Goshuincho!

Hi all, today I will be writing about Goshuincho, a hobby addiction unhealthy obsession I picked up when I arrived in Japan!

Since Japan is full of shrines, it’s very easy to visit one even if you’re going out for a walk or when you’re shopping. At Japanese shrines you can enjoy the scenery, pray, buy souvenirs and other nifty things…

…such as getting an exclusive handwritten stamp from the priest/priestess!

I learned about Goshuin when I went to my first temple in Nara. My friend told me about it and I had no idea what she was going on about until we arrived at the train station and she showed me a book for sale which is used to collect Goshuin. It’s a special kind of book, which is usually A5 in size and is a hardback, although the covers vary. The paper folds and opens out like the way a fan kind of does, so not like a normal book, either.

Goshuin are collected in Goshuincho (below), which usually cost from 1000 to 1500 yen, or more. Since the covers vary, you have a lot of choice! Sometimes temples have their own seal books for sale too.

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Anyway, every temples will offer Goshuin, except some of the smaller ones. Goshuin is a proof of pilgrimage and you usually pay 300 yen, as a donation to the temple. The most expensive Goshuin I paid for was 600 yen, because after I got the stamp, the priestess also used this flint and rock and gave my page a spark as part of the stamp. It was at Himuro shrine.

Therefore, each Goshuin is different which makes it so unique and interesting and because there are TONNES of shrines in Japan, it makes it all the while to visit them and collect the shuin 🙂

I became rather obsessed with collecting Goshuin, and during my time in Japan, I completed 3 books. I have a fourth book, which is unfortunately incomplete.

When you go to the temple, you might see a sign for Goshuin, which will look like along the lines like this – 朱印 – then you give your book to the priest/priestess and they will write the seal for you.

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Have your book open for them so its ready, then they will stamp (usually) three red stamps on the page – one in the top, middle and bottom. All stamps will be different depending on the temple! The priest/priestess will write the temple’s name, the day of the visit and ‘hohai’ (ie. ‘pray respectfully’) in the top right.

Sometimes, temples have more than 1 seal, so for example, I got 5 from Chionin temple in Kyoto. Neat!

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Here are some of my Goshuin. I aim to get more….

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Thanks for reading!

[黒子のバスケ] Kuroko no Basuke Daimaru Umeda Museum Event – Butlers and Owls

On New Years Day, I went to the sales to get my hands on fukubukuros and at the same time there was a Kuroko no Basuke event that was taking place on the 15th floor of Daimaru Umeda where the KnB cast were dressed as butlers. I went up but it was mobbed, filled with fangirls and their KnB ita bags and all the tickets were sold out.

I wasn’t feeling well today but I wanted to go out to see it because apparently it was almost ending soon so I managed to go today and there was hardly anyone there. So, another top tip – go to events when it comes to a close (apparently it was from New Years Day to the 15th January 2017).

I paid for my ticket which cost me 500 yen and went in. I was so excited!

Cue picture spam, as usual.

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There were cardboard cut outs of the KnB cast dressed in casual wear and they also had owls. I’m not too sure why.

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Murasakibara’s one was adorable.

 

AKASHI! Omfg he looked so perfect with his owl o__O

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The owl suits him so much @_@

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Awww, Himuro is so cute *3*

There were also the KnB cast dressed as butlers. Midorima looked the best as a butler LOL.

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There was even a plush of Nigou!

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Then there was a wall full of post-it notes where fans could write down messages. Mine was the only one in English!!!!

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Some people are very talented ^^

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When I was at the exit, there was a random raffle draw counter so I paid 200 yen and drew a stick. My prize was a sticker of Akashi! Yaaay!

There was also a gift shop! There were lots of stuff for sale but also many things were already sold out, like the KnB hoodies. Only Kuroko and Kise’s hoodies were left. I wanted Aomine but his was sold out uwaggh.

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There were also snapbacks for sale but they didn’t suit me no matter which one I chose >_> And they were pretty pricey…

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There were jerseys for sale!!! But again….very costly O_O

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Here are my goodies!

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I got clear folders of Kagami and Aomine and their owls. I bought an animation book….? It was pretty cheap so I got it haha. I also got Akashi’s keyring of him with his owl. He looked so good…I just had to buy it. I also bought some badges which Japan has a nasty habit of making random and completely all to chance and luck….

