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17 August 2011 @ 12:28 am
...I'm so bad at updating this thing. SO BAD.  
SO, GUYS, I WENT TO JAPAN. *___*;

...
I am so bad at updating this journal, Jesus lord.

But yeah.
I went to Japan for 3 weeks.
...
LOL.

It was amazing.
I went to Ohmiya for about a week and a half, and then to Tokyo (staying in Oume) for the rest of the trip.
The Ohmiya part of the stay was really chill (not temperature-wise, because it was summer in Japan [sweaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaty and groooooooooss, by definition. Seriously, it's in the dictionary, look it up, will ya? Geez. Never lookin' stuff up. -__-;; So typical.], but...mood-wise)—shopping at the kick-ass dollar stores (Daiso and Seria<333), at the cheapest and best clothing store everrrrrrr (Sanki! Ahhhhh, Sanki, I love you! I love youuuuuuuuuu! IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIlove—... *broke*), checking out local grocery and drug stores, going to the little town festival, experiencing some earthquakes, eating ice cream, going to kaitenzushi and karaoke with my friend's cousin and him paying for all of it (scoooooore. LOL), visiting and staying with friends of a friend, going to Mosburger and Mister Donuts, finding bugs, going to the onsen (twice) and becoming addicted to alcohol-free beer, visiting Tsukuba University (and being really really hot and having stomach issues and being pretty much miserable but also really enjoying the time spent with friends, etc.) and the mall there and riding on a robotic cow, going to an internet cafe (twice) and discovering the wonder that is darts, eating Aisu no Hi and being not-nearly-as-cute as AKB48 and the faker that is Eguchi Aimi, eating real ramen for the first time, sleeping on futon all the time, visiting a heavenly and wonderful preschool and getting beaten up be 5-year-olds (okay, not kidding though, this is tied for first place with Harajuku and Shibuya for my absolutely favorite thing I did this trip, I was so happy, haha), taking my first (out of about 10,000) purikura... Really, just fun and non-stressful and chill. It sounds like a lot of things, but it was a lot in a relaxed, normal-everyday-life kind of way, so it was a good way to start off the trip.

Theeeeeeen came Tokyo. (Haha.)
It was both the most amazing and necessary, and also most stressful, time of my life. (Haha.)

We went to the Hitachinaka fish market on the way to Tokyo, and even though I hate fish and can't eat anything out of the sea (how did I survive in Japan, you ask? I am asking myself the same thing. Basically, lots and lots and lots of plain rice. LOL), it was really, really fun, and cool, BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH FISH! That night, my friend's grandpa (with whom we stayed in Oume) got yakiniku and we made it at home AND IT WAS THE BESSSSSSST and it is now my favorite food. *w*;;
On the first day in Tokyo, my friend and I went to Shinjuku, Harajuku (asfgkjhsdflkgjhsdfklgh Harajuku can I BE YOU?! It was basically heaven, I had to go twice, haha), and Shibuya (also amazing, geez. This was the best day in total, and the best two places [tied with the preschool]). I can't even describe it because there was too much to even process, but yeah. I had my first crepe in Harajuku, bought stuff at a cheap 315¥ store (called Paris Kids) in Takeshita Doori, bought waaaaay too many gachagacha keychains of Arashi (most were Sho, lucky lucky <3), NEWS (all were Yamapi...), and AKB48 (all Acchan...I'm guessing they put the most of the most popular in there, so that the majority of people will be happy and try to buy more, haha) and also idol merchandise (various posters, Sho uchiwa, photos that I totally do not need for any purpose whatsoever, etc. I'll post pictures maybe sometime later when I unpack it in my new apartment. :D If I remember to update this thing. LOL.), saw the Secret bus (which was blasting Madonna over and over again, circling around Harajuku), went to a candy store and watched them make beautiful merchandise and got a free sample... And in Shibuya, I went to the official H!P store and bought pictures and saw MoMusu's Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game costumes and my friend took an illegal picture for me (haha), and we went to an AWESOME girls-only purikura store which was totally not crowded at all so we had all the time in the world to decorate them, and we saw Hachiko (sob sob sob), and a band performing live (I can't remember their name, but I have their poster, so if they ever become famous I'll be really happy! I'll buy their album, too, because I really liked them! I just couldn't buy a copy THAT DAY because I was already WAY over my budget... ;___; Bleh. I don't think there were more than 2 days when I wasn't over my budget, though, hahaha.), and we went to Shibuya 109 (which was overwhelming and expensive and I bought nothing but oggled EVERYTHING), annnnnnnnd basically, it was amazing.

