Posts Tagged ‘Asakusa




Waited for another day, week, month and year and more before I could go to Japan, Tokyo again. I was spending time to prepare myself for another visit to my favorite land Japan. Maybe spend the time on the wrong things. Thinking back, it should have been better to focus on the language. None the less, it was a long wait. Waiting that felt like a long time, yet the time spend in Japan feels too short. Could be that I have too much fun in Japan. Never the less there is the saying that goes like “time flies when you are having fun”. Being in the place I love, that is how life should be. All good things have come to an end, for now. Without a doubt I have experienced a lot of the same things, but also encountered new and interesting things. No matter how often I go to Tokyo, it still feels like there is a lot to explore. This time however is a little bit different, as I have a “to buy” list from relatives. I realized too late that I lost precious time for myself >.< Not forgetting the fact that I got wiser for taking enough breaks in between. As you learn from your mistakes, you prepare yourself in avoiding the same mistakes. This time I was prepared and had little “physical pain” from all the walking. Maybe use a different bag next time, as my shoulder started to hurt from carrying too many stuff in the bag ^^;


The first thing you can think of when you are travelling is meeting others or as I prefer to call it encounter. Every time you meet someone, it can be for a brief moment. In that short time span, you have to decide what you want to do. There is no second chance as soon as it is past. Without their contact information it will be most difficult to meet them again. An example: think of the Shibuya Hachiko crossing. When the light is red, everybody is standing still. Waiting for the lights to turn green. In that moment you can meet someone interesting with whom you have a chat. As soon as the lights turn green, you start to move. Saying goodbye and going your own way. It might be a missed chance to exchange contact information for keeping in touch.


Realizing that, I start to carry business cards (meishi) with me for certain occasions. In case I meet an interesting person, I can ensure that they will have my contact information. Although it will be limited to my email and blog ^^; Having an interesting meishi will most likely to make them remember you. Anyway that is what I am trying to aim at. As my Japanese is not on conversational level, I can use my meishi as a mean to get their attention. Maybe use it as self-promotion or as an icebreaker for the first minute trying to communicate with my bad Japanese. Anyway, this time I decided to give it to people who are interesting or caught my attention during my encounters. Different kind of people that I have just met in the street to shop staff. Sometimes they are surprised about it. Meeting people and trying to create a bond with them. Wonder how many friends I have made this time.


The first and last chance that you can easily meet other nationalities starts and ends with the flight. Off course there are more chances, but I am limiting myself now to the trip/ vacation. During my flight to and from Tokyo I came across a few interesting persons. I had other passengers sitting next to me whom I don’t know.

The first interesting encounter I had would be the passenger sitting next to me. As I had trouble falling asleep, I could do nothing much except staying awake for most of the time. During this time, the one sitting next to me was sleeping. You might think “that is normal, nothing ordinary”. I thought so too until the sleeping poses kept changing from time to time. Everybody familiar with “Shingeki no Kyojin” might know how the 3D gear sent them flying. One of those poses might look similar to that. The bigger question is: how does one create such a pose with the limited seating space in economy class? It doesn’t matter how short you are as an adult, it is still difficult to pull that off.


I also sat next to 2 elderly ladies. Just to be clear, my Japanese is bad and their English is slightly better. Anyway, we managed to make some proper conversation with simple words and bit of body language. Not sure how we did it, but somehow they understood why I was in Japan and what I liked etc. That might be a nice part to remember for a long time. It is enjoyable sitting next to them. I wouldn’t mind sitting next to them again. I must try to improve my Japanese to have a better conversation.

The last interesting in-flight encounter would be with a cabin attendant. As I have flied many times from country to country, this is definitely the first time I had so much fun with a cabin attendant. Let just say that this cabin attendant had caught my attention. I decided to give her my meishi and have a chat with her. I found out that she is a very fun girl to talk too. Another cabin attendant heard our conversation and decided to join us and it got even more fun. We might be getting a bit too loud in the end ^^; Having a hard time not bothering her during work time is kind of difficult as she is just too cute (kawaii). Every time she passes by I had to say something. At one point it felt like I wanted to tease her a little bit, but I didn’t. Maybe not much as I had to hold back, trying not to cross the “line” as she is still working. I think the elderly ladies wanted to join in too ^^; Anyway, send me mail if you have the time.


