Comiket Days 1 & 2

28 December 2014, Sunday

COMIKET! Something I’ve been looking forward to whenever I found out about it. I don’t even know when. But it was like after I came to Japan lol. I was actually informed that it’s not a super pleasant experience, considering it usually gets so crowded you cannot even make a phone call to your friends. If you get lost, it’s game over.

And it was indeed crowded. I’m not deeply embedded into doujinshi culture (I mean, I know they exist, but I don’t know any) so I didn’t really enjoy myself to the fullest. But the experience was interesting. There are a lot of fujoshi out there…

It was the first time I ever had McD for breakfast, too. They were the only food place opened early in the morning (we probably left at like 5 or 6 am…). The doors opened at 10am, but we came two hours ahead of time and already had to wait in an extensive line. Ching, Sunny, and I weren’t even waiting in line for the more popular hall (where all the main series were), yet we probably had to wait like three blocks away from Tokyo Big Sight. It was ridiculously packed. To waste time, I decided to skype people from home (it was the first time I’d be able to during the day time, since I never wake up early enough to skype with the 13 hour time difference).

People behind me in line. The line goes for a long, long way.

People behind me in line. The line goes for a long, long way.

It was a good waste of time, and quite a fun experience. It’s surprising that it can be fun when you’re waiting in such a long line (and Japanese do it all the time. I think I’m starting to take on the mindset of “oh my god, there’s a line in front of this shop – it must be popular! LET’S JOIN.”).

The walk there was long even after we started moving. We had to cross street and go up stairs. And enter the hall and find where we’re supposed to be going. I didn’t really have any place in mind, but Ching knew what to buy. She did her research (unlike me). So we wound up in the BL section, which…I’m not a fan of, but it was interesting, I guess…

Sunny went to the official goods section, where all the guys were.

Looking at so many people filing up stairs is a really funny sight

Looking at so many people filing up stairs is a really funny sight

Later, I ended up just walking around and I found a few things that interested me. In the East Hall (we started off in the West), there were a ton of Pokemon doujinshi. And I really like the Touko x N pairing, so yep, needed me some goodies. There were also Digimon pairings (….none of Kari and TK, which made me quite disappointed), Johnny’s idols, Naruto, etc. The stars of the day were probably Haikyu and Free! Saw a couple fo Eva Kaworu and Shinji fics, too. I also found a novel for Gaius x F!Avatar (of Fire Emblem: Avakening fame), so I bought the one with the pretty cover. If I will ever read it remains to be a mystery, since too much Japanese and no pictures frustrates me, since I don’t have the patience to read that much kanji.

Besides comics, they also have handmade goodies

Besides comics, they also have handmade goodies

 

29 December 2014, Monday

Since the next day had otome games, Persona, and Zelda (really, just all games), I had to go. Ching also wanted to buy Phoenix Wright merchandise, so we went together. We left at approximately the same time, and waited for the East Hall this time. Unfortunately, this day was extremely cold and rainy and HORRIBLE.

Horrible, rainy day

Horrible, rainy day

It was a really bad day to be waiting in line for two hours outside with electronics. But I decided to skype a friend again, so I managed to waste maybe…an hour. The rest was spent shivering and not being able to feel my toes. It was miserable, and they didn’t even open their doors for us until 10:30….

Devil Survivor

Devil Survivor

But inside was sweet relief. Ching made her purchases (Phoenix x Edgeworth), and to my surprise, she had to leave right after, so it was up to me to spend time alone there. Which wasn’t bad per say. I got to go to all the booths I wanted. I spent a lot that day! Sadly, I couldn’t really find any Persona doujins I liked (just one that I found before on pixiv, which, by the way, leads to an advice point)

If you attend Comiket, which you should just for the experience:

  • Use pixiv first to find doujin you’d like to buy (just search what series you’d like and click the pictures you’re interested in – usually they will list a date they will be showing at Comiket or some other market)
  • If its raining, bring a plastic poncho
  • Be prepared to wait. A long time. And for crowds. At the station, people will push you out of the way.
  • Also, bring your own bag to put your purchases in. Make sure it’s rather large. They don’t provide you with bags unless you go to specific booths, and then they only give you one if you purchase specific sets.

