Make your own free website on Tripod.com

enchantingmanasanban17.jpg

Japan Trip 2006

bannertrip06.jpg

Finally i am able to post blog about my trip to Japan!
I took so many photos that i am separating my trip into two parts... the days i spent in Tokyo and then the other city, Kyoto.

Well, Needless to say it was a REALLY long flight... REALLY LONG... I and my best friend Emily were planning this trip for years and finally when we graduated we were able to go! 
We arrived at the Sotuhwest Florida International Airport at 6 am on june 25... the check ups went fine... i was worried because i am not a citizen so i thought i would be held up... but everything went good!  The airplane took off at 8 am... I took some photos from the airplane window... because you know how beautiful skies ar ein Florida...
Here are the photos;

    
 and about 12pm or so we arrived at Fort Worth/Dallas Texas to switch airplanes... while that was happening we decided to go and eat...mcdonals was one of the obvious choices! >_<:
Photo of Texas aiport (below)
    

After waiting for an hour or so... we finally boarded Boeing 777 to fly directly to Narita , Japan. The airplane was rather big and spaceous... i had enough space for my legs back in the economy class >_<;  As soon as we boarded... I took out my ipod and my pillow ... i was ready for the loong flight... the view out of the window wasnt too good because the airplane's wing was right in front of us... >_<;  and also my seat was malfunctioning... whenever i put it back ... it kept coming back up!!! ;___;  so when i went to sleep i was lying down but when i woke up i was sitting straight up!!!  grrr... for 16 hours... *sigh*  well at that point i still wasnt realizing that i am going to JAPAN!!  here some photos i took from the second airplane window. Landing at Narita(picture 1) and Texas (picture 2)!
    
 As i looked out of the window at the time we were landing... the weather was sooo foggy...  weird... but fascinating...

We arrived at the airport... had our luggage and passports checked... then it was time to get a shuttle bus to go to Tokyo... (as you know we arrived at Narita Airport which is in a different city....  ) So we went to buy tickets for the bus!! *our first experience with japanese language!!*  kinda exciting yet scary... well at out relief they talked english...! we bought tickets to Keio Plaza hotel... then decided to go and exchange money while we had time... and something happnened... while exchanging money Emily lost her bus ticket... ;__;  we looked everywhere... and even the airport stafff helped us look.... and  still couldnt find it.... tired after long flight... with heavy luggage... we didnt care anymore... we just went ahea and bought another ticket... 
on the bus... we were so tired that i couldn even take out my camera!!! i was like... " i want home... ummm... i mean... i want to the hotel..... " after  about one hour we arrived at the hotel... friendly staff helped us with luggage and registration... after that we went up to the room... i was so exhausted and sweaty... and tired... i wanted a hot hot hot shower!!! so i put a bid on tkaing shower first! Emily didnt seem to mind...
shower felt really nice! and the bathrobes felt even nicer... they kinda looked like yukata... but really soft...  i then fell on the bed... i didnt even unpack... but  Emily said that she wants to go look around... at 11pm!!!! "whats wrong with you woman!!??? " - i was yelling in my head. well we went anyway... heaidng toward Keio department store... we were looking around and people were looking at us... it was weird situation... after awhile we came back to the hotel and decided to go exploring later... hmm... i dont recall what we did next... it has been a month now... i think i called up my penpals... telling them that i  have arrived! ^__^
I had a plan of going to DBSK concert at Zepp Tokyo... but i ahd no idea where i was... i ahd no idea where train station was... or any kind of transportation all together... next morning... i took my gothic lolita addresses list that my friend Kei has translated for me, and went to catch a taxi...  taxi drivers do not speak english... at all... at least not any of the ones i met...  I kept telling the driver... " Marui young Shinjuku"... *sigh*... he finally understood...  taking taxi was a good thing... this way while he was driving i was able to memorize the road so i can walk to the place next time... while we were in taxi i was taking photos! *below*

        

  
Then we finally arrived at Marui Young where Mana-sama's store was located!! It is on the 5th floor... and its gorgeous... as soon as I walked in... my heart was beating so fast... the classical music swept me away... and the beautiful decorations took my breath away... Mana-sama's most recent outfits were displayed at the front of the store... the blue cross glowing and the huge coffin/ dressing room... man i wanted to visit this palce for such a long time... i went crazy lookign at different outfits, jewelry... the materials of the clothing were of high quality... and by trying it on i could feel that i am wearing expensive clothes... but man... that clothes was so hard to get in to and get out off... >_<;  like a puzzle... " hmmm i wonder where this string goes.... or... is this back or front... or... damn where is the zipper... " the girl who was waiting outside... was asking if everything was ok... hahahha i was blushing when i came out... and ended up buying  a shirt and a skirt thingy and a ring... which cost me about 700 USD... and then she gave me a postcard which said that there is gonna be a sale event where if you spent more then 200USD then you get a gift... which was a moi meme moitie plate... so i had to come back!!!
when i was leaving... i decided to take a picture in front of the store... here you go... ^_^;
 

