Anyhow, this time, DSLR!! wooohooo!
Overall, it was the best trip i had ever had. The planning was tight and a bit rush at times but hey, it's only 5 short days... if it was 2 weeks, we could cover tokyo i bet, but we would be damn poor too :P|
I was under stressed sometimes, JS had to remind me to cool down. At times we stayed at a certain place for too long, and went ahead of our intended trip schedule...hence we missed several places that i intended to cover... namely, roppongi hills, tokyo tower, ginza, ueno/ameyoko, asakusa, Kabukicho, ikebukuro. But im happy we covered harajuku,shibuya and odaiba. Those places are must go imho. And ghibli and bandai museum too, guess normal package tours wouldn't bring you there. Anyhow, I'll be back definitely! This is the first time i've said this for a trip overseas, i never really said that for melbourne or bangkok but for japan... yep, ill be back next year! This time 2 weeks! XD
|» Akihabara Revisited and Odaiba|
FINAL DAY : Akihabara & Odaiba|
2nd time back to akiba, actually we been to akiba back a few times at night cause we had to change to our station. But this time, we went in the day to do our last min shopping... We had onigiri for lunch.
The last pic was an interesting ad at the akiba station.
The streets were closed for some performance on akiba...but we didn't hang long enough to take a look wat event was happening. We did manage to catch some street performance though. One of which was this 14+ odd schoolgirl group doing some cheerleading/japanese victory dance thingy. Though badly sync, they fumbling feat was kinda cute and many passerbys stayed on to watch. I caught the whole 2 min + dance on dvd cam ;)
Would someone please tell Dell Singapore to change their marketing media approach? Im kinda bored reading dell ads on Today papers >.<
Our next stop was Odaiba. Odaiba (お台場) (sometimes known as Daiba) is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan. We headed to Shimbashi station via the yamanote line. And took the yurikamome station sky train to odaiba, there we could see many cool modern structures alone the way. One of the views was the Rainbow bridge. Very nice views there.
We took to the end of the line Arikake station and it loops back to yurikamome. We drop by palette town first, the place which had a big ferris wheel.
Palette Town consisted of 3 parts, Toyota Megaweb, Venus Fort and Sunwalk. We covered Toyota Mega Web first, which was a big toyota showroom with all the latest toyota cars. We posed in various toyota sports cars :) They even had a F1 simulator game there.
Venus Fort is a venice themed shopping centre. It's probably one of the most unique and beautiful shopping centre i've seen so far. The sky backdrop in each part of venus fort changes. From blue to pink. Lovely touch. Lotsa designer shops there in there, girls should be happy shopping in there. We spotted a Barbie shop! Last pic is the night scene of rainbow bridge at aqua city.
|» Bandai Museum, Harajuku and Shibuya|
DAY 04 - Bandai Museum at Matsudo|
We went around Ningyocho (人形町）for our early morning walk. Ningyocho was a rather quiet CBD area in tokyo. Several eateries like Matsuya and yoshinoya open 24 hours tho... Saw a starbucks and macs too. We almost devised a plan to take down that shinobi poster tonite >:)
We went to Matsuya to settle our breakfast. Matsuya is something like yoshinoya. We ordered the breakfast set meal costing abt 650 yen i think. The set consists of rice, ham and sunny-side up egg, salad, seaweed, and a cold porridge side dish (i think it's porridge...taste like porridge...hmmm). Here's me smiling idiotically with my breakfast :)
We headed for Ueno （上野）Station first thing in the morning. And changed to the Joban (常舨腺）Line to Matsudo (松户）Station. There we went to the Bandai Museum. Bandai (万代）is the largest toy manufacturer in Japan, responsible for making those Ultraman, power rangers and sailor moon cartoons/toys. The museum is split up to 8 floors. We gonna go to the Character World (Ultraman, Power rangers,godzilla) museum and the Gundam Museum. They showcase toys from the 1980s to the present. Which brought back some nostalgia for people going there. We keep saying "hey i played this before when i was young!" Ahh, bring back memories :)
Here we posed some pictures with the life sized super heros and heroines. The gundam musuem had a big gundam robot head replica that actually moves and eyes glow!
HARAJUKU - Bridge to Yoyogi Park
Since it was a Sunday, many gothic lolitas and maid cosplayers were there to have their photos taken with interested gaijins (foreigners). We spotted 2 caucasian punk cosplayers too :) Quite an interesting scene there. I always like gothic lolita style dressing and i thought they all looked pretty cool. Oh yea we didn't go into yoyogi park...no time no time :)
Shibuya is quite near Harajuku. As we walked along harajuku, we see many clothes botiques and fashion stores. Very hip. It's like a big orchard road, except there were more people...more beautiful people imho :)
This place is called Kiddy Land, it has 5 levels of toys from sanrio to disney to pokemon to air-guns. It's really a Kiddy Land!
