Hoshiko’s Short Visit To Japan

One Piece

So…about four years ago I wrote a post about the things I’d like to do in Japan if I ever get there. About four years later, I did some of the things in that list while I was there earlier this year. It was a rather short trip so of course I didn’t manage to do all of the things I’d wanted to considering some things are seasonal. Besides, I was only there for a short three days.

Out of the six items listed, the two things I didn’t do are to attend WonFes and Celebrate New Year’s Eve. Maybe next trip several years in the future I’ll complete these two things. Now, that meant I completed four items that were on my list, which is kind of cool right?

Itasha

Akihabara

I’m pretty sure a lot of gamers, anime fans and figure collectors will make this their stop during any visits to Tokyo. I live in Ikebukuro because I wanted to see if I can catch a glimpse of “The Headless Rider” and maybe befriend the mysterious and friendly creature by the name of Celty Sturluson. Too bad I didn’t see any headless rider zoomed by…

Anyway, taking the JR Train from Ikebukuro to Akiba, Akihabara for short, is a piece of cake. Once I reached the station, I walked towards the Electric Town Exit and voila, a rather familiar scene came to sight. It’s familiar since I’ve seen it so many times in anime like Steins;Gate, Lucky Star and OreImo, lol.

Also, you’ll know you’re in Akiba when you see itasha, cosplays, etc. I honestly don’t see a lot of that elsewhere in Tokyo. I got lost in Akiba a few times because there are too many shops with the same name. I lost count of how many Sofmaps there are.

Kuroko Merchandise

Of course once in Akiba, it’s time to shop! I didn’t buy any figures because I didn’t want to carry so many things back (luggage weight limit!). But I was tempted. Really, really tempted. So I chose to buy character goods instead since they’re a lot lighter. Stuff I bought are mostly Yowamushi Pedal, Shirobako and Kuroko no Basuke stuff because I don’t watch idols-related anime, which they have a tons of and apparently is the “in” thing in the current anime world. Friends bought Playstation-related stuff.

I popped in and out of shops, which I don’t remember most of their names. I do remember some like Animate, Tokyo Anime Centre, etc. Personally, I prefer Ikebukuro’s Animate. Not sure why.

Celebrate Hanami

I’m not sure visiting Japan during sakura season is a wise choice given how crazy the crowd was, especially tourist crowd. But because I made that choice, I was rewarded with this experience. Personally though, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to do this again because the real thing is not as dreamy as it looks in anime. I don’t want to ruin the image for you so do go ahead and experience yourself, if you haven’t already.

Maybe because I’m not a crowd person or maybe because I went to Ueno Park instead. Maybe if I have a sakura tree all to myself and friends, it’ll be a different experience.

Naruto

Food

I, of course, tried Naruto’s favorite food: ramen. I had a few bowls of ramen during my trip and boy, aren’t they salty. I’m not sure if it’s the shops I chose happen to serve salty ramen or that’s how authentic ramen actually tastes. The ones I had in Malaysia is not that salty. Although I have to say the ones in Japan are more brothy. Is there such a word? But I think you know what I mean. I had other stuff like okonomiyaki (first heard from Tamayura) and yakisoba pan (from any high school themed anime?). Besides food discovered from anime, I also had other generic stuff like onigiri, tempura, etc.

I tell you, conbini is the place to go when it comes to snacks or small bites like onigiri or nikuman. They served oden too even though I thought it’s only served during winter. Conbinis are in abundance, especially Family Mart. In one small area, I see at least Family Marts. Lawson and 7-11 are lesser compare to it, from what I saw.

Gundam

1:1 Life-size Gundam

I never watch a single episode of Gundam, but everybody fluent in this Japan’s sub-culture will come across this term one way or another. So I decided to pop by for a quick stop at Odaiba to see this giant robot.

Anyway, I absolutely adore my time in Tokyo and would love to be back again. Transportation here is so convenient that getting around is so, so easy. The next time I’m back, I hope to spend longer time so I can really take my sweet time in each place in Tokyo.

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16 thoughts on “Hoshiko’s Short Visit To Japan

  1. Ah I envy you ^^ While 3 days are actually not much you were there and could eat all famous food (^∇^)
    So Ikebukuro wasn’t as dangerous as shown in the anime? Good that everything was ok.

    Haha hanami is quite a crowd mangnet, the japanese probably curse the tourist XD
    I’m sure there are a few free areas, but you can’t find them on first time visit.