after leaving the store... we had to explore the floors above which were gothic lolita and aristocrat and punk store such as putumayo . black peace now and etc...
BTW wherever you come into dressing room you are REQUIRED to tkae off shoes... I learned it the hard way... *sigh*
above on the 6th floor... there was a music store jsut for visual kei!! i went nuts... all the rare magazines with Mana-sama... rare DVDs, photobooks... i bought a whole bunch of magazines and then few SID CDs... i was going to come back!!  then as i was walkign i saw a jewelry store... a dream come true for a gothic person like myself... all jewelry... is liek a dream... i was lookign around and suddenly i almsot had a heart attack... i saw the exact ring as Mana-sama has... waaaaa the bat!! i had to buy it... it cost me about 50USD...
then we walked all around the stores... afteyr 2 hours or so... we decided to walk home...
bad idea!!! We got lost on the way back to hotel and made couple of circles... but eventually arrived... sweating like crazy... with hair of 100% frizz... with ache in my legs and my shoulder from carrying bags... waaaahhhh i died on the bed as soon as we crawled up to 24th floor of our hotel...
btw just telling you guys...  during the time we were in japan... the weather was sooo hot and HUMID... and i live in florida... i couldnt tolerate it... i was drinking almsot every 30 minutes... then unlike florida the buildings are not airconditioned good enough... i changed my clothing maybe twice a day... see i dont have short sleeved shirts... so it was death for me... hahaha
i took some photos of the hotel room and the outside... (here below)

        

  
 
I *

So then the next day we wanted to go explore Shinjuku area... We went on foot again because we need to learn the way around... ^_^;
We walked all the way to Shinjuku station... by the time we got there ... the weather was so hot... but we kept walking. Suddenly we saw some weird building that resembled a college or something like that and there was a park to walk through...!!! shade!! Excited we ran towards it... as expected... it was really nice and cool...Also there are cool pigeons in Japan... i couldnt help myself... it looked so cute... i took some photos... here
        

      
 
After that we went to see those tall trees that resembled christmas trees... they were so huge... like in anime... ^_^;  after our long walk we decided to head back ... to Mana-sama's store!!! hahahahha
On the way i took another picture of me...
  

Then when walking back i saw a bookstore...it was all pink! i wanted to look... but  i was so exhausted...my legs were hurting... you know livining in Florida... we rarely walk... here we drive alot... and both I and emily couldnt walk hahaha filled with blisters and pain... yet growing muscle... hahaha

We returned to hotel... and ate some KFC we bought on the way... ^_^  *yes there is KFC in japan!* After a break and shower, we changed and went out again... it was about 5pm... but it was bright outside... ^_^; so we decided to look for more parks... and luckily next to our hotel tere was a park... i have no idea what it is called... but we visited it eveyday since we discovered... it  is amazing... and omg  the ravens in the park were huge!! ( just like in dramas) and they talked funny... or creepy... ^_^;  i tried to take picture but i failed...  But here are some pictures from that park... ^_^

        

        

    

The next day, I contacted with my penpal whom i have known since 2002. my penpal in Tokyo is named Yoshiki and he is a policeman, he is only 20 years old...so he is always so busy because he is studying to be a lawyer...He told me that his friend will guide us around on wednesday... that was the day of the concert... the DBSK concert...

It would have been our first concert in Tokyo... so both I and Emily were waiting with excitement... At 4pm we met  Yasuhiko, my penpal's friend, down in the hotel's lobby. He recognized me immidietly... he introduced himself and asked where we wanted to go. His english was perfect... i was curious why... and he said that he studied abroad in Boston for a year... it was great it was easy to communicate...!! Emily kept asking him how to read kanji on the street.... ^_^; 

We told him that we want to go to the concert at Zepp Tokyo... he asked if we had tickets... NOO!! we didnt... he called the venue and sadly they were sold out.... damn it...!! so  he told us that he gonna show us how to use trains...  it was very useful... since now we knew how to use trains we could go outside Shinjuku... like to Harajuku and Shibuya!!

     Yasuhiko showed us Yoyogi park... it was breath taking... but since i thought we were gonna go to Zepp Tokyo for a cocnert... i didnt bring my camera!!!  ;___;  So after walking it seemed like for centuries... we arrived at shibuya... it was already getting dark... but the lights were beautiful and  i was really excited when we reached Shibuya 109!!!! it was as beautiful as i saw it in videos....i decided tommorow to tkae pictures there...!!

Later on we arrived in Shijuku, Yasuhiko showed us the underground way to get to Shinjuku station and also the post office where ATMs are!! this is important to know because not all plces accept credit cards!! We said our goodbyes and went back to hotel...

