Thursday, January 31, 2008


One of the times I wished I lived in Japan. If I did I could just go down to my neighborhood friendly Akihabara (or whichever anime shops in Japan) and grab a copy of Dengeki G's Festival Vol.11. But looking on the bright side, it seems that KKnM did bring it in, and hopefully when I go this Saturday it'll still be there. I just want the Shiro Dakimakura!!!
The photos of the loots will be delayed, maybe tomorrow or the day after, but surely before the end of the week. I'm currently half-dead from playing paintball in the afternoon, part of my squadron/flight "cohesion" day. 3 games all clean sweep victories for my team.

A song that I'm currently addicted to, but due to it's length (15mins+) it is split into 2 halves. It's a combination of various songs (mainly character songs) from Lucky☆Star. It's really addictive. Enjoy. Signing out.

Lucky☆Star - Kumikyoku 'Lucky Star Douga' Part 1/2

Lucky☆Star - Kumikyoku 'Lucky Star Douga' Part 2/2

Songs used: Part 1
1. Ne-Ni-Ge de Reset! (Tsukasa, No.2 on Favourite LS song list)
2. Cosplay no Kokoroe (Patty)
3. Kosutte! Oh My Honey (Konata + Patty)
4. Ore no Wasuremono (Minoru Shiraishi)
5. Kaorin no Theme (Minoru, No.3 on Favourite LS song list)
6. Koi no Minoru Densetsu (Minoru)
7. Gravity (BGM Insert)
8. Minimum Tempo (Yutaka)
9. Shiawase Negai Kanata Kara (Kanata, No.1 on Favourite LS song list)

Part 2
1. Dondake Fanfare (Konata)
2. Misoji Misaki (Akira)
3. Aimai Net Darling (Akira + Minoru)
4. Mo, Mousou Machine (Hiyori)
5. Moe Yousotte Nandesuka (Miyuki)
6. Yuuchou Sentai Dararenja (Konata + Patty)
7. Kenka Yoho Jikan Dayo (Kagami-sama!!)
8. Mokutto Yasumi Jikan (Minami)
9. Kaeshite! Knee Socks (Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa and Miyuki)
10. Motteke! Sailor Fuku (Same as above)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Japan Trip - Part 4 ~ Finale.

Seeing that the flickr links have little to no views, I'm just going to put up the photos right on the blog itself, only selected few which I think is more interesting. Those of my friends who wants the rest of the photos, wait till I print them then I'll show to you all.

1/1 Scale Kokonoe Rin, Taken from Animate in Akiba.
I remember on Danny's blog he mentioned this was all sake.
Wish we could just take one and run.
Lashinbang and K-Books in Ikebukuro.
Something stupid we did at Meiji Shrine. Excuse my poor
Japanese writing skills as I haven't written in ages.
Night view from Mt. Hakodate, Hokkaido.Seafood at Hakodate Morning Market.
Another stupid thing we did while on our way from
Sapporo to Noboribetsu on a 2 hours bus ride.
Miyazaki Nahoko performing in Shibuya. (Did I get her name right??)
Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa, Hokkaido.
Bear Hugs anyone?
Random street performers who came out of no where to perform some soccer tricks for about 5-10mins before running off into the crowd.
Inside of the Square Enix building in Shinjuku.
Ditto. These are for you Jason.
Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo.
Taking the riverbus from Asakusa to Hinode Pier, then towards Odaiba.
Ronald Macdonald is a lolipedo! Look how satisfied is he!! Smile!
Tokyo is already gearing up for the future by
having already built a "Tokyo Teleport Station".Tokyo Big Sight at night, Ariake. Doing some scouting before Comiket.
Suzumiya Haruhi poster in the Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon Yurikamome Station, the connecting station to Tokyo Big Sight, promoting its new PSP game. My cousin bought the game, but he doesn't know how to read Japanese. Good incentive for him to start learning now.
Fuji-yama, taken from Hakone Robeway.
The "pirate ship" that we took at Lake Ashi, Hakone.
Shinkansen, taken from inside another Shinkansen.Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto.
Byodo-in Temple, Uji, Kyoto.
Whale Shark at Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN.

That's about it for now, will try to do a post on the books/doujins I bought in Japan tomorrow, or the day after depending on time available. Signing out.

Odex pwned.