The next day, we went to ICU (International Christian University), where my friend's hoping to study abroad (it was a pretty campus, but I got hit in the eye by a rampant cicada and it was scary. D: *shivers*. Then we went to the STUDIO GHIBLI MUSEUM (WHIIIIIIICH, okay, is also tied with the preschool, Harajuku, and Shibuya. It was basically heaven, defined. And I was reinspired to study art, because of the walk-through studio replica with all the stills and original sketches and inspirations and stuff... I was so inspired, my soul pretty much left my body (just like it does in anime—you know, that cute little round thing that comes out of your mouth and floats there, and you look dead and just sort of move around like a zombie? That's literally what happened. But no one could see the floaty ghost guy but me), and I stared at every single little piece of art in shock and a state of complete awe for about 3 minutes per thing, and that wasn't nearly enough. I was so, so, so happy, and SO inspired, and...god, thinking back on it makes me cry again (oh, yeah, and I was crying the whole time, too. The only gaijin in the place, taller than 85% of the population of Japan, and I was also bawling. Way to make people stare even more, Katie. Way. To. Go). Then we just walked around Mitaka for a bit, and ate yakitori (2nd favorite Japanese food, yessss<3 I want to eat that sauce on everything [or at least, everything I don't eat A.1. Sauce on already. Which is not that many things. But anyway, yeah]), and then went to a FamilyMart AND FOUND AKB48 PUCCHO WITH THE TOYS, and I bought three and now I have Takaminaccho, Miyazawaccho, and Sashiharaccho, and only Takamina gets a mike, so they are a special subgroup and they are awesome and I love them. (I got a Kasaiccho earlier, but gave her to my best friend, because she was Everyday, Kachuusha style and the other three are Sakura no Ki ni Narou style, and they couldn't work together. There was no balance. ;__; So yes.)

ON THE THIRD DAY (THERE WERE PLANTS. Or something. God, I'm a bad Catholic, I can't even remember the creation myth, LOL), we just chilled with my friend's grandpa. We went to a computer store to get her stubborn laptop checked out, and then the post office for her to ship something and me to exchange the rest of my traveler's checks. Then we went to Daiso again (bwahahaha. BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA! DAISOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I LOVE ITTTTTTT! I!...bought way too much stuff. T___T;; But I REGRET NOTHING. o*\——/*;;), and then made her grandpa come with us to McDonald's (Makkudonarudo! He'd never been before. He hated it. LOL.), where I ate a teriyaki chicken burger (mayonnaise nugi; I LOVED IT. Gross, like McDonald's tends to be, but WAAAAAY less greasy than it's American predecessor. Like, I didn't feel like I had a nasty lake stone in my stomach after I finished eating. I just felt generally icky, like I do after Wendy's. It was a nice change!), and the large Coca-cola was as big as an American small, just like they said on Supersize Me! It was awesome! :D

THE NEXT DAAAAAAAY, we went to Asakusa and Akihabara! Asakusa was really cool, with the architecture and the shopping street. I prayed at the offering area, and wished my usual wish (whiiiiich shouldn't be too hard to guess for anyone who knows me at all [and no, it's not "to marry Sho," thank you very much. I have passed that now. Hahaha, oh, sad me of a year and a half ago. ...T____T;;], but I can't say it here because then it really won't come true officially), and then we went to Sanki again because we found one there (LOL... Oops. *w*;;;) and I bought a cute leather-y backpack, and then we headed to Akihabara. I bought lots of unnecessary stuff there (including a "Sakurai Sho-style necklace"—I don't even know what that means, but I fell for it and spent 1000¥ on it. I like it, though, even if it's incredibly cheaply made and probably has NOTHING to do with him at all, hahaha), and AKB WAS EVERYWHERE. They were so prevalent that we didn't even notice the Theater when we passed it, because we just saw their faces and went, "Oh my god, a really big pillar with their faces on it this time, haha! Wow, they're EVERYWHERE!", and had to consult our map and double back to visit it, LOL. (Gotta say, though, their theater was cool. We couldn't go into the theater bit because we needed tickets for that, but they let you go up and walk around the part before it, and see the pictures, and EVEN TAKE PICTURES of almost EVERYTHING. Much more generous than the H!P store... Not that the AKB STORE let you take pictures, but whatever, yes, so there's that.) And then I got really depressed, and cried in a soba shop in the middle of Akihabara, reminiscing about my old cat and getting zaru sauce in my hair and being comforted by my newly-purchased Nakisugi! Pig charm (it's a pig that is CRYING TOO MUCH! and it is probably the best thing I have ever purchased, honestly, because he is my soul-mate, I'm pretty sure). Then we walked around a bit more, and ended the day at Yebisu Garden Place, which increased my depression because I was there without my best friend and I had pictured being there with her so many times that it made it lose a bit of the significance I wanted it to have... It was still really cool, though, and I stood in the exact spot where Domyouji waited, and took too many pictures, and stuff, and then I bought a donut from Krispy Kreme, and that increased my mood exponentially (LOL, sad).

