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24 February 2011 @ 03:17 pm
Dec 2010 Trip to Tokyo [IMG HEAVY]  
Going back to school and work was depressing.
I've been back for almost two months, but I still can't find the motivation to work hard again anymore.

Lengthy post with lots of pictures(mostly for my own documentation XD) of my first trip to Japan by ourselves.
It is filled with eating, shopping and fangirling.
You have been warned!!
So I spent 5 nights in Tokyo from Dec 17~21 before leaving for Hong Kong for a week and a half.
My friend flew down from Montreal and stayed for 2 days before we left on the morning of the 16th right after my last exam the night before.

Day 1 - Arrival

After 10 hours and a sleepless flight in cramped seats, we arrived safely in Narita Airport. I had purchased Airport Limousine Bus tickets that stopped at our hotel at the travel agency prior to our departure. So after practicing my Japanese with the friendly looking uniformed Jii-chan, we got our prepaid tickets exchanged to actual bus tickets. We had half an hour of bumming before our bus came, so I went down to the JR station area to get my SUICA card while my friend stayed with the suitcases.

Whipped out our "Tokyo Eating, Playing, Shopping" guidebook and quickly sticky tabbed the places we were interested in and planned a tentative itinerary for our next 4 days. XD

Another ~1 hour bus ride, we'd arrived at our hotel, Tokyo Dome Hotel. Went to the front desk and practiced more Japanese with the front desk staff. Got our key cards and was told that our luggage and mail that was addressed to me would be taken to our room soon thereafter.
(Basically this whole trip, I took every opportunity to practice my Japanese and see how much I could get across and understand before resorting to sign language and simple English. XD)

Our room on the 23rd floor and the awesome night view. (my bed on the left :D)
Didn't bring my nice camera, so all the pictures are kinda crappy. Especially the night time ones where I try to take pictures of the really pretty christmas decorations.







Our luggage came up and I signed for my mail which held our concert tickets, and after a little rest, we headed out in search of food. We were too tired to try to go anywhere, so we just stayed inside Tokyo Dome City and just went to the mall complex across from our hotel and admired the Christmas decorations along the way.







Tokyo Dome!!!

And here I got really excited since the concert was the next day.

Sad picture of the Ferris wheel. My little camera couldn't capture the pretty lights. :(


Our hotel...

The next two days, quite a few of these windows got Eito-fied. Lots of fangirls traveling from different prefectures in Japan stayed here, so there were Eito-mark light-up signs, concert uchiwas, messages, posters, christmas lights in one incidence, decorating the windows to show their Eito pride and to cheer the boys on. If they saw or staff members told them.

The following two days, all this empty space that you see, will be stampeded with fangirls. From early morning, 7-8am, all the way until evening after 10pm. The only time it will be empty, would be those 3 hours when the concert is going on. But even during those 3 hours, there will be a handful of unfortunate fangirls who were unable to get tickets, huddling outside the side doors, trying to listen inside...

Finally settled on a restaurant and was met with our first challenge.
My friend doesn't know Japanese so the communicating job was left to me while she did most of the navigating. LOL!
So the menu had a lot of kanji and no pictures. And sometimes, even when I know what a character means, I may not know how to read it as there is, of course, no furigana. So after trying the best of my capabilities to explain what was on the menu to my friend, we finally ordered.

Here's my mini Ten-don & Soba teishoku. It was a little bit pricey but REALLY GOOD!!! -salivates-


Dropped by a Lawson after dinner to get some necessities and some more christmas photos! The little camera doesn't do the lights justice.





Day 2 - 8UPPERS Concert, Ikebukuro



Goods line was to open at 9AM, so my plan had been to start line-up at 8AM.
So I got up around 7AM, looked outside our window. Our room faces the opposite side from the Dome, but I saw girls slowly trickling in from the station though.
Brushed my teeth, got dressed, and dragged my friend up.

When we got to breakfast, the window of the restaurant was facing the Dome area and before 8AM, the line-up was already getting pretty long and growing really fast. The customers kept asking the hotel staff what the people were lining up for.
One answered and said it was some kansai jr called Kanjani8 and I almost wanted to go up to correct her. XD;;
So we quickly finished our classic Japanese-style breakfast and rushed out to join the mad hordes.