Lucky for me, I got Aomine and Kagami!

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2017 福袋/Fukubukuro Haul Part 2 – Madness, Mayhem and lots of Queues

Ok, ok, so in my previous post I wrote that I wouldn’t get another fukubukuro after yesterday’s hit-and-miss fukubukuro from certain stores (YES I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU, WEGO). But most of the big chain, elite brand, high-street shops weren’t open until the 2nd of January so naturally I decided to go out again and see what these other stores have on sale.

And MY GOD, it was an experience. All I can say is….it was MADNESS!

Also, my other agenda of the day was to go to Book-Off at Shinsaibashi. Book-Off is a second-hand thrift store where I was going to try and sell the WEGO shite that I got from their fukubukuro.

Anyway, I woke up pretty early, about 8-ish and got ready and went to the train station with my big mahoosive bag of clothes to sell. It was really heavy and I was worried I’d struggle and boy did I struggle. I was trying to aim for 9.30am because that’s when the big shops were opening but for eff’s sake the train was LATE. Urhhh…. ok, so that was annoying. Because, you know, out of all the days it had to be TODAY.

I ended up getting into Osaka at 9.47am!! It was a mad dash to the department store Lucua 1100, where I wanted to check if the Starbucks had fukubukuro for salebecause apparently their fukubukuros are quite good, giving you like a shit-tonne of coffee and mugs which I really wanted but when I asked the girl at the counter she told me they were sold out nationwide. GRRRRR.

Already disappointed, I headed upstairs to the Disney Store where I got their fukubukuro for 3000 yen. WOOT!

There were huge sales but I really wasn’t keen on what they had. It wasn’t really cheaper…. things were cut down by 1000 yen maximum, but holy cow the amount of people so early in the morning was MADNESS.

After the Disney Store I headed to Daimaru which was quite closeby. Uhh, okay, so I made my first mistake here of not hitting the Daimaru first. Why? Because of the Pokemon Centre!!!!!!!!! By the time I got there (and gaddamn it’s on the 13th floor. The 13th!), there was another big queue and I tried to join but the staff there said they were no longer accepting anymore people into the queue because there’s not enough and that was all they could accommodate. WTF! And here I thought Black Friday in UK was bad (where people beat each other up for TVs and laptops).

But on another level, this felt even worse because I couldn’t get anything at all >_>

Then I saw this Kuroko no Basuke event upstairs where all the characters were dressed up as butlers and I was like OOOoooHHHHhh, neat. I went upstairs and surprise, surprise, another big queue that went round in circles and girls carrying their KnB ita-bags. I asked the guy what was going on and he ended up asking me if I had a ticket. I said no and asked if I could buy one and he told me everything was sold out and I had to try again tomorrow.

So being disappointed three times in a row in less than an hour…sigh…I headed off to Shinsaibashi to get rid of the WEGO stuff because by then my shoulder was about to break in half.

Shinsaibashi wasn’t as busy until later on. I managed to sell my WEGO stuff at Book-Off for 590 yen.

590 yen!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, that ain’t enough to cover a McDonalds meal here.

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They couldn’t even accept my Princess bag.

You know, this horrendous bag here >_>

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But then I saw a Prada key holder and got that for 5000 yen so that made me a bit happier. I ended up walking around Shinsaibashi for a while and bought 3 more fukubukuros from stores called Earth, Music and Ecology, Honeys and also a store selling homestuff for half the price of WEGO and Ingni but again, it went crazy busy as tourists and locals began pouring in for the sales so I headed home to open up my fukubukuros.

Disney one first…

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So cute! It’s a giant mickey face.

And here’s what was inside…

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I got a mug! Wooooow! Although that Finding Dory plush is kind of scary. Still, WOW I WAS AMAZED BY HOW MUCH I GOT FROM THIS BAG. It was really worth it! *applause* Kudos to Disney for getting it right.

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I opened the Earth, Music and Ecology fukubukuro one next. I hadn’t really heard of Earth, Music and Ecology before but their bag was pretty neat. They also had a 10800 yen fukubukuro but knowing my experience, the 10800 yen ones aren’t always the best. Instead I settled for the 5000 yen one. The bag was good quality @_@

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It was really gooooooooooood!

