Back from Japan and China

arthur_webb

Adventurer
Yah hay all - I'm back from my voyage to the East. Tokyo was totally amazing - and I'm classifying it flatly now as the world's greatest city. There are some things that make it awesome though; for starters, the politeness of everyone. It's true - "Irrashaimasse" and bowing no matter which shop you walk into. I did us English proud and even got into a bowing match with one particular shop attendant! It was "Irrashaimasse, Konnichiwa, Irrashaimasse, Konnichiwa, Irrashaimasse, Konnichiwa, Irrashaimasse, Konnichiwa!" for about ten bows before I finally let my opponent have the lower bow.

After getting up off of the ground, you realise just how clean Tokyo really is. I barely saw any gum on the floor, or litter for that matter, in comparison with the UK. And Tokyo is so convenient too! It was raining pretty much the whole time we were there, unfortunately, but no matter as every shop puts out decent three hundred yen umbrellas to buy (just over a pound). And if you can't even afford that, just take shelter in any store - they don't mind!

I decided to take shelter in an arcade; Taito Amusment Something-or-other. Something like six floors dedicated to arcade machines, sorted by type. However, I could only manage to get up to floor four before the air became too smoke-filled to breethe. On my way down I did however get to play Mario Kart Arcade GP, and an awesome drum game, where you can beat along in time to many familiar anime songs - including Hare Hare Yukai, the Haruhi ED! I must have replayed that at least five times...

One day we took the train system to Akihabara, the electronic city. We decided that from our hotel at Tama, we could go via the station at Shinjuku. "Easy!", we thought, until we laid eyes upon the map. I've never been so confused in all my life. As it turns out, you buy tickets priced based on how far on any particular line you're wishing to travel. We still didn't have a clue where to start, but a quick enquiry at the station office and one of the officers got straight to his feet to actually operate the ticket machine and buy the ticket for us. So considerate!

The trains themselves are just as they say - on time and clean as heck. Continuing the theme of considerate, most people actually turn their phones off on the trains. Or at least, if they are to use their integrated satellite TV systems (no kidding), they'll hook up headphones. I didn't see a single person actually having a phone conversation on the train - a far cry from the English symphony of ringtones that plague most British trains.

Once we arrived at Akiba, I knew I was in heaven before we even started. Walking up from the station platform, we were greeted by an awesome poster of anime characters saying hello in English, and a terribly over-enthusiastic cosplaying French maid beckoning me to take a leaflet for a maid cafe. This is my kind of town! Once on the main street of Akiba, nine out of ten stores are dedicated to nothing but anime, and anime merchendise. The other tenth of stores sell electronics and games. This was the only street where I litterally walked out of one store and into the next, for around a mile, like some sort of comedy sketch. Embarrassingly I also managed to stumble into an anime store selling nothing but H games; but it took me a while to realise. When I did finally realise, I understood why everyone was starting at me funny, bade everyone a friendly "Arigatou", and left as swiftly and cooly as possible. During my time in Akiba, I counted three further French maids.

The next day we went to Mount Fuji, and stayed in a traditional tatami-floored hotel for one night. Fuji was an incredible sight, even if the weather blocked out everything but thick clouds. Still, just being able to stand above the clouds had its own little novelty to it. That night, dinner was sashimi, or raw fish. Wary, willing and stupid, I dug in to the wonderful-looking feast in front of me. It was... odd. Not at all bad, but perhaps a tad difficult for me to stomach.

One last thing I should probably mention about Japan is the toilet seats. Never before have I walked into my hotel room to find an instruction manual containing operating instructions for the electric toilet seat pinned to the wall. The toilet seat was heated upon sit down; such an odd feeling, sending a weird kind of shiver up my spine. No, I couldn't bring myself to try the not one, but two, spray functions.

Obviously there was so much more in Tokyo than what I just described. I could go on for hours - but my fingers are starting to numb.

tl;dr? Tokyo is bloody AWESOME.
 

Jaymii

Baka Ranger
Lack of money of course. And also- I would go with family but they would shun the idea because they would think the only reason I would like to go there is because of anime/manga.

It made a interesting read anyway adamcude.
 

arthur_webb

Adventurer
Yeah, I was amazingly lucky enough for my Dad to fund my trip, citing it as "once in a lifetime". I actually went along with a Chinese friend and his family - so alot of the time in Tokyo it was just my friend and I. He's also an anime nut, which made for quite good company.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading it Jayme.
 

