Wednesday, September 30, 2009

KA-RA-O-KE

Soooo, a friend of mine has told me I update this blog too much, lol. Weeeell, don't worry, Certain Someone, I'm starting school tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll be doing less Awesome Things, and more Boring Things, and not updating as often. And yet... I can't help but notice that tomorrow is the first day of classes, and I'm going to a concert anyways, so... maybe this blog just won't slow down at all, lol XD Sorry, Certain Someone, lol! Ya can't blame a girl for wanting to have fun!!

So, after a super-useless advising session at Sophia University, I went with The Spaniards to Shibuya. In Shibuya, there were HUGE TV screens and advertisements playing. They had a FANTASTIC video-ad playing for the V-Rock Festival and I nearly shit myself with happiness. I managed to snag a picture of yet ANOTHER giant Nightmare advertisement. Boy, those boys sure are getting around, lol.


Here's Shibuya:


I FOUND THE CONDOMANIA STORE!!! Four years ago I found this ridiculous, two-story condom store called Condomania. This isn't the same one I saw last time (this one's smaller, hahahahaha, bad pun) but still... same giant, neon penis mascot, lol XD

Anyhoo, The Spaniards met up with two Japanese men who studied abroad in Spain and are studying Spanish. They both spoke English fairly well, so... once, again, we had some crazy conversations going on in mixed Japanese, Spanish, and English. Eventually, I didn't even notice which language was which... it all just blended into one big language that I somehow understood, even though my responses were primarily Japanese with some English thrown in. The Japanese guys took us to one of those Japanese restaurants where you have to take your shoes off to go inside and you order dish after dish after dish for everyone to share, and worry about the bill at the end (almost $25 a person by the end... which wasn't TOO bad, considering...).

For starters, I had my first Japanese beer! I'm pretty sure it was Kirin Beer. This shit was actually GOOD. It's not as strong as American beer so it tasted a lot less like horse piss and more like a real drink, lol. I downed this whole thing, haha (but decided not to have a second, since I wasn't look for anything more than a light buzz).

Here comes the endless rounds of food! I don't think I managed to get a picture of everything we ate but... this should give you a good idea. For starters, we have Japanese rolled omelets and a teriyaki chicken and potato pizza (which I found surprisingly tasty, considering I don't like teriyaki chicken or potatoes, lol).

Here we have some kind of grilled fish. Hard to eat around all the bones with chopsticks, but very tasty.

VEGETARIANS BEWARE.  My rule in Japan is that I try everything at least once, so... what you're looking at below is raw horse meat (the Spaniards were like "eh? Que es eso?" and the Japanese were like "es caballo." And I was like "eh?!! HORSE?!!"). I am VERY sorry to all the horse-lovers here (I, too, love horses). Anyways, as for the taste... tasted oddly like fish, lol. If I hadn't known what it was, I would've thought it was any kind of sashimi, lol. Pretty good, but... not something I would do often, lol (especially cuz it's HELLA expensive).

On a lighter note, this was some kind of Thai spring roll.

Thai spring rolls are really hard to eat, so here's one of the Japanese guys (I forgot his name, oops...) attempting to eat it whole. We said he looked like Godzilla, lol XD

This is a spread of calimari with mayonaisse for dipping. Mmmm, I LOVE squid.

This was served at the beginning as an appetizer, but I didn't take a picture until they brought a second round later. Most Americans should recognize this: it's salted edamame ^_^

This was, um... flying fish, maybe? It's grilled pretty harshly until it's like eating a fish-chip, lol.

ONTO KARAOKE!!! We joined our Japanese friends for some karaoke! Luckily, no one goes to karaoke on a Tuesday night, so we got a GREAT room! Check out the view outside the window:


This is the actual karaoke room (pretty crazy, huh?):



Anyways, the rest of these pictures are from today. I went with Sonia to the Nerima government office to pick up some important documents. Afterwards, we had nothing to do so, despite the fact that it was raining, we decided to look for a park we heard was in Nerima. On the way we found a Seriously Effing Purple Building. Sorry it looks blue. Sometimes my camera turns purple into blue and I don't know why, lol.

