December 28th 2016: Find all the things ( ・`ω・´)!

One of the items in my calendar this time was visiting the three Dragon Gates of Tokyo. These are three torii gates that have been carved in stone and have an ascending and a descending dragon on each one of the pillars. The legend says that touching the dragons will bring you good luck.

The first gate is located in the grounds of Koen-ji, which is a temple. The gate is a bit to the side, in a small adjoined shrine to the left of the main building.


The second gate I visited is in Mabashiinari Shrine, about 15 minutes walking from the previous one (which I chose to hit first because it is closer to the station). As this is indeed a shrine, the torii is pointedly displayed, as it is the second one on the main entrance.


Although I would have wanted to hit the three gates on one day, going back and forth between the first two and the third was not a good idea. Thus, I headed off to Shinjuku to check out the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as the day was very clear. And bingo, it worked, and I managed to see mount Fuji in the background. Being a little bit of a geek, and since both observatories were open, I decided to climb both this time (just in case the stamp was different, of course!). Then (also of course) I was doing some shopping around…


And since I was in the area, I decided to go back to Isetan, having devised a plan to get some images of the kimono. Which succeeded. And then I saw other people taking pictures, so I shielded myself with them and took some, too. You can check them out at SemiRandom.


After that I met with EfficientTimes and we went off to find some of Gackt’s Gakucchi and Hyde’s Chupacabra crane games. For this we headed off to Odaiba, where we had a chance to look at the Winter Illumination, especially the Rainbow Bridge looking… well, rainbow-coloured.



Then we went to say bye-bye to the Gundam in front the DiverCity and had some food inside. Somehow I feel like I’m talking about food all the time (*´∀`*)ノ… This was very yummy and the writing on the algae cracked me up.



As we did not find the Gakucchi nor Chupacabra in Odaiba’s Venus Front, where we had read they would be, we backtracked to Shinjuku to search for them. We did not manage to get the stuff out of the crane games but we got the bags that you got with putting 500 ¥ into the crane machines…


July 30th 2016: 。・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。 Last day

I had set up my alarm at an insane time in the morning because I needed to take the trash out before 8am (between 7 and 8?! Seriously, Japan?). But in the end it was good – you see my contract said that I had to clean the apartment, wash and dry the sheets and vacuum the floors. Which was okay, until the fluffy cover sheet took an hour and a half to about 95% dry. Oh, and I packed. 23.1kg of suitcase (^◇^;).

Anyway, the previous day I had been unable to get the Gakucchi clearfile, but I still wanted to try again. As I had to be back at the apartment by 4pm to give the keys back and pass the inspection, I headed off to the nearest Taito station, the one in Ueno. Unfortunately, they did not even have the GACKT machines. So I decided to brace myself and go to Akihabara to try to find an arcade. The first three – the Sega ones – were not successful at all. I was about to give up and go home very sad when I was finally victorious! I found the clearfiles in the Taito Station. The staff-San I approaches was not very helpful at first – probably my Japanese was not the most articulate at that point either – but when she realises what I was trying to tell her she got me the clearfiles (I had an order, aside from the one I wanted for myself) and placed the plush I wanted on the machine for me to try. Of course I was not successful but I have the clearfile and that makes me happy (forgot pictures, sorry (._.)).

As I had a bit of time, I headed off to Yoyogi and Meiji Jingu, as I wanted some omiyage. In the end, I offered an ema, and got some silly stuff. I also located the Like an Edison shop, but I stopped myself from going in because SUITCASE WEIGHT issues. I blame the Hyde is Dead photobook (; ̄ェ ̄). I got back and bought some suahi from the street stand down my block, ate, sneaked out the rest of the trash, and sat down to wait for the inspection. At this point I was feeling kind of sad. Okay, without the ‘kind of’.