TRASHBAT

Stand User
aah that sounds amazing,even just reading your account of your trip made me grin.I desperately want to see Mount Fuji possibly as much as i want to vist Tokyo,so im insanely jealous ;)

But really,im overjoyed you had such an amazing time.Its great that some people can really experience their once in a life time dreams.Currently,my whole family is sort of saving up to send me.haha Its very much a joint effort that isn't moving very quickly...oh well,one day!

I hope to see pictures if you have any! :D
 

Arbalest

黒い剣士
Moderator
Ooo sounds great Adamcube! i'm jealous now lol. Great read, and i myself can't wait to head over there, and i will do, just as soon as i get the chance.
Mt Fuji and Tokyo are the main places i want to visit really, but i wouldn't mind seeing some other places too, to get a better look at the country.
 

Jaymii

Baka Ranger
I was thinking. . .

At some point you mention Maid outfits handing out leaflets. Are you sure this wasn't the Gothica Lolita fashion over there. And if it wasn't did you see many people wearing Gothica Lolita fashion.
 

TRASHBAT

Stand User
Jayme said:
I was thinking. . .

At some point you mention Maid outfits handing out leaflets. Are you sure this wasn't the Gothica Lolita fashion over there. And if it wasn't did you see many people wearing Gothica Lolita fashion.

There are maid cafe things where the girls that serve you are dressed as maids.They were probably handing out leaflets for those cafes.
 

Nyu

Pokémon Master
Jayme said:
I was thinking. . .

At some point you mention Maid outfits handing out leaflets. Are you sure this wasn't the Gothica Lolita fashion over there. And if it wasn't did you see many people wearing Gothica Lolita fashion.

Google Maid Cafe's
 

Chaz

Chuunibyou
Very interesting read. :D
If I had walked into the H-game place, I would probably say bye to the keeper, storm out and bang my head against the wall or someone accompaning me. XD Maybe the odd whimper and pointing towards the store...

And the bowwing match... I'd give up after 3. :p But does seem like an amazing place to go to. I'd worry if I walked into a Imouto cafe though. ^^' Although the maid ones seem interesting to try.

Wish I was able to go... I'll make it my 1st trip when I get a job. :)
 

melonpan

Death Scythe
Gosh, a very interesting read, I'm glad you had a wonderful time.
I am now filled with envy however!!
Goodness me, it just sounds so amazing!!! :)
 

arthur_webb

Adventurer
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read, I'm glad you enjoyed it. My two regrets from Tokyo were that firstly, I didn't see enough of it, and secondly, I didn't take enough pictures. I'll load up a couple, though, as promised.

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... Street.JPG

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... Ghibli.JPG - Ghibli stuff inside of a Ginza toy store. I bought a Totoro! :D

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... Street.JPG - All of those streets sell anime.

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... Corner.JPG

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... omFuji.JPG - Awful weather, but still beautiful up there.

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... OfFuji.JPG - Keeping in mind it's around thirty degrees down below, it was freezing up there!

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... dation.JPG

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... yBlock.JPG

http://files.adamcube.co.uk/Images/Japa ... strict.JPG - So many "rabu-hoteru"; I didn't know where to look!

I did actually see the gothic lolita thing at one point, as well as as many different hair dye colours as you'd care to name, but the maids were most definately of the French variety. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit one of the cafes - I figure when I go back I'll be fluent in Japanese (wishful thinking - but no one can stop me from dreaming!) and so I'll be able to make coversation with the maids bringing me coffee. :D

Speaking of learning Japanese though, I did have one minor mishap. It was all going well with my rudimentary Japanese speaking skills, asking about trains to Tokyo and speaking to people selling me things about where I was from, until it came to asking a trainstation officer which way the line to Shinjuku was. I don't know where it came from but, marching up to the desk ready to utter "Shinjuku ni ikitai." (I want to go to Shinjuku), I accidentally let slip out "Shinjuku ni ikimashou." (Let's go to Shinjuku!). He looked at me very strangely, and pointed in some direction. I skunked away, head in my hands... :oops:
 

TRASHBAT

Stand User
lovely pictures! :D *even more jealous now heh*

I wouldnt stop taking photos if i went to Japan,im a photography nut.Always taking pics! It killed me not being able to photograph dir en grey X( anyway...yes,again great pics! hehe
 
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