Night at shibuya and we went to a japanese sushi restaurant to try the sushi. I tried the most expensive ones....like big toro (belly of tuna),medium toro, salmon sushi, real crab meat sushi and one clam/oyster sushi... one slice arnd 300 yen...ex but worth it! Tastes heavenly!Especially the toro meat, so butterly smooth and melts in ur mouth~! definitely > sakae sushi :)
|» Tokyo Game Show 2005|
DAY 03 - Tokyo Game Show 2005 at Makuhari Messe,Chiba|
We woke up arnd 7.30am and went to tokyo station to meet Bellis/Sharon and Amarax/Yonglin at a bookshop called Book Garden. We then took the keiyo (京城腺）line to Makuhari Messe , Chiba. The ride took about 45 min as it was an express train. The normal train took abt 1 hr.
Nice place when we reached there. A big convention centre, much bigger than suntec city convention hall and maybe even Singapore Expo. A long queue awaits us at the entrance though... it's only 9.30am then but it's very hot the weather. Had to drink lotsa :) When we finally went in, i was totally overwhelmed. Never have i seen anything like this before...actually i did but not in a big scale (Communic Asia 2005) and it wasn't about console video games...something that i liked but was almost forgotten when i started working... but this place rekindled my love for gaming once more! off we go!
This are pics from Tokyo GAME show yes :) Where the games pictures u asked? We didn't take any....Besides no body would be interested if we did take them right? :P Erm...yes, it's a GAME show :)
|» Studio Ghibli Museum and Nakano|
DAY 02 - Ghibli Museum, Mikata|
We woke up early today, and we are excited as today is one of the highlights of our tokyo trip. Yep, Studio Ghibli museum. Studio ghibli is the japanese animation film studio responsible for Princess Mononoke, spirited away, howl's moving castle, cat returns etc. And they have a museum in Tokyo, Mitaka. We took the metro subway to hatchobori and changed to the tokyo line. From tokyo, we took the chu-o line （中央腺） to Mitaka. Along the stations, we took pictures of some vending machines, one was selling glico snacks and the other was 120 yen assorted drinks... which i bought arnd 5 bottles for the entire tokyo trip.
We reached the Mitaka City at last. Quite a big place with some shopping centres nearby the station. But we didn't had time to roam much. We noticed a zen priest outside the station,pretty cool. :)
We then proceeded to take a Ghibli museum shuttle bus near the station. Many people were queuing up already! And it was a friday! People there queuing were locals,taiwanese and koreans as we observed.We took out the tickets that we bought yesterday at a convinience store called Lawsons. We paid the one way trip which was 200 yen and boarded the bus like excited school children on a field trip.
10 minute later, we were here at last. After seeing much pictures on website, we have seen the real thing now. We took some pictures inside the museum...although we are not allowed to... but they turned out blurry so i didn't upload em. So most of the pictures were outside of the museum. We saw a 20 min short animation clip in the theatre inside about a lost dog. And looked at some cool animation exhibits. n one of the exhibits, there's a very cool zoetrope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoetrope) with figures from “Totoro” dancing around like the real thing. The neko(cat) bus was full of screaming and crying children. There was also a cafe and a ice-cream parlour outside but expensive tho. And the roof had a tall robot like thing from one of their animation,Laputa. Kinda awesome, i'll let the pictures do the talking. :)
After shopping at the merchandise souvenirs shop and spending a few ks. We head out of ghibli museum,leaving fond memories. Will bring my kids here next time hehe :) Out of ghibli museum was a mitaka park, pretty big but to be on schedule, we can't do much exploring. We walked back to the mitaka station following the signs along the way, took us 15 min. Seen much things arnd the city. Like japanese houses etc.
NAKANO - Sun Mall and Broadway
We proceed to take the chu-o line again down 3 stops to Nakano. Nakano station had a shopping centre nearby called Sun Mall, heaps of shops and restaurants. We walked tru Sun mall to another shopping centre called Nakano Broadway. There were 4 levels of shops in Nakano Broadway dedicated to shops selling anime goods and cosplay costumes, gashapon toys,anime models, film posters, used cds and comic books, small eateries etc. The last pic was some rare stones from a shop...one cost 99999 yen ($1520 sg dollars)...We spent arnd 3 hrs plus there as there were much to see.