Joined the line just before 8:30AM. Can't really explain how long and winding it was. x_X But here's an attempt to show by taking a picture when on the elevator after buying my goods. This is just a very very small part of the whole winding line-up.



Goods line-up took about 1.5hours and then another ~20mins of actual buying. Was so tempted to buy everything. I bought 3 uchiwas, multiple photosets, 4 posters, pamphlet, trump cards, hair scrunchie, pen light, shopping bag, phone strap, t-shirt, and other goods for friends.



Went back to our hotel to drop off our loot and then we headed over to Ikebukuro in search of Tokyu Hands and this attraction called Namja Town where they have an "Ice Cream City". XD



Took half an hour of walking around in circles and getting lost before we finally found Tokyu Hands. The map in the guidebook was useless, but the maps situated at the big intersections around town were very useful.

Didn't buy that much stuff at Tokyu Hands, but somehow ended up spending a lot. But got both my mom and dad's souvenir shopping done here! Yay! XD



Next we had to find Sunshine City, this big mall that seemed to consist of several small malls together, which is where Namja Town is in. Managed to find Sunshine City easy enough, but once inside the mall, it took us some time to find Namja Town. Lol!

Found Namja Town, so we went to look for food. Went to this omurice restaurant, which I think is a franchise restaurant, with a cute name like "Tamago to Watashi".
I got this new item called something like, "Hashed Beef Omurice".
It was SO GOOD! The tamago was all "fuwa-fuwa" >3<



Our stomachs full and Namja Town located, we walked around the mall and did some minor shopping. We were just interested in the icecream, so we didn't buy the full pass for all the attractions in Namja Town, but if given the chance, I might make another visit should I have time next time I go back.



There were all these yummy looking and smelling sweets shops. Like that crepe one I really wanted to try. Or that shaved ice. But we were really full, so we just each had a waffle cone. I got the "sea-salt vanilla". UMAIIIIII~! ♥



Walked around Namja Town looking at the attractions. They were doing a Kuroshitsuji theme, but I've never read the manga or watched the anime, so I wasn't too interested. But they did have a "butler cafe" corner with these young guys dressed as butlers, but they weren't pretty boys, so I wasn't interested. XP
I didn't bother to look much, but I think it was just an attraction/game where you play that pulling the table cloth thing, rather than getting waited on by young butlers.

Soon it was time to head back to hotel to drop off our shopping and get ready for the concert. We got onto the Marunouchi line and as every stop neared the venue, more and more Eighters got on. By the time we got to Korakuen station, there were Eighters EVERYWHERE. Station was packed, both with milling concert attendees and the poor normal travelers.

The whole venue's surrounding area was jammed pack and milling with people. My friend was like, "this is definitely more than 55,000 people." XD
So we quickly went back to the hotel room to drop off our stuff and bring our uchiwas, penlights, etc, to the con. I lent my friend my Ryo uchiwa and I held my Yasu uchiwa and handmade one.

The seats were decent, I could view the whole venue, the whole Dome was filled, even the third floor seats. I don't think I can even express with words how awesome the concert was. How handsome/hot they all were. And their voices.

I got so giddy when I could hear Yasu mess up during his guitar segments. I was happy that they sang the Christmas songs, but was sad that I wouldn't get to see their duets or their group Topop performance. I really wanted to hear Ryo and Subaru's duet live. :( And now its not even gonna be in the DVD either. :'(

They made sure to tend to everyone. So the rising stage was a nice touch for the ones sitting third floor center. They did Brulee up there!! TT____TT Couldn't see a thing since the rising stage was so high up. But now worries, shall wait for the DVD.

Yoko got a lot of love. I don't think it was that everyone were Yoko fans, but more like EVERYONE, no matter whom they were a fan of, adored Yoko. ♥
I became a Yoko fan after the live.

You know how when for celebrities, you'd think that when you see them live, they'd still be a little bit different from when you watch them on TV, right? Its how they'll "give more" of themselves since they're on TV. So to not have my expectations set too high, I wasn't expecting Eito to be just like how they usually are when I watch their DVDs or TV shows etc. But they are EXACTLY like that.