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I then opened Honeys. Honeys is a store with decent clothes for decent prices. I didn’t know they had a fukubukuro until I passed a store in Shinsaibashi. I got it for 5000 yen.

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IT WAS ALSO VERY GOOD! I mean, I can WEAR THESE CLOTHES!!!

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I opened the last one, the cushion store one. I paid 2000 yen for it and it was a HUGE bag. I AM SO DAMN HAPPY WITH THIS BAG.

It even says Happy Bag lol <3333

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I got this big squidgy cushion!!! I also got slippers, a scarf and another squidgy plushie!!! SO HAPPY!!!

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My experience with fukubukuros have improved, and surprisingly enough, the best fukubukuros were from underrated stores, whilst the popular, highly sought after ones were LAME! I don’t regret using that word, considering how disappointed I was in WEGO.

So yes, tips for fukubukuro…

  • Don’t always pay for the 10800 yen one. It’s a bit of a rip off
  • Don’t judge a fukubukuro by its cover (or you can, but it depends)
  • GO TO THE POKEMON CENTRE FIRST IF YOU’RE A POKEMON FAN
  • Some fukubukuros will sell out, so nab it when you get the chance!

 

2017年福袋/Lucky bag/Fukubukuro Haul – WEGO, Emsexcite, Ingni, Tutu Anna, Animate and Bitchrod

Hello everyone, happy 2017!!!

I’m away from my family, halfway across the world in Japan and what is the first thing I do on January 1, 2017? Hit the sales, of course!

I’m a big spender so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to look at what the sales are like in Japan. Heck, have you seen my Animate hauls? I literally spent up to 20,000 yen in those stores.

I know for a fact that from December 29 onwards, I didn’t have much to do. Shops closed early and temples were closed so I weren’t able to visit them compared to other times. In the UK the main sales events are Boxing Day, Christmas Eve and New Year. For Japan, I think the biggest sales happen on New Years Day.

They also have something called “福袋” which means lucky bag, or happy bag, as I’ve seen it called in shops. They are goodie bags with random stuff inside, the number of items can vary and so does the price. The most expensive I’ve seen is 50,000 yen for Samantha Thavassa, a designer handbag store.

My favourite shops, as you may know by now, are Wego and Animate. Tutu Anna is a shop selling socks and undies (I like the socks). Emsexcite….uh….bit of an unfortunate name there…but it’s also a clothing store and I got some decent clothes from there once. I also like Ingni, another clothing brand chain.

Let the picture spam begin!

I went to Animate first. I was so hyped for my first fukubukuro. They even gave me a bag which said “福袋”. I was SO HAPPY. It cost 1000 yen and the dude at the counter asked if I wanted the boy or girl version. I chose the girl version to be on the safe side.

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I walked around Grand Front Osaka, Lucua and Daimaru but they weren’t open.

I went to Tennoji instead.

And got the Emsexcite fukubukuro. SO CUTEEEEE. It was in a white fluffy bag!!!! EEEeeeeee. It was considerably cheap, costing me 5400 yen.

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OK that is a pretty terrible picture, BUT ITS CUTE I SWEAR!!!!

I then went to Ingni. I was pretty determined to get Ingni because I liked their stuff. It was expensive, costing me 10,800 yen. But the bag was pretty damn huge.

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I also got the Tutu Anna fukubukuro for 1000 yen.

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Other stores I wanted to go to, like Lowry’s Farm, were all sold out TT_TT

But of course, I had to get the Wego fukubukuro. I went to the Kyobashi store and they only had the bag that cost 10800 yen left.

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I wanted to get an Ank Rouge fukubukuro but the girl was pretty rude so she didn’t get my business. Ropes & Picnic and Moussy were interesting but the price of their bags were a huge turn off.

So after spending all my savings and also carrying five HUGE AS EFF bags, I went home and I opened them.

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I was pretty happy with Tutu Anna. It was worth the money.

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Animate was a bloody disappointment. I got so much Digimon stuff WTF! Thank god it only cost me 1000 yen! 😡

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The only thing I like is the Ranmaru Uta no Prince-sama fabric thingy…..

Ingni was okay. I could keep and wear most of the stuff.