But the inspection / cleaner guy was adorable and he was pretty early so I could do stuff in the evening that would keep me going. I went to Tokyo station so they kept my luggage and then I headed to Tokyo Tower. I got up to the main observatory, and had been considering walking up, but I did not trust myself without seeing the stairs first. So I climbed up on the lift and took pictures and enjoyed myself. I also wrote a postcard to myself to get the special post stamp… yes I’m lame like that, but I had a message for my future self (・◇・)/~~~

2016_07_30 (2)

2016_07_30 (1)

2016_07_30 (3)

2016_07_30 (4)

2016_07_30 (5)

I walked down, because I figured out that I could so that more easily and I enjoyed it immensely. Then I stayed for a bit in the Zojo-ji matsuri, retrieved my luggage and headed for the airport – saying goodbye to the Rainbow Bridge on the way. It might be worth mentioning at this point that I could not complete the check in, and that I has only registered until Frankfurt… whoops.

2016_07_30 (6)

2016_07_30 (7)

30 August 2015: Up and down, Trains and fandom

After laundry – which was kind of urgently needed, we headed off to Odaiba to try to get some kuchikatsu. Unfortunately by the time we made it there, there was no space any more, so we ended up in a Korean place. I’m not particularly fond of Korean food, except when it’s grilled meat, but it was late and food was needed, and I found something cheese and vegetables. Oh, well.

After that we headed off for some UFO hunting again (Chupacabra, you guessed it), and later to Shinjuku to check out two fandom / goods second-hand shops: Pure Sound and Closet Child, where I found a few interesting things, and others that I filed away for future reference.


Then there was karaoke before heading home, and we tried the McDonald’s avocado burgers on our way back.

2015_08_30 (1)

27 August 2015: Foxes everywhere

Fox Village in Zao is as its name says, a fox village. There is about a hundred foxes running around, chewing your shoelaces and marking territory. It’s like the deer of Nara, in foxy form.

Zao is located close to the city of Sendai, up north of Tokyo, and here I ended after a couple of bumpy train rides to meet with Efficient Times at Shiroishi station. We took a taxi to get there.

The Fox Village is located in the mountains, about 20 minutes away from the town. There is an outer part which consists on a sort of petting zoo, some baby foxes and the hospital. You’re not allowed to pet the foxes without permission though, because they have, you know… teeth. There is also a badger (for some reason), some rabbits and goats. In that area you can take pics holding and petting the foxes for a fee.

Once you go into the main area, you find yourself in a large yard where there are… 100? 200 foxes? There are three main type of foxes:

  • Red foxes

  • White foxes
    2015_08_27 (2)

  • Black foxes (technically called ‘blue foxes’ apparently?)
    2015_08_27 (4)

  • And then there is the mixed-colour kind that I think was shedding… Here, have a look at the whole combo:
    2015_08_27 (1)

You’re allowed to feed the foxes from a platform / shed as long as you don’t touch them, and you’re supposed to stay still when they try to chew you cross your path.



The area is separated into a small zone for the cubs, an acclimation area for the ‘teens’ and the main freedom yard.

There the foxes have got… well, I’m not even sure of how to call them, so just have a few pictures. As long as you follow the rules and don’t freak the foxes out, you can get pretty close to them, which is amazing. We tried not to disturb them while they ate, either.

2015_08_27 (6)

The weather was miserable though so you see some dry foxes and a lot of wet foxes. There was a very wet me in-between too. And well, the foxes were fascinated by Efficient Time’s clothing and kept trying to eat her. However, my mission was to ‘take pictures first, rescue her later’.

There is also a little shrine with space inside for the foxes to sleep.

2015_08_27 (5)

At the end you’ve got a bittersweet feeling because you’re not allowed to take any home T_T

I just wanted one or twenty...

I just wanted one or twenty…

The day ended with yummy gyutan (grilled cow tongue), a walk throughout the covered Sunmall Ichibancho commercial galleries and some Chupacabra hunting in an UFO machine downtown Sendai.

2015_08_27 (9)