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Oh my! It's been a while since I've been back on here. Lately I'm more into other social media sites so this one just kind of died. It's nice that I was still able to login. LJ was one of my very first "social" websites. It brings back all kinds of nostalgic feels. 

Package Received

Woot! I just received a package today. Wonder what's inside?

Take a peek...Collapse )


Japan Loot

Instead of randomly placing pictures of the goodies I bought in Japan throughout my other journals, I figured it would be better to devote a whole journal to them instead.

A few of these goods will be sold later and some are going to friends and family. Next time I plan to bring back twice as much loot! >D

Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 6

It's my last day in Japan. So sad. T.T We were not scheduled to leave until the afternoon so in the morning, Sensei took us to visit memorial shrine for WW2. We went and looked around at the museum there. Once we were done, we were free so Nini and I stopped by a restaurant and ate lunch. For my last meal, I chose curry. Then we took a quick look at a swap meet in near the hostel. I bought a green necklace that reminds me of Miku.

Once we were done, we headed back to the hostel, loaded up on a bus, and headed to the airport. We were given some free time before we boarded to we looked at the shops at the airport. It's insane how many shops they have. I actually found a white Rilakkuma for a really good price. I have been wanting one since I saw it at Anime Expo, but they were way too expensive. This one was for 1/4 of the price at AX so I just had to buy it. I also did my currency exchange there and then we boarded. Just fyi, if you ever go to Japan, do not exchange you currency when you are back in the U.S. The San Francisco airport does not accept Japanese coins. I was lucky I exchanged mine while I was there because I only had coins left. But Nini missed out on getting a good portion of her money back because of that. <.<

The flight went by quicker this time for some reason. The Japanese do not have insane delays like we do. The food was awesome. I had the most tender pork I have ever had in my life on that plane. Xd But when I got back to the U.S., they took my ramen to destroy it. T.T Japan was more lenient. Heck, the Japanese laughed when I put my plushies through the x-ray scan, but in the U.S., they would take it seriously. I was just glad all my other foods made it through. Once I got home, I just slept. Least, I gained back my lost time.

I enjoyed Japan, but not so much the class. And it's not because of the work, believe me, that was the least of the problems. But I did still manage to have fun. Next time I go to Japan, I will go with my friends instead of the school. I miss Japan terribly and I can't wait to go back again. Hopefully soon!

Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 5

It's our last full day in Tokyo. Sensei allowed us to celebrate it by giving us a free day. Nini and I bought a day pass for the train since we planned on cramming in as many stops as we possibly could! >w< With these passes, we could use the train as much as we wanted without having to pay extra.

Our first trip was to try to find the Square Enix store. It was not as easy as I thought. We got off at the wrong station and could not figure out how to get there from the Shinjuku station so we learned that we could take the subway that was not apart of the JR line. We took the JR line to the Keio line. When we finally got off, we walked a few blocks and found the store. It took a while, but we found it. It was actually kinda in an off place. There was not much around it, but at least the sign stood out. The store was worth it though. There was hardly anyone there. It was very organized and had all kinds of cool goodies. It had all the Square Enix goods in stock that are sold out in regular stores. I bought several Kingdom Hearts phone straps. Most of them were from the first releases that are sold out everywhere else. On the first floor, they have all their cute goodies, but upstairs they have the figures. There was a lifesize Sephiroth on the floor. It was an amazing site to see. They even had a larger than life Sora. Most of their amazing figures were in stock. I wanted to buy some, but I was running low on funds so I restrained myself.

I wanted to spend this day revisiting sites that I loved so I convinced Nini to go eat at Milky Way Cafe again for lunch. I had the seafood gratin, but I got a different drink and dessert. Again, the cafe was delicious.

Next, Nini wanted to visit Harajuku. When we got off at the station we met a busy street in Harajuku filled with people and shops. I saw a Tamagotchi shop in the front. It was incredibally small, but I wanted to check it out nonetheless. It did feel a little awkward since it was filled with little kids. But Tamagotchi is surprisingly very big in Japan. I played the raffle there since I wanted to win the grand prize which was a Tamagotchi pillow. I won a few of the smaller prizes and then I won first prize which was a plushie. It was alright. I was happy when everyone in the store clapped for me. But I wanted to win the pillow. I came back later and played a couple more times, but I still did not win the pillow. T.T After that we looked at many shops in Harajuka. Nini bought lots of goodies, but it really wasn't my type of shopping since I cannot fit into Japanese clothes. I did buy a tail keychain though. Fur is the current fashion in Japan and tails are all the rage. I was able to find a soft brown one to hang on my bag.