As for the encounters in Tokyo, I decided to select only a few that might be the most interesting to mention about. However, every encounter I have is important for me to remember. Whether the reasons like helping me, let me take the photos or spending time with me. I appreciate it and definitely want to meet you all again. Next time in the near future ^^

This encounter might sound like I am trying to promote a shop. I can ensure you that it is not my shop or anything like that. It is more like that I made a new friend when I was there. Believe it or not, you can make friends in an arcade without speaking the language. As one day I was walking around waiting for the shops to open. I stumbled upon an arcade and decided to explore it. While I was walking around I see this guy playing Dragon Ball with cards. The game looks very cool and difficult at the same time as I don’t understand the rules. After watching for some time he started talking to me. All I could say was something like “sumimase, Eigo, Nihongo can’t speak”. As he hasn’t mastered English either it was kind of difficult to talk to each other. Somehow we were able to make it understandable to each other. Thank god I know enough words to make clear what I think about Dragon Ball and the game. He doesn’t seem to mind that I am watching him play. I decided to sit next to him and watch him play. After awhile he said present and gave some Dragon Ball cards to me.  Which I think is really cool of him and accepted the cards.

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Then he showed me his cell phone with a cover on it. I did understand that he made the cover himself, which looks really cool. He then said present and gestured me to follow him. A short walk later, we got to the shop and he pointed at the computer and tells me to search for an image I like. I had the biggest trouble what I should search for. There are just too many things I like and want. Not to mention that I can’t even remember the names of all animes I have watched. Didn’t want to waste too much of his time, I decided to go with Touhou. Touhou is always a good choice to go with if you lack ideas or can’t choose. He was like, are you sure? And I like, yeah this is good. For the print I let him take care of it as he was the professional for this kind of job. Anyway, it seems I made friends with a president/ CEO or shachou like Japanese would call it.


Let me say that I first expected to get a cover as present, but I got something even better. Usually I am the one seeing others getting impressive presents, but this time I got lucky being the one getting something impressive ^^ And yes, my relatives were surprised when I told them the story about my new friend.


Anyway, we decided to exchange meishi. As soon as he sees my meishi, which has a print of my first Dollfie Dream on it, he got interested. Interested if it is a custom or not. It took some effort to let him know that Himari is actually based on Mashiro Mito. But it has more to do with the search engine, language and my accent when talking ^^; Anyway he seems to know Volks which makes it easier. Furthermore he was impressed with the photos I took as he was looking at my blog ^^; If you are interested in getting a unique cover or print on any small electronics, you should try contacting them. Not sure if they send it overseas or not, but you can always try.

The website is and they are located in Nakano Broadway. Just take a look at the meishi I got from them. If you plan to visit the shop, I believe they are closed on tuesday. I am not sure which day I went, but it was the day that the shop should be closed. I got lucky ^^

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In the time that I have walked around in Tokyo, I have come across animal cafes. Usually a cafe is dedicated to one type of animal. While walking around I came across a girl handing out flyers. Actually it is the bunny that caught my attention. Wearing a jacket so that it can’t run away and sitting in a corner. Hearing people around me say kawaii. I decided to ask if I can take photos. It was no problem at all and I wanted to add her to the photos too. The best combination for a cute photo is a having a lovely girl holding a cute bunny. Just perfect. After some thinking I wanted to visit the bunny cafe, as it could be fun and a nice experience. It is like expect the unexpected. Let me say that I got caught off guard when I entered the bunny cafe. For animal lovers this kind of place could be a heaven as you get to pet, play or feed them. Especially if they can’t keep a pet.


The bunnies come in different sizes and colors. Do know that the bunnies have a rotation shift as they need to get some rest. So you might not get the chance to play with the one you want. Still there are a lot to choose from. As for the bunnies, they are all kawaii. There are small ones and ones with long ears. Seeing the bunnies coming to you is something else, maybe they are curious or just think that you have food for them. Seeing the staff talking to them is too kawaii. Too bad I don’t understand a word of it, wish I could >.< The bunnies seem to understand them. If there is something special to mention about the bunny cafe, they have a big bunny. Believe it or not, the big bunny is also very kawaii. Don’t think how that can be? Imagine 2 girls with a big bunny getting ready for a photo shoot. Now the goal is to make it kawaii. Never mind the thinking, just see 2 girls holding the bunny making sure it doesn’t hurt itself. 2 girls giving their all is enough to make it work. It looks just too kawaii as the big bunny is giving the girls quite the trouble ^^


I am positive that the bunny is not dead; it is just enjoying a manicure treatment by the lovely staff. No bunny is killed or hurt during my visit.

As I left the bunny cafe, I decided to talk to 2 sisters (shimai). Both girls are fun to talk with. One is better with English than the other. How lucky I am as my Japanese is not on conversational level, but that doesn’t spoil the fun. Their English is perfect ^^ Talking with them, I found out that Japanese sometimes stay in line for 2-3 hours to enter a restaurant/ shop. Like one of them would say “Japanese style” jokingly. If I had to wait that long, I already left for something else. Different culture, different habits it seems. They were planning to get in line for food. I decided to join them and waited too. As long as there are others with you, it isn’t that bad. We waited like 40 minutes before it is our turn. Not sure what to think of except “Japanese style” as that is what they said to me ^^ We talked about many things and had a lot of fun, but that is all I can say. There are certain parts that have left a deep impact on me. Wonder if I can take it serious or not. If you girls are reading this, can you let me know ^^;


The following encounter I might put it in the category weird. Consider myself as a foreigner being on vacation in a foreign country. I spoke with some foreigners who are also on vacation. That is not the weird part of the entire story. Somehow I managed to help them finding their way as they where lost and giving advise where they should go and do. And that gives me the chance to have some small talks with them, which they seem to appreciate ^^ Without a doubt a fun and interesting experience. Thinking about it, I should live in Tokyo as it seems to be a perfect fit for me to work as a sightseeing tour guide ^^ Must work on my Japanese.