A quick update on the issue over Odex vs Pacnet and the fate of the downloaders. Just read it on the first page of The Straits Times, and it seems that Odex has no right to the IP information, however Pacnet will have to submit the names directly to the anime studios. Whether the anime studios choose to pursuit the case is entirely up to them, but due to the amount of money involved in overseas lawsuits, I assume that they wouldn't. Overall I find that it's pretty much a fair verdict, but most of all I'm smiling at the fact that Odex got owned as they got to pay the cost of Pacnet legal fees of S$20,000, so take that!! But I guess they still made a profit from blackmailing those they managed to get information of, and hopefully they'll just fold and that's it. Okay back to doing the photos for the next post.

Link to online Straits Times version of report here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Didn't update in a week, was having mood swings during the weekdays followed by a busy schedule over the weekends, gomen -.-". I still get back some of those depression moods once a while, though the last serious one, which lasted 3 days, was back in BMT after watching Hantsuki, and at the same time depressing about half of my friends in camp too. The weekend was mainly spent outdoors, revisions for my driving test which was yesterday, and then going out with friends.

Yes yesterday I had my Traffic Police Class 3 Driving Test @ SSDCL, first time taker.... AND I GOT MY LICENSE WOOT!! Scored a total of 12 demerit points, and out of my group of 10, only 2 passed. I now can drive legally!! In fact the passing rate is actually very low, in which from my observation of other groups, only about 1-3 per group will pass sadly. It's also ain't cheap to learn driving now, and having to book more revision lessons and another driving test will cost you about another S$300 more. I'm not sure if I really learn that fast (a few instructors were saying so), in which I had 18 practical lessons, and 3 revisions before the test, I wonder how many lessons did the rest do before theirs?

Yesterday was also spent putting up more posters in my room, to only realise I didn't have enough tacks to stick them all up. Will need to get more. So until I finish doing up the room (I intend to do so before Chinese New Year), the pictures of it will have to wait. My Louise Bustier Ver. figure also arrived yesterday, and is now happily standing together with the rest of my figures. Will also do a photo shoot for them eventually.

As for the remaining posts of the Japan trip... Will be putting them up tomorrow and the day after (2 days special!!), as I intend to finish up on the "Japan Trip Series" by the end of this month, so I can go back to normal blogging/reviews. I think I'll need to set up multiple Flickr accounts as the free accounts can only display 200 photos, so I expect I'll need about another 4 accounts. Anyone knows of any better free photo hosting services please feel free to tell me about it ^^.

I'm also doing some minor changes here and there to the blog, currently stuck on how to do the html coding for putting up a picture/banner and link it to another website.

Time for me to go back to playing Fortune Arterial (Shiro is too cute!!), and sort out the pictures of the Japan Trip at the same time. Here's some wallpapers of her too (1600 x 1200) in jpeg, but original is in bitmap though, but had to make the file size smaller for uploading. Enjoy and Signing out.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Japan Trip - Part 3 ~ Hits and Misses

This post will mainly be on the things which happened on the trip which is most memorable, the ups and the downs. Warning of super long wall of text!! Please take some eye rest in between points as it's really long and I don't want to have a lawsuit filed against me for causing eyesight damage. And also maybe some of the points that I would mention would be useful for those planning future trips to pick up (especially the misses). Names used in the post: My cousin - Marcus, My friend - Calvin (short Cal). First up will be the misses.

1a. Not being well-prepared enough. Despite the constant planning and tweaking to make the trip as perfect as I could get it to be, it still fell short by a great distance. I can't believed I actually forgot to put in the location of some of the accommodations, thus the greater difficulty in reaching the place.

In fact the first day upon arrival, we walked around Akihabara with our backpacks for about 3hrs before we actually found the Capsule Hotel (I did ask around, but no one knew where it was? some -.-"), and to my horror wasn't open yet till 5pm (we reached around 3pm), then having to burn time walking about with our backpacks (the lockers at Akiba station was all in used). And then there was the wandering in Namba, Osaka, Subway station for about and hour looking at every available map to find the Capsule Hotel location, and once again the lockers were all occupied, thus carrying everything again.

1b. Again on planning. Not having a backup plan. Day 2 night we were supposed to be taking the Akebono Night Train from Ueno to Aomori, and I didn't expect the reservations to be full, with only the sleeper car available, in which we had to fork out another 9,450 Yen extra even with the JR Rail Pass. Weighting in all the factors and not wanting to change the schedule, we paid and took the night train. From this experience, and not wanting the same thing to happen on our return trip, I made a backup plan, in which I am thankful for as the return trip was also full. Instead we took a 2 trains transfer (including a Shinkansen) to arrive back in Tokyo on the same day instead of reaching on the day after. But of course we had to "pay" for the accommodations for an extra night. I also made lots of other backup plans thereafter to make sure things goes as planned, or at least close to it, but as usual some still doesn't go off well.......

2. In which leads to this. It sucks when the transportation services for tourist spots don't put the timing for their transport on their website (most do but some just can't seem to find it). Traveling from Amazake Chaya back to Yumoto (Hakone), we needed to take a bus. However upon arrival at the tea house, and seeing the bus timetable, the last bus seemed to have left at 4.15pm, and the time of our arrival was 4.45pm.

We had 2 options. 1: Travel back to Motohakone which is around 1km back and catch a taxi (spend more money), 2: make the journey towards Yumoto in darkness along the road which is about 8km away; that is by the old Tokaido path though but was deemed too dangerous to use in darkness, thus the main road, but due to the winding road I swear it was about 10-12km instead, but we didn't know at this point. Being the hero, we decided to walk. We had to use our handphone lights to navigate the road (which looks like one of those race roads you would see in Initial D) as it was really dark/pitch black at certain points.

We walked for about 3hrs (I believe we cleared about 6-9km during this time), and yet the town still seemed soooooo far away. Giving up, we decided to take the first taxi that pass our way (there was 2 that passed us throughout the walk but decided not to take). Judging from the taxi fare that we eventually took (and it was damn expensive ><), I calculated that we had about another 4-5km more to walk. We managed to catch the Shinkansen back to Tokyo thankfully too due to the taxi, in which if we had walked I think we had to find accommodations within Hakone. The following day Cal's right? leg was swollen and he was out for the day, thus leading to missing out on 4 locations that I had initially planned to go on that day. But I did do some shopping in Ikebukuro and Akihabara. ^^
Just a random picture taken from Odaiba to ease the eyes. Noticed the flaming ball of light falling from the sky? We have no idea what is it, but it lasted for about 2mins before it disappeared.

3. Emo. Sorry but I gotta put this here Cal, it's part of the trip. I swear the 25th Dec was the worst day of the trip. Being irritated as my shoe laces kept coming out, and Cal always making a sarcastic comment over and over again about it, I lashed out. After that, the whole day Cal was going emo, which %$&*ing spoilt the mood. Over and over again I tried to liven up the atmosphere but in vain, but at the same time I just wanted to beat the living daylights out of him for being emo on a holiday. I said to myself I swear I was never going to apologise for the outlash, but I don't need an apology from Cal either as we're both at fault I believe and we should just put it behind and continue enjoying the trip. But no he just had to go &%$*ing emo the whole day.

Around evening time while trying to shop for stuff in Akihabara, I couldn't take it anymore and just confronted Cal, demanding what he wants to do to just stop being emo, and I also apologised against my will. I was on the verge of tears as I didn't want my long awaited holiday in Japan to be like this. He said he wanted some time to himself, so I initially wanted to drop him back at the hostel and then go back to Akiba to continue shopping, but while on our way to the subway he said he would just walk around on his own while I continue shopping and then we'll meet at a later time, in which I took the offer as going back to the hostel would waste too much time. Thankfully the next day he was back to his normal self, else I had planned to just dump him at the hostel and leave without him. There's no room for emo people on my holidays. Screw with the "Leave no man behind" theory.

4. Drawing fortunes. I'm not sure what's wrong, but I drew 2 x bad fortune and 1 x mild good fortune throughout the trip. I feel sad. The other 2 guys drew best fortunes. I swear I'm cursed!

5. Not having enough money and time!!! 24 days isn't enough! I want to stay for good!! Need bank account of Bill Gates too to buy all my lovely anime goods!!

That more or less covered the low keypoints of the trip, so onto the
1. Anime everywhere!!! I visited Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Nakano Broadway in Tokyo, and also visited Nipponbashi in Osaka. I bought anime goods from every single place too! I simply love the easy access to anime nearly everywhere in Japan (though I couldn't really find any in Hokkaido area).

2. Comiket. I really loved the event despite all the queuing that we had to do. Would really love to go again (but I would like to avoid summer comiket cause it'll be HOT!).

3. Food!!! Enough said in the first post of the Japan Trip recap series.

4. Snow!! First time seeing/playing snow, totally enjoyed it. Snowboarding is also very addictive, I want to pick it up full time now!! I really enjoy it when while the snow is still falling, you just lie down in the snow and look up into the dark sky and watch the snow. It just feels magically beautiful.
Marcus playing with the snowman, watch Kanon ep 19 for reference ^^.

