Japan Memories Day 21: Last Free Day in Japan, Revisiting Favourites, Trouble at Yodobashi Camera, and Lunch with Friends!

This is day 21 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.

So, day 21, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 21, October 21st, 2017

Our last free day in Japan. I can’t say “it went by soooo fast!” because having 3 weeks here ensured that we had enough time to explore and enjoy our trip without it feeling too short. It feels like forever ago that we left from home and arrived at Narita airport, but still I have a hard time saying goodbye. 

Today was an emotional day for me and I found I went to tears easily just thinking of leaving Japan and how this has been my dream wish trip for so long. 

So, today Dusty and I revisited a few of our favourite spots together. After ham and eggs at the Sawanoya and a quick bath each, we went out into the rain again.

Together we revisited Akiba and played rhythm games and a Walking Dead crossbow-shooter at Akiba Taito Station.

We returned to a few shops, including one of Dustin’s favourite finds,  Yodobashi Camera, which he’d been wanting to show me for a while. At Yodobashi I was looking for a simple handheld CD player so I could listen to my new drama cds and music cds on the plane ride home. While I was examining the different walkman models on display, the alarm went off- the security wire on one of the walkmans was loose. A security guard appeared INSTANTLY, seemingly out of nowhere. I didn’t know how to explain in Japanese that the alarm system wire triggered because it is loose, and that I wasn’t trying to steal the walkman! A staff member was understanding and fixed it right away, but I was impressed with the security at Yodobashi!

Dustin got me some Japanese PS Vita games (Diabolik Lovers, mainly) for my Christmas gift <3. After Akiba, I headed out to meet Hazuki for lunch- Dustin wasn’t feeling up to it (or… he’s also shy with meeting new people, I don’t know!)

20171021_152044

The metro was a bit confusing, so I was a little late ^-^’ but we went to a delicious resturaunt where we had sushi and sashimi (I can’t remember the name of the area at the moment…). I met Hazuki’s friends Tomo and Momo who were very kind and friendly and easy to talk to. We chatted and had a really great meal. 

I gave them some maple candies from Canada and one of my tiny Northern Lights paintings- coincidentally we had talked about the Northern Lights during lunch, so they were interested in the painting! They helped me find my way back to the JR lines afterward. 

I went back to Ikebukuro and visited Lashinbang and Animate one last time, picking out some more CDs for the plane ride home. I made the mistake of taking the stairs instead of the elevator all the way to the top of Animate. I ended up as sweaty and gross as our first day in Ikebukuro, and I felt bad for the people who had to stand in my armpits on the back train back to Ueno!

The night involved bathing, crying in the bath, packing, crying while packing, being very tired, and carefully applying eyes and mouths to my doll heads so I could spray them with Mr. Clear (“Matt” Spray) finisher in the morning (I don’t know if I can bring the aerosol can with me on the plane).

20171022_003142
Not creepy at all…

I stayed up too late and went to bed sometime after midnight. Who knows what time it was when I actually fell asleep… 

Tomorrow is the final day: A Day of Sighing, Awkward Taxi Situation, and Last Fun at Narita.

 

Japan Memories Day 6: Maid Cafe, Dollification, THE BEST BEEF EVER, Crushing the Crane Game, and EARTHQUAKE!!!

This is day 6 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.

So, day 6, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 6, October 6th, 2017

How has it already been almost a week in Japan!? I’m so glad we made this a long trip because it is flying by so fast! 

This morning I went back to Akiba. I wanted to try a Maid Cafe! I went up to the first maid I saw, who was for Theme Cafe #5 of my trip, Maidreamin! I asked her in Japanese where the cafe was located. She said “Ah, the cafe, this way!” and guided me down the road, brandishing her pumpkin puppet all the way (pumpkin is “kabocha”, she told me. She called the puppet kabocha-chan). She passed me off to another maid who directed me to the elevator that led to the cafe. She waved me off, dancing cutely until the elevator doors closed and I rose to the 6th floor. 

 

A maid seated me and explained the menu. I ordered a full set: a combo with omurice, melon soda, a green tea turtle parfait, choice of an exclusive item ( I chose a folder) and a song of my choice for the maid to perform, plus a commemorative photo (Polaroid). 

Everything was cute from the maids to the music to the food decorated in front of me. When serving something to me the maids would teach me a simple chant before eating (something like “Delicious! Delicious! Moe-moe!”) with hand gestures.

 

A maid also put cat ears on me for the duration of my visit. Certainly a memorable experience!

 

After a maid danced my chosen song (from Love Live rhythm game) I told her in Japanese that she was a great dancer and she acted so happily. (note: I can still recall the catchy theme song of Maidreamin that they would play periodically… it’s something you can’t forget…)

After the Maidreamin experience, I went back to Rajio Kaikan and bought the supplies to make my own doll. (It was crazy expensive, but “it’s not every day you’re in Japan” afterall…) I took her home and put her together to look like me. Cutting her hair took a while and getting the eye decals on properly took several failed attempts, but now I am quite happy with her!

IMG_20171006_041323_506

Later in the evening Dustin and I ventured out into the rain with our hotel umbrellas and sought out dinner. We thought we were entering a ramen place, but it ended up being a fancy spot with expensive beef. We got some aged imari beef and it was SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. Melt-in-your-mouth. Surely the best beef I’ve ever had (an expensive treat!)

 

 

We finished off the day with an hour or so at the arcade, trying our hand at the crane games and the drumming game. We managed to snag quite a few toys and plushies (though we went back to the hotel with considerably less yen…) 

IMG_20171006_064927_387

I think I felt my first earthquake a few minutes ago while writing this! The hanging lamp swung and it felt like someone HUGE was stomping around above us for a few moments. WEIRD!

Tomorrow is day 7: Unexpected street festival, BL cafe, and visiting friends old and new!

Japan Memories Day 5: Akihabara, Eorzea Cafe, Pokemon Centre, and meeting up with a friend in Shin Okubo!

This is day 5 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.

So, day 5, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 5, October 5th, 2017

Today was another busy, fun-filled day. Dustin and I had our reservation for theme cafe #4: Eorzea cafe, so we headed to Akiba. We were a bit early, so we explored the Animate there until the cafe opened. Despite a couple hiccups with our language barrier, we were able to order successfully and enjoyed the cute menu items and recognizable music and decor from FFXIV.

The cafe provided a tablet for us to order from. When we ordered drinks we got special collectible coasters. There was even a Cactpot event where an announcer pulled cards to determine which tables won prizes! 

We had a great time exploring Akiba and visiting iconic shops such as Mandarake, Rajio Kaikan, and Super Potato.

Dustin doesn’t want to go to a maid cafe, but I do! A maid handed me this on the street- so cute! I’ve heard some maids sing songs to make your food taste better… wonder if it works?! 😉

20180928_00015_001

Near the top of Rajio Kaikan there were these beautiful jointed dolls you could design from scratch and customize with different outfits and accessories. I thought they were adorable but Dustin said he thinks they are a bit creepy! I might go back and buy one sometime… 🙂 (note: I did!)

We headed to Pokemon Centre Ikebukuro next, where we found SUPER cute Pokemon goods! I got a chirimen (Japanese cloth) Pikachu! Dustin got a really cute Slowpoke. 

20180928_00017_001-e1538536747778.jpg

After the Pokemon centre we took a taxi back to the hotel (the driver was so nice!) and I freshened up to meet Maika in Shin Okubo (Dustin’s feet were killing him by this point, so he stayed behind to relax). 

I waited for Maika at the station, and when she found me she gave me a big hug- she’s so sweet! We walked and talked about our travels, our jobs, Japan, Canada, food, everything. We randomly selected a Korean restaurant that looked good. The inside was papered with kpop posters. I ordered a kind of korean onion pancake thing. We shared some foods, and when I looked to some big jars near the window and remarked “MAN, those olives are HUGE”, Maika said “oh, they’re plums!” Turns out it was a house-made alcohol so we ordered some. It was sweet and tasty.The owner even gave us a couple plums from the jar to taste. YUM.

Before we left, the owner saw me take a photo of his SHINee poster, and he got SO EXCITED to meet a SHINee fan from Canada. He took my picture with the poster, exclaiming “Beautiful!”. He was especially excited when I said that Key is my bias member of SHINee and then he showered me with candy and packages of nori! He was pleading with me to come back again. I think I will at some point if I get a chance. (note: I never did have a chance to go back to the restaurant on this trip, as I couldn’t find it when I was back in Shin Okubo again- I wish I knew the name of this place!)

20171005_052259
My mystery restaurant ❤

Maika and I stopped briefly at The Saem where I squeed over SHINee advertisements and bought a few skincare items. Then we searched until we found an arcade that had a Taiko Drum game that I had mentioned wanting to play, and we played several rounds (including Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “Pon Pon Pon” and Totoro songs!) I tried my hand at a crane game in an attempt to win a bunny plushie, but after 3 tries I decided to save my 100 yen coins!

It was so wonderful to meet up with a friend in Japan, as it can feel quite lonely sometimes to be in a place where you are very much an outsider with only a rudimentary understanding of the language. I had a lot of fun with Maika tonight.

Tomorrow’s post will be day 6:  Maid Cafe, Dollification, THE BEST BEEF EVER, Crushing the Crane Game, and EARTHQUAKE!!!