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Emsexcite was okay too. They crammed so many clothes into one tiny bag…

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Apparently this is the one I got…

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WEGO was the worst. I was so disappointed in the bag. There is a lot of stuff, yes, but…..What the hell is half this shit. The only thing I was happy with was the white bag, the Michigan red t-shirt, the socks, scarf and the bomber jacket.

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The rest is….meh.

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Look at this pouch….thing?

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I was really okay with the bomber jacket until I looked at the B upclose and it said BITCHROD.

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Gee, thanks.

Okay, so aside from those mishaps, the fukubukuros are interesting. From what I got, fukubukuros seem to be a way to get rid of old stock, or stock that is soon to be getting out of season. They also seem to be clothes especially designed and made for fukubukuros, so the quality is a bit meh.

I probably wouldn’t buy another fukubukuro unless I knew what was inside it, especially from WEGO. It’s probably popular Japanese fashion but I really didn’t like it! 😦 Sorry, WEGO.

Of course, there are other types of fukubukuros, not just for clothes. See below…

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The Ita-Bag

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and looking forward to the new year. I’m not sure about you but this year has just been goddamn awful for me… but, not like 2015 was great, either.

Anyway, today’s post is about this interesting trend in Japan called the Ita-bag. I think it literally means painful bag.

And it’s a bag that is specially designed with a transparent front for those who collect a whole bunch of stuff and want to show them off.

They’re called Ita-bags because of the ‘pain’ owners inflict on the bag (for eg, if you have many badges and pin them all on – badges are quite the craze here in Japan) and also the pain inflicted on the owner’s wallet in their efforts to collect these goodies.

So there are anime Ita-bags…I was tempted to make a Kuroko no Basuke ita-bag with all sorts of Aomine stuff LOL.

But in the end I stuck to BTS because of my badge haul from Tsuruhashi.

I bought this bag from WEGO, a Japanese fashion store which is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE STORE OF ALL TIME.

They have Ita-bags for sale in different colors. I chose black.

So here is my Ita-bag (I hadn’t put anything on it yet)….

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And here is my BTS Ita-bag. I understand why it is called an Ita-bag, I practically stabbed through the soft, nice material with the needles of the badges. I feel so bad…TT_TT”

But in the end, it looks like this…

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Tsuruhashi, Korea Town in pictures

So Korea Town in Tsuruhashi is probably one of the best things about Osaka.

I mean, I’ve been to South Korea before and heck Tsuruhashi Korea Town has WAAAAAY more stuff than Kpop stores in Korea. What the fudge, right!

There are tonnes of stores selling all sorts of Kpop stuff. At the moment, BTS and Bigbang are pretty hot. Most stores sell the same stuff but there are some like eKorea and Korea Station which sell unique things.

Here is my haul (mostly BTS related stuff)

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I got a BTS bomber jacket with Jimin’s name on the back.

I also bought hip hop monsters lol.
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I’m kind of too lazy to write, so here is Tsuruhashi, in pictures:

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BTS Japan Official Fanmeet: Osaka, December 15, 2016

Hi everyone!

I have an exciting post for all you BTS fans out there!!! So one of my previous posts about BTS was about me not being able to attend the fan meeting when they went to Kcon Paris earlier this year. It was poorly organised and I missed out the opportunity to see them.

Buuuut the crazy fangirl in me is determined to see them so when I found out about the BTS official fanmeet it was just too good an opportunity to miss out…. I JUST HAD TO GO.

And I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Osaka fanmeet!!!!!

First things first, my ticket was expensive. It cost £200. I bought it online and Japan has a strict NO online resale of ticket policy and apparently they ID check you on the day of the event, and I freaked the shit out because of that, especially because after google translating the ticket when I finally received the ticket through post, some dude’s name was on it. @_@

I went to Osaka-jo hall roughly 3pm on the day and there were loads of high school girls already there, all kitted out in their BTS gear. Most of them were dressed in black, had glowsticks and had BTS  name badges, hip hop monsters and all other sorts of BTS merchandise. I noticed they especially had some kind of funky badge with either like Jungkook or Jimin on it with their signature which I had never seen before. They even had mini hip hop monster keyrings and I had never seen those for sale ANYWHERE, either.