5. Onsens (Hot Springs). I'm addicted. The feeling is damn nice. Even better when in a rotenburo (outdoor bath) and snow is falling all around you.

6. The 700 Yen rice. This moment was simply gold. We were eating in an Unagi Restaurant in Namba, Osaka, and Marcus ordered a bowl of Unagi Don while me and Cal ordered just a whole piece of Unagi. When the dishes came, Marcus opened up his bowl, to only find white rice with some sauces on it. He just stared blankly at the rice, as that was all they served him, no other plate which had the Unagi on it, and the look on his face was simply gold. Eventually the waitress came over and tried to explain, but he didn't know Japanese so he was just blur and stunned until the waitress went (in really broken English and some hand signs), Rice --> Unagi --> Rice. At this point we just couldn't stop laughing at my cousin. Marcus's new catch phrase: THE UNAGI IS A LIE!!

7. Deer mobbing. Marcus did most of the feeding of the deers, in which I didn't really want to do in fear of my D70 hanging off my neck, who knows they think it's food and munch on it. The deers on the outer park of the park were really docile, they just walk up to you and wait for you to hand out the food. As we moved deeper into the park, they were getting abit rough, starting to do light gentle nudges on you for you to know that they're there and they demand food.

He eventually ran out of deer food and was reluctant to buy more, in which I happily sponsored for. Why? In the far distance I saw the deers were getting really rough (in which my cousin didn't noticed), and I wanted to get some "nice" photos of a person "trying" to feed a hungry mob of deers. Approaching the "main area" (most of the deers were here) with just the food in hand, the deers would start to approach fast. They came fast and furious, nudging my cousin all over with their head, there was even one trying to take a bite off him lol. He started to run and sprinkle the food in a trail, but they just kept following him.

What were me and Cal doing? Well... we were actually at a distance, camera mounted on hand, shouting at my cousin to stand still and get mobbed as we wanted to take photos. Yes we're evil and we enjoyed it! After he ran out of food and the deers moved to their next target, his trench coat was already covered in deer saliva lol.

8. Posing for the Lucky Star pictures. This was simply hilarious, and thankfully Kyoani was closed on this day else I swear they would be laughing non-stop while sitting in their offices watching us. The earlier part of the day we visited the town of Uji, about 6 stops? (rapid service) from Kyoto. Kyoani offices is located in a smaller town of Kohata, 2 local train stops from Uji in the direction of Kyoto along the JR line.

The first building was actually just right outside of the train station, to the left side, which took me about 2-3mins after exiting the station to realise. I was actually looking for a map to navigate the area. I tried to angle the camera properly using anything I could find (I didn't have a tripod), then reconfirming the poses of each of us and where to stand. The funny part was whenever there was people walking around, we would quickly do something else and act blur, we're just damn shy to be "posing" and be seen by others. After taking a few shots, and not wanting to spend time walking around, I decided to ask the train station attendant how to reach the next building as I had the addresses.
Kyoto Animation Main Office, 1st Studio.
Address: 32, O Seto, Kohata, Uji-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan.

From the same train station, we had to turn right, then turn left, walk all the way straight down till we reach another train line. The second building was located very near to it. Cal had enough from the posing of the first building that he didn't want to do for this, and my cousin self-decided to run to the top of the building to act as the "unidentified guy" looking down at Konata and friends, thus I had to do a solo shoot -.-". Soon after we left to head back to Kyoto. I don't think I'll be posting any of the "posed" shots as they didn't turn out properly. It was either we couldn't stop laughing when the shot was taken, or that we're out of position, or just plain ugly. But I'll still just post the pictures of the "offices" from the outside.
Kyoto Animation 2nd Studio.
Address: 11, 34, Uchihata, Kohata, Uji-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan
Yuni Highshop Building 3F.

9. Defending one's honor. Happened on the 2nd day of the trip when we're at Ikebukuro, in the park just opposite Lashinbang (details on what is it on Windbell's blog). We were sitting down taking a rest, when we noticed a group of photographers taking photos of these 2 (or was it 3?) young girls (estimate around 11-13 yrs old?) dressed in gothic lolita clothings. We observed them for a while before they started to leave.

