Oh, does anyone still use this thing anymore? A few people still do, and it's a good place for long posts, so to LiveJournal!!
This year's trip included the Tokyo Area, Kyoto Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, and the Hiroshima Prefecture. I did much more sightseeing on this trip in comparison to the last two trips! Though this year, a lot of the cities looked darker--the Tohoku Region, past the Tokyo area, and even as far as Kyoto, lights were turned off to conserve energy. Of course, I think they ought to do that normally, but in a sense it was sort of a mark of the natural disaster that happened in March 11th. I suppose lights being on symbolize doing well. I always think about theme parks and stuff using up a lot of energy but maybe that's just why it seems amazing. It uses up a lot of energy!!
Not all pics will be put up cuz I'm lazy and maybe someday I will post 'em and someday I won't in the meantime here's some pics not all in order http://miluda.posterous.com/
HAY a nutshell post:
When I was in Tokyo, I stayed with Namae, the same girl I stayed with for last year's trip and saved myself $1000 bucks worth of hotel! Akihabara had a Dr Pepper machine with mostly Dr Peppers and some from the USA! Whoaaah thanks a certain anime!! Yes USA Dr Peppers taste different from Japanese ones!! Oh Comiket!!! I cosplayed!! It cost money!!! I saw fireworks!! Twice!! Saw lots of Taiwanese peeps in Tokyo!! Whoaah!! Mahjong nights!! Ate Monjayaki!!! Lots of other cool foods!!! Cake!! Remember last year's???? SAW A LIVE AIRING OF SUITE PRECURE MY FIRST REAL PRETTY CURE LIVE AIRING WOW
Visited a few UNESCO World Heritage sites, not in this order:
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Saw the Genbaku dome, the memorial (cost only 50 yen for an adult admission, if $1 is 100 yen, that'd be 50 cents. BTW CURRENCY EXCHANGE IS TERRIBLE RIGHT NOW AS $1 WAS 86 YEN!!) ... and had a job interview, not all on the same day. Also that company I interviewed with is also not a World Heritage site. Sorry.
Itsukushima, Hiroshima prefecture! Hey, seen that pic of the torii that looks like it's floating on water? Think it's everywhere in Japan? Well, it's not. It's in the Hiroshima prefecture and you gotta take a ferry from Miyajimaguchi (Gate to Miyajima) to Miyajima (Shrine Island)... it's a nickname for Itsukushima. The whole shrine looks like it's floating on water and on low tide days you can actually walk to the torii. It was really beautiful and you have to pay an admission to go through the one-way direction, in which I abused my ticket and went in the second time because I wanted to buy an omamori after Namae explained to me that omamori have shrine names on the back. I told the dude in front in English that I wanted a shrine and he didn't seem to understand me and probably just waved me off as another one of those foreigners and let me in. I think I might have mortified Namae!!! Well, my first omamori evaaar! Whoooaaah. Also Miyajima is famous for oysters. I got oyster onigiri, baked oyster, fried oyster, BBQ oyster... Oh yeah. They have deer. The deer don't move away from people. You can sit on one before it decides that you're annoying and moves away. Yes, saw some kids try it.
Kyoto! I think it was popular for its archery competitions where archers on horsies ride past a target super duper fast and still hit it. Watching just the YouTube videos alone was pretty amazing. It was next to a forest and river water thing, so that meant being bitten by six million mosquitos and turning to a giant tomato because I'm allergic to mosquito saliva. It had some relics of the Tokugawa clan so I took a bunch of photos of their crest. I got Namae and myself omamori charms that matched our zodiac animals.
Kyoto! A Buddhist temple famous for that one building that's featured as the first picture in the Wiki page yet they had construction supports around it so I couldn't take a photo like the one in the Wiki article and this was my best shot to hide the construction crud. Also famous for the three channels of water that people drink for life-improvement or something. By the way, Kiyomizu means "clear/pure water" in Japanese so that water is drinkable!! There was a long line for the drinking of the water thing. Also got bitten by mosquitos here.
And some not Heritage Sites:
Missed this one 'cause it was late and the inside was closed. But it was lit up at night which was rather different compared to the other shrines that just sit in the dark. We still walked in and took some photos.
Universal Studios Japan, Osaka
IT'S A THEME PARK. Okay, well, something special was going on. FUCK YEAH MONSTER HUNTER. Some people paid 6200 yen to enter the park and played on their PSPs all day. Well, I did too, but that's after I already rode all the rides on the park by using the singles line. Much faster than waiting in a the group lines. Also this reproduction of Fisherman's Wharf freaked me out. It looks very similar to the real thing but smaller. They also had a single building representing Chinatown and the Ghiradelli signage.
Ueno Park. Cats there. Cats don't move away from people. Touched cat. Allergies acted up. Got bitten by more mosquitos. Zoo was closed. I visited too late.
Ameyoko. Ueno's shopping street with fresh seafood and meats market and stuff.
Tama River. Went fishing in Tokyo! Yes!! Went fishing in Tokyo!!!!!! And BBQ'd at the river. Seems like a normal thing there unlike here where we take the fish back home. WAX WORMS ARE ADORABLES!! Avoided mosquitos due to being READY! Had an electric mosquito repellent along with long sleeves and the traditional sprays. Caught 5 fish which was a pretty amazing number seeing how many people were there...
Roppongi Hills. Wow.
Kaminarimon. The temple, too. Thought this was cute. It says "Asakusa Station"... it was the lantern that marked the entrance of the train station. Saw the Sumida River Fireworks Festival right before going to Kaminarimon, so it was crowded. Apparently it's Tokyo's biggest and longest fireworks-- an hour and a half show.
Namae's house. Namae's house has mosquitos. Mosquitos that look like this. Scary. Not a Heritage Site. Spent most of time itching, with bite areas feeling like they were on fire.
Mitsumoto's apartment. Hiroshiman friend's house I stayed in. Not a heritage site. No mosquitos. Was happy.
Gati's house. Naran friend's house I stayed in. Not a heritage site. Front of the house had mosquitos. Ran away quickly.
Sukiya. Beef bowl store. Ate there.
Typhoon came. Biggest rain evar. Stopped Namae's usual train line and she gave me a stern look to not go outside that day cuz her train never stops
Some other places I forgot to write about. HEY LOTS MORE PHOTOS ON MY DSLR which will never be uploaded unless i stop being lazy
Getting too lazy to update post. Pressing submit button.
Post brought to you by Kinkan and Muhi. (They help after you've been bitten by a mosquito.)
tl;dr: I got bitten by mosquitos, swelled up like mad, allergies, job interview, went to places, ate food, life good and fun