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Further up and I saw the official ARMY goods for sale. Everything was blue themed and naturally I bought pretty much everything they had, but to my disappointment all the photo sets and postcard sets were sold out TT_TT

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You can even sign up to Japan ARMY.

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BTS goods for sale

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I bought a BTS Official fanmeet bag, poster set, slap wristband, phone holder ring thingy, the official Osaka fanmeet towel and t-shirt.

Fans:

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At 6pm, people began lining up and I began praying to god to let me in. When it was finally my turn, all they did was check my bag and rip off a part of my ticket and I was allowed in.

YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

I quickly found my seat and holy shit the venue was not as big as I thought; it was smaller than Kcon, bigger than SM Town so probably like Wembley Arena in the UK when I went to see Big Bang. The stage was an H-shape and ZOMG I was so close!

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All seats were filled up and they were playing BTS music videos until 7pm and the boys finally went on stage.

Cue fangirling time!

I had my BTS glowstick and a UK flag so I was waving that the entire time. The boys started off with 1 song before it was Question Time.

I thought this was going to be like a fansign event so I brought my WIngs album but it was like a mini concert.

Nayways, back to the questions. Everything was in Japanese so I didn’t understand most of it. You were also not allowed to record or take photos or else risk getting kicked out.

I remembered one of the questions was ‘What does ARMY stand for?’. V said A was for Apple (PPAP, Pen Pineapple Apple Pen, if you don’t know lol) and then the rest of his answers were pretty hysterical. Rapmonster got it right.

Another question was a picture on screen from a venue and BTS had to guess what venue that was. V guessed correctly and said it was the Osaka fanmeet the day before.

I remember Jin blowing lots of kisses, Jimin being all cool and laidback, J-Hope giving out lots of hearts and really happy and Suga was….Suga LOL!!!

Then they performed 21st Century Girls, which HOLY CRAP took me by surprise because I didn’t think they would perform it even though it was one of their most recent songs along with Blood, Sweat and Tears.

They also performed Fire and GADDAMN everyone in Japan knows the fanchant but I only knew Fire and even then the Japanese high school girl was screaming even louder than I was, going ‘KAWAIIII’ and screaming for Jimin the entire time.

They played more games at the centre stage, going to our side first (whoop) after rolling this dice and they played charades, which Jimin was unfortunately awful at LMAO.

Jimin, V and Jin sang acoustic versions of Boy in Luv, Danger and I Need U. HOLY SHIT Boy in Luv Acoustic version was so fucking beautiful!!!!!

Suga and J-Hope sang a Japanese folk song which I think was popular in Osaka but it was cute nonetheless <333

They also went on these little choo choo trains around the stage and sang and threw autographed balls to the crowd, like SNSD Phantasia and of course I didn’t get any 😦

But during that I remember Jungkook in his choo choo train and I was waving my flag when he passed and he STARED. He STARED at me the entire time. I fangasmed at that point.

At the end they performed Blood, Sweat and Tears and HOT DAMN they sang live and its CD quality. Blood, Sweat and Tears is so good live!!!!!! At the encore, BTS went out again to say goodbye and I was like gaddamn I dun wanna say goodbye you are all so beautiful and sing so well I dont want this night to end TT_TT””

The fanmeet was about 3 hours long @_@ I left at 10pm and it was like a mini concert, with quite a lot of talking and games and some songs O_o I AM SATISFIED!!!!!!!

OVERALL:

  • Ok, so I am a Jimin fan, but OMFG V. V IS SO HOT. HE IS SO FUCKING HOT IN REAL LIFE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MAN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!!!!!
  • That being said, V, Jungkook and Jimin are the most popular in Japan
  • BTS actually don’t give out as much fanservice as you think. It’s fine with me, but I noticed there were times when V and Jimin would go to the edge of the stage and stand and stare at the crowd, but that is it. They don’t wave much lol
  • Japanese fans are so civil. I saw the standing area. they all stood in rows, so civil and no-one was pushing. They just stand and watch. It was pretty amazing considering the amount of kpop concerts I’ve been and seen fans in the pit climb and elbow each other just to see their idols better
  • And Jungkook stared at me whoohoo!

I also took some sneaky pictures at the end cos I was like, heh well the fanmeet is almost over so even if they throw me out its ok lolololol.

