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2013; but before, July 2012: Japan report

To all who has already reached 2013, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Well, I am spending my last bits of 2012 reportin kyraensui and my trip to Japan back in July 2012. Almost 6 MONTHS AGO. Now that's a record for late late late! The tl;dr version is: This whole Japan trip revolved around Arashi nerdiness!



Day 1 7/11~7/13 : Osaka - Arrival 



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It was a 11 hours airplane ride to Haneda Airport, and kyraensui and I slept through most of it xD We were in such a mess with the lack of sleep and the humidity, but once we arrived, the excitement kicked in. The Airport was beautiful! Yes, the top picture is still the airport, not some street.

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And it was my goal to capture as many Sho Oronamin C ads that I could find throughout the trip xD

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It took us a total of around 19 hours to get to our hotel:
11 hours of flight, 2-3 of Keiyuu train and waiting at airport, 3-4 hours on bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka, 10-15min subway to Esaka, and finally 10-min walk to hotel. xD The weather was pretty huI also had a giant rollie with me, so I was very exhausted.
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Just to give an idea of how small the Semi-Double room was at Chisun Inn Esaka. We soon got used to the lack of space and even kinda enjoyed it xD Cuz at night, you can just reach out to the frig. and grab a drink.

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When we received our Waku Waku tickets that were mailed to the hotel *O*


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Our hotel was right next to a 711, and gosh, the combini food was DELICIOUS! We pretty much lived on combini food for the trip, and not complaining at all~

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Of course we tried pino~





Day 2 7/14: Osaka - Waku Waku Goods Line-up 



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The next day we went to the Osaka Dome to line up for the Waku Waku goodies, and it wasn't hard. All we had to do was follow the trail of fangirls with Arashi bags and merchandise, which was exciting to watch already. I had my Beautiful World back with me too~


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There was a really lovely Taboo cosplayer *O* It made me think, grr maybe I should've brought my cosplay too (at least the cap or something), but at the same time, being a foreigner was stand-out enough, let alone being all shiney. But then I realized I didn't have anything to show I was a Sho-ichiban!


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This is after lining up for the goods, and suprisingly there was hardly any line at all! Maybe because the show is in the evening, and we went in the morning. I got myself a Sho clearfile, a photo album, a pin, and a mini bag.


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Well, after getting the goods, we had the whole day free. We pretty much planned the trip so that we have one main goal we wanted to accomplish that day, so that there would be time to take slowly for the rest of the day.

...So we went to the Johnny's shop in Osaka 8D


Not all of it were mine! Was running errand for friends~ But yes. This was the end-result for that day.




Day 3 7/15: Osaka - Arashi Waku Waku @ 11am



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So, this is the pic I took secretly in the Osaka Dome once we got inside. The view was pretty good!!
Gosh, our seats were right next to one of the exits, so the staffs were patrolling back and forth with the "no photography/recording" warning, and I was so frantic that I might get caught. But then I saw a fan taking her camera out as if it were nothing, so I thought, maybe they meant "no recording" during the show.

Anyways, as posted on tumblr, these were the notes that I took during Waku Waku!
  • Ohno fishing in the morning under the bridge toward Osaka Dome, with a giant 大野丸 sign, and no one noticed!!
  • Lots of Aimiya bits (well, Nino picking on Aiba)
  • Nino’s lesson was interesting. He tested everyone on ‘tricking the mind’ (best way I can put it), like people are conditioned to read “konnichiwa” even if a sentence said “konchiniwa” or opening a door that has a fake knob by pulling it upwards.
  • For sho’s lesson, Mannequin was J, and it turned out to be 11 Arashi buckets only (few less than Tokyo). He also explained ancient water filtering system and showed how many “Arashi” is required for other daily jobs like washing a simple T-shirt.
  • Aiba’s lesson emphasized on fish and how much preparation and hard work people go through to make delicious fish meals.
  • Jun’s lesson had VTR of a touching birth story, then message from Aiba’s mother. He was named Masaki for the kanji because she wanted him to be a graceful (優) person (then Nino teased him, “your mom must be disappointed now”)
  • Ohno’s laughing lesson. Oh God, his ‘geragera’ dance.
    During the laughing contest, Sho lost the first round and was trolling the camera in the rest of the rounds by standing behind in between the two member contestants, standing on the chair doing the  ‘MJ This is It” pose, and doing his infamous twirling.
  • got to be part of singing along on Furusato ;_____;♥   


Afterwards, we met up with zukkii (Ci)!! I've been friends with her since 2005, and we met through the seiyuu fandom and in RL at AnimeExpo. I would never have guessed we'll reconnect again through the Arashi/JE fandom~ :D


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As Ci knew the area much better than us, she was our official guide of the day :D She took us to Curry House Coco for lunch~ Great recommendation! And then we went to the Mandarake in Umeda for shopping, and gosh how ironic it was to have found uchiwas AFTER the waku waku show... Would've loved to wave a Sho uchiwa around xD; And then I bought some manga for my sister.