There were some really pretty houses alongside the park:



Here are some pretty trees:

The pretty path:

Me standing on the path (I look so fucking fat in pictures):

Look at these beautiful purple berries!!!

I was playing around with the super-focus option on my camera. I thought this was so beautiful: this tree had such thin little branches and they caught all the raindrops like some kind of sparkly net. This picture doesn't really do it justice, but this tree looked so beautiful and sparkly in the rain.

I don't know what's up with this tree but it's AWESOME 0__0

Aaaaand, last but not least: I AM PROUD TO PRESENT THE FATTEST MOMENT IN KITA'S ENTIRE LIFE. I didn't have any lunch today so, on the way home, I was dying to try this place called Mr. Donuts that's about a five minute's walk from my house. I'd always heard Japanese doughnuts taste different from American doughnuts (less sweet, not so greasy) and I couldn't resist, since I don't like American doughnuts because they're too sweet and greasy, lol. When I went in, I realized the place was, ugh, self-serve. So... many... options... How does one choose?!! Then I noticed a skinny Japanese woman sitting there with two big donuts and a whole bowl of ramen. Sooooo, I shrugged and got two giant doughnuts and a doughnut sampler platter for lunch, haha. It was sooooo good. Up top, we've got a Chocolate Angel doughnut (chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and cream filling) and a custard doughnut. In the platter we have plain, chocolate frosting, coconut, chocolate with chocolate crunchy things, cream-filled, and strawberry cream. It was delicious, but... I felt kinda sick afterward, lol. Lesson learned. See, Japan has cured me of my Unholy American Ways, and in stuffing myself with donuts, I think my body felt poisoned, lol. Ugh... I'm never eating that many donuts again, ever, lol. I seriously had to go walk off my nausea XD

Tomorrow is the first day of school and the D'ESPAIRSRAY CONCERT OMG I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The next blog post is going to (hopefully) be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you're all enjoying my blog (despite its being over-updated) and I'll see you all for the next post!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

LIKE AN EDISON

This is Part 2 of the Harajuku/Shinjuku post! This is the Like an Edison merchandise post, so check the post below for Part 1 of the actual adventure!!!

Anyways, Like an Edison is the most dangerous store ever invented for J-Rock fans. Its recipe is made up of one cup CDs, one cup DVDs, a half cup of merchandise, two cups vintage magazines, a pinch of OMG they give you freebies sometimes, and several cups of magical wallet-opening potion. I've been to Like an Edison twice in two days now and... it has managed to consume more of my money than I would ever care to admit. It is dangerous. It's like antifreeze: it tastes delicious, but also makes you very sorry after you drink it, lol.

For starters............... D is doing a huge promotion at Like an Edison. They had two huge TV screens, one of which was looping a D Tightrope interview, the other of which was looping the music video. So, of course, I bought a copy of Tightrope complete with DVD, lol.

Each single comes with a postcard of one band member. I got Hiroki, lol XD

BUT!!! The wonderful, magical Like an Edison Fairy of Win and Kindness smiled upon my purchase and, for free, stuck a package of super large-sized postcards in my bag. Every single band member 0___0


She also gave me a package of free pamphlets including Dir en grey's Budokan flyer:

Also a Plastic Tree flyer.

Anyhoo, the purchasing continues!!! I also bought a two-disc Merry DVD: Many Merry Days 5th Anniversary special! This was the two-night performance with the white night and the black night.

