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Japan Trip 2014 – Arrival

After visiting Japan the past two years, I’ve decided to return once again this summer. The 2012 trip was right after graduation and my first time being in Japan and, thanks to rigorous planning by my friends, was a full blown tourism trip, with me doing tons of random figure/gunpla shopping and starting my figure collection. The 2013 trip was still partially a tourism trip, but I had money saved up from working for a year and ended up also partially being a shopping trip, buying figures from my wishlist and starting my Dollfie Dream adventures. This third time around, having more or less visited all the places I wanted to see, was a complete shopping trip, with the central focus being Comiket 86. Japan 2012 was figures, Japan 2013 was Dollfie Dreams, and so Japan 2014 became doujinshis.


When it comes to milk. It’s gotta be Musashino! Disclaimer: None of us were actually drinking milk in this pic since we all forgot to bring coins to the public bath area, doh!

This time around, I went with a 3 friends from my local anime club at work, one friend from university, and sorrowmoon meeting us there. For some, this was their first time so they had their schedules packed with touristy plans (my schedule was more or less Nipponbashi -> Comiket -> Akihabara). Either way, we decided to first arrive in Tokyo, take the Shinkansen to Osaka the next morning, stay in Osaka/Kyoto for a week, Shinkansen back to Tokyo the night before Comiket, then stay in Tokyo for the remainder of the trip. Since we were all anime fans in the group, we decided to stay at a ryokan for the 4 days we would be in Osaka.

Arriving at Haneda aiport, Tokyo. Was on the same flight as my other 4 friends from Seattle (sorrowmoon would arrive the day after and meet us in Kyoto)

Inside the airport

Took a bus directly to our hotel (which we would be staying at just for the night of arrival)

Arrived at the hotel, checking in

Their souvenier corner had a plush of Winnie the Pooh in a Stitch outfit! xD

While in Japan, we used Facebook Messenger to communicate. Two of us went with b-mobile’s 1GB Visitor SIM card option, which I found pretty good (except the spotty reception in Tokyo Big Sight during Comiket, but that’s more the fault of Comiket’s mass attendee population overloading all the radio towers)

Settling in to our hotel. We had to reserve two rooms since there was 5 of us, with sorrowmoon meeting us in Kyoto.




Woke up the next day to breakfast buffet. Mix of western and Japanese breakfast. Fanta melon soda, how I really do miss you ;3

Wandering around outside the hotel while we waited for the next airport shuttle (the other two chose to go with rental phones, which they had to pick up from the airport)




Who knew Pikachu was a travel agent

Back in Haneda airport

They had one of those spinning lucky prize draw things in the mall area, with pretty girls in yukatas. I wanted to go down and spin one but we were in a rush.


Japanese drinks vending machines. Like the past two trips, tried out tons of different drinks (and made some new favourites), pictures which will be in a separate post.

Picked up our JR pass (one week only) and Suica card (I forgot to bring the card I kept from the last trip).

Airport shuttle to the nearest JR station

At this time, it was heavy typhoon season, and we could see it pouring like crazy outside (managed to just miss the rain)

Picking up some bentos for the long train ride to Osaka


All aboard the Shinkansen!


My bento box. Luckily I didn’t have to fight any wolves to obtain this one.

Arrived in Osaka, figuring out our way to the ryokan




You discovered a Pokemon Centre! Didn’t have a chance to visit it though unfortunately

Arrived in Yaogikita, the small town our ryokan was in

Touhou itasha spotted! Featuring Sanae Kochiya on the side and Reimu on the hood (not sure who’s on the back door)


Arrived at Yao Grand Hotel, aryokan-style hotel (since an actual ryokan would be too expensive and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy it anyway since we’d be out all day)



There’s an onsen inside the hotel itself

Ryokan-style room, with enough space for 6 futons and our luggage bags






After settling in, it was time to go find dinner nearby

A nice looking noodle place, though we didn’t end up eating there since the menu looked overpriced

Not sure what these statues are supposed to symbolize, but we found them outside a random restaurant

Was getting late so we just settled for some cheap and simple fast food (which, is usually pretty good, filling, and still somewhat healthy unlike in North America)


Most fast food places/chains in Japan use automated ordering systems. Choose your order, insert money, get ticket, and then waiter will pick up your ticket once you sit down.

This particular chain probably bribed their cutest looking female employees to pose for their menus. Either that or they’re actual AKB48 members, honestly can’t tell.


Omnomnoms.

Stopped by 7-Eleven to pick up a bottle of sake and some random snacks, just because.

After dinner, we all went to the in-house onsen/bath (no outdoor hot spring unfortunately), which was extremely relaxing and refreshing (no pics of course, sorry). None of us remembered to bring money when we went down so there was no Musashi Milk to be had, but we settled with whatever we had on hand~

And thus concluded the first two days of the Japan trip. Stay tuned for more Japan/Comiket/etc. fun!

~Keripo

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157646624058487
MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/16494
Figure.fm: http://www.figure.fm/en/post/54161/Japan+2014+Arrival.html

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