I was starving!!!! we went to the grocery store downstairs and bought this... btw this is just my food!! people say to never shop for food when you are starving... >_<; i did... and there you go... my dinner... which of course i havent finished eating!
  
The rice cake thingy near the Crunky bar was delicious!!!  Also i had to buy dango!! after watching Hana yori Dango... i had to try it!!! >_<;

We watched some of the funny videos on TV... here is the one i recorded!! its sooo funny XD They put blind folds over people's eys and put weird food in front of them...a dn person should try to figure out what food it is... XD this time they put a snake!! hahah the guy's expression is priceless!!! X D
here is the video..

after that we went to sleep...

the nextday we decided to go explore Harajuku and Shibuya!! ^_^


Wow it has been awhile since i wrote a blog about Tokyo... i was editing pictures... ^_^;

well... let me continue...
After  I and Emily learned how to use  Train and get around we decided to go to Shibuya next morning. So we did. armed with cameras and our purses...music stores here we come!!

We arrived at Shibuya 109... I had to take picture there!!






 Then we went along the road to Tower Records store... that was one big CD/DVD store... we went up to the second floor where all the jrock CDs were... I bought so many... so many...

All schwartz stein albums, Moi dix mois limited Dix infernal CD, Malice Mizer Bara no seidou, Kozi's Izayoi Tsuki, Miyavi CDs, SID CDs, Kat-tun's new single " REal face" , Tackey and Tsubasa "twenty two" album... Emily bought alot of CDs too... we had 2 huge bags with us... haha...

After we came out of the music store, immidietly I saw ice cream store... wahhhh i had a craving... so many sweets... i dragged emily there... She was mad at me at first : " Alex, you want me to become fat, dont you!!"  but she gave in after she saw all the tasty ice ream... here is the photo.. ^_^




After that we decided to hit more music stores... roamng around shibuya... we finally hit HMV store... so many DVDs... and CDs...

I bought Gackt Requiem of Reminiscence DVD and Klaha's Marchen DVD...

After that we decided to visit Shinuya AX... well you know... as  a Mana-sama fan I wanted to visit places where he had been and Shinuya AX was associated with him ( people who saw Scars of Sabath DVD extras know what I am talking about).
Here are the photos. ^_^





This is the walk through towards the yoyogi park where street performances take place right across from NHK broadcasting station.





After that... we decided to walk near Sibuya AX and see whats there... here is a video of it... ^_^;



after that tired , sweaty and exhausted we decided to return to hotel... man... I was hungry... the first mcdonals I saw... i bought chicken wraps... it was good lunch...

The next couple of days me and emily were walking around shinjuku and shibuya  and  harajuku... until Sunday came and i got a call from my penpal Yoshiki who said that he and his friend are gonna give us a better tour of Tokyo... And you know the place I wanted to go on Sunday!!  The cosplay bridge!!! the famous cosplay bridge... Yoshiki and Yasuhiko werent familiar with that place... and they never really knew the world of cosplay and  gothic lolita... so we had to ask directions from americans we met on the streets... the irony...  lol

anyways we finally arrived at the bridge... it was raining... damn!!! not many people come out during rain... but still there were some impressive cosplays... i saw some jrockers too... including Kyo cosplayer and Miyavi from due le quartz... i saw Gackt cosplay and just lolita crossdressers... many people indeed here are some photos...
           

           


 
I have videos too... but i cant find them right now... Anyways, later our tour guides took us to some shopping places next to cosplay bridge... a place like this... There was a place where you can drive a remote control car... but the line was too long... oh well...







after that we went to Tokyo Hand Shopping center... Its in the area that was made to look like New York... we decided to take a break there and stop at the cafe... While Emily, I and Yasuhiko were waiting in line, Yoshiki suddenly dissapeared...after awhile he came back like nothing happnened... realy suspicious...
We had some drinks in cafe... but menu was in Japanese... >_<;  me and emily were confused... and we didnt know half of the things on the menu that Yasuhiko read to us... so we ended up getting tea...though jsut tea it was really expensive... >_<;  Yasuhiko and Yoshiki insisted on paying... though they are college students and not working people...

Also the special day was coming up on july 7, a legend about two lovers who can only meet during milkyway in the sky...so everyone was writing wishes on pieces of paper and hanging them on the trees.. I and Emily did that too.





After that we went to observatory near our hotel... actually right next to our hotel... its a tall building from where you can see all Tokyo and if weather is good Mt. Fuji cna be seen... here are some photos i took while up there...




           

    

It started getting late and we decided to go back to hotel. Yasuhiko and Yoshiki walked us back... and when we were in the lobby they suddenly took out little wrapped presents for us...!! They handed those to us... me and Emily were both surprised... ( ...thats where Yoshiki dissapeared to when we were waiting in line in cafe...!!)We thanked them and said good bye... sadly...we never saw them since... i know how busy they are especially during exam week...

and that was the end of the other day for us... ^_^

^_^