No pain no game no gain

Every begin has an end. Like my trip to Japan has come to an end. The effort for saving up the money for the trip and looking towards the moment the journey begins was a long long wait. As I am back at my own place starting to write my experiences during my trip I realise I am at point zero again. Need another year or so to save up. How I can’t wait for my next journey begins, something to look forward too and that will happen in the near future.

During the journey I had many new experiences… maybe call it first times? Off course some repeatables stuff too, like going to Asakusa and Akihabara. Eating at Pepper & Lunch as Yoshinoya. Before I start with my journey, let me explain the title first. Like I have known from my past experiences, it would be wise to be prepared for long walking hours. Likewise, I have prepared myself mentally and have thought when to rest and such. Physically would be on the spot training ^^; Most likely not the wisest decision to be made.

Anyway, as always I have sore feet from walking around for way too many hours with little rest. I need to plan my rest moment more often as I seem to limit it. Want to see and do more things in the little time I have. As I keep walking, I usually find the good stuff for cheaper prices by comparing shops. Might have to walk back and forth which decreases my rest moments ^^;  It is like a game filled with missions. Finding the items/ objectives to complete the mission. Also finding good photo moments and places could keep me going on without proper rest. All that walking increases stress on my legs and slowly increasing the pain. Somehow I managed to “hurt” my legs from all that walking. You don’t want to know how much pain I got when I walked around. I don’t even know how I got hurt in the first place. Might needed a day or 2 of good rest… but no time to spare for resting!! I know, being baka can be a blessing sometimes and I managed to endure the pain by going bit slower than I wanted.

As I started with my trip, all feeling well. It feels like I could walk for hours and hours. Still fresh and no pain ^^ Realise now how important it is to be carefull even if it is just walking around. It took me about 16 hours flight time including stopover and little sleep. Arrived around noon, went to the hotel to drop my luggage and headed out right away. Although having a long flight, not really feeling tired. Started to look around to become familiar again with the area. And thus begins my new journey in Japan.

The new experiences… there are many. Meeting new friends, walking around without map from hotel to other areas, making conversations with complete strangers and a few more. Meeting people is something special in a certain way. Althought I have a few meet ups with online friends, we actually have little information about each other. All we know is the location and some description ^^; Luckily I know the place, hoping not to mess up things like arriving late or waiting at the wrong place.

With one of my friends I went to a “Izakaya”. First time being in a Izakaya and left with a good experience. My friend is a lovely and kawaii person with the sweetest smile I ever seen. If sweet smiles could kill, I would have been killed several times right now. It is still on my mind ^^; Communication in English is no problem at all as I already thought. Just in case I prepared some tools for translations, you never know how things will go. Seems to be bit shy to talk in English, but that doesn’t spoil the fun. Do understand as I am being unsure to speak Japanese myself. Not to mention my Japanese level is way too low, call it having no Japanese level would be better. Having a nice small talk conversation, learning more about my friend… how time sure flies. Anyway, it was a nice looking place with a nice atmosphere. As I am quite clumsy from time to time, I managed to hit my head. I forgot that there was a lowered part of the area where I was sitting as I was getting out :p Food is good and also being first time having to take off my shoes (in the izakaya). The moment we are about to leave, the shoes are on the exact place as we have leave them. As there are many customers, how do they know which pair of shoes belong to who?? Definitely being impressed with this kind of service, just amazing. How Japanese do things… just incredible.

Met up with another friend, but somehow managed to get lost due to the many signs showing in the station area >.< Walked the opposite way due to the too many signs. Making me being late by too many minutes ^^; Usually I am right on time, but getting lost and switching trains with a big detour made me being late. Finally arrived but I don’t know how my friend looks like. Many people walking around and being late doesn’t help. After some efforts found my kawaii friend. Definitely a meet up not to forget. Went to Sensoji for some fortune drawing… don’t know what it is called :p My friend helped me and it was definitely not bad luck. Went to Tokyo Sky tree, looks really impressive from the outside. It hasn’t open yet for public and it seems you need a reservation to get to the top. When you are reading this, it might be open for public. At least that is what I have been told by my friend. Next time, going up to the top of Tokyo sky tree. Need some help from my friend for the reservation ^^

Finally managed to meet up with Danny Choo. The one who is responsible for getting me in an expensive hobby called Dollfie Dream. Although expensive, it is something nice to me. Managed to meet a few new friends who were there too. Being able to meet and talk to him is a good chance. As he know I have Dollfie Dream, he was asking me if I have a daughter (Dollfie Dream) with me. I answered like “No, I have limited (luggage)space and bit shy to carry a daughter around”. Then he said “don’t be, I always have a daughter with me when I travel”. Finally he said “don’t you feel lonely without your daughter”. I kind of said “yeah” as I originally planned to take one daughter with me for some photoshoots in Japan. Due to limited luggage space, funds and the next stop I decided not to take a daughter with me. Even got invited to join him for some live broadcasting. Too bad I did not have the time to join.