At 8.30pm when the shops starts to close, we went to a eating place called Katsuya, where katsu meals are served mainly (pork cutlets). I tried the katsu with cheese inside and rice with miso soap. Arnd 830 yen for the set meal. For some wierd reasons, photos were missing here. I did remember we took pictures of the food we ordered... oh well, ill put it up when i find em >.<
After our dinner, we went along the alleys outside sun mall, where there were several japanese style restaurants. One even had fresh seafood displayed out. Btw Im pointing at a poster of Aya Ueto, a famous actress. After that we head back to the hotel as we had to get up early tomorrow for TGS.
|» Arrival at Narita Airport (成田机场） to hotel|
DAY 02 - AKIHABARA|
We reached narita airport arnd 8.16am Japan time, which is one hour ahead of singapore time. We got our luggage and went straight to get tickets for the train.
We then took the keisei (特急）express to Ueno, then walked to JR Ueno, then changed to the metro hibiya (日比谷） line to ningyocho（人形町）where our hotel was. Pardon the lack of photos... somehow between this time...the photos were missing...But i got it all on my dvd camcorder :)
The whole journey from narita to our hotel took abt an hour. Our hotel was a 3 star budget hotel called Sumisho （住庄）hotel. The room was pretty small and so was the toilet/bathroom... JS couldn't empty his bowels for few days because the toilet was so crampy and made him uncomfortable :< But I tried the butt cleaner button on the toilet bowl which actually sprays a jet of warm water to ur anus, good stuff ;) Again...can't find photos we took upon arrival at hotel... these are some we took later at night...We took a peek at the men's public bath area. There's a hot pool causing the place to be steamy :P
We put our luggage down and headed straight for Akihabara (秋葉原) which was 2 stations from our hotel's ningyocho metro subway.
Saw this interesting poster. It says that the japanese drama Densha Otoko had film some footage in their shop! The Japanese word ｷﾀ----- means "it's here!!!!!!!!!" Oh yea baby! We're here in Akihabara!! The mecca of anime,pc and electronic stuff,porn... aka geek/nerd heaven!
Akiba (short form for akihabara) is pretty big place! Selling pc stuff,handphones,games,anime stuff, porn, big arcade centres etc. It's like rows of sim lim square and more! Some handphones are selling at 1 yen,cheap! They just need to pay for suscription.
A whole building dedicated to Mac stuff and inside a small shop that sells anime models.
No money to buy the FF7: Advent Children Limited edition box set...just take photo then :P Beside the box is so damn big and it's sold out anyway >.<
Models toys models toys models toys models toys models toys. We don't get sick of em somehow :P Yea, we still big boys >.<
Yummy takoyaki kind of food. Except they got added ingredients like bacon, mayo, mayo-cheese etc. There weren't much eating places in akiba... we tried looking even for fast food like macs... not in sight... only eating choices left us with maid cafes :P
Maid Foot Reflexlogy Care...A funny incident happened here... We saw this signboard, and silly me misread the words...thinking it was a maid cafe (foot care - i read as Food Cafe :P), We wanted to try out a maid cafe just for the novelty of it. A maid cafe is basically a cafe that has waitresses dressed up in cute maid costumes and addressing you as master in japanese. We went up, saw some cute maids dressed at the door, and after a short conversation with them, i realised we are at a maid foot reflexlogy centre, it's the same except instead of serving food... they were servicing ur feet...Embarassed, we told them we went to the wrong place, and they smiled and bowed their heads till we are out of sight.... how's that for first day in akiba :P
Yodobashi is a big new electronics shopping centre (think SLS), it was opening on friday which was tomorrow! Lucky us! That was all for our orientation trip to akiba, we will be back soon in two days time :)
Next we headed to Shinjuku (新宿), the train station was packed with people, it was arnd 7pm.
Shinjuku had plenty of beautiful skyscrapers and neon signs.(1st pic) Me standing in front of a pyramid shaped cafe/restaurant. The restaurant was below that pyramid like structure. (2nd pic) A colorful bubble fountain decoration (3rd pic) A jrock performance with lotsa people watching (4rd pic) A pachinko centre (5rd pic)
A lot of photos were blurred when taken...all the camera man's fault :P Oppss, sorry it's the camera's fault! Damn u canon ixus 500! Hope my dvd movie turned out well :)
|» Starting the journey|
DAY 01 - Singapore Changi Airport 7.30pm|
We arrived at the Changi Airport Terminal 2 around 7.30pm. Our flight to KL was at 9.20pm.
(removed on request :P)
JS with his gf, and the 2nd pic is KL International Airport. Quite a nice new modern airport. Our first time there, only one hour there though, so we quickly grab some burger king and went to the plane.
Beautiful breathtaking Skies and Lovely Plane Food
View of japan from plane and Narita Airport, the 2nd pic was near the coastal region of japan.