Our final stop was Akihabara again. We looked at some more shops, arcades, the usual. We ate dinner at one of the cheap stops. I had curry, but this curry was too spicy for me. >P We then ended our day at the Gundam Cafe. I ordered squid dumplings for a snacks and got the mango drink again. I also tried a small blue drink as well as a nonalcoholic pink Haro drink. The blue drink was good, but the pink Haro lacked in sweetness so I gave it to Nini.

We solemnly left Akihabara and returned to the hostel. I stayed up several hours into the morning packing my bags for the plane ride tomorrow. People did not believe that I would be able to fit everything I bought into my suitcases, but I wanted to prove them wrong. I did have to take everything out of its original packaging though in order for everything to fit. That's when all those hours of playing tetris paid off. The only figure that I could keep in it's box was my BRS nendoroid. She has so many parts, I did not want to risk losing them. But I did manage to seal everything tight. I did have a really small amount of left overs that Nini was nice enough to take, as well as my sake. I just made it under the wire for the weight limit. However, I am going to bed really early in the morning because of time it took to pack. Hopefully I will still have enough rest for tomorrow.


Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 4

Our schedule has been pretty much mixed around since we got to Tokyo. Today we are taking the Hato (Dove) Bus Tour which was actually scheduled for the first day we came to Tokyo. But I'm not complaining. We got up early in the morning to take the train to Hamamatsucho. It's far from Idabashi and it was conviently at the same time as the businessmen rush. OxO I've never SEEN so many people crammed in a train. All of them were businessmen in black suits. We had to squeeze in to the train. I was the last one in and I just barely fit. For the first stop, I was smashed against the window. Some guy had his hand down at his sides which made me feel uncomfortable since it was slightly touching me. Then I was able to move inward after the second stop, but I had to hold on tight whenever the doors opened so as not to be pulled out with the rest of the crowd. It was extra warm though.

We finally arrived there and got on the bus. This tour was more my kind of tour. The tour guide was super kind and the stops were short and not overly drawn out. We stopped at Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, the largest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, and Tokyo station. Tokyo Tower was very fancy with its interior design. Heck, riding the elevators was the best part of the whole trip. All the colored lights and sounds make it seem like you're in space. We just took a quick walk around the Imperial Palace. At the Buddhist temple, it was super busy because of New Years. There were tons of interesting booths. I bought a choco banana. XD Just cause I love the name, CHOCO BANANA!!! And I bought blue hawaii Ramune. I've always wanted to try blue hawaii and it was worth it. Then I ate grilled clams on a stick. Xd Yum! Tokyo station was the end of our tour. We were allowed to wander off on our own afterwards.

I did some research ahead of time of the places I wanted to visit and I was so happy to find out that the Pokemon Center was located in Hamamatsucho. Yush! I even asked the tour guide about it and she said that it was right in front of the Hamamatsucho station so Nini and I headed back there. It was in front of the station, but it was a little hard to find because it was on the second level in the back of a white building. I loved the Pokemon Center. They even played the Pokemon Center theme song from the game. I couldn't get enough of that song. Though I was disappointed that they were celebrating the new black and white Pokemon instead. I love the old Pokemon. The new ones did not look that cute to me. Wanted to buy some Pikachu things, but I couldn't really find anything that I wanted. I did buy some Pokemon snacks though and figures of all the Eevee evolutions. I bought so much that I was given a raffle ticket. I played and ended up winning one of the top prizes, some kinda of legendary type Pokemon plushie.

My next stop on my "to see" list was Otome Road in Ikebukuro. I had a list with directions, but I was thrown off once we got off at the station. I ended up going out the wrong exit and so Nini and I wandered around before we decided to ask for directions. Our best bet to getting to Otome Road was to follow the directions to the Sunshine Building since Otome Road is really close to there. We went through the station again to the other side. I can tell why I got off at the wrong side because the correct path is really really long. When we finally got out, I was greeted with the site of the Milky Way Cafe. X3 I was ecstatic! I have been dying to eat there ever since I heard about it and now I finally had my chance. It was everything I had expected and more. The food was delicious. The drinks were sweet and the desserts were the best ever! The restaurant was decorated with stars everywhere. My favorite theme. I want to go there again and again! Once we finished, we made our way to Otome Road. I did stop and play at some arcades along the way though. I did win lots of Heartcatch Precure plush keychains though. Otome Road was a little hard to find, especially since it was dark. We finally found it and as promised, Nini and I looked at the Animate store there first. I loved it. This Animate store catered more to girl with their wide selection of bishounen products. There were a lot more girls in Ikebukuro anyways though. It's like the total opposite of Akihabara. Ikebukuro is for women while Akihabara is for men. I bought some things (found the Cure Marine figure and some decosweet supplies) then we made our way to look at other stores. We stopped my some more figure shops, cosplay shops, and I even found another Mandarake underground. This one had a great selection and tons of girls. I kept bumping into them while searching for doujinshi. I left Ikebukuro with tons of bags. Nini was so sweet to help me carry them all.