    Amnesia's Ukyou

    Amnesia’s Ukyou

Well, I don’t think the stuff I wanted was very popular. I looked through the Legend of Mana stuff (there wasn’t much, and the art wasn’t my favorite), Final Fantasy (Lightning x Hope), Smash Bros, Persona (LOTS of Yu x Yosuke, though I was hoping for more Shinji x FeMU), Summon Night (by accident), and otome game stuff. I ended up not buying anything otome game related, since they had no Clock Zero! I was super disappointed! They had way too much UtaPri, which I really don’t like…There was a bunch of Hakuoki, too, but I’m tired of it already.

La Corda d'Oro Doujin

La Corda d’Oro Doujin

What I did end up buying, though, was a lot of Fire Emblem. I bought a whole manga for ¥2000, which is super expensive!! But the art was absolutely lovely, and I really liked the emotions in the book. The unfortunate thing is that I accidentally bent a corner of the lovely cover! I regret that so much.

Other point of interest:

Comiket is in Odaiba, which is already maybe an hour+ away from Hiyoshi, where I live. Odaiba is a gorgeous place, but if you’re going to Comiket, you won’t get much time to explore there, since you’ll be pretty tired out for the rest of the day. I still need to go back and explore.

I did take a few pictures of cosplayers, but I was too embarrassed to ask to take pictures by myself (Also most of the picture-takers are guys).

20141229_133903

Crwods

The third day of Comiket was geared more towards guys, and I didn’t have much I wanted there. They showed off software and more game stuff. The only thing I was interested in was Fate/Stay Night, and specifically Fate/Extra (Gilgamesh or Archer x FeMU), so I had a friend who was going anyway buy one of the doujin for me xD

 

Oh second thought, dang, I might’ve bought some La Corda d’Oro doujin if I watched the anime before going…

I only asked these cosplayers for their picture, since I know the characters from Marginal

I only asked these cosplayers for their picture, since I know the characters from Marginal

My many purchases from Comiket

My many purchases from Comiket

 

Motomachi Chuukagai All-You-Can-Eat and Akiba

26 December 2014, Friday

Last Camera Club

That was literally it. It was the last camera club meeting. And we spent it at Motomachi Chuukagai eating all-you-can-eat and it was delicious. My favorite thing was the egg, but I have no idea what they call it here.

Not very pretty but hella delicious. A bit greasy, though, but, hey it's Chinese food.

Not very pretty but hella delicious. A bit greasy, though, but, hey it’s Chinese food.

The list on the all-you-can-eat course was pretty extensive, but being the shy person I am, I barely ordered anything. I probably want to go again with a group I’m more comfortable to pig out with (lol). I definitely wanted to order more than two desserts. The only problem with the place is that they charge you for anything you cannot finish.

Fried Shrimpy Goodness

Fried Shrimpy Goodness

The table was also segregated with girls on one side and boys on the other. I’m pretty sure the boys ate the most and the girls held back their appetites.

Beautiful, beautiful desserts: annin dofu (almond jelly) and orange jelly

Beautiful, beautiful desserts: annin dofu (almond jelly) and orange jelly

Oh, but if you go (the place is called Suiryu, website: http://www.suiryu.com), I don’t recommend buying the diamond shaped mochi dessert they have. It’s really plain and not very sweet.

 

 

 

27 December 2014, Saturday

Went to Akihabara. Can’t say much about it, but I just highly recommend going to Mandarake if you want figurines. It’s second hand, but I got a rather good quality (I cannot judge, since I usually don’t buy figurines) N figurine for ¥1000. LOVE HIM. Sofmap is also a good place for second hand games. They had a lot of PSP games on sale for ¥500 and less. I almost, almost bought Digimon Re:Digitize there and a couple of otome games, but I decided not to….

On the plus side, they both take credit card!

Goodies from Akiba. I won Sakura in a crane game and bought Dot Kareshi - which, to my happy surprise, has been translated to English, so I can enjoy the game to my heart's content. Also, in the back is the N figure, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.  jk. I'm just a fangirl.

Goodies from Akiba. I won Sakura in a crane game and bought Dot Kareshi – which, to my happy surprise, has been translated to English, so I can enjoy the game to my heart’s content. Also, in the back is the N figure, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.
jk. I’m just a fangirl.