Anyways... the magical Like an Edison Fairy is truly wise and kind above all the creatures of this world. I may have a rose-tinted memory, but I believe this woman may have been glowing and bathed in a magical, holy light of kindness and truth. She smiled at my Merry purchase, said something I didn't catch because I was fumbling with change, and slipped something free into my bag. Later on, when I opened it... I discovered that the Like an Edison Fairy may have imparted a strip of Holy Land into my purchase... Five large postcards of each member of Merry... SIGNED AND AUTOGRAPHED. And they're not photos or copies... they're actually SIGNED, AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARDS OF EACH MEMBER. Oh my GOD.

Gara:
Tetsu:
Yuu:
Ken'ichi:
Nero:
Anyways... then I found the biggest tragedy of all... the vintage magazine section.............. Ancient VK magazines, all in great condition, wrapped, and sold for their original price. For starters... a copy of Fool's Mate from 2005, cover feature: Merry:

Includes a spread on Dir en grey from the Clever Sleazoid single. Ew, Toshiya moustache :-(

Also includes one of D's first spreads, back when they only had four band members, lol:

Next up on the list, Dir en grey cover features. In descending order... We've got a Fool's Mate Dir en grey feature from 2004. This feature was for Vulgar:

Also included a fantastic Merry spread:

Moving on down... Fool's Mate Dir en grey cover feature from late 2002:

The one that made me nearly shit with happiness... Fool's Mate cover feature... 2001... fucking Macabre era. Right after Kyo got out of the hospital:

This magazine was so old it had a Due Le Quartz spread from when Miyavi was still Miyabi and still goth (second from the right):

On Day 2 of my Like an Edison journey, the new magical Like an Edison Fairy was a man with a chin piercing. He included more free pamphlets including a lovely D'espairsRay pamphlet freebie!

It was CD purchasing time as I found myself losing control of my wallet (despite my pledge not to buy anything). For starters... GazettE's Leech single, special edition with DVD. How could I resist? This was the single that made me a GazettE fan, lol.

Also bought D's Neo Culture CD, complete with DVD (also includes a fucking GORGEOUS booklet):

I don't even know why I bought this... I don't even like this song. But Like an Edison has this power, you see. It's not unlike The One Ring to Rule Them All and In the Darkness Bind Them (translation: steal your money). So I bought D's Birth single because... well, I dunno, it didn't cost much, lol.

THIS was not bought at Like an Edison. I picked this up at Book Off, where they sell cheap, second-hand CDs. I got GazettE's Disorder CD, in fabulous condition, for only twenty bucks. Win.

Back to Like an Edison... I also bought Merry's Peep Show CD:

Aaaaaaaaaaaand, that's all for now. For now. But the One Ring is all-powerful... and I can feel its presence drawing me closer, even from across the city of Tokyo. My friends and I, we are the Fellowship of the Ring... and also corrupted by its powers. I just hope I end up in better condition than Boromir, haha.

OH, ALSO!!! I spotted VJ Boo from MTV Japan today!!! He was walking out of Shinjuku station! You seriously can't miss the guy; he was fat, with tons of wallet chains, giant headphones, a ponytail, and those weird, triangular side-burns like daggers. I laughed hardcore when I saw him.

Oh, and before I forget, Satoshi made his own recipe for spaghetti today. Oh my GOD. He is a cooking GOD. The spaghetti was made with olive oil, basil, and really expensive mushrooms. It was one of the tastiest things I've EVER eaten.

Harajuku and Shinjuku: A Pic-Spam of Epic Proportions

Trains figured out. Check. New make-up. Check. A herd of Spanish friends. Check. Time to go to Harajuku on a Sunday - the busiest day of all! For starters, I whipped out some new pink eye-shadow kit that I bought (Maybelline, like... seven bucks). I didn't lay it on too thickly or dress up very much but here's how the make-up turned out:



Everyone takes this same damn picture (I even took this same picture four years ago), but here's the Takeshita-Dori entrance to Harajuku:


Now, it is often said that Japan is the Land of Contrasts. Well, yesterday may have been the most incredible, textbook example of why this is so. My friends and I enter Harajuku, where there is nothing but trendy, modern Japanese youths shopping. Then... out of nowhere... a fucking giant traditional Japanese matsuri festival-thing nearly tramples the street and squeezes the hordes of young, fabulously-dressed Japanese against the shops lining the sides of the road. Look at this crazy thing!


