Sunday, December 20, 2009

Japan Day 5

Returning from the beauty of nature in Hakone to the joy of electronics after electronics in Ikebukuro (we were staying just minutes away from Bic Camera which was playing FF13 trailers on huge Sony screens 24/7), we hadd no choice but to give in to the temptation of advancing Akihabara to the earlier part of our trip.

Sadly, Akihabara involved too much buying and ooh-ing and aah-ing until our cameras did not see any daylight at all. But! We did remember to take pictures of the most important thing.

A 7/8-floor adult shop. *Authentic Japanese Present for Meng*

This building was so iconic that for the rest of the trip, whenever we go lost we would use it for bearing and say "Meet at M Pop's Life, okay?"

Akihabara is really like what you hear about the place. An anime central with figurine shops (new or used) at every corner, disguised dodgy stores displaying anime stuffs in front and adult-oriented stuff behind (or try looking for a basement!), maid cafes, eletronics cool-lame-weird-and-impressive all together and games games games.

Basically if you are even 5% otaku, Akihabara will be like heaven to you. (We went back 3 times after that, meaning 3 times within 4 days).

Jess was craving for sushi, the conveyer belt type.
Ray wanted to get souvenirs.
John wanted to buy himself a yukata.

So off to Asakusa we went. Our first picture was with the Kaminarimon which is 'Lui Mun' in Cantonese, which in turn sounded a bit like the Cantonese-translation of Raymond's name. Hence we called him Kaminarimon for the rest of the day. Not that he minded, bet he thought it was pretty cool.

We spent a lot of time along the shopping strait leading to the temple. The stals mainly sold souvenirs and local delicacies. Mochi, chopsticks and ceramic bowls, senbei, Japanese sweets, yukatas, toys.

The grounds of the temple was not as impressive as we expected it to be as the main temple was undergoing some renovations. So we just took pictures of the surrounding structures.

An example of the 'practical' and 'useful' products we bought in Japan. A solar-powered sumo wrestler that shakes his head. We ONLY bought 'practical' and 'useful' things, mind you. Like a laughing-robot-dog and Stacking-Sheep (a game where you stack all the sheep figurines on top of each other, for no reason at all).
Once again, the yellow autumn leaves decorating the temple grounds were the highlights of our trip.

From Asakusa, we took the Water Bus which is basically a cruise along Tokyo Bay to Odaiba. Behold, the review for the first half of the cruise (Asakusa - Hinode pier).

Minutes before the start of the cruise. . .
10 minutes after the start of the cruise. . .

Ahem. It was just a bit slow and we couldn't understand the Japanese explanation on the various landmarks.

We had to switch ferries to take the second half of the cruise (Hinode pier - Odaiba). It was then that something might embarassing happened to me. The ticket conductor asked to me our tickets, so I nudged Ray for the tickets and showed them to the conductor to which he replied with an exaggerated "Chigaimasu!" Then only I realised Mr Tan had handed me the train tickets instead of the ferry ticket.
Anyway, the second half of the cruise was amazing. As night fell and lights lit up, I witnessed one of the best night skylines I have ever seen.

I forgot the story behind this picture, but like most of our pictures, we had three faces each telling different stories.

We went onto the deck to take better pictures and it was really cold. Lucky I had my leather jacket!

Rainbow Bridge.

We took the Yurikamome train back to Tokyo. While on the train we kept looking out hoping to see the Rainbow Bridge again. After that only did we realise that the Yurikamome was actually travelling on the Rainbow Bridge. So we were on the Rainbow Bridge trying to look for the Rainbow Bridge.

It was quite an early night, so we decided to head back to Akihabara for more shopping! More anime! More games! More electronics! More silly pictures!

Oh and something scary happened to me!
I was pushed out of this disguised-as-anime-store. So I decided to wait outside for the others. Then suddenly a man approached me and asked:
Man: Hitori? (Alone?)
Me: Er, iie, erm, ah...
Man: Kodoku?? (Lonely??)
Me: Er, ah, iie, FRIENDS. . .er. . .
Then I ran away at the sight of Jess and John.
When Ray heard this, my hero said, "What? I must hold on to you at this place!"
Then my hero saw a One Piece poster and movie trailer. And ended his heroism full stop.

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