Meeting new friends is one thing, seeing celebrities is another kind of experience. It can be fun if they let you take pictures. Unfortunately there is a strict no filming policy. How I wanted to have a photo of them, even a blurry one would do the trick for me ^^ I think I have seen 3 celebrities.


I have seen the Korean group Afterschool, only heard about them once. I even did a “high touch” with all of them, just for the thrill and bragging about it to my relatives. When they heard about it, they where like “No way” and “which girl do you think is the prettiest”. Luckily I got the photo book where I could point the girl that is the prettiest. They are really into the K-pop scene. Not to mention about the Japanese fans sitting there and waiting for them to appear. It was almost only guys shouting to them ^^;

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Another celebrity might be a mangaka. As I was walking around, there was some kind of luck of the draw bingo after purchasing the game “Getsuei Gakuen: Kou”. There was also a small  jankenpon tournament for everybody to join. Decided not to join in with the jankenpon tournament as I don’t know what kind of value it would have for me. It would be better that others who are excited about it to win it. People were amazed about the signed prize, so he must have a few good titles published/ made. Might be related to Galilei Donna or Samurai Flamenco as they were giving free postcards away. I really have no idea who he is. It was great to see how the winners where appreciating and getting admired by others for their signed prize. Click here if you want to read about it, written in Japanese.

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As for the third celebrity, I have completely no idea who it is. I couldn’t see much, but there were a lot of guys standing. It might be a female celebrity and again, my Japanese is not good enough for me to understand what they are saying.

Like I said, it was a strict no shooting policy, so I don’t have any photos to show you, except the things I got my hands on ^^;

In this trip to Tokyo I had a lot of things in my mind that I wanted to do. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to get all things done. Like I mentioned before I have a “to buy” list that needed to be fulfilled. However, the list is only partially done as it was more difficult to find them than I thought. Let just say that sometimes I am not really sure where to find it. Even the helpful hotel staff didn’t have a clue sometimes. Although they did give me some ideas where I might find it. The directions they told me was good enough as that seems to be true. Only the shop was the biggest problem.


As for the things I had in mind and that is done. Always good to do things you wanted to do. I wanted to get close to the 1:1 Gundam in Odaiba. And close I got for some photos. Not to mention that at night there is a free show to see too. Very enjoyable, but didn’t understand much what the story was about. I can give it a guess, but it would have been better if I could understand it.


Another interesting Gundam show/ movie you can find is in Diver city. You do need to find a good spot to stand as you will be looking up all the time. Might be better to lie down on the ground. Anyway, you can take photos as long you don’t use flash. Taking good photos might be quite challenging as it goes quite fast. Maybe I didn’t use the right settings for the fast paced movie.


Meeting up with my friend, the idea we had was going up the Tokyo Sky Tree. However on the day we met, the sky was kind of cloudy. If I was by myself, I would have most likely walked in, buy the ticket and go up. Resulting to a disappointing view as there is nothing to see, except clouds right in front of you. If you like looking at clouds up close, you might be in heaven. Luckily my friend was with me and figured out that there is not much to see. We decided not to go up as it would be disappointing in many ways and kind of felt like throwing money away. In the end I met the friend and daughter of my friend. The first thing I noticed is how look-a-like they are. Might be really the genes. Anyway, had a nice chance meeting more people. Did some walking around in the shopping mall with them. Really nice people to talk with. They were probably surprised at how much J-drama and anime I know ^^;

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Decided to give it another try for going up the Sky Tree. This time I was going alone. I arrived later than I intended too. I could only take night photos as I wanted to take day photos too. As I didn’t know how things will be for the next coming days and not wanted to waste time coming again, I just have to settle with the night photos. Luckily I prefer taking night photos, but it is also challenging when there is a window in front of you and light shining on it from the inside. For those planning to go to the Sky Tree, try to get in a different elevator for going up and down. There are 4 elevators to use. Each elevator has a different design in it, which makes them unique. I have seen 2 of the 4 elevators. My opinion, it looks nice. Wish they did the same for every elevator in the country as it will make a discovery each time you get in an elevator. And a reminder, if it is cloudy, don’t go to Tokyo Sky Tree as you can’t see anything but clouds.

A trip that one must not forget. Hope that my next trip would be as good as this one.



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.

June 2018
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