 

BIGBANG Concert on Christmas Day

25 December 2014, Thursday

Right after the last day of Case Analysis Class, Akane (another exchange student, who’s from Australia) and I headed out to Tokyo Dome for the BIGBANG Concert! It was the first concert in December in Tokyo, and my first official concert. To be honest, I was rather nonchalant about it. I love BIGBANG, but I was way past my BIGBANG phase back in high school. So I’m, a fan, but not really a fan. I heard, however, from a friend, that their concert is always sold out and it’s difficult to get tickets for their show. But they seem to be at Tokyo Dome every year, since Erika went last year.

Tokyo Dome! Really cool. Actually, Tokyo Dome City looks like a cool place to hang out...

Tokyo Dome! Really cool. Actually, Tokyo Dome City looks like a cool place to hang out…

As soon as we got there, we entered the long line to buy goods. We were intent on getting light sticks, but oh my dear, they are expensive pieces of plastic. They’re fun to have, but you literally will never use them again. Yet we bought them.

Some of the goods

Some of the goods

Akane and I ended up purchasing krunk x BIGBANG keychains, a light stick, and a light ring. We both got TOP keyrings, but I received the colored one, while hers was silver. Light rings were also given at random, and I got the regular red one.

Krunk x TOP

Krunk x TOP

The concert, of course, was incredible. BIGBANG has a lot of personality, and there was a Q&A session with the fan club in the front. It was funny how they reacted to how fans rated them (G Dragon being super popular, Seungri being liked for being pitiful). Taeyang was made to say I love you to one of the audience members who requested it.

It was weird to hear their songs in Japanese, though – the only ones I could really get into, as a result, were Koe wo Kikasete and Gara Gara Go. I like the original Korean versions of the songs….which they did sing some of. And I’m still a fan of the originals: Haru Haru and Lies. The remix part with all their singles one after the other was really nice, and when they launched goodies at the fans….I really wish I got one, dangit.

In any case, concerts are really all about the experience. Just found that out. The sea of lights from all the fans’ light sticks was really beautiful! It was also fun to wave them around to the music and see everyone else doing the same. I guess it’s like a unified sort of feeling – it’s hard to describe.

Sea of lights

Sea of lights

Actually, I always thought concerts lasted well into the night, but this one ended around 8pm (if I remember correctly), so after that whole experience, it felt weird going home to do nothing.

But 10/10 would attend again. Well, maybe not another huge concert like this (it was super expensive!), but another concert, definitely. Then maybe I’ll discreetly use my BIGBANG light stick again just to get some use out of it.

 

…Annnndddd that was how I spent my Christmas.

Kawagoe Part 2

23 December 2014, Tuesday

So I had a personal reason to go to Kawagoe, which was to buy a certain protection charm for a friend, but I was also looking forward to going back anyways. Ching and I went early in the morning (it takes a while to get there – Kawagoe is actually in another prefecture) and walked around taking pictures. We got there maybe around lunch time, so we decided to go through the streets, looking for a place to eat. Now, I’m a super picky person – I like cheap and good, but I also never know what I want to eat unless I look through all the options. However, we eventually got too tired to look anymore, so we settled on a tofu place. That might seem unusual, but Ching and I are both tofu fans, so it really wasn’t a problem. The price was rather high, but, actually, it was quite a nice and filling meal.

Three kinds of tofu, pickles, soy milk, and miso

Three kinds of tofu, pickles, soy milk, and miso

I got the more expensive set, since I wanted to try all the different kinds of tofu (I only remember that the middle one has black sesame in it). The miso had a lot of ingredients and even more tofu, so it was absolutely delicious. The soy milk, however, was thick and plain, so it wasn’t to my taste. It was literally like drinking tofu. I thought it’d be sweetened. The “pickle” was actually fried tofu with a sauce on it. Tofu, admittedly, has a very light flavor, which is something that not everyone is fond of. I usually like strong, concentrated flavors, but I don’t mind tofu so much. And it’s always nice to know you’re at least eating healthily.

After finishing our lunch, we continued to walk around, and went to Hikawa Shrine again. Hikawa is known for fated marriages and I intended to buy a love charm for success in confessing. I actually had to ask the shrine maidens which one was effective for that, so it was a bit embarrassing.

I also got to visit a sweets street (which is recommended on this map you can get at Kawagoe Station) and buy a purple sweet potato manju – which was super yummy! I hate sweet potatoes, but I could eat this again.

