Edit: The heck, my pictures were sideways. o___o;; Woops. Added an extra one as an apology. ^^;

Sorry about the silence! Ever since entering the Kansai region I’ve been super tired by the time we get back to the hotel for some reason (even though it’s actually relatively early..). ^^; Anyway, a few pictures to make up for the quiet.

Monday we arrived in Kyoto, but didn’t really do anything … Just explored Kyoto station (which is huge, and cool.) and the area around our ryokan (which is an excellent one, by the way.). Next day was Osaka, which was awesome…but only Otaku stuff, haha. ^^; hence, no pictures. I kind of forgot to take pictures … partly because the place itself feels like boonie town (half the reason probably being it’s the only place that wasn’t completely blown to the high heavens way back when).

Yesterday was exploring Kyoto with a couple friends. Went to the Golden Pavilion (sheathed in real gold!!), the Silver Pavilion (no silver on this one … just the name, frauds!), and explored Gion area (cool shopping and stuff! And tasty food!).

Today was Nara; they really, really do not exaggerate when they say deer just walk up to you. Actually, the nicer ones give a little bow if you give them food (so cute!), though my brother theorizes that it isn’t necessarily a bow… just a “yes, give me food, give me!!” nod. Could go either ways I guess. :P Anyway, plenty of deer, on the verge of being pests (followed us around for like 20 minutes when we bought food…both human food and deer food. Silly creatures!). But yeah, those were pretty cute, and the region itself was pretty interesting too (they had an animate! hah!). Bought a couple souvenirs there.

Okiedokes, that’s it for now. Tomorrow we’re gonna be geeks and visit KyoAni offices wahaha…and potentially eat at a cake buffet (!!!!) we discovered while exploring Gion in Kyoto area. Wheeee~

It’s that car! From Back to the Future!! I dunno! Nii-san got all excited!!!! So I took pictures!!!!!!!!

In other news, we lazed around, did our laundry, went to Akiba and watched a movie in Ikebukuro (Macross Frontier movie) … so nothing super exciting. I did, however, get some loot! New headphones - JVC Air Cushion (great quality for cheap headphones. 10x better than the ipod ones) - and a Kuroshitsuji character book. Impulse buy, but am very glad I bought it. Lots of great images inside, a character spread (full color) and lots of sketches. Also full of info and little tidbits about the characters…I think. A lot of kanji I can’t really read, haha. ^^; Motivation to practice/learn more I guess?

That’s all from me tonight, oyasuminasai. :3

A decade into the millenium! We made it! :D
Spent this new year eating lots of food at the Asakusa shrine, reading manga, playing games on my DS, reading a couple chapters of Psalms, and posting on my blog. :P Yaay~ How exciting.
Haven’t really done the resolution thing for a while…but if I were to make one, I think it would be to be more resolved about everything I do, and not do things in a kind of half-assed way like I’ve been doing lately. ^^;; Either go all the way through or not at all, leafy!!
Anyway, happy new year! In reality, it’s just another rotation of the earth … but we’re always so busy living in the present, it’s a good time on the calendar to pause and reflect on the past and the future. Hope you spent/are planning to spend some quality time with your loved ones! Take care. <3

A decade into the millenium! We made it! :D

Spent this new year eating lots of food at the Asakusa shrine, reading manga, playing games on my DS, reading a couple chapters of Psalms, and posting on my blog. :P Yaay~ How exciting.

Haven’t really done the resolution thing for a while…but if I were to make one, I think it would be to be more resolved about everything I do, and not do things in a kind of half-assed way like I’ve been doing lately. ^^;; Either go all the way through or not at all, leafy!!

Anyway, happy new year! In reality, it’s just another rotation of the earth … but we’re always so busy living in the present, it’s a good time on the calendar to pause and reflect on the past and the future. Hope you spent/are planning to spend some quality time with your loved ones! Take care. <3