THE NEXT DAY, we went to visit Waseda (where I'm hoping to study!), and I went to the H!P concert (Aug. 6th's YEAH YEAH morning concert. It was really fuuuuuuun! Also lonely, because I was alone and at the end of the row and kept dropping my glowsticks and didn't have anyone to cry or freak out with. But still fun, and I SOBBED when I saw ManoEri. Also, this marks the first occasion of Used To Be Shy being in the SAME ROOM AT THE SAME TIME. And it will not be the last, I'm sure! [If you are confused, see this image: here. <-- This picture is not creepy at all or even badly Photoshopped, what are you talking about? D< Ahem. Anyway. As I am sure you are well aware, Used To Be Shy is a future and always sub-group of H!P and me, which is me, Tanaka Reina, and Mano Erina, named such because we all used to be or sometimes are shy, and really want to be in the entertainment business, and all would get along really well in real life I-am-entirely-sure-of-it. ;__; <3 Baaaasically, my dream unit for myself, hahahaha. THEY DON'T KNOW IT YET, but it's going to happen, I have thus decided. It's been decided for over a year now. So there. The end. Now you know. ...*cough*] God, she's so good, though. And I got to see Kanon sing a solo [!!! Favorite newbie, yessssss, score! She's adorable, oh my god. Perfect MoMusu right thar.], and also Reina [which was actually...really bad, but maybe she was sick or something? Y-Y;; I just felt bad for her, because she was obviously trying her best, but she missed SO MANY NOTES. I really didn't care, though, personally, because it was my her and she's my favorite and I love her and adfghslkdjfghsdkfgh Reina solo singing Ganbarenakutemo Ee Nende, adkgjhsdklfghkdlfh<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3], and it was fun, even if it wasn't as excited as my first MoMusu concert in LA with my friends, and I'm glad I spent the money because I was happy to see everyone in H!P together for the first time, and also Ai for the last time! <3).

Then, the next day, we spent the day with my friend's aunt, and made and ate takoyaki (made with sausages instead, for my sake, heehee <3 YAAAAAY DELICIOUS, I'm grateful for everyone putting up with me and my...inability to eat seafood in a country that survives on seafood, haha. XwX;;;... I'm a pain, but they were all very gracious), and it was really fun! She was so nice. <3 I made some origami fish at her house because I couldn't join in the conversation... (Haha.)

Then comes the day of wonders. We met up with the friend of my friend for a day of TV-filled fun! (...Haaaaaahaha, wow, what a lame way to say that.) First we visited Keio (not TV-related, but...Sho-related, so very important. *^*;;), which was really pretty, and if there was any way ever, that school felt like it would really fit me, and that I'd be really comfortable there... It had the exact feel I thought I college might, and I loved it. But that's pretty much impossible for me, so, darn. X'DDD;; Haha. Then we visited Temple University's Japan campus, which looked absolutely dreadful and terrifying and horrible and I'm really glad I didn't go there. Then, right as we left, I got an e-mail that may possibly change my life and future, but I can't really describe that because nothing's official yet, soooo that very exciting detail will have to be left out (sorry, haha), but we then went to the NTV headquarters to deal with that and also to look at the Kaibutsu-kun slide (which I didn't ride, because it was one, too hot, and two, accompanied by a two-hour line, so no thank you, looking was enough <3 The same went for the Shiyagare exhibit. I just couldn't make my friends wait for me for that long, so I spared them and let us leave, haha). Then we finally headed to Fuji TV and the Odaiba festival to have some fuuuuuun, and we did just that! Ate some incredibly expensive food (I had a taco salad that had an egg on it...? *__*;; And some matcha ice cream!), walked around, got all our stamps in our booklets just like all the other 8-year-old girls were doing, won stickers for getting all our stamps, won free soda in this lottery thing... Oh, and also hugged a comedian (Tomitokoro, I think his name was? He was trying to break a Guinness World Record by hugging 20,000 people, so I got in line and hugged him, hahaha) and got filmed for it (proooobably going to be on TV for that, because both the comedian and the camera man seemed very excited by the fact that a tall white girl was hugging him, and the camera guy came around and zoomed in on my face and followed me as I walked away. AWESOME, OH MY GOD, I LOVE TV CAMERAS. ...God, I'm such a ham. BUT I WANT TO BE ON TV~~~~! I've always wanted it my entire life, I can't very well change that now. LOL.), and saw Kikkawa Yuu (she was shaking hands with fans who bought her CD. I didn't really know where to buy her CD, so I didn't get to shake her hand, but seeing her from 20 feet away was quite enough. <3 GOD, she's perfect!) and got called out to by Passpo (I really have no clue why they did it. I was walking behind them to try to get a better look at them without having to get in line, and staff members kept pushing me away, so I turned away for a few seconds, but then I heard, "Hello, Hello! Hellooooo!", and, being the only gaijin in the area, I figured it was directed at me, so I turned around, and they were looking straight at me, waving and calling to me! So I laughed in a shocked way and said, "Hellooooo!" back to them, waving, and being generally shocked and excited, and then they all, like, GASPED, and giggled, and started going, "Ahhhhhh, kirei! Chou kirei! Kirei desu ne? Waaaai, kawaiiiii~!" ... ABOUT ME. SHOCKSHOCKSHOCKSHOCKWHAAAAAAAAT. Holy crap. If nothing else that day made me happy [which all of it did], being called "pretty" and "cute" by idols who called out directly to me pretty much made this trip pay for itself, hahaha. I am now officially their fan, now and forever [Smart girls, right? LOL.]). Suuuuuuuch a great day. (No, wait, scratch what I said before. The was the best DAY. But it's tied in with Harajuku + Shibuya and the preschool as the best experience, because I can't pick. Haha~.)