It was late but I didn't want to waste any time going back to the hostel to drop off my bags. We decided to go back to Akihabara again straight from Ikebukuro. We went to Akihabara to have dinner at the Gundam Cafe. The cafe was small, but it had a beautiful blue glow that gave you the feeling that you are in space. I ordered some meat. It was good, but it was not even to fill me up. Same goes for Nini. It's more of a light meal type place. I did try some drinks there though. Most of their drinks are alcoholic, but since I am 20, I was allowed to drink. (Japan does not even card you.) I wanted to try their drinks since they were Gundam related and they looked cool. I order a red drink called Zabiza and a yellow one called Audry Burns. At least I think that's what they were called. The red drink was awful! Waaaay to strong for me, but I drank it anyways. The yellow drink had mangos in it. It was really sour at first, but then I got used to it. I actually liked that drink very much. The bathroom was interesting too. It had a start button in the bathroom and when pressed, it would turn off all the lights and a red glowing light and siren would sound. Guess it was supposed to be like in a Gundam, but it was scary at first. For me, the cafe was worth it.

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Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 3

It's a repeat of yesterday. We started off by visiting Waeseda University. It's one of the most prestigious schools in all of Japan. We did not interact with the students there, but we were given a tour of the campus. The campus buildings had a very European feel to them.

We ate lunch on the campus and then we made our way to our next stop, the Ghibili Studios museum. Ghibili Studios makes all the Miyazaki films. It was exciting to see all the signs along the road leading to the museum. It's like you are entering some enchanted forest or something. I was expecting a Spirited Away type world. We knew we were there when we saw the giant Totoro. The museum is reservation only and there are NO pictures allowed. Which stinks because their were so many amazing exhibits. The exhibits were geared more to little kids, but there were still more educational material that adults would be interested in. The museum is made up of 3 levels. The first level showcases the mechanics behind the films. It had many figures made for studies as well as machines that show different ways animations can be made. It also had a special film room. We were allowed to watch 1 film. It was random so we did not know which short film we would see. We saw one about a harpy, a humanistic egg girl, and a bread man. XD No talking, but it was great none the less. The second floor has more elements about the creative process behind the making of the films including sketch studies and observational studies to make the films more realistic. The third level has the gift shop and a play area for little kids. The gift shop was a mad house when went in. There wasn't really anything I was interested in so I did not buy anything. It was nice, but I would spend less time there. Nini enjoyed the sketch studies while I enjoyed the mechanics instead. We may both be art majors, but our views on art do differ.

We were released after the museum so Nini and I decided to go back to Akihabara. This time, I was determined to find the Gamers store as well as Mandarake (a doujinshi shop Shigeru_gal recommended). Gamers was not hard to find, but once I did find it, it was like a flag went off. I have been waiting to visit the real Gamers store ever since I was little and got into Di Gi Charat. I met one of my life goals! I am so happy! Gamers was decorated with many Di Gi Charat icons everywhere. I would have loved to have bought some Di Gi Charat stuff, but sadly they didn't have any. It was only for people with point cards. I did buy some unique anime snacks though. At least I left with something. Mandarake was harder to find. I did have a map, but it was not along the main road. Nini actually found it by pointing out another store, in which I saw the sign. I was finally able to buy doujinshi in Japan. They are so cheap there too. They are only $3-6 a piece. ^0^ Now that's a deal! Mandarake also sells rare figures even some from UFO Catchers. I bought  Miku and Rin UFO Catcher figures that go with my Len and Luka figures. We didn't have much time to wander around again in Akihabara since it was late. So we ate McDonald's for dinner since all the other places were filled with business men. While leaving Akihabara, we saw the Gundam Cafe. I don't like Gundams, but I wanted to visit a unique cafe so Nini and I made a promise that we'd eat there another day.

Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 2

For our first real day in Tokyo, we were scheduled to visit Obirin University to give a presentation to the students there as well as interact with them in general. It took us quite a ways to the edge of Tokyo. We ate lunch at the University, got to make friends with some of the students, and then we were given the rest of the day off. We had no idea where we were so luckily the girls we met wrote directions for us in order to get us back home. They even escorted us. ^^ They were so nice. We made a stop in Machida where we went to an acrade to take Purikura pictures with them. We even played DDR for a while.