    • And I envy you for your Southern France trip! >.<

      Haha, it certainly isn't as dangerous as shown in anime. I was hoping to see some actions maybe like Shizuo throwing vending machines all over the place, lol.

      It was. The crowd was crazy. You're probably right. I did choose the wrong place when I come to think of it. Ueno Park is a hotspot.

  2. Off-topic but does that poster in the top say “Tadashii Kyoushitsu”?

    Anyhoo, this makes me so jealous–I also really wanna go to Japan, but I’m a fresh graduate that has yet to work and earn money for my dream 2020 Tokyo Olympics trip, hopefully with friends. XD

    Do you have plans visiting other areas/regions in Japan, too?

    • Yeaps, it said that. Did you watch it or something? I was more interesting in the One Piece poster, lol.

      I took me four years to save up enough to make a short trip. I’m sure you can do it too. Ah, maybe I should consider going there 2020 as well for the Olympic trip. It’ll be nice to catch some sports action live in flesh. How long are planning to stay over if you make that trip? 3 days isn’t enough!!

      Yeaps, Nagano and Hokkaido are pretty high on the list. They look so gorgeous in photos so I can’t wait to see them with my own eyes.

      • Ah, good to know that I could recognize the kanji. Phew. Nope, didn’t watch that. Didn’t even know of it until now. It looks like a mystery thriller drama; Japanese love that kind of live-action series.

        Did you thoroughly plan for the trip or was most of it spontaneous?

        Yeah, it’d be nice to see sports events live~ If it weren’t for my friend mentioning he wants to go to Tokyo 2020 Olympics with his brothers, I’d never even thought of that.

        Hmm, for my first trip, I’d prolly want to stay for two weeks, or one week if the former is improbable. Also, I haven’t taken close looks at the places I could visit. Perhaps I should look for tourism/travel blogs more carefully to consider where I’m going to stay/eat, etc.

        • Yeaps, thoroughly planned. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d know how to use the train system. It’s easy actually, but it’s much easier after reading articles and blogs online. From thereon, I map my journey.

          Yeaps, there are a lot of articles online that mention about things to do, cheaper places to stay, etc specifically for Tokyo. I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding information that you want. =)

  3. Dat Miku itasha! SDFSDGBERBGFVSDDGHDGHFGJHFGH

    Oh, also “Akiba, Akihabara for short” … :p

    Interesting about the Hanami thing though. We know anime tend to love idealized scenes, and the flowers viewing are one of the scenes they tend to idealize. My sis had mentioned she would love to do this too when she goes to Japan, so I guess I can hear her thoughts eventually.

    I would love to see a photo of that 1:1 Life-sized Gundam though :p

    Oh also, if you don’t mind me asking, how much money did you spent on this trip?

    • Ohoho (ojousama’s laughter). Wish I’m driving an itasha though. Ever thought of owning one?

      Oops. I ALWAYS thought Akiba is short for Akihabara, which why I wondering what you meant. And then I googled and found: “Also called Akiba after a former local shrine”……How embarrassing. >///<

      Uploaded the Gundam. A little blurry though.

      So I take that your sis is going to Japan soon? Why not join her? I spent about RM3K for this trip.

      • Nah. Wish I can, but the cops will probably chase me if I’m driving around an itasha.

        I mean in your post, you said “Akihabara for short”, shouldn’t it be “Akiba for short?” lol.

        Damn, looks great. Must feel awesome to look at it in person.

        Next year perhaps, sadly I’m not really ready yet, need to save more money, although I’m still spending like mad. I just tend to spend when I get my paycheck, lol. But after seeing the money you spent, it doesn’t seem that bad to me, I think I can handle that financially. Then again, you’re only there for 3 days Dx

        • Oh, haha. My grammar prolly sucks so much that I didn’t catch that part. Still, Akiba probably isn’t short for Akihabara now that I read that it’s referring to a shrine?

          Yes, I was only there for 3 days. Any longer than that I’ll be spending more. I’m looking forward to going back though since I barely scratch the surface with that short amount of time.

  4. “Still, Akiba probably isn’t short for Akihabara now that I read that it’s referring to a shrine?”
    Not too sure about the shrine, but I think Akiba being short for Akihabara is correct.

  5. Hi! I’m on the lookout for Manga and Anime writers and stumbled on this blog. I couldn’t find your email here, could you please shoot me an e-mail: alysonburston[at]live.com — It is regarding writing about Manga/Anime type of offer. This is not spam by the way. Cheers!

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