Decided to be more “aggressive” although I lack Japanese. It is like taking fate (as long as you believe in it) in my own hands. So one day I walked up to a group of Japanese and started talking with them. Always difficult as there is the language barrier. Being able to talk to them and keep the conversation going is a big win for me ^^  My Japanese still below average ^^; Their English level is acceptable for conversation. It seems their group was abit bigger as there are a few who came to join the conversation. One of them was rather good in English making it easier to talk too. As the talk continued, they started to ask questions about me, like where I am from, who I am with in Japan and such. Also managed to give some of them my business card with Himari on it. After I told them the  girl aka Dollfie Dream/ daughter on my card is named Himari, they were like “that is a Japanese name”. They even showed the rest of the group the card and said something about Himari ^^; As my Japanese is very limited I didn’t pick up what it was all about.

I got a bit adventures and decided to walk around without map. As I have enough time to spare waking up early before anything really opens. Early breakfast at Yoshinoya or something else in the neighbourhood. Anyway, good way to refill my energy for my walk. Most of the time I know where I was going. Some moments made me puzzle as I couldn’t find the way. Only because I couldn’t go the way I wanted to. Had to make turns to the left or right. Managed to walk around in living areas as I needed to pass through them. In the end I always arrive where I wanted me to be. Time roughly needed from A to B is 1.5 to 2 hours. Depending on my speed, pain and directions :p

I guess employees getting ready to open the store by having a briefing in the morning first.

Decided to at least invade a supermarket near closing time. I thought it would be hectic as it sometimes was in the afternoon. I guess it all depends on the location and time. The one I tried was not too busy. Might be called me being rather late. Luckily it is not like “Bento” where you have to fight for the best priced food ^^; Did managed to get some half price food which was delicious. Maybe should have done some more food hunt at closing hours :p Buying food around closing time in a supermarket can be surprising when heading to the exit. Every employee working there stood there greeting every customer who was leaving. This I will not see in my country. What can I say, I guess there will be enough surprises left for the next couple of times.

Finally being able to see the 1:1 gundam. Knew it was big, but how I want one so badly. Too bad they were still reconstructing the area/ building around it or else I could get up close for a better view. Doesn’t seem to be operational yet either. Doing some walking and looking around in Odaiba. Got there way too early as I needed to wait till it got darker for some nightshots. Also managed to get some photos of Himiko during the monorail ride to Odaiba. Going to get a ride on Himiko someday in the future.

The timing was abit off for the Sakura, due to the “cold” weather. As the Sakura was starting to bloom when I was about to leave. Anyway, still managed to see Sakura on some of the trees,  which makes me being able to imagine the scene in Ueno. Would looks really magnificent. Would be fun to join people sitting under Sakura trees and enjoying a nice view with drinks and food.

Aside from meeting online friends, new friends and Danny Choo, somehow got lucky to spot chinese singer Eason Chan shooting a music video in Akihabara. Although I am not a big fan of him, it was fun to see how a music video is being made. Many cameras and people working to complete 1 music video. A stand-in for checking the angles and such. The producer or what it is called kept yelling front, back. On the other side were musicians playing. At a certain moment she was yelling “who are these people walking around” at a busy road in Akihabara. I guess they are the pedestrians who are trying to cross the streets :p If you look carefully you’ll see a cool guy walking in the middle of the street blocking the shoot.

In the end I realise 2 things I don’t like. The pain in my legs from all that walking. Walking up or down the stairs gives me too much pain. Have to endure the pain and almost got scared of stairs ^^; The very very busy moments in the train. Got pushed in the train and no space around me left. It was an experience on it self being crammed up in the train. Now I know how that feel as I usually avoid the busy moments :p

Time to go to my next stop: Hong Kong

As my flight is early, I got to the airport early. Airport feels like deserted as there are only a few people. I waited patiently to get checked-in. Seems I was the second in line for check-in. I was helped by a nice looking stewardess, who is very helpfull by the way. Waited at the gate for 1.5 hours or so. During the wait, stewardesses are walking to check/stamp the boarding-card. The funny thing is, the stewardess who helped me check-in was standing in front of me. As I was sitting looking outside, I didn’t realise it at first, but she said “oh hi, it’s you again”. I suddenly realise who she is. By the way, how often does it happen that a stewardess recognises you. First time this ever happened to me. Anyway, saying hi and asking if she was on the flight too, but she was staying behind. Kind of a shame as she seems very nice to talk too and she has a beautifull smile to look at. Realised it later ^^;

Arrival at Hong Kong around mid noon. Met up with family and friends who have arrived much much earlier. Dropped the luggage at the place I’m staying. Thought I have enough time to do some shopping, meet ups and such. But in the end, time was too limited as I my family also planned things with me being unaware. Seems all the things I have planned ahead got messed up >.< Somehow managed to get some time for myself. Needed to rush abit to visit some of the places I had in my mind. In the end, vacation is always to short to fully enjoy the stay.

One important thing I have learned, always have a business card ready as that makes it easier to meet people. Making it something personal could make people remember wherever you are. Don’t hesitate to give it to some random person you just met and have a conversation with. I did handed a few to random persons I just met. Although I don’t always follow my own advice, afterwards I kind of regretted not giving to some people.


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