Ci then took us to where she lives in Amagasaki, showing off her JE/Arashi/Sho/Yattaman collection, and kyraensui had to make sure I will not go crazy. Ci kindly sold her H magazine (2009 Sho) issue to me~


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This was on the way back to the subway station, and apparently there is a host club(?) called "Sho" and we mused at the idea of Sho being a failing host 8D

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For dinner, we had true Osaka okonomiyaki and takoyaki~

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And my souvenirs for that day~ (of course Waku waku too) Thank you kyraensui for the mini uchiwas~ And haha, that sketchpad was my lame improvised "uchiwa" during Waku Waku since I didn't have one during the show...





Day 4 7/16: Kyoto - Arashiyama



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Arashiyama is a place that I've visited briefly back in 2006 when I went on a Japan tour. Maybe it was the outskirts, or the "old Japan" landscape, but it was one of the sites that left a big impression to me. (Haha, has nothing to do with the name, except now I can joke about it :P)

And by the way, Kyra and I bought the JR Pass, and to maximize the value of it, we decided to travel as much as we can long-distance wise. We're staying at Osaka, but we traveled to Kyoto xD

When zukkii asked where would we like to go sight-seeing, I couldn't help but pimp this place again!

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Those are the mountains we're heading to! When I came the first time, I went to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, which was south of the area. This time, Ci is bring us to the Monkey Park, which is located up in the mountains :D

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This is the entrance to the Monkey Park, and from there on, it's all hiking and stares.

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Just to give an idea of how the hiking view was like. kyraensui was afraid of the height though xD But I love these kind of adventures.

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This is the view when we got to the top of the mountain. Although we're in Kyoto, that "needle" you see in the back of the landscape is Tokyo KYOTO Tower :D!!

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And we get to feed the monkeys xD

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One more lovely landscape of the Sagano River from Arashiyama~ It is a great lightseeing location, and we shopped a good amount of the souvenirs there because there's "chirimen" omiyage's, which a type of material manufactured by Kyoto.

Afterwards, Ci brought me and Kyra to Shinsaibashi to have dinner together at a pizza buffet that has a "all you can drink" deal.

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The famous Glico running man xD

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More Oronamic C ad hunting xD There were multiple ones! He was stalking us!

Afterwards, we parted with Ci (;_;) and we head back to the hotel in Osaka. It was great to have a friend that can guide us around.





Day 5 7/17: Kyoto - Gion

This was actually something that was planned in Japan. Since kimi_kuma was in Kyoto, we worked it out on Facebook to meet up with her and her fiance, and texted each other along teh way x3


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I don't think I put enough food p0rn here, so here you have it. Maguro don with Osaka tofu side :D!! It was DELICIOUS and not too pricey either. This was a restaurant near our hotel.


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Just to give a feel of Gion, it's a very "old Japan" feel, like most of Kyoto. I actually wanted to check out the Gion Matsuri (spans the entire July) prior to the meet-up plan, so it was perfect timing that we meet up with Kimi that day!

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Thanks to Kimi's iphone, we were finally able to find the Jouvencelle Gion pastry shop! It was super hidden behind the main street of the festival, and apparently my direction notes were not that reliable LOL. We wanted to try because the boys tried it on Arashi ni shiyagare 20111029 XD

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We got what they tried: Matcha Fondue (1260yen)... and an extra Matcha Kaki koori (400yen?) 8D I mean, Japan summer can't be complete without shaved ice! They were all delicious, and one order of each was enough for two people to share.

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On a turn of events, we were actually on the street behind one of temples, and that was actually where the yamaboko floats parade start, so we got to see the prepping and parade without the crowd on the main street! :D Lucky us.


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And of course Japan summer cannot be completed without matsuri stands! I actually tried the goldfish scooping and successfully scooped one! But as I told the guy, as a visitor, I can't bring it back XD
 
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This is the front of the temple. And this is the view of the main street from there. :D

So this was our last day at Kansai :)





Day 6 7/18 : Tokyo - Arrival 

A trip to Japan also isn't complete without a stop at Tokyo! Back in 2006 when I first visited Japan, I also thought that I prefer the Kansai landscape too, but there was so much of Tokyo that I did not see the first time. And there are plenty sites introduced by the boys that we decided to check out :P 


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...Like Odaiba Park and FujiTV  8D Of course, after 4 hours of traveling from Kansai, by the time we arrived, it was around 5pm-ish, so most of the attractions were closed. But as our JR Pass still hasn't expired yet, we decided to explore the route first.

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We were in time for the "United States of Odaiba" event, and this was the area map. Spot a certain VS Arashi?

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That's right. It's the tent where audience can try the game Duel Curling in! However, the area was closed already.

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The life-size  Gundam at Odaiba! If you squint, you can see the tiny people underneath lol. We also walked around the mall plaza that's right behind it.

Anyways, so we stayed at Nihonbashi Villa for the rest of the stay! The AC wasn't as strong as the previous hotel, and the space is still as limited. But otherwise, the location is convenient from JR station!




