★ Herping Derping in Tokyo ★

I've conquered Comiket!!
CG ☆ Kallen - DereDere spazzing

A 3-days' quest that challenged my patience, endurance, feet and demanded a strong will (i.e. to resist and not buy every single things because OMG SO SHINY COME TO MEE!!)

I'm proud to say that I've completed my first pilgrimage to teh Comiket Market aka Otaku mecca. Now I can die in peace*

Selected pictures under the cutCollapse )

*lies. Obviously no one's dying before seeing the end of Phase 2 (and possibly Phase 3), silly.

G00 ☆ Hallelujah - TANOSHII NEE?
What are fukubukuro? What is inside? Are they worth buying? Why is Japan crazy about them?

The word "Fukubukuro" (福袋) is consists of the kanjis for "luck" and "bag", so naturally the most common translation is "lucky bag" (but you will also see "good luck bag" here and another possible less literal translation would be "grab bags").

The tradition emerged early 20th century when Japanese shops bundled unsold items from the previous year (belief is that you need to make a fresh start in the new year by getting rid of things from the last year). In closed bags, a couple of items are sold on January 1st, for a price much lower than the combined value of the items (or so it should be). Although January 1st is a public holiday in Japan, many shops open just to sell fukubukuro (but some, like Mister Donuts or Liz Lisa for example) start selling them last week of December.

There are fukubukuro for everything; from grocery stores, to clothing and electronic items. Nowadays almost all shops here in Japan sell fukubukuro. While the clothing ones might be the most common ones (Harajuku and Shibuya are especially wild around that time of the year -people even line up in front of 109 or LaForet the night(!!) before), more and more stores join the excitement (Starbucks and Apple for example).

In more concrete terms, what is inside a fukubukuro? Well that is the fun of it all, you DON'T KNOW! Usually it's "unwanted' items, so don't expect any really popular items, although some stores create pieces solely for the purpose of being sold in fukubukuro (just like some shops produce new pieces for the sales period).
Generally speaking, it is a good bargain if you like the brand/shop anyway. For example:

Mister Donuts fukubukuro 2013

For 2000Yen, I received 20 coupons for a donuts/pie each. An average doughnut costs 130Y and a pie 150Y, so if you do the math you see that I made quite a good deal. No to mention that all the Snoopy goodies came for free (I consider them bonus, as I bought the fukubukuro for the donuts in the first place, not the goodies).

MisDo is an example of items produced only for fukubukuro. They also reveal the contents of their bags on their website before they go on sale, so the surprise is kept to a minimum. So does LizLisa:

Liz Lisa Fukubukuro 2013

Some other stores sell fukubukuro that all have different contents because the contents are really leftover items. So it's cheaper than buying the items separately, but it's also a gamble. Not gonna lie, some grab bags are real garbage and leave you disappointed. With food (Baskin Robbins, MisDo etc.) at least you get the value back in coupons, but sometimes you're just unlucky. Some stores play fair game and warn you about the crappiness of the contents by labeling their bags as "fukoubukuro" (misfortune bag). Usually fukoubukuro are sold even cheaper, about 500Yen.

The average price of a fukubukuro depends on the brand of course. Apple plants some IPads in theirs, so don't expect to find anything under 30,000Yen. LizLisa and other 109 brands usually have some for 5,000-10,000Yen, smaller shops like Claire's and supermarkets have pretty fun bags for only 1000Yen.

If you're the kind of person who likes to take a gamble, likes everything from a particular brand as not to be disappointed or just want to join the pre-sales frenzy in Tokyo, fukubukuro are for you!

I hope this was informative and/or helpful in some way or another =)

Japan - 3 months
TRC ☆ Fay - Baka gaijin
(OK only on Tuesday actually, but I have time to update NOW)

3-months anniversary! *throws confetti at self*

Sorry for the terrible lack of updates. I really REALLY mean to, but where the heck is my time? I feel I don't do anything besides university work (which is the main reason I'm here, so it's kind of obvious, but I certainly did not expect it to be THIS time-consuming).