When we got back to Idabashi, I decided it was finally time to visit Akihabara. >w< Some of the guys had already visited Akihabara the other day so I knew how to get there. It was only a few train stops away. When we arrived it was already dark, but I was still so excited! I've always dreamed of visiting Akihabara! And now I finally made it. It was everything I had imagined. Nini and I spent hours there and we only visited a few shops. We mainly went to arcades (to fuel my UFO Catcher addiction). I played quite a few times and I actually did win. I won the Luka figure that was paired with the Len figure I won and a K-ON Yui figure. I won the Luka figure on my last try when I had finally had it with my frustration. I turned around, defeated, when I heard something drop and there she was. XD As for the Yui figure, I didn't really want her that badly, but when I started playing, one of the workers came over and made it easier for me so I played until I won. He was so nice and helpful. Of course we visited some anime shops as well. We visited a store called Sofmap which had many cool anime things at very good prices. I was able to find one of my "wanted" figures, Cure Blossom. Now I just need Cure Marine.

We ate dinner at one of those really cheap, quick businessmen stop type restaurants. The old man who worked there spoke English very well and the food was delicious, but cheap. I am surprised by how many businessmen are wandering around Akihabara at night. No wonder there are so many quick eat stops.

We only got a quick taste of Akihabara today. I hope to go back again for more. :p

Japan Trip: Tokyo Day 1

Yay! We're finally leaving for Tokyo today! So its basically a travel day. From Kyoto to Tokyo we're taking the bullet train. We took a bus to the station and ate lunch at the station. I had some sushi. Then we boarded the bullet train which allowed us to arrive in Tokyo within 2 hours. This bullet train is actually the fastest in all of Japan. I couldn't believe how fast the scenery pasted by. Once we were there, we took another bus to our hostel. This time our hostel is located on the 18th and 19th floors of this really huge mall-like building. There were tons of shops among other things. We are conveniently located next to the Idabashi station. It was only 1 minute away. Sweet! Nini and I got to wander around once we arrived. We ate dinner at this Thai food restaurant that had some "interesting" foods, but it was surprisingly good. There was also a fancy bakery located inside. I can't wait to try all their tasty goodies. I would have loved to wander out and explore Tokyo, but I don't know how to get around just yet. So maybe tomorrow, Nini and I can go out and have some fun.

Japan Trip: Kyoto Day 3

We woke up this morning to find that it was snowing. I've only ever seen snow once and I've never actually seen it snow. It was so beautiful. But it didn't last for long. For today, we tried to pack in as many historical sites as we could. We each got an all day bus pass since that was our primary form of transportation.

Our first stop was a shrine where they have the long row of "Red Gates." There were tons of people and tons of stalls. I was happily surprised to find that this shrine's animal was the kitsune (fox). I absolutly love kitsune, mainly because of Naruto, but that's beside the point. XD So this was my fav shrine. I bought a cute fox plushie and keychain. They had a lot of interesting foods there as well. I should have gotten lunch there, but I wasn't sure what to pick. (It was unfortunate since I did not know that we would basically not have any time to eat lunch today. Not very well planned.) I did buy some sugar stars though. Wasn't my best decision since sugar stars, are basically what they are. They are simply sugar with maybe a tiny bit of flavor.

Next stop was a shrine dedicated to love. It was up a hill so along the way, there were tons of souvenir shops along the way. But we didn't have time to stop and look at them. We only had enough time to look at the shrine. It was basically the same as all the other shrines. The only difference was the large amount of couples that were there.

Third stop was the Silver Pavilion. I knew about it ahead of time thanks to Lucky Star. LOL. The Silver Pavilion is actually not silver. It was made with a more conservative tone in comparison to the Golden Pavilion. When we got there, it started snowing again. Thank God I brought an umbrella.

When we were finally done sightseeing, we made our way to the business center of Kyoto. Man, I wish we would have gone there instead. It was almost like Tokyo with all its lights and top knotch stores. I wanted to look around, but I had to head back early since I ordered dinner at the hostel. I was the only one. I simply wanted to have dinner there without having to wander around to try to find food. So only me and another girl took the bus back to the hostel while the rest of them group ate at the business district. At the hostel, I finally got to try tonkatsu (pork cutlet) for dinner. It was delicious of course.

I'm excited. Tomorrow we finally leave for Tokyo, the whole reason I came on this trip. I can't wait!