19th & 20th August 2019: Bye-bye for a while

For my last day full day in Japan, I dropped my luggage off at Shinjuku station and met with EfT for lunch to say goodbye for now. I also got to say goodbye to Tokyo Tower [東京タワー] from Roppongi Hills [六本木ヒルズ].

Lunch was a bit sad, but the yakniku was very yummy. After she had to come back to work I met with B. for drinks and wandering around for a while. We mostly sat at Wendy’s, talking and drinking… whatever this is…

And then she took me to Coco Ichiban Curry for goodbye-curry.

Then she came with me to Nippori station to help me carry my luggage to the train. I was so mentally exhausted that I did not even stop for a stamp at Narita Terminal 1. I had booked myself a hotel for the night at the airport because I felt that was the best thing for my mental health at that time, and I am glad I did. It was very handy and the transport to the terminal was very smooth.

I had been worried about my Fuji-climbing stick, but I had been told I could check it in. I bought a suit-cover which I sewed, and had no problems with it – I mean, I saw people checking-in kayaks, for fuck’s sake. My stick was tiny in comparison to that! The flight back was a-okay, unremarkable, mostly.

Walked distance: 19th: 11099 steps / 7.94 km. 20th: 5045 steps / 3.60 km. The displacement was a bit longer though… something around the 11000 km (≧▽≦)

The 2019 trip was a long one, full of awesome experiences that I won’t forget any time soon. I hope to gather experience from what went wrong, but not cling onto the bad feelings. I chose not to write about that, and look for the best in every day. Also, I did not really feel it, but a bunch of Japanese friends told me that my language skills had improved, so that made me happy. Now it’s time to go back to the real world and do adulty things, and start dreaming about the next adventure. また今度ね。

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1st September 2018: HYDE LIVE 2018 @ Odaiba, Strike 1

There was a HYDE concert, the first of three I was going to be able to attend, in Odaiba [お台場] and we took the Yurikamome to get there because of ticketing convenience.

The concert was in Zepp Tokyo next to Venus Fort. And what do you do before a concert? Line. In Europe it is so you get in, in Japan it is so you buy goods. We were promised goods that were not there in the end 。゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。 but at least we did not get a sunburn while waiting as we were prepared for rain and thus carried an umbrella… against the merciless sun (;¬_¬).

After we had bought our goods, EfficientTimes and I went to have lunch at the Venus Fort. We surveyed the places and ended up in a yakiniku place which was almost empty, and still had a loong line. Things I’ll never understand.

The chronicle of the concert is over at SemiRandom (one post for all three concerts).

After the concert we went home to get some rest.

25th August 2018: Niigata + Otohige

EfficientTimes and I went to Niigata [新潟] to attend Otohige, a summer music festival.

I took in a few things:

  • Golden Bomber are fun (well, this I knew already). Sho got hit for real a couple of times
  • Wagakki Band are fun too. I have given them money
  • I can’t go to arena moshpit without anything to hold on. Too painful.
  • Being on third row for HYDE should be amazing but it sucks if you can’t see HYDE and all your body hurts due to pushing and shoving.
  • I shall avoid macro festivals that do not have seats. If there are sits and arena, I will stay at the seats
  • Japan summer rain when everything hurts is not nice.
  • Painkillers and yummy yakiniku can make things better. Eventually.

This was not such a great experience for me as it was too painful, so there won’t be detailed report (shamelessly not writing about the bad parts to just keep the good memories).

1st (and 2nd) August 2017: Running out of time!

This was my last day and I had to make the most of it! First I went to Shibakoen [芝公園] and Tokyo Tower [東京タワー], because that always keeps the sadness at bay. I went up the tower and I finally gave in and bought the stamp rally booklet. I should have done it before. The Tower was being visited by a primary school class. Ho boy.

Then I went to Iidabashi [飯田橋] using the Shibakoen subway station. The day before I had hired a private lesson to have a teacher explain Japanese conditionals to me. That was very productive. Finally I was off to Shinjuku [新宿] for yakitori and karaoke with Belle and EfficientTimes to say goodbye for now.

Then I half-packed because I apparently forgot half of my stuff at EfficientTimes’ place and went to bed. At 2:02 in the morning there was the only noticeable quake of the trip, quite a big one. In the morning, I headed off to Narita Airport, checked my luggage, and once again, the dream was over.

10th July 2017: Smooth arrival

And that was a first. We were on time even if we had taken off slightly late and I was downtown Tokyo at noon. Japan is ‘trying’ to make arrival more friendly and now your fingertips are taken by someone who is not security, but it’s still the same process – you arrive, they take your fingerprints, take a photo of you (without glasses) and then you go through immigration. Then you pick up the luggage and go through customs, where they may or may not open your suitcase. This time, I did not get mine open, even if I had a perfect answer for why I was there.

I had lunch with EfficientTimes, then went to her place to have a shower and change clothes and then met up with Belle for ice cream, because I was back in Japan in melting hot weather. And then I met up with EfficientTimes as I had stolen her keys, went back home, had some dinner and crashed.

12 August 2014: Yokohama & friends

We headed off to Yokohama Chinatown for an early lunch and then a division of forces – either temples or Panda shops. I was on Team Temple, as nobody will be surprised to hear.

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Then we walked around Yamashita Park and looked at the bay.

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After a visit to (yet another) Book Off stop, we headed to Shibuya to meet a few Japanese friends.

The first plan of the afternoon was meeting at Hachiko’s sculpture in Shibuya, because that is what you do when you meet in Shibuya. Then we headed to Bic Camera to check out the special promo that they had running on the 4K audiovisual set. The promo featured the trailer of the L’Arc~en~Ciel’s concert at the National stadium earlier in 2014, which will be released in October.

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One of our friends had to work that afternoon, but as this was the only day we could see the three of them before they went home for Obon, we decided to surprise her and drop by the cafe she works at to keep her company. This was the day when I discover that Japanese people actually flop on the floor when they are surprised, for real.

The Mr. Happy cafe is located in Shibuya and is something akin a non-profit which is affiliated to a children’s character. We had amazing milk shakes and mini smiling sponge cakes (lemon and caramel) and took pictures of them, of course. As we were leaving, our friend presented us with a mini box of berry sponge cakes per person! They were very kawaii and delicious, too.

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For dinner we went for yakiniku again, although this time it was something quite more posh / expensive. We ate a lot, but I felt that there was too much smoke to be completely comfortable there.