When they were leaving, Cal was like asking me "Eh not going to take photo ar? Your cute cute loli type" (Well I'm abit of a lolicon (non-ero, just the kawaii-sugi!!! factor, just makes you want to go kyuuuu~~~!!). So my cousin turned to Cal and started defending me
(it's only day 2! he didn't know I was already deep in the "dark" side), and then said that I'm not that type of person, and it was at that moment he heard a shutter sound, turned and saw me with camera full zoom (it's not much though, since it's only a kit lens) in the direction of the group walking off, and he went "Nooooooooooooo". Eh I couldn't help it one of the girls (in a black gothic lolita outfit) was just really really cute!! (Siscon material!!! erm....opps??) Sadly the picture didn't came out well as I only got the back and another person was blocking the view of her. Uguu~

One last thing to add. The most bizarre/scary sight I had during this trip, but no photos to back it up though. The other two didn't see it, only me. Along the stretch walking from Motohakone to Yumoto, we passed by this graveyard. After passing the graveyard was a stretch of walls, and we just continued walking. However once we cleared the wall area, there was this small hut/house. I didn't noticed any windows on the house, or I was just simply distracted by the sight. In front of the hut/house, was a white kimono, being hanged similar to what a scarecrow would be like, with arms outstretched. However the white kimono was covered in what I would say a "splash" of red colour liquid/paint/blood? I can't confirm, I didn't want to. I stared at it for about 5 seconds before I turned my head and increased my walking pace. I was simply disturbed, as it reminded me of the girl wearing the white/red kimono from the Fatal Frame series. I didn't tell the other two till we were on the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

I guess that's about it for now, it has been a really long post. I guess my next post would be on the scenery + accommodations, then the loots breakdown, and finishing off with a conclusion, with the current state of my room with my new loots. Enjoy! Rest of related photos found here ---> Various photos.

P.S: I do not know who these 4 are, but I suspect it could be DarkMirage's group, since based on his blog post at the end of the day they were also at the Sensoji shrine around the same time as us. Why I took the photo? Hmm...walked past them, heard them talking, guessed they were Singaporeans (I swear it's the Singlish that is giving us all away). Something about the vibes I was "receiving" from them, just felt like one of "us", and also abit of profiling technique used from my point of view. So I just took a shot. Anyone can verify? ^^

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Further Forecast.

Taking into consideration that on weekdays I'm usually in camp for most of the day, I've decided to leave the posts for Japan to do on weekends when I have more time to sort out the photos.

Right now I've begun planning for another trip to Japan at the end of this year to attend C75, but this time it would only be a 7-9 days trip. Cost of the trip would range in the S$1,400 to S$1,700 for the expenses, and another S$1,300 to S$1,600 for personal spending I guess, so it'll come up to an amount of around S$3,000. Currently I think I'll be able to raise about S$1,500 by year end, and thus the next problem will be to raise the remainder. Hopefully when I ORD till the time I enter University I would be able to have about 2 months to filter in some part time jobs to make up the extra cash.

Another problem would be when I enter NTU is the schedule of the holidays/school semester. I'm not sure how the school year for 08/09 would be like, but hopefully it'll not clash with the last week of Dec (that is when Comiket is held). I also intend to do JLPT 3 by this year, but I don't think the examination date for it would clash though.

I'm not sure whether to do self-online-bookings again like I did with the previous trip, or to go through an agency as they might be able to get cheaper fares for tickets/lodging as they do group booking. And even if I do want to go ahead with the trip, the earliest I could book would be around June/July, once I know the University's semester dates. And for those who might want to follow me on this trip, just for info, I don't intend to go on much sightseeing. It's mainly for anime, Comiket and more anime (and some places that I failed to go on this trip due to unforeseen circumstances).

So many things/problems running through my mind now, and not sure how to solve them. Money is like the biggest issue though. There's still the need for a new laptop (Est. S$3,000) when I enter Uni, the wanting of a road bike (Est. S$1,500 for entry level) for cycling training (I intend to do a 3 months Bicycle Tour of Japan when I finish getting my Degree, mainly to visit the more rural side of Japan rather than city, and to reach Wakkanai, the most northern tip of Japan, on bike), but yea the bike can put on hold. And now there's this trip to Japan that I really really really dying and wanting to go. AAAAaaaaaaahhhhhh I don't know where to start!!

