato chips are sold everywhere, every convenient store has them. I fell in love with them when I was in Ito. I saw a fat guy eating them, so I tried it. However in the store you get the freshly made ones.
Unlike the ones in the convenient stores they are soft and chewy, just plain delicious. I am so grateful she took me here.
We walked around some more, and then she disappeared. You know like in the anime a dotted line appear in the place where she was standing. She called me over and pointed to a Momorio Clover Z poster, “Look Takeru it’s Momoiro Clover!”. She knew how much I loved them. So we went into a shady looking store. It was underground. Very small, filled with rows of idol photos from all different groups, hanging from grates which make up the aisle. If the place wasn’t small enough, it was crowed with tons of fan girls (all there for me) to fill in the gaps. In order to get through you have to push, careful not to push the wrong spots though.
The photos were taken in a similar idol shop in Akihabara, except not underground and fanboys as oppose to fangirls.
Obviously Sayaka wasn’t into idols, she asked some fangirls on my behalf how to buy them. She went to grab a pen and paper from the store front and told me you write the number of the photos you want and hand them to the register.
After spending some time in heaven, with Sayaka’s help (almost said her real name then lol) I was pretty much the only guy waiting at the register with a bunch of other girls. There were so many people, and the due to the space, we could not form a line, instead we formed a crowd. While waiting happily, I looked at Sayaka, in my head I was like this “gomen gomen gomen”. She just smiled back.
The staff was basically called people to pay their orders by saying and showing a small portion of what you requested. So embarrassing. After I paid, I was like Moses and the crowd opened a path to let me exit. This day couldn’t possible get any better.
Later on we decided to go and see the Skytree.
Reaching the base.
Not even at the base.
Inside was a lot of little shops, and even a Studio Ghibli merchandise shop.
Unfortunately we couldn’t go up it, I had no idea what Sayaka was trying to say, but oh well.
At least we had some delicious takoyaki.
I think some of you recognise these photos, they are the illuminated trees at the base.
Skytree at night!
We then headed to Asakusa to do some more preying, and have dinner.
My highschool Japanese teacher always talked about this place, he even brought back souvenirs for the whole class.
To end our day, we headed to a cafe, I got my beloved match latte, it’s better than Starbucks!!
I often headed to Akiba. From my imagination it is so different. I always though it was just a mass amount of small markets, from translating Ohashi’s post. Now, for those who never been, I’ll try my best to explain. It is like a small city where every building is a shop. I been there almost every day since being in Tokyo (even on New Years) exploring every single shop. Still so many store I have not visited, it is impossible.
Right outside the train station is the AKB48 cafe, as well as the Gundam cafe. Now we all know how much of an AKB fan I was. まゆゆカワイイなぁ～
Just some photos around and behind the station.
I don’t know how this photo got here, on my way home. Definitely not Akiba.
See? It’s a city of its own.
I saw the Akiba ranger’s car!
To get to Akiba I took the Tsukuba Express. It is really fast! However the train is really deep underground. It takes 5 super long escalators to reach the platform.
I bought so many fukubukuro, most if the items were junk, I’m sorry cleaner-san.
Last look at the Skytree
My train to the airport. If you want to see the train in action click here, I put together a special gif.
Liquids are forbidden on international flights.
That concludes the Kobayo in Japan series. It was the greatest experience I’ll ever have. Thanks for reading all the way.