Finally, on the second-to-last day in Japan, I met up with my good friend from last year (Mika, who came here to Ohio on a summer exchange program, and boarded at my best friend's house [where I also boarded so I wouldn't be left out. ...-shot- Wow, I sound so lonely in this post. LOL. Very sad. Very. ...I want a popsicle. D: ...), and her two sisters, and we traversed Harajuku together! :D We shopped, ate lunch (hanbaaaaaagu, askjghdslkjfghdlkjfgh., delicious, absolutely <3), shopped some more, did purikura, sang at karaoke (I sang all J-pop, of course. The other girls sang all American pop, like Jonas Brothers and Michael Jackson and Glee. LOL), and went to Kiddy Land (a magical store filled with Totoro, Kapibara-san, Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, all the Sanrio folks, Miffy, and basically every other cute character ever to be created in the history of the world. @_____@;; I bought too much pointless Kapibara-san things, hahaha. I love himmmmmmmmmmmmmm thouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh, he's such the best, askghskfghkldfgh. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3). I was really, really, really happy to get to see Mika again, because I really missed her, and her sisters were so nice and fun, so this was a great day. Even though it was the hottest day in, like, the history of Japan, or something, I barely even noticed, because it was so much fun~! <3

Then, on our final day in Japan, my friend and I stayed at the house of a family her family knows well. The couple were some of the nicest people I've ever met, and they had two sons—a one-year-old and a four-year-old. I spent most of my time playing with the four-year-old, Kayapon (oh, and also I went to Daiso and Sanki one more time, because they had them RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET OMG LOLOLOLOL-shot- ... Oh, what a sad, sad, cheap person I am...), because he was absolutely wonderful and adorable and hilarious and smart and had the cutest lisp, and the best thing about four-year-olds is that you don't need to speak the same language to play together and understand each other, so we had a lot of fun. <3 We beat up a big blow-up Miffy doll together, and fought each other a lot (he always won, he was way more powerful than me), and did fireworks (not dangerous ones, don't worry, haha), and played boardgames and catch-ball, and played with his marbles, annnnnd I had a great time. ...But by the time we had to leave, I was absolutely POOPED, so I fell asleep in the car on the way to the airport, haha.


Then we flew home (with multiple delays, missed flights, flight cancellations, and one dinner and night at a hotel courtesy of the airport for them rescheduling our flight back to Ohio for one the next morning. I got to sleep in a bed, that's all I cared about. And also, the hotel gave us cookies. Win WIN), and I think I caught a virus on the plane, because I had a fever all day yesterday and the night before and still barely a little bit today, but not much, so yeah.



It was an absolutely amazing trip, and I'm so glad I worked for so long to save up for it and to actually do it, despite the many setbacks and dangers of this. I think a lot more will come out of this than already has, too, if I'm lucky, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and looking forward to my next visit already. :) Until then, though, I'm so happy to be home, with my family and my dog and cat and my friends (well, while they're still here, before they go to college ;__;. Which is a matter of days for almost all of them) and my bed and my reliable-ish internet (which, hey, contrarily, is off as I am typing this, haha, yaaaaay, JK about that then) and my refrigerator and my American and other-cultures food and my substantial-amount-of-not-fish food to eat and air-conditioning. But mostly, my loved ones, who I missed a lot while I was away.

Also, it's nice that there are no earthquakes in Ohio.

 

 
 
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