I did try asking my parents if I can take up a part time job while studying in NTU, but they were against the idea, mainly because my priority should be on studying. I do understand, but I really don't know where to get the funds to fund this "expensive" hobby of mine. Ever since I made my first anime merchandise purchase of my Xmas Kotori Towel, my money has been spiraling down the "Death Spiral Field" with no way out. Not counting the money that I already spent on my Japanese version manga, and my monthly subscription of MEGAMI and Dengeki Hime (About S$60 a month for both), it's truly a black hole. One other way I could think of to have that small bit of spending power, is to get a scholarship to pay for my University school fees ( S$6,000 per semester if not wrong), and ask for about S$1,000 - S$2,000 to spend for myself since my parents wouldn't need to pay for the school fees. But of course the part on getting a scholarship is the hard part lol. But I'm sure getting the scholarship is a good step, as it'll boost my credential when I apply for the Monbukagakusho Research Student Scholarship to Japan and eventually get a Masters Degree there, and continue working/living in Japan with no intend to return to Singapore.

I had initially wanted to apply for the Monbukagakusho Undergraduate Student Scholarship, but the need to sit for examinations in Physics and Chemistry deterred me as I have not touched those subjects for like 3 years prior to the examinations, since I'm a poly student and not JC, and to be able to score on those JC level papers, I'm like going "too tough to handle", and thus the change of plan to get my Masters in Japan after getting a Degree from NTU.

I guess that's enough words for now, and wanting abit of time to do my own stuff in the 1 hour I have left before needing to head back to camp. Here's 2 videos of two eroge which I intend to play once they are out. I seriously need to start improving my Japanese and how else to improve it besides reading more. Signing Out.

Fortune Arterial - Releases: 25th Jan 2008. Shiro FTW!!

To Heart 2 AnotherDays - Releases: 29th Feb 2008. Going for Ikuno-chan ^^

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Japan Trip - Part 2 ~ Comiket

Updated: 13/01/08, 2.10pm with some added pictures in the Comiket photo album. Forgot I got some on another camera, and yes I was carrying 2 cameras for the whole trip.

This is going to be a short post, don't really have much to say about Comiket, in which I'm sure many other bloggers would have already said their bit on the event. On my side, all I can say is I totally enjoyed the event despite the constant queuing up for the loots. Having the chance to see all the artwork of thousands of artist, being able to feel the atmosphere of having thousands of fellow anime lovers around you, having to "force" one's way through a horde of people to head to another destination, it truly was a good experience.

Well the only down side to it has got to be all the queuing up one would have to do in order to get loots of their favourite artist, and when reaching the next booth to only see it all sold out. I totally missed out on Rei's Room even though it was the 2nd stop after Ice and Choco, I was really really sad. Other booths that I truly wanted but couldn't get includes the likes of Tennenseki, Kantoku, AMR (the set which I have is bought 2nd hand when I found it in Nipponbashi, Osaka), Tinkerbell, Indico Lite, Suzuya and QP:Flapper (couldn't find the set 2nd hand, settled for only the book, found in Akiba).

Comiket starts from 10am, but on the first day we actually arrived at 10.15, and initially I looked at Ariake from the train and thought we'll get in fast cause there wasn't any queue from the station to Ariake, and boy was I totally wrong. We were directed in the opposite direction, away from Ariake, around some buildings, then we finally saw the start of the queues. I was totally thrown back, wasn't expecting this kind of queue (I'm a first timer!!). Eventually we finally entered Ariake at around 11.45, and mainly we did a scouting of the area, pick up some nice looking doujins, then headed to the media area.

Queued in the Visual Arts queue for about 2hrs, in which I got myself the Little Busters set, Coming x Humming!! set and the Koibito Doushide Surukoto Zenbu set (besides the Little Busters set which I really wanted, the other 2 I found the art not too bad and didn't want to make the time I queued a waste so I just grabbed them). After that we walked around the media area abit, making note of things that we want, and intend to get them on the following day (day 2). Soon after we left Ariake around 4.45pm and headed back to the hostel to make our battle plans for day 2 and 3. Damage Done: 19,300 Yen.

Day 2, we arrived at around 9, and as expected there was already a long queue, but still worst than I had expected. We decided to go as planned and "attack" the booths that we wanted. I managed to grab about 60% of them, but missed out on the Kyoani's Clannad and Lucky Star sets, Minori's ef Second Fanmix CD, Dango Daikazoku Plushies + a 2nd Botan for my niece, and a few other stuffs which I can't recall. We called it a day around 1.30pm and went back to the hostel to make final prep for day 3. Being first timers, I followed the ruling in which we can't camp outside Ariake overnight, in which I really wanted to do, but decided to reach at around 7am. At this moment I didn't know that thousands of others would be camping overnight, and I feel cheated, but this is a lesson learnt and when I go Comiket again I would do the same!! Damage Done: 16,000 Yen.