Went to Comiket day 2 today. It was, in a word, crazy. Not like that&#8217;s any different from all the previous comikets&#8230;but I always forget exactly how crazy it is.
When I say &#8216;crazy&#8217;, I mean crazy like sheep in a frenzy running down a cliff kind of crazy. People shoving back and forth trying to get from one side to the other, people trying to work their way against the flow, people just generally trying to stick with their friend (me, trying to stick to my brother &#8230; very, very hard&#8230;even holding on to his jacket doesn&#8217;t work at all.), etc etc. And then you have the super crazies trying to get to the product they want before it&#8217;s sold out&#8230;except they also want to get to 50 other ones, so they&#8217;re running back and forth with little to no regard for other people around them. And then you have the sheer number of people in tiny alley-ways. It&#8217;s basically a moving wall of people. You seriously can&#8217;t get from one side to the other even though it&#8217;s just two steps away.
Yeah&#8230;gets pretty scary in there. ^^; But it&#8217;s an experience, I guess. Will be more exciting for me tomorrow, since it&#8217;s stuff I care about (Vocaloid) as opposed to stuff I know but don&#8217;t really care about yet (Touhou).
Anyway, photo above is just one side of the center hall of one wing. ONE SIDE. Of ONE HALL. of ONE WING.
Stats say Comiket averages about 500&#160;000 people. That may not sound *too* bad &#8230; but it&#8217;s basically an entire city placed in one building for three days. As you can imagine, it gets pretty intense.

Went to Comiket day 2 today. It was, in a word, crazy. Not like that’s any different from all the previous comikets…but I always forget exactly how crazy it is.

When I say ‘crazy’, I mean crazy like sheep in a frenzy running down a cliff kind of crazy. People shoving back and forth trying to get from one side to the other, people trying to work their way against the flow, people just generally trying to stick with their friend (me, trying to stick to my brother … very, very hard…even holding on to his jacket doesn’t work at all.), etc etc. And then you have the super crazies trying to get to the product they want before it’s sold out…except they also want to get to 50 other ones, so they’re running back and forth with little to no regard for other people around them. And then you have the sheer number of people in tiny alley-ways. It’s basically a moving wall of people. You seriously can’t get from one side to the other even though it’s just two steps away.

Yeah…gets pretty scary in there. ^^; But it’s an experience, I guess. Will be more exciting for me tomorrow, since it’s stuff I care about (Vocaloid) as opposed to stuff I know but don’t really care about yet (Touhou).

Anyway, photo above is just one side of the center hall of one wing. ONE SIDE. Of ONE HALL. of ONE WING.

Stats say Comiket averages about 500 000 people. That may not sound *too* bad … but it’s basically an entire city placed in one building for three days. As you can imagine, it gets pretty intense.

Yesterday was shopping in Akiba for otaku stuff, today was shopping in Shibuya for girly stuff. Lots and looots of awesome sales around the place. Especially in H&amp;M! Surprisingly enough. Yes, I am in Japan, and I went and visited American stores. But I am justified, because the stuff inside is totally different, and the sales prices are way better than at home (which is a bit surprising, because the regular prices are SO MUCH o___o). I spent about as much as I did yesterday on figure stuff, just on clothes&#8230;despite the fact that this time I have a credit card to use. ^^; Dangerous grounds, leafy, dangerous grounds. I felt like that ditzy girl in shopaholic&#8230;
Me: Okay leaf, do you NEED this? Do you REALLY NEED this??Girl: Oh and by the way, this is the last one.Me: I&#8217;mbuyingitkthx.
To be fair on myself, I refused to buy anything which is remotely close to anything I can buy at home, or stuff which I can get cheaper at home, so yeah. As a result, ended up with stuff like 3 pairs of tights for $10, and a very Asian-looking coat (the one that was the last on the rack. $70 man!). So yeah, my opinion of Japanese prices is still &#8220;wow, expensive&#8221; but coupled with &#8220;wow, they have *really good* sales compared to at home &#8230;.
Having said that, I failed to find the one thing I really was looking for: a nice pair of walking shoes (that aren&#8217;t sneakers). All their shoes are either really, really nice heels or super punk/goth flats. So yeah. Kind of disappointing &#8230; Also, in the 109 rise, all the skirts - and I mean ALL - are like, butt-high. So the only skirts I even looked at were in Uniqlo and H&amp;M. ^^;
Anyway, exciting experience! But not nearly as exciting as me finally getting my Sebastian nendoroid and my Drossel figma in Akiba! So I guess I&#8217;m still more of an otaku. :P

Yesterday was shopping in Akiba for otaku stuff, today was shopping in Shibuya for girly stuff. Lots and looots of awesome sales around the place. Especially in H&M! Surprisingly enough. Yes, I am in Japan, and I went and visited American stores. But I am justified, because the stuff inside is totally different, and the sales prices are way better than at home (which is a bit surprising, because the regular prices are SO MUCH o___o). I spent about as much as I did yesterday on figure stuff, just on clothes…despite the fact that this time I have a credit card to use. ^^; Dangerous grounds, leafy, dangerous grounds. I felt like that ditzy girl in shopaholic…

Me: Okay leaf, do you NEED this? Do you REALLY NEED this??
Girl: Oh and by the way, this is the last one.
Me: I’mbuyingitkthx.

To be fair on myself, I refused to buy anything which is remotely close to anything I can buy at home, or stuff which I can get cheaper at home, so yeah. As a result, ended up with stuff like 3 pairs of tights for $10, and a very Asian-looking coat (the one that was the last on the rack. $70 man!). So yeah, my opinion of Japanese prices is still “wow, expensive” but coupled with “wow, they have *really good* sales compared to at home ….

Having said that, I failed to find the one thing I really was looking for: a nice pair of walking shoes (that aren’t sneakers). All their shoes are either really, really nice heels or super punk/goth flats. So yeah. Kind of disappointing … Also, in the 109 rise, all the skirts - and I mean ALL - are like, butt-high. So the only skirts I even looked at were in Uniqlo and H&M. ^^;

Anyway, exciting experience! But not nearly as exciting as me finally getting my Sebastian nendoroid and my Drossel figma in Akiba! So I guess I’m still more of an otaku. :P

Akiba part the first

Unfortunately no pictures for today, as we decided not to take the camera. We planned on just doing our otaku shopping today, so having a huge SLR to lug around would have just been dangerous and tiring. Downside was that last minute plans intruded and we ended up going to yakiniku (they served caribou. CARIBOU.), so was a bit of a loss picture-wise, but oh well.

Spent a good amount of money, but I also showed a good amount of restraint. I am surprised at me! Probably because I knew that I was going clothes shopping tomorrow, haha. ^^;

Alrighty, off to bed.

Sorry, was too tired to post last night. ^^; But since it&#8217;s early morning and we&#8217;re waiting for shops to open, I shall do yesterday&#8217;s now. :3
A couple sisters took us to Odaiba for pretty much the entire day. To get to Odaiba, we had to go to Shimbashi station (Ginza) and then transfer to another line. It was quite a trip; the train was like.. a monorail? Took us all around the city, above it, so we could see plenty from our seats. Once off the train, we just explored the area. There was a cat shop (with a cafe JUST FOR CATS!), and this interesting area that was just like, 15 booths of different types of ramen. We passed the ramen on the way to Fuji Island (the photo above), which was just everything on Fuji TV (and I mean EVERYTHING&#8230;which also meant Dragonball and One Piece, the only things Adriell and I could recognize. :P)
The most interesting place was definitely this shopping centre called &#8220;Decks&#8221;. It was a bit of a confusing layout, but there was a normal Japanese shopping mall which had like, a Sony science centre on the 5th floor (not bad considering its size, but not as great as the museum we went to the other day) and a wedding place at the very top (which we peeked into and got sent away for haha).
In another building was three sections: The bottom-most section was called &#8220;Muscle Park&#8221;; it had like &#8230;. everything sports/challenges. Kicking soccer balls into huge cards which you had to knock down, throwing a frisbee into a tiny hole, and it had &#8220;Sasuke&#8221;, one of those ninja-testing grounds. ;P All sorts of stuff, really.
Above Muscle Park was a section devoted to and built like old Japan. It was seriously transport back into time; there were no windows or anything, so it was verrrry easy to get lost in there. All sorts of candy shops, old-school arcades and stuff. It was very lively. There was even a stag-beetle fighting competition! Gross.
Above the old Japan area (no idea what it&#8217;s called; should have grabbed a pamphlet for the names&#8230;!) was a Chinese area. Built like China, looked like China, food like China. Except the food wasn&#8217;t really that Chinese&#8230;just Japanese with a bit of a twist, really, haha. Had dumplings and noodles there for dinner.
After we explored those places and had dinner, we went outside to see Tokyo by night and some cool illumination show; it was basically a fountain that sprayed out a sheet of water foam, and a projector that projected an image onto it. Quite nifty..until we saw some images that looked suspiciously like the mac screensaver&#8230; lol. My bro and I were chuckling so hard that we were probably destroying the moment for the romantic couples next to us. We make poor neighbors in Japan&#8230; ^^; Will be devoting a separate post of pictures for the Decks, as well as a bunch of night scenes which I took.
Anyway, that was about it for the day. We were all exhausted at the end of the day. ^^;

Sorry, was too tired to post last night. ^^; But since it’s early morning and we’re waiting for shops to open, I shall do yesterday’s now. :3

A couple sisters took us to Odaiba for pretty much the entire day. To get to Odaiba, we had to go to Shimbashi station (Ginza) and then transfer to another line. It was quite a trip; the train was like.. a monorail? Took us all around the city, above it, so we could see plenty from our seats. Once off the train, we just explored the area. There was a cat shop (with a cafe JUST FOR CATS!), and this interesting area that was just like, 15 booths of different types of ramen. We passed the ramen on the way to Fuji Island (the photo above), which was just everything on Fuji TV (and I mean EVERYTHING…which also meant Dragonball and One Piece, the only things Adriell and I could recognize. :P)

The most interesting place was definitely this shopping centre called “Decks”. It was a bit of a confusing layout, but there was a normal Japanese shopping mall which had like, a Sony science centre on the 5th floor (not bad considering its size, but not as great as the museum we went to the other day) and a wedding place at the very top (which we peeked into and got sent away for haha).

In another building was three sections: The bottom-most section was called “Muscle Park”; it had like …. everything sports/challenges. Kicking soccer balls into huge cards which you had to knock down, throwing a frisbee into a tiny hole, and it had “Sasuke”, one of those ninja-testing grounds. ;P All sorts of stuff, really.

Above Muscle Park was a section devoted to and built like old Japan. It was seriously transport back into time; there were no windows or anything, so it was verrrry easy to get lost in there. All sorts of candy shops, old-school arcades and stuff. It was very lively. There was even a stag-beetle fighting competition! Gross.

Above the old Japan area (no idea what it’s called; should have grabbed a pamphlet for the names…!) was a Chinese area. Built like China, looked like China, food like China. Except the food wasn’t really that Chinese…just Japanese with a bit of a twist, really, haha. Had dumplings and noodles there for dinner.

After we explored those places and had dinner, we went outside to see Tokyo by night and some cool illumination show; it was basically a fountain that sprayed out a sheet of water foam, and a projector that projected an image onto it. Quite nifty..until we saw some images that looked suspiciously like the mac screensaver… lol. My bro and I were chuckling so hard that we were probably destroying the moment for the romantic couples next to us. We make poor neighbors in Japan… ^^; Will be devoting a separate post of pictures for the Decks, as well as a bunch of night scenes which I took.

Anyway, that was about it for the day. We were all exhausted at the end of the day. ^^;

Shin-Akitsu for church in the morning (had a bit of an adventure getting there&#8230;!!), then Harajuku and Omotesando for the evening. Lots of very interesting shops (ie: plenty of American brands/names&#8230;) and lots &#8216;n lots of English signs. Almost feels like New York, except for the occasional sign in katakana every now and then (yes, Katakana, not Kanji..!). We went to a steak place for dinner, was tasty but their steaks definitely (still) do not match Canada&#8217;s. :P
Unfortunately, half the photos turned out rather blurry due to the huge number of people (no place to stop) lack of poles (nothing to lean on) and night time (harrrd to do night scenes! Must practice more.). Lots of pretty lights, though! Am considering going back just to take a bunch of pictures (would have to go quickly, before they take down all the lights I suppose.), when I&#8217;m not following three people who don&#8217;t really pay attention to the poor photographer trying desperately to find a spot to take pictures! ;)

Shin-Akitsu for church in the morning (had a bit of an adventure getting there…!!), then Harajuku and Omotesando for the evening. Lots of very interesting shops (ie: plenty of American brands/names…) and lots ‘n lots of English signs. Almost feels like New York, except for the occasional sign in katakana every now and then (yes, Katakana, not Kanji..!). We went to a steak place for dinner, was tasty but their steaks definitely (still) do not match Canada’s. :P

Unfortunately, half the photos turned out rather blurry due to the huge number of people (no place to stop) lack of poles (nothing to lean on) and night time (harrrd to do night scenes! Must practice more.). Lots of pretty lights, though! Am considering going back just to take a bunch of pictures (would have to go quickly, before they take down all the lights I suppose.), when I’m not following three people who don’t really pay attention to the poor photographer trying desperately to find a spot to take pictures! ;)

Today was more random walking; headed to Ueno and decided to go to the National Museum of Nature and Science (totally worth it, by the way. Highly suggest a visit, especially to the Theatre 360 inside. It was like the imax, except better.). After that, headed off to Ikebukuro to re-visit Sunshine City and have a light lunch (Takoyaki. Yum yum. Mostly fried dough, though.). Then it was into Tokyu Hands and a spending spree for leaf. I go way too crazy in there.

Today was more random walking; headed to Ueno and decided to go to the National Museum of Nature and Science (totally worth it, by the way. Highly suggest a visit, especially to the Theatre 360 inside. It was like the imax, except better.). After that, headed off to Ikebukuro to re-visit Sunshine City and have a light lunch (Takoyaki. Yum yum. Mostly fried dough, though.). Then it was into Tokyu Hands and a spending spree for leaf. I go way too crazy in there.