2 weeks ago my cousin came to visit so I was busy showing him the Tokyo sights.
The last week k_u_r_o_g_a_n_e came over for some excessive shopping (on his side, I remained very reasonable)

Next week it's lucy_hp's turn to visit. Besides our glorious quest to Comiket, we'll have tons of extremely nerdy fun. I will have to turn in papers for uni, but between all of it I seriously plan on updating (last part of AGF, Otome Road update post).

I've been to Akiba, but too briefly too look for decent cosplay stores.
Then again I spent 3 months dilly-dallying, I might as well wait for January sales.

The only thing I was able to keep up with is my anime schedule:
Sukitte Ii na yo!
Kamisama Hajimemashita
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
K project
Magi the Labyrinth of Magic
Shirokuma Café

Not much, but enough for me. Most of these end with this season, I'll check out new shows later.
Are you watching anything good this season?

As for US TV shows I'm only up to date with Elementary, because I have to stream everything since this new anti-DL bill was passed in Japan, and it's such a bother. Shorter things like Fringe and GG final seasons will be marathoned upon their completion anyway.

AGF 2012 Part 2: Purchases
DOGS ☆ Badou - Trippin'
Let's be perfectly blunt: there were enough opportunities and it was definitely possible to throw yourself in the abyss of financial ruin in just one day at AGF. Along with the conventionally overpriced games and CDs, AGF had a lot to offer in terms of limited goodies. A look at Animate's AGF shop can give you a good idea of what to expect.

And to be even more blunt: 70% of that stuff was completely useless.
I really, really wanted Diabolik Lovers goodies, but aside Animate's set there was absolutely NO-THING DiaLover related that wasn't a drama CD which I can get for 50% off at K-books. The bag turned out to be ugly and the charm really cheap-looking. The fact that it was sold out only made it easier for me not to regret anything.

I also checked out Magi's bento box set, but the bento box was one of those child-sized boxes -__- Excuse me Japan, I'm one of those 180cm tall gaijin gozillas who need a decent amount of food every meal, that chibi bento just isn't gonna cut it. My 100Yen-shop bento box will be sure fine for now.

In the end, this is what my meager loot looks like:

AND I'M PERFECTLY HAPPY WITH IT! I really wanted the Amnesia carry case and was relieved to see it wasn't sold out. I began having doubts when I saw that most people on Saturday first headed to AGF shop (located at the former Animate flagstore) before entering the con, afraid things would sell out before the con ended.

Alongside I have a PSP cover sticker for my blue PSP and a Karneval clearfile they were distributing -I was almost squished to death by an army of fujoshi to get this but I was victorious in my attempt to grab free stuff. The Karneval desktop calendar was sold out before lunch, sob.

Other things include a StaSka contact lenses set and a DiaLovers bag which I take with me to classes every day because it's the exact size for my course notes.

On to the pics!Collapse )

Part 3: Upcoming figures preview (tomorrow)

AGF 2012 Part 1
DRRR!! ☆dangerous Ikebukuro
This year's Animate Girl's Festival stretched over two days, November 17th and 18th in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro.

I attended only Saturday 17th; judging by the size of the event, 1 day was enough, but a second day would have been useful if you wanted to attend the various events -different ones every day- and get a hold of all the goodies (there was a limited amount you could get every day, the really popular stuff -AGF shop, Karneval, cheap sets and BL- were sold out by noon). At least the people who only attended Sunday stood a chance to get at least some things.

Pictures under cutCollapse )

Japan: 2 months
CG ☆ Kallen - Now that you're back
Today I've been in Tokyo for 60 days. This is not the longest time I've been abroad, but it's twice as long as my longest stay in Japan so far.