These people looked like they were seriously having fun, though. It looked like a blast. Everyone in the streets, despite being squished and hustled around, were kinda smiling and nodding, caught up in the festive atmosphere. I'm pissed someone's phone got in the way here, but... look how much fun these people are having!


This was the big shrine thing they were carrying (translation: pedestrian bulldozing device):


Continuing with the epic contrasts, my friends and I were in a time-crunch and ran into Sex Pot Revenge to look for t-shirts. This store makes me fabulously happy. Look at this crazy place:

I wish I'd taken better pictures... but these kids had AWESOME outfits. Especially that pink/purple-haired thing. She (he?) spotted me taking the picture and smirked at the camera, lol.


Oh god the merchandise. I didn't buy anything, but... someone needs to staple my wallet shut because... I don't know if I'll resist so well next time, lol.

Anyhoo, we were hungry, so my friends and I decided that the best thing to have for lunch in Harajuku is those fantastic-fucking crepes. One of my Spanish friends told me that no matter how many times she eats authentic crepes in Paris, she still thinks the Harajuku crepes are better, lol. This picture doesn't do it justice, but this adorable little kid had more crepe on his face than in his mouth, lol.


Here's my effing delicious crepe. I got the "choko chiizu keeki" crepe (translation: chocolate cheesecake crepe). That doesn't describe it very well, though. A better translation would be: fucking delicious half-baked cheese-cake brick wrapped in a freaking amazing pancake of delicious and covered in the whipped cream of the gods and chocolate syrup. Yeah, that might sum it up better.

Oh, this is a shout-out for J-Rock fans, but... at the bridge at Harajuku station, they had these GIGANTIC advertisements for Nightmare. And it wasn't just this one. Each band member had a giant poster. And then more posters. It was an endless Bridge of Nightmare. I would've taken more pictures of this amazing bridge, but... I would've halted commuter traffic in Tokyo and, uh... that's bad, lol.

Went off to Shinjuku to find the Like an Edison store. Here's the customary, OMG Shinjuku at Night, picture:

I'm splitting up this post, so... I'll talk about Like an Edison in a separate post. For now, these pictures were taken today (we'll call it Day 2 of the Shinjuku Adventures). I went with my friend Sonia to help her get her alien registration card. Afterwards, we went to Ikebukuro and decided to stop off for what the Japanese consider to be Italian food (which includes things that are definitely not Italian, like paella and flan, lol...). This may look gross to those who don't like seafood, but it was fucking delicious. This is a pizza with squid and anchovies ^_^

Found the Saurio store (the Hello Kitty Store of Pink Insanity). Anyhoo, they had a section that confused me... Apparently, Yoshiki of X Japan has some affiliation with Hello Kitty so... this is Yoshikitty. Aaaand... it was expensive as HELL. That fan there, that thing costs over sixty dollars 0___0

Anyways, it was a horrible journey but... I GOT A TICKET TO SEE D'ESPAIRSRAY ON THURDAY AT C.C. LEMON HALL!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my god I was so happy! See, Like an Edison was out of tickets... Lawson was out of tickets... and these tickets can't be found on the internet. Even Yahoo Auction wasn't selling any. Anyways, some wonderful person on the internet suggested Ticket Pia, so I went to the Ticket Pia in Ikebukuro and, lo and behold, they still had a few tickets left!!! I almost DIED of joy. It's a friggin' second floor balcony seat, but... who cares?! Less than two weeks into living in Japan and I'm already seeing concerts! IT'S MY FIRST JROCK CONCERT IN JAPAN - WHOOOO!!!

And just for fun, here's a picture of Sonia and me after I got that ticket. Check out the totally retarded-idiot face I'm making, haha:


Second half of the post can be found above!!!