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Japan Trip 2012 – Studio Ghibli, Sumos, Nikko

So right after finishing university, my friends and I decided to go to Japan for our graduation trip (May-June 2012). Japan was a high in our choice of destination for a vacation. For my friends, it was of cultural interest and a new place to see. For me, it was the Holy Land of anime, and also the place where my figure collecting hobby would emerge. But the loots and food blog entries will come at the end.

The following series of “Japan Trip 2012” blog posts will simply be pictorial guides of my adventure through Japan. I’ll try to caption most of the pictures and include as many anime-related pictures as possible. Sets of photos are roughly in chronological order, though some places (aka Akihabara) will have multiple sets since we went back there multiple times. There’s 30 or so albums of photos from my Japan trip, and each blog post will contain 2-4 albums worth, so prepare your mouse for a lot of scrolling. So without further ado, enjoy the tour!


Them fancy high tech trains

The one to Nikko though was old-school

Walking to the mountains

There was a vending machine selling cans of soda with coins tapped underneath… I bought a Mug rootbeer (first one I’ve seen so far in Japan)

Bridge indicating the start of the hike

Going up the mountains

At the top

Burning incents

Inside the temple

Looking around

Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil

Typical touristy shrine stuff

Kirins make beer *hic* sacred apparently

Miko spotted!

More walking around

Quench thy thirst!

More walking around


Scenes from an anime random old neighbourhood

There were hawks in the air

Walking through some old path trying to find the local onsen

We found it! We had our first Japanese onsen experience. It was kinda interesting since none of us knew proper ettiquete. The one person in our group who spoke some Japanese was also the only girl too (kinda sucked for her since she had to go in alone to the girls’ side). We kinda just sat around and immitated what the other locals did (but at least we had a white guy and Indian guy with us so we were clearly gaijin to them). Had an interesting conversation with a local who spoke broken English though, explaining to them how typical North America was not anyhow like the James Bond-type high class British society stereotyped in Western films of old. And yes, I did finish the bath with one hand on my waist, the other hand grasping a bottle of milk, and chugging it. \o/

Sumo Wrestlers

One of the guys in our group really wanted to see sumo wrestlers, so we tried to catch a regional match

We missed it ; (

We still found some sumo wrestlers though and got a picture (I’m the bottom left)

After that, we felt like a Boss. Like a boss.

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum was the one place we ALL wanted to go (even though I was the only hardcore otaku in our group)

We spotted Jiji! (black cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service)

We’re here!

Giant Totoro welcomes us

No pictures allowed inside so you’ll have to settle with the outside. My highlight was that I was able to finally cross “Mei to Koneko Bus” off my anime watch list

Life-sized robot from Laputa – Castle In The Sky

I forgot to photograph it, but I bought a bunch of stuff from the Studio Ghibli Museum’s store, “Mama Aiuto”. The loot included the following (prices in yen):
– Mei ko Neko Bus plushie (1785)
– Black cat plushie (1575)
– Totoro plush keychain (525)
– Black cat plush keychain (924)
UNFORTUNATELY I somehow lost the bag on our way back. We sat down somewhere for a break and I guess I forgot to grab it when we left. We went back to search for it and asked around a lot, even talking with employees of nearby stores and going to the kombi and reporting the lost items to the police. In the end, the bag was never found – credit card company refunded us, but losing the Jiji and neko-bus plush really sucked ; (

MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/6054/
Flickr Nikko: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157641642984985/
Flickr Sumo Wrestlers: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157641643366525/
Flickr Studio Ghibli: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157641643366535/

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