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My BTS merchandise:

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Umeda Sky Tower, Osaka Castle and Spo Cha

I’ve been in Japan for two months now, and whaddya know? I am still alive! I must be doing something right 🙂

Today I am going to write about my short trip to Osaka Castle, Spo Cha and Umeda Sky Tower. I also went to the Umeda Sky Tower but there wasn’t really much to do there aside from enjoying the view and buying souvenirs and it reminded me of the Empire States Building…. And I actually went to Osaka Castle a few weeks ago with friends but I was too lazy tired to write about it until now.

First up is Umeda Sky Tower. To get there, you can get off at the JR Osaka station, walk towards the Grand Front Osaka, follow the sign to Umeda Sky Tower (but you also have to go through this really shady underpass) and voila, you are here.

It is impressive even from the ground:

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It cost 1000 yen for entry and you get to the top floor, walk around in a circle and you get a good view of Osaka. There’s also a pretty nifty souvenir shop. Aside from that, there is not much to do. It is probably better to go in the evening.

Moving on…

To get to Osaka Castle, we actually met up at Morinomiya station and we went to get some ramen first. I was recommended the pork ramen so I tried that and I really enjoyed it P: Normally when it comes to food I gravitate towards chicken options because the way how my mum cooks pork which makes me not like it but since I’ve come here I’ve been trying everything!

Afterwards we left to find the castle so we walked quite a bit, starting with the park where we saw all sorts of interesting things – a man rode past us on a bicycle with an owl in his basket. YES AN OWL. An actual goddamn owl. It just sat in the basket, so tame. I had never seen something like that before so I stood in shock, staring. I wish I took a picture but again, I was in too much shock lol.

Next we came across this small group of hip youngsters playing musical instruments; I started filming using my phone and the girl with the trombone, I think she got embarrassed or something, but she stopped halfway through and never played again when we were in the area. Oops, my bad.

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Above: People on segways

Then this old man walked past us with a yellow bird atop his hat. At first I didn’t know what the yellow thing was but upon closer inspection it was definitely a bird and it was just standing on his hat, just chilling. Again, it was something I’d never seen before! 😀

Below:  A tamed  eagle in the park…?

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Right, so the actual castle – it’s probably one of the best places I’ve been to so far. I also had my first matcha ice cream here, too. It’s very peaceful, very calm, and the view is really good. I love landscapes and architecture so I really enjoyed being here. I think the only thing that ruined the castle’s image was the presence of an elevator at the side and also, a very British-looking castle built beside it…hmmm.

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But yes, it was very good and I highly recommend anyone who visits Osaka to pay Osaka Castle a visit. It was definitely worth the trek and I saw so many amazing things. The view is also very good.

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On the way out, we saw a man riding a unicycle @_@

I’ll write about Spo-Cha now, which is basically where you can play all sorts of games and sports in arcades in Japan for a certain amount of money for a certain amount of time. Japan has tonnes of arcades.

Arcades are big in Japan, they can spawn several floors, some up to 11 floors. The first floor may have gashapon machines and UFO catchers.

I played one gashapon machine once, for this Sailor Moon thingy. It was kind of cute. I also tried my luck on a UFO Catcher for a One Piece figure but I wasted 100 yen moving the claw 1 cm because I didn’t know you had to hold it. Unnnh!

Anyway, so me and a few friends went to Round 1 in Namba to play Spo-Cha. We went to the 3rd floor, went to the counter where the staff member asked if we wanted 90 minutes, 3 hours or something else like from 11am to 6am or something (I think, I can’t remember). Since this was our first time, we chose 90 minutes and it cost us up to 2000 yen maximum. It would cover all sorts of sports from archery, gun shooting, roller blading, basketball, rodeo (yes….that was kind of weird), golf, the batting cage, tennis, badminton, ping pong etc. We were given wristbands and put our bags into lockers that were provided.

It was an interesting experience! One of the first activities we tried was the batting cage. Since I’d never hit a baseball in the my entire life, I pretty much sucked and missed all the time. I think out of 30 balls I probably only hit 7. YES that was how awful I was.

But it was fun anyway since we were all playing together (and a good way to vent out our frustration lol).

We then signed up for the Segway. OMFG THE SEGWAY.

Most. Terrifying. Experience. