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!)

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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).

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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.

 

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Japan Memories Day 2: Embarrassing Myself in a Konbini!

This is day 2 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 2, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 2, October 2nd, 2017

We woke up quite early this morning after sleeping for hours and hours. The konbini (convenience store) beside our hotel was closed until 10am, so we wandered around to find food. We ended up at an adorable bakery where we shared a delicious quiche-ish sandwich, melon bun, grape bun, and sesame cream horn. All of them were so good; we drank apple juice with it.

 

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A lot of businesses are featuring decorations and special items for Halloween! I love Halloween, so I am in my element.

After eating we went to the konbini to buy a few essentials (sunscreen, etc.) and I had a very embarrassing moment. I was waiting to pay for my stuff when suddenly Dustin grabbed me by the shoulder and steered me forcefully away. I was like WHAT THE HECK DUSTIN!?!? But apparently he had been calling my name repeatedly because a man was trying to get my attention due to the fact that I had unknowingly cut in line. Oops! I didn’t notice there are little arrows on the floors and designated areas to line up, and I didn’t see that there were customers standing in the middles of the aisles waiting to pay! I was so embarrassed and worried about bothering the staff and customers.

We took our purchases and headed back to the hotel to get ready to check out and head to Ikebukuro, and Dustin starts feeling nauseous. We aren’t sure if it was humidity, jet-lag, or the Poccari Sweat drink he had, but he ended up puking and feeling gross the rest of the day, unfortunately.

We checked out and headed back to Akiba station, where I grabbed some adorable bunny-themed souvenirs and gifts. By the time we reached Ikebukuro Station Dustin was in need of Tylenol, so we went to a drug store in the station and I attempted to get some for him with my attempts at speaking Japanese. It went something like this:

Me: “Ibupurofen wa arimasu ka?” (Do you have ibuprofen?)

Cashier: *puzzled look*

Me: “Tairenoru? Adobuiru?” (Tylenol? Advil?)

Cashier: “eeh…. Nihongo?” (Um… in Japanese?)

Me: *rubs head with pained expression, trying to show “headache”*

Young Guy Behind Me in Line: *stifled chortle* “You need Tylenol? *explains to cashier in Japanese*

Me: “DOUMO ARUGATOU GOZAIMASU!!!” (THANK YOU SO MUCH)

What would I do without the kindness of strangers? Thank you random dude! 

We made the trek to our hotel, Tokyu Stay Ikebukuro, where we were able to drop off our bags but couldn’t check in until 3pm. So, Dustin looked up a random sushi place and we went in.

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Streets of Ikebukuro near our hotel.

We almost turned around and left because it was a very tiny conveyor belt sushi place and all the seats were already taken by locals, but we were seen and greeted with “Irashaimasu!” (Welcome!) and were directed to a waiting area bench where we sat for a few minutes until some spots freed up. 

It was SO TASTY! We ate a lot of sushi for a good price. The intimacy of the little sushi-ya was lovely, and the staff were very helpful. I fumbled with the hot water dispenser (for tea) but staff noticed right away and showed me how to use it.

At one point, Dusty and I each chose drinks at a vending machine. He chose one with blue packaging called “Aqua” or something, hoping it was plain water. I chose one, “I Lohas”, with green packaging, hoping it was flavored water, but both of our selections were the opposite of what we wanted, so we traded!

After lunch we headed to Animate: a 7 floor behemoth store of otome stuff, official merch, drama cds, adorable plushies and figurines: so many things to explore, it is amazing! It was nicely air conditioned inside and we were sweating SO MUCH at this point after having hauled our bags around that morning. My back felt so wet I thought something was leaking in my backpack! 

We headed back to our hotel with our bags full of gashapon (coin-machine toys) and other cool stuff.

 

After a glorious shower, I headed back out to get our advance-reservation tickets for the Eorzea cafe at a Lawson Konbini- my friend Maika kindly did the online reservation for us! A helpful Lawson staff helped me figure everything out on the self-serve ticket computer.

I went back to the “Otome Road” area and visited Lashinbang, a 6 floor building with lots of unique items. There’s just no telling what you might see on the fabled otome road- stores and floors full of niche, quirky, sometimes blush-inducing items. I got some Diabolik Lovers and Amnesia doujinshi (fan-made comics)!

 

After that I decided to wander a bit and ended up at Tokyu Hands: seemingly endless floors of everything from camping gear to stationary. I got lots of stickers and gifts, including my most exciting find yet: flipbooks! I adore these creative little things!

Before heading back I went to Family Mart, as I was starving and basically out of cash (I actually had to cancel a few items at Tokyu Hands…). So, I got onigiri (rice ball), egg sandwiches, and fried chicken for us. All were good. The chicken was gloriously greasy!

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I loaded up on oil blotting sheets kuz the humidity is no joke!

As I was walking back to the hotel it began to rain, and most people had umbrellas at the ready (except me). However, the rain was actually refreshing and didn’t bother me as it gave me a different look (hey, i’m not a sweaty tourist, it’s just rain! Really!…)

People were scooting around, trying to avoid the rainfall. As I neared the hotel a few guys were standing talking and all had umbrellas. One looked at me and ‘tut-tut’ted as if to say “aw, poor thing”. I felt like he was going to approach and offer his konbini umbrella to me, but I didn’t want to be a nuisance so I speed-walked back to the hotel!

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This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip.

 

Tomorrow is Day 3: Shinjuku Park, Giant Spiders, and Square Enix Cafe!