They are as exactly hilarious and adorkable and idiotic as when I watch them on DVDs and shows. Hina still whacks people. Subaru is still that perverted/weird chicchai ossan. Yoko's still... Yoko. The whole concert exceeded my expectations. Even though I wasn't able to see their features very clearly, I was still so into it. Before I knew it, it was already three hours, and they were saying good bye. During the last song before the encores, my friend was saying, "ah, its ending soon." And I was just like, "What? but it's just started not too long ago....?"

Thus, ended my first (and hopefully not last) Johnny's concert.
I was slightly disappointed that they didn't throw sign-balls and sign-boards but just those sign-Frisbee. And only two each!! Yoko's frisbee flew above my head... like 5ft above. lol. Yasu threw his last one in the section besides ours. D:

I was able to confirm that Yasu's my favorite member as my eyes were pretty much on him 75% of the time. And it was also a real great treat for me that the letter-reading segment was Yasu's. :D

It took forever to manage to get out after the concert. I stopped by the goods stand and bought a Yoko Uchiwa, so now I have 4 (Yasu, Ohkura, Ryo, Yoko) uchiwas in total. I regret not buying all 7 now. Even my MOM asked me: Why didn't you buy all 7 and collect the set then since you bought 4 already. -sigh-

Finding an empty restaurant to eat was near impossible. Everywhere was full of concert go-ers. We ended up buying some fastfood restaurant's burgers and melon soda and brought it back to the hotel to eat.

-THE LOOT-


Some are stuff that friends asked me to get, but [un]fortunately, most are mine.... XDD;;


Day 3 - Harajuku, Johnny's Shop

Just lost half my entry so have to re-type everything... =.=;;

So we got to Harajuku around 11AM and first thing was to get to that park in front of the JR station to get the ticket.


Then we headed for Takeshita dori to do some shopping. It was a Saturday, so lots of people, many of whom were fellow Eighter carrying the 8UPPERS bag. Everyone probably decided to come to Harajuku after purchasing their concert goods.

Bought lots of clothes, accessories, and unofficial shop photos there and we were getting really bogged down by the shopping bags, so we decided to find a coin locker to stuff our bags in. We could've gone to the coin lockers in the JR station, but we didn't know and went to Omotesando and all the way to Omotesando Hills!!



Was going to try this restaurant that my friend wanted to try in Omotesando Hills, but they were all full and had long line-ups so we went back to Takeshita dori and found this ramen place that was listed in our guidebook.


It was quite small and I guess they get a lot of foreign customers as they had a menu with different languages on each page. English, Chinese, Korean...


After lunch, we did a bit more walking around before it was time to go to the JE shop.
Went back to the little park and waited for the staff member to come take us there. She had a sign that told us to follow and to keep quiet outside of the shop. LOL.

Got 51 photos and I later found out after coming back and going through the photos and receipt that they had switched one of my Yasu photos with a Ryo one. =[
They do fan it out for you to check, but when you buy this amount, how can you check to see if they're all right? But at least they gave me 51 and not 50. ^^;;

We had to go back to Omotesando Hills to get retrieve our shopping bags from the locker before heading back to the hotel to drop them off. It was crowded earlier, but now at night, there were even BIGGER crowds. It's hard to make out the crowds in the photo though. ><;;


Dropped our stuff off and went to look for dinner. We didn't go far and just stayed in the Tokyo/Marunouchi area. The area was really pretty and had all these fairy lights on all the trees lining the walks, but it was hard to capture with the small camera cus when the flash is on,t he lights get dimmed, but without, the picture is blurry or too dark. =.=;;





And since our boys like Tiffany... XD


Went to another franchise restaurant called Ootoya. (they have this in Hong Kong as well) Katsudon!!! Yum~ ♥


The area was really pretty so we just walked around taking pictures after dinner.
There was this really pretty courtyard and this mom asked me to help her and her family take a picture together. Took 3 before they said "Ah, kirei" and then offered to take ours. So when they took ours and showed it to us, I said "Ah! Kirei! Arigatou gozaimasu" even though I thought my face looked really bloated. LMAO!



When we got back to our station, there were still lots of pretty lights there too. And the crowd that we saw when we came back to drop off our bags were now gone as the concert had been over for a while.





Day 4 - Shibuya, Daikanyama, Torikizoku

Another shopping day where we hit Shibuya 109.
Walked out of the JR station, and BAM! Right in front of my eyes, above the famous crosswalk intersection. XD


Lots of shopping done at Shibuya 109 again, so we went in search of a locker in the JR station. ALL of them were full, especially since these were those 3-day lockers. We were lucky that right when we arrived, there was an obaa-san emptying her locker, but it was a small one. So we tried looking for other bigger ones. But ALL of them were full. So after much struggling and squishing, we managed to fit most of our shopping inside the locker.

Then we went to look for Torikizoku. The franchise yakitori restaurant that Ohkura's dad owns. There's over 150 stores across Japan. Its only opened for dinner service, so we decided to go explore other places since it was still early and we couldn't do anymore shopping.


We walked around and saw this.. smoothie? place which was connected to a purikura place. There this globe outside where you can stick you hand in and grab a piece of folder paper which you can use to exchange for a type of snack for free inside. There's also a big sign at the entrance that says girls only and guys can only come in if brought in by their girlfriend. XD

Once inside, we saw two highschool girls sitting in front of the mirror doing their hair. They provided these hair curlers and hair irons and makeup cotton etc. So they were there just doing their hair and make-up.
Since we were there, we took purikuras of course. But the one we took made me eyes look freakishly big. It made it so big that my irises weren't even inside my eyelids anymore. O_O

With nothing to do, we went to Daikanyama since my friend wanted to go check it out. It was a really nice neighborhood and apparently one where many wealthy/famous people or celebrities like to live. I can imagine Kame living somewhere there. XD


The clothes there were really pretty but very expensive. Dropped by the BTSSB store to take a look too, but of course, no way could spend that much money.
Lunch at a small cafe. Carbonara~


And then this small shop that sold little home accessory things.


The neighborhood was nice and we had ample time with nothing specific on the agenda, so we wandered around and eventually got a bit lost as we couldn't find our way back to the station. LOL!




It was still early, so we made a stopover at Shinjuku on the way back. Did a little bit of shopping there, a short break at Starbucks and people watching, before going back to Shibuya to eat dinner at Torikizoku.
It was REALLY cheap and REALLY yummy! But I hated how everyone smoked there. :(
Here's a barrage of food photos~ I think my drink is Muscat Sour.



I think we also ordered a rice or something. We didn't order a lot, but could barely finish everything cus we were so full.

After dinner, we had to go back to our coin locker and make our way back to the hotel. It was a little bit past rush hour, but the trains were still full, as in no seats and only standing room left. And here we were with all these huge bags of shopping hogging up the standing space. Was kinda funny at the time.

And here is most of the stuff that I bought in four days...


It was hell trying to fit it all into the luggage.


Day 5 - Ueno Zoo, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Ryutaro (Koyama's Family Ramen Restaurant)

We'd spent so much money the past few days shopping, so we decided that we HAD to stop. I had wanted to go to Tsukiji in the morning, but we slept in a bit, so just went to Ueno.

Ueno Zoo was easy enough to find. But said, the pandas had just recently died, so we didn't get to see and that panda parts were all under construction. :(
Have some animal pictures? :D



Ueno is famous for unagi don or something? Because a lot of the restaurants were unagi don restaurants. We went to one of the quite a few that were noted in our guidebook. Apparently Tenno likes it?


It was still early, so we went to Akihabara for me to get my hairdryer after that hairdryer incident. Wandered around a bit looking for the Volks store, but could not find. So then we went looking for a washroom instead and found one in a clothing store with many storeys. And look what I found! XD


It was back to Shinjuku again afterwards as friend wanted to go to Keio Department Store to buy some omiyage for her family. I wasn't able to since by the time I left Hong Kong to come back to Vancouver, they would all have expired. :( I did manage to find some with longer expiry dates at the airport in the end, but it can't compare to the expensive, yummy looking and nicely packaged, brand-name ones from the department store. =[

I LOVE Japanese cakes and pastries but whenever we pass a patisserie or cafe, we'd have just eaten or have no time, but we finally sat down in one that day.