Day 7 7/19 : Tokyo - Ghibli Museum, Takaosan

This day we planned to get the main site-seeing (long-ish travel) out of the way because our JR Passes expire on the 7/20, so we wanted to maximize our travelings.


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First stop is Ghibili Museum in Mitaka (where Ohno was born, hehe)!! As a Ghibli fan since a child, visiting is a must. To all who wants to visit: Reservations are required prior to visiting Japan. Also, Mitaka is such a peaceful and green city, no wonder Miyazaki is inspired by such landscapes :D

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:D well, beyond the entrance point, photography isn't allowed. But the museum is pretty whimsical in both content and design. There is a small theatre that has several short 20-min films, and each admission is allowed go into one show. There are many exhibitions with the sketches and storyboards for the Ghibli films and also big praxinoscopes of his classic films. And of course, gift shop. 

But we didn't stay too long since we had other destinations to reach. Next is Takaosan. Once again, because Arashi went to Takaosan in Shiyagare XD Mitaka was about an hr west from our hotel, and Takaosan is even further west, like 1hr and half. So we left at around 2pm.

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This is the Takaosan map :D!

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The Takahashi soba shop that they went into!! Of course we went in to try, but after our walk :D

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The entrance to the cable cars :D!

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Hehehehehe :D We're in.

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The tengu cake and the Kaiun Hippari xD

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it started raining, and it was of all days that we didn't bring an umbrella since the sky was overcast the past days. So I had to buy an umbrella at Takaosan xD

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And of course we took the path that the boys took :P

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The two paths xD "male" trail on the left or "female" trail. Of course, following the boys' path 8D

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Here's the shop where they got the dangos, cucumber, and mushroom juice. Too bad we got there too late, and it was closed! But they had a sign advertising "Arashi ni Shiyagare" ;)

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And finally, the soba shop :D heheh

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Hehhhehhhehehehehhehe spot a lot of them throughout our trip 8DDD





Day 8 7/20 : Tokyo - Akihabara, Keikarou

Our JR Passes expire by the end of the day, and this is our 'take-it-easy' schedule :)

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Not a whole lot of pictures from Akihabara, cuz just one shot is enough to tell :P Not exactly my type of entertainment, but it was interesting. We went here to shop for last minute souvenirs for people. We were kinda surprised it took us hours to find Nintendo plushies! This make me think that Akihabara is primarily anime/manga oriented.

After that is done, it was already late afternoon, and by the time we get to Chiba (around 1hr-half travel), it'd be just around right for dinner time. So we decided to visit Aiba's restaurant Keikarou! It's something we were being wishy-washy on since we didn't know if we could fit it into our schedule.


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For anyone who's interested in the directions, go here. (we took the wrong turns after arriving initially)


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Look at all the Arashi stuff in the restaurant 

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The dishes that we ordered, several dimsum dishes and gyoza and omlettes :D They were soooo delicious and rather authentic, I was so amazed! It was a little awkward since we were the only foreigners in the restaurant, and I felt stares. Nonetheless, I'm so happy we went.

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Their autographs ornamented on the wall *O*




Day 9-10 7/21~22 : Tokyo - FujiTV, NTV, Airport

For our last day, we basically tried to find a way to kill time after checking out of hotel because our flight is at midnight.

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So we decided to go back to Odaiba/FujiTV! Here is right in front of the VSA tent *__* but drats, other than the Odaiba pass, there was actually a SECOND ticket that you needed to reserve to play the game. Apparently they were all out by noon.... but at least we got to go in the tent to watch others play Dual Curling and get stamps on our passes!


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But with the pass, at least we can go up to the FujiTV building and check out their other exhibitions :D We found the Nep League one!

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Found Mameshiba stuff finally 8D!!!


After finishing touring FujiTV, we had an unexpected discovery. I think we by chance just stopped at the Shinbashi JR station just to see what's around, and unexpected we found the Nippon TV Tower!!

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Here are the 24hr TV shirts!! But to surprise everyone, I didn't buy one and just came out with a 24hr pin because I was low in yen and bought enough for myself. I am sort of regretting, but it is okay ^^;

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AniShi poster outside the NTV shop!

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Finally this is the phone that we rented to contact people for our whole trip.

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My last dinner at the Haneda airport! 


And this concludes our trip!!! FINALLY. 20 minutes to 2013 :P

Comments

(Deleted comment)
asaphira_sachi
Jan. 1st, 2013 08:17 am (UTC)
HAHAHA oops! My memory is obviously hazy. Corected!

Akeome!! Miss youuu already! And I sent a card in the mail, I hope it didn't get lost >.>
(Deleted comment)
asaphira_sachi
Jan. 1st, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
YES! I'm working on saving up so I can travel again in the near future ><

Sorry to disappoint, no Taiyou-sensei again ;-; just a stupid picture print-out of me.
(Deleted comment)
Hello, this is the spontaneous journal of Asa (or Sachi). Born on April 1st, my life revolves around frequently fangirling and occasional serious posts.

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