Day 3, arrived at around 7am, started in a queue which was about 2 rows behind the row we were on day 2 (yes it was a big mistake to come so late). Waited in the cold till Comiket started, and bam I charged (just fast walking) to the Ice and Choco booth. After that is more or less history, missing out on the other groups due to the long wait at Ice and Choco booth (2 1/2 hrs), but thankfully my cousin managed to grab some of the stuff I wanted (sold out when I reached eventually, most), which I did gave him a list beforehand since he wanted to go on his own and get his Crazy Clover Club stuff. He also managed to get a copy of Ito Noizi's book, but only manged to get one copy, in which I allowed my friend to have it since he really love the art. We stayed till around 3.30 then we left. Damage Done: 31,300 Yen.

Total Damage Done: 66,600 Yen. This amount is just me alone, but I think my cousin and friend combined is about 2/3 of that amount though. I had initially set aside 65,000 Yen in 1,000 Yen (60) notes and 500 Yen (10) coins just for Comiket, and I'm sure the booths were happy to be paid in those instead of big fat 10,000 Yen notes.

Tokyo Big Sight, Ariake
My cousin's loots after 3 days of Comiket. He asked me to help take one for him. Still waiting for my friend to send me his loot pictures when he gets back to Aussie. I didn't take a photo of mine as I couldn't find the room to arrange them on the bed properly though.

For more photos, click here ---> Comiket Photos
Until next post, signing out! And yea ignore the "short post" comment I made at the start, I didn't realise I would type these much lol.

Cleaning/Redecoration Progress.

Update coming up tonight, was out for the whole day yesterday from 7am-5pm, 6pm - 9pm, then 10pm - 2am so couldn't do a posting. Currently clearing up/re-decorating my room and also cleaning up the house in preparation of my niece's first month celebrations tomorrow. The only time I would earnestly clean my room is like once every 2 years for Chinese New Year (I know it's yearly but I'm just too lazy to clean), but of course I don't want to have my anime goods to be dirtied so I decided to clean every corner of the room. About 85% complete with the cleaning, and about 30% complete with the redecoration, still lots of work to do but making my way there. Once everything is done I'll be sure to take a photo and post it up ^^. I'm still unsure how to go about my Japan trip postings, but will work on it. Signing out for the moment.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Japan Trip - Part 1 ~ Food + System

Initially I intended to do a daily blog posting for each day of the Japan Trip, in which I did write out in a small note book at the end of everyday for about 8 days before I gave up due to fatigue of sleeping later (an average time of 1hr to write) and having to be the first out of bed to wake the other 2. Instead, I'll divide the whole trip into sections and work from there, and first up I'll talk about the food we had there.

1 word to describe it all, Godly. The fact that the foods that we can get there are fresh, the difference in quality is simply too great. The overwhelming taste of the food just lingers on your tongue, asking for more. The juices that burst out when biting into the food just fills the mouth with favour. Food to the Japanese is an art, an art that they have been perfecting through the ages, and the country is truly a hidden treasure. I'm sure I've only been tasting the very mid-bottom range of the tree, and I wish to seek the very best out, given the money and time, eventually.

People have always said that when overseas, one would usually miss the food back at home, in which is usually true, but sad to say for this case (and I'm sure the other 2 who traveled with me would agree), it doesn't apply. I'm currently missing the food that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the trip. I had always been a fan over Japanese Cuisine, but right now I don't think I can truly enjoy the cuisine in SG ever again, the taste that arises from the freshness is too big a gap to bridge. Now I understand why the old man would have his chef fly to Japan to bring in fresh ingredients whenever he wants to have Japanese Cuisine for his meal. (Who else in SG is old, still weld lots of power from his words in this country, and have a shit load of cash, and still making more from filing lawsuits against those who "defiles" his name? Not mentioning any names.)
Here's a picture of the Ootoro which we had on the 2nd last day of the trip, where we 3 spent about S$200+ worth on just sushi, and it was only breakfast. In fact the Ootoro you see cost about 6-7 SGD per piece, and I had 7!!! But god was it worth it, it just simply melts in your mouth. For more photos of some of the food that we had in Japan, click here ---> FOOD

Next up I'll talk abit on the system (custom? daily routine? I don't know what to call it) that I can see there and compare it to SG, in which I feel truly ashamed to be called a S'porean. In fact if any of you did see me on Tuesday, I was swearing and cursing about the behaviours of a typical S'porean. Just see the comparison.