Things are going well for me, I love the life here, made friends but university keeps me insanely busy, so much that I've barely traveled so far! I think I will use the opportunity of my cousin and lucy_hp coming over to visit some places with each of them. Cous' arrives this month, so we should be able to do some momiji viewing.

I don't really know what to write here, 2 months isn't such a milestone for me. Sure it's crazy that I'm finally in Tokyo, but that's about it. I love every day of it, but I also start to miss my parents. I miss it that my IRL friends barely contact me. I get a handful of emails (you know who you are), but I get kinda jealous when roommate/classmates talk about how much they talk on Skype, receive letters and even packages from their friends while I just sit there and refresh my email inbox every day in hope of. I guess everyone is busy with their own life, but I can't help feeling a little left out. Luckily I have all my wonderful online friends who don't really care about time zones and still interact with me like nothing changed^^

Occasionally, I do something cool on weekends. Tomorrow is such a day, I'm going to AGF 2012. I will use the opportunity to take pictures of Ikebukuro/Otome Road and finally update the master post, because quite a few things have changed in 2 years.

Sorry for the lack of updates.
Japan ☆ Relax Time
I've recently been very busy with university and couldn't find the time to write something meaningful. I do however have a few blog posts planned, a revision of the Otome Road post (once Animate moved to their new location I'll take pictures and revamp the post), an Akiba post, AGF is also coming soon etc. November should provide a little bit more of free-time, at least until the 24th, so I'll enjoy that.

It's not like I'm neglecting LJ for tumblr, but sometimes I just want to post something insignificant small that doesn't deserve a full LJ post.

Halloween parties with Sheryl costume were a full success, I even won some cosplay contest and now I can go back to one of the places and eat for free. Fhufhufhu. Though I believe I only won because I sang something and it looked like I had something planned, but yeah.

TV-wise, it's never been such a misery. I barely have any channels on my Japanese TV so I can't watch animu live, even if I'm awake at that time. The only things I can catch are the TBS shows, which thankfully has 2-3 dramas I'm following, as well as Magi (and Kamisama, but that's 1am so nope says my inner granny, we'll chose sleep over anime).
I can make a post about what I watch this seasons, but since I have to stream EVERYTHING, I'm behind on all my shows. It's not that bad tho, I don't really have time for them/fandom anyway.

So, how's everyone?

Cosplay unveiled ;-)
Vocaloid ☆Ichiban ohime sama

Listen to my song~Collapse )

Since I'm in Japan outside the sales period, I would have to pay full price for the cosplays. The ones I've seen in Ikebukuro were pretty pricey, I'm not ready to spend so much money immediately (unless I find a really good looking Princess of the Crystal cosplay, THAT would be worth all my money).

Hopefully I'll be able to find some nice and cheap costumes during the January sales, but until then I wanted to have at least one costume, in case of cosplay events and such.

My first cosplay in Japan this year
I simply couldn't resist the sirens call (aka cosplay Halloween parties) and got my first cosplay ready earlier than planned:

I'm sure some of you can recognize it. Even if not, I'll solve the riddle tomorrow.

I love my inaka
Despite being only 25mins by train from Shinjuku, the place I live in could be considered the boonies. There are not many foreigners here but I do not get the "gaijin stare" that often actually. Because I intend to stay here for another 5-months-ish, I make repeated efforts to engage in casual conversation with the neighbor ladies, but it never seems to lead anywhere beyond the daily greetings ("ohayou gozaimasu"-"itterasshai"-"otsukaresama") and I deduced that my neighbors assume me no speak nihongo. Why would I say that? Because obviously the mere sight of me in the morning dazzles them to the point that I hear plenty of "uwah, mashiro" ("wow, so white"). This is fine and dandy, too bad for me that it's usually followed by a "aw but it's a shame she's a little fat" (which is what I get called behind my back xD"" )

Yupp, I (honestly) love my inaka, but it has to learn to deal with who is probably the whitest whitie to have ever whited there...


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