wingblossom: (Default)
From July 28th to August 10th, I was in Japan. For the first week of this trip, I was in the Kansai region; for the second, in Kantou. I spent all my time with my friend Eiko, and it was great to be there with her -- her relatives live in Yokohama, but it was her first time going to Osaka, Kobe, et al, too. Having her around also took a huge load off my shoulders, since I didn't have to worry about directions or transportation, like I normally would have. As a result, I was able to just relax and enjoy myself. :D I had a wonderful time during my trip, and I'd gladly do it again.

This post covers the 27th to the 29th of July. The first couple of entries -- up until Osaka -- were written while I was there, so the tone is noticeably different from what I wrote later.

The flight )
Narita Airport )
Osaka )
Hiroshima )

ETA: Pictures added!
wingblossom: (Default)
Um, so. I'm back! And with a ton of things to say about my trip and not the first clue on what to start talking about first! Like I said in a couple of the emails I sent out before, I'm happy, contented, and a little sad to be back in the U.S. again. Those two weeks flew by like they were nothing, and all the journal entries to type up and pictures to upload and sheer amount of things I want to talk about are slightly overwhelming. But I really did have a fantastic time; I can't think of a better way to have spent those fourteen days in Osaka and Kyoto and Hiroshima and Kobe and Yokohama and Tokyo.

I think I've recovered from jet-lag now -- my sleep schedule is still kind of disordered and funky, but I'm not sleeping till ridiculous hours in the afternoon anymore. Still, it does feel strange to be in back in a different country in the space of forty-eight hours. So in lieu of actually typing up all my thoughts and feelings on my stay in Japan at the moment, I'm going to post a meme! Which is also a first for this journal.

The Unpopular Fandom Opinion Meme

Name a fandom, and I'll give you the scoop on at least three of my unpopular opinions related to that fandom.
wingblossom: (Default)
Here's the loose itinerary for my trip to Japan with Eiko:

July 27-28: leave from JFK airport at 11:45 AM. Reach Japan by 2:25 PM the next day. Leave for Osaka and stay at hotel overnight.

July 29: leave for Hiroshima (an estimated three-hour trip) and stay at a different hotel there overnight. Must-see: the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

July 30: Return to hotel in Osaka. Visit Kobe.

July 31: visit Nara and Kyoto.

August 1: visit Kyoto.

August 2: explore Osaka.

August 3: leave to Yokohama. Arrive at Eiko's uncle's place.

August 4-8: explore Yokohama and Tokyo.

August 9: overnight stay at Tokyo.

August 10: leave for Narita Airport; flight takes off at three PM.

More things to check out: the Gioki temple in Kyoto, along with all of Arashiyama (there's another temple celebrating the Chrysanthemum Festival around this time). The Meiji shrine in Tokyo, and -- if possible -- the little towns here. Also, Ikebukuro.

Eiko and I were planning out our budget for the trip, and we decided that our lodging and food budget would probably come down to the equivalent of $800 total. It was harder to calculate sightseeing costs and other expenses, since that will vary on the time we'll be able to see certain events.

One thing we are planning to do is buy advance tickets for Otodama on the 7th and 9th of August. On the 7th, Kokia and D-51 are performing, and on the 9th, Yuna Ito (!) will be there. Since we'll be in the same prefecture around that time, and the tickets aren't too expensive, I'm definitely crossing my fingers for that. Seeing Kokia and Yuna Ito live would be kind of amazing.

Last but not least, I still have to finish my packing over this weekend and make sure that all of our plans are set. We still have to find lodging for our one-day stay in Hiroshima, and I have to figure out what to do regarding possible credit card and yen conversion issues.

I also have to get a haircut and buy decent flip-flops or sandals before I leave. And rather than the cultural sightseeing, I may almost be more excited about exploring all the bookstores and geeky manga shops while in Japan. I WONDER WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT ME.
wingblossom: (Default)
During my conversation with Eiko last night:

Eiko: And there should be a bunch of events during July--
Me: So, we can go see hanabi?! :D
Eiko: Mmhmm!
Me: And, oh, what about the Ghibli museum? You mentioned that before, didn't you? Have you ever been there?
Eiko: No, but we can go there if you want! I just have to see where it's located...okay, it's in Tokyo.
Me: Okay, great!
Eiko: Oh, have you heard of the maid cafes? I've always wanted to see what they're like, but I've been kind of embarrassed...
Me: Hmm, what about a butler cafe? They have those too, don't they? I've heard they're really expensive, though.
Eiko: Yeah, but I'm sure we can find one that has a reasonable price and is still pretty popular.

Yeah, we're zipping along from topic to topic.

She wants to see the Takahashi comedy troupe in Osaka -- you know, the whole tsukkomi/boke routine. It does seem cool, but on my part, I'd love to see a Takurazuka show. I asked [ profile] reni_m (the resident expert at Binghamton) about how and where to reserve tickets for one, and she pointed me to a whole bunch of links regarding audience etiquette and the performances next month.

They're showing Elisabeth from July 10th to August 9th, so I'd like to see that, especially since it's so well-regarded and dramatic. In fact, I've heard that tickets of Elisabeth tend to sell out on the first day, since it's one of the most popular shows there, along with Rose of Versailles. But they do leave some tickets available for purchase on the day of the performance, so it might be possible?

Eiko's also never been to Kyoto. Or the Kansai region at all, in fact. So it'll be our first time there for both of us. Our plans are nil so far, and yet there's so much we can do over the two weeks we spend there together. I'm not sure what the best plan is with regards to time management: on one hand, I'd like to see and do and experience as much as possible. On the other hand, I don't want to cram so much into (less than) fourteen days that it becomes tough to enjoy all of it. Short breaks are nice, even in a fast-paced schedule.

We'll be fine in Tokyo and Yokohama, since Eiko's been there so often, but Kyoto and Osaka and Kobe and Nara are still blank spots. I mean, how many prefectures will we realistically be able to cover? And in Tokyo alone, there's Odaiba! Akihibara! Shinjuku! Shibuya!

Still can't believe I'm going in less than three weeks.


wingblossom: (Default)
let's go exploring

November 2011



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