Point 1: Using the Escalator.
Japan - Everyone keeps to one side (left side for Tokyo and many other places, right side for Osaka, and don't ask me why they reverse), unless they are rushing in which they have the empty lane to make their way.
Singapore - FFA who gives a shit if you are in a rush, I ain't going to be moving my ass for anyone. Go take the stairs noobcake. I'll stand where I want to stand, even if my group is blocking the "express lane".

Point 2: Queuing for train, boarding/leaving train.
Japan - Keep to 2 rows, queue in a line. Train comes, doors open, allow those inside to go out first, once no one left then orderly board the train, priority seats for those who needs it.
SG - O.O no one at the door? I shall stand right in front of it to have first pick on any empty seats. I'll just force my way through the horde of exiting people just to get my seat. Heck even if there's no seat I'm still not giving way to those exiting, I'll just force through, and screw those who need it more I'm going to "sleep".

Point 3: "Packed" train/bus.
Japan - Hmm there's going to be many many people boarding the train/bus, I think I'll move to the center to give more space for more people to board, and we'll all squeeze like sardines but it's all okay.
SG - I ain't going to move to the middle!! I want to be near the door so I can make a fast exit!! Who the hell cares if I move and maybe 3-4 more people can board? Hell I don't even care! Screw thinking about others, I only think for myself! (In fact on Tuesday I had the blast of my life standing in the middle with about 1metre worth of space around me to move, but seeing everyone else squeezing at the door. Bloody retarded humans.)

Point 4: Accidental bumpings.
Japan - Opps I bumped into you, I shall say sorry immediately. In fact I'll apologize for even the minor things.
SG - "bump"......silence. Nope nothing happened I'm just ignoring all the people I'm hitting.

Point 5: Dress code.
Japan - OMG it's cold!! But all the girls are still wearing short skirts and long socks/pantyhose and letting the wind do their job. Nose-bleed the guys to death!!
SG - God I'm melting, but I'm still going to wear my jeans 365 days a year, even if I am feeling hot.

Okay ignoring point 5 (LOL), I've pretty much said what I wanted to say about the cultural system that is being developed/nurtured in the citizens of each country. I'm sure Japan has it fair share of jerks and retards and SG have a huge base of friendly people who are more than willing to contribute their part to making the world a much better place to live in, but this is what just I have seen, experienced during the 24 days in Japan / 21 years in SG. Many would argue that 24 days is not enough to make a comparison, in which I do agree to a certain extend, but it does already speak volumes of the level of maturity of the citizens of each country.

I'm really missing Japan big time while writing up this post, thinking back to all the experiences I had during the trip. I so want to go back again this year, hopefully if I do manage to save enough I want to go for C75 end of this year again. More pictures would follow soon as I sort through the 2,416 pictures that had been taken, and more posts on what we did during the trip, and eventually the loots that were brought back from Japan. For now just enjoy the food pictures.

Note: As mentioned, I'll not be putting up pictures one by one in thumbnail format as I had received complains of the constant loading of pictures which is slow. I'll now only post at most about 5 pics per post, and if it's really a big load of pictures I'll just show 1 or 2 and the rest will be in a link to the photo album. Hope this would lighten the load on my visitors. Would love more feedback on how to improve the site too, though I'm a total noob at this, but willing to learn.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Delayed Posting.

This will be a very short post for now, as I'm totally exhausted ever since coming back from Japan, just doing an update post to say that I'm actually alive and not MIA in Japan (though I wish that was the case lol). I promise to do a proper post tomorrow on the Japan trip. Spent the whole day today doing unpacking of my luggage, then cleaning up my room and planning how I'm going to arrange the goods and posters. Not to mention I'll need to go through about 8-9GB worth of photos and choosing which photos to post up.

Just for teaser, here's a picture of the loots that I brought back from Japan.Not included in the picture is a Little Busters's Noumi Kudryavka dakimakura, a To Heart2 Sasara Kusugawa Sports Towel, a Shakugan no Shana's Torch T-shirt and a Gurren Lagann emblem T-shirt.

I have not calculated the full cost of all my purchases, but will try to do so tomorrow also. Stay tune for a proper post!!

P.S: I'm really sorry for not posting sooner as I'm really really exhausted, hope that everyone would understand. I'm so tired that while rocking Mikaela's cradle (my newborn niece!! photos to come soon too!), I actually knocked out, only to awake when she started crying lol.