Purple Sweet Potato Manju

Purple Sweet Potato Manju

We bought a couple of other sweets, visited the animate for a second (way too small) and then went to Shibuya. Ching had something else to attend to, so I hung out on my own in Parco. From rocketnews24 (a Japanese news site I frequent), I found out about an ice cream melon pan shop, so I went there and had one. It’s a bit expensive at ¥400 per, but they really put a literal block of vanilla ice in that melon pan, so I’d say it’s worth it. It’s really a delicious combinations – the soft, warm, fluffiness of the melon pan combined with cold, creamy ice cream….just thinking about it makes me drool. I could use another one…

Melon Pan Ice Cream

Melon Pan Ice Cream

The shop is called The Second Best Freshly Baked Melon Pan Ice in the World (世界で2番めにおいしい焼きたてメロンパンアイス), and it’s only a five minute walk away from Parco (so maybe 15, 20 minutes from Hachiko), and I highly recommend going!

Lateness

Just a short entry.

Sorry for being so extremely late at posting all the time! Lately, time has been pretty fleeting, and I’ve been trying to use most of it on enjoying my time while abroad. I totally understand how difficult it is to keep up with a blog now! I keep a journal regularly as well, so writing a blog make it seem like I have to write a journal twice a day! Instead of posting every day (especially since it’s been two months), I’ll try to condense things and skip more “insignificant” events, since I’m sure no one’es really that interested in the small details of my life. I’ll be posting more on the travels and recommendations (places to eat and go), which will hopefully be a lot more helpful than saying who I met on what day. I did, after all, start this blog to help students who are going to study abroad at Keio in the future.

Anyways, I’m sure there will still be a ton of infrequency on my part (I’ll be traveling more soon, since it’s spring break), but I’m going to do my best to try and finish up the entries for the two months I haven’t posted anything about!

Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo

15 December 2014, Monday

In the morning, I played Pokemon,  but once it hit around 2, I headed out to go to Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City. The Pokemon Center actually opened last Friday, but I didn’t have time that day to go. Saturday and Sunday were also busy, so went on Monday. Even though it was the 4th day, it was still quite crowded.

Look at that glorious, glorious Charizard Y (with Pikachu)

Look at that glorious, glorious Charizard Y (with Pikachu)

I invited Geraldine to come after her class ended at 4:15, so she came around 5, and I was still trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to buy. I had a bunch of things in my basket, but it was so hard to choose! Everything costs too much money! There were also two Pikachu-in-a-Charizard Y hoodie plushies, but I didn’t want to spend that much money, so I struggled to choose just one. Geraldine had the same struggle, and chose the complacent Pikachu, while I chose the determined expression one.

Oh why, why must there be two Pikachus?!

Oh why, why must there be two Pikachus?!

It took like 4-5 hours, though. Of course, my consolation is that I got both the shiny Pikachu and shiny Charizard in ORAS and X that they were giving away. I was quite satisfied. Even though I still ended up spending over the price of two of those large Pikachu plushies. I could’ve just bought both.

The Pokemon Center itself isn’t actually that big, but it is bigger than the one at Hamamatsucho was. A lot of foreigners were also there, and some of them were buying the limited edition plushies in bulk. I guess to sell them back home? It was a weird sight to see, though.

Oh the foreigners and their bags of Pikachus. Leave some for the people who actually want them please.

Oh the foreigners and their bags of Pikachus. Leave some for the people who actually want them please.

There were also people from all walks of life – from young kids (barely any) to old men. There were salarymen and people with kids on their 3DS’ getting the free Pokemon. You can really tell Pokemon fans have aged. There were even lolitas, fashionistas, etc. Girls with fur coats and guys with blonde dyed hair. It was interesting.

Not a fashionista, but a darn cute Chespin

Not a fashionista, but a darn cute Chespin

The checkout line was also super long and the staff could speak English. Got a free Pikachu-Charizard hoodie trading card with my purchase, too! Across from the Pokemon Center is also a mini Pokemon arcade with Pokemon capsule machines and Pokemon Tretta arcade machines.

Went to Alta to buy a secret santa gift, though. Then made a trip to Ikebukuro’s Animate to buy more rubber straps. I totally forgot to get the point card though! They had a capsule machine with Persona 3 characters in it, and I was, once again, hoping to get Shinjiro, but I ended up getting Akihiko. sigh. But found out that they sold Fire Emblem Awakening keychains and had to get one for myself. Geraldine bought a Code Geass strap, while I purchased Persona 3 and FE:A. We checked what we got outside. I managed to not get my most hated characters this time. I managed to get the Tactician (f) and Fuuka! I was especially surprised about getting Tactician, though. I wanted Stahl, but I thought the Tactician would be the hardest to get. I was just hoping not to get Sumia.