I had the Milk Crepe Cake and Latte and my friend had Strawberry Tart and Royal Milk Tea. Again, it was delicious, but the place was smoking-friendly... =.=;;

Again, back to hotel to drop off our stuff before heading out. Tonight, it was an adventure. All the way to Kanagawa to go to Koyamama's Ramen place at Sobudaimae. It was supposed to take us just over an hour and 2 transfers to get there, but of course, for newbs, it took us longer and much confusion. And it was pouring rain that day too.



We finally got there, and there were just two tables other than us. Koyama's mom looked pretty and nice and she had two pretty boys help her out. The place was filled with Koyama's drama, CD releases, tv shows, etc posters. She had his NEWS con uchiwa up as well. It was generally really small and cozy. They had those squatting toilets though. LOL.

I was too chicken to take photos inside. Haha ^^;;
But the food was good. Don't remember what ramen I'd ordered, but we had gyoza as well since it was recommended. And then we made our way back home, exhausted and nodding off on the train. XD



Day 6 - Departure

The night before was just frantic packing and somehow managing to stuff everything in and praying that it was not overweight. Our flight was in the late afternoon, so we had to get there by early afternoon.

It was the day of the NEWS concert DVD release, so we went to the mall complex across from our hotel after breakfast to wait for it to open. When it opened and we went to the CD store, we were told that we couldn't buy it as the LE were all pre-ordered/reserved. Boo. I went and got it when I went to Hong Kong anyways, but was slightly disappointed. It would've been the cheapest JE release I'd ever gotten! XD

So we went back to the hotel to check-out, lug our FOUR suitcases and one carry-on down to the lobby and wait for the limousine bus to come pick us up. Had lunch at the airport and then walked around a bit before heading to the gates to board the flight to Hong Kong.

And that concludes my December 2010 Japan Trip.

Thanks for reading/looking at the pictures!!! ♥

-

On another note, I just got my JLPT results back in the mail today.
I really thought I had failed it, and even my tutor had told me that I could always try again next year... But I passed JLPT N3!!! BANZAIIIII~!

Now, N2 wo mezase!! LOL!
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: monologue - nishikido ryo
 
 
 
Alexis Tenshi: akameda micewinged_kame on February 25th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you had a good time! Love the photos!! Reminds me how badly I still want to get there someday!
Kaychiseen on February 25th, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! -hugs-

I daydream all the time about initiating/creating some sort of LJ/JE-fans trip to Japan to hit all the possible concerts and all the possible Johnny's spots. XD

A group of international JE fans from all over the world all gathered together, traveling in a pack. XD

HOHOHO!
My daydream.

You'll get to go some day, I'm sure. As long as you never forget that dream/wish, you'll be able to make it come true!
And then it would be so worth it. =]

[EDIT]
I updated with pictures from the rest of my trip.
This trip documentation is now complete! :D

Edited at 2011-02-25 09:50 am (UTC)
Alexis Tenshi: Jin wantwinged_kame on February 25th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC)
I love that idea! Besides the money issue, I've always been scared to go to Japan alone and try to navigate and deal with the language on my own. Would be awesome to have a group of fangirls to help each other out!
八乙女光: Keii WPD Whyyaotomesugoi on March 23rd, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
You met my mother-in-law Koyamaaaaaaaaa D: *kills you* LOL
Kay: [Ohyass] Togetherchiseen on March 23rd, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
LOL yes. You can have him. And her. XD
八乙女光yaotomesugoi on March 23rd, 2011 10:50 am (UTC)
Hahahah! (^^,)
Anniejin_aishiteru on August 11th, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
Eeeeee~!!! Kaylee!! It looks so magical. <3 Looking at the pictures tugged on my heartstrings. XD I want to go soo badly. Thank you for sharing your trip!! By the way, was Koyama's mom's ramen shop really good, or was it just awesome because it's JE related?