Hello, Akihiko

Hello, Akihiko

I wanted to go for purikura, but Geraldine had to get back by 10, so we went back to Hiyoshi and stopped by Mister Donut for the sale, then went home.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the merchandise at Mega Tokyo

Mega Plushies

Mega Plushies

Mega Lucario and Mewtwo

Mega Lucario and Mewtwo

Mascot Pikachus

Mascot Pikachus

Mega Charizard X

Mega Charizard X

Pokemon Snacks

Pokemon Snacks

 

Harajuku Shopping

14 December 2014, Sunday

Made plans with Chou to go shopping again. We both wanted new shoes, so we headed to Harajuku around 2pm. Paris Kids was the first place we dropped by, and I found out that they sold surprise bags! 10 items for ¥324 – so worth. I picked the heaviest bag and bought a necklace. Then went into Wonder Rocket and looked at some of the mori girls items. Found a cute 3-way bag for ¥1900, but I wanted to look at other places first before committing. Went into the Daiso across the street (a large Daiso!) looking for journals. Chou and I both bought quite  few things. I bought four journals, including one notebook for school. I wanted to look at a bunch of other shops, but Chou was super hungry, so we went to Santa Monica Crepes and waited in the long line to order our Chocolate Banana Brownie Crepes.

Chocolate Banana Brownie Crepe. Doesn't it look delish?

Chocolate Banana Brownie Crepe. Doesn’t it look delish?

I kind of wish I got one of the premium deluxe giant crepes, though (I eat too fast). Next time! It was delicious, and while we were eating them on the side of the road, some girl decked out in lolita and a camera crew passed by. I feel like you see a lot of camera crews in Tokyo. We stopped by a bunch of stores, including No Fall, the cheap shoe store, where Chou bought a pair of faux Uggs.

These shoes doe

These shoes doe

I stopped by Sango and bought a dress and debated buying a ¥1980 cardigan and stole. Then we headed to the bigger Wonder Rocket, where, soon, it started hailing! It was quite a site. One of the store attendants ran inside exclaiming that it was snowing hard. A little girl was so excited and went outside yelling to her parents. And, even though it was hail and it hurt, she still stayed outside all happy. Chou had never seen snow before, either, so she was excited when I dragged her back out. It was really a sight to see.

Little drops of hail on the ground

Little drops of hail on the ground

But it didn’t last long. When we finished at that store, it was already gone and replaced by rain. Sadly, none of us had umbrellas. Luckily, it soon changed to a drizzle instead. And made a stop at Calbee+ where I got my poterico fix. It was so good. And Chou bought the salt butter flavor chips.

Poterico - fried potato goodness. I'd even say better than french fries.

Poterico – fried potato goodness. I’d even say better than french fries.

Then we stopped by Wonder Rocket, where I bought that bag (and the cashier had perfect English, I was so surprised! She also packed it up in plastic so carefully and thoughtfully since it was wet outside). And rushed to Sango to also buy the cardigan I was debating about before. Then went to a socks store, which had a 4 for ¥1000 sale. Chou and I each bought two pairs and split the price. The Cute Cube PomPomPurin Cafe line was much shorter by this time, so I had Chou come with me to eat there.

Entrance to cuteness

Entrance to cuteness

You cannot say this is not cute!

You cannot say this is not cute!

We still had maybe a 10-15 minute wait, but the pudding was so worth it. It was so creamy and delicious – convenience store purins just cannot compare! But the caramel sauce that came with it on the side was the grossest thing I’ve ever tasted. It was extremely bitter and tasted exactly like medicine. But, since I don’t believe in wasting food I pay for, I ate it all.

I ate pompompurin

I ate pompompurin

Lastly, we stopped at We Go, then had dinner at La Pausa next door. It was quite good. I usually hate tomato-based pastas, but this one I could stand to eat again.

The train ride home was kind of embarrassing, though. We were the only ones with a ton of shopping bags. We probably troubled other passengers with how many bags we carried.

Japanese "bacon" (really just ham) and tomato pasta

Japanese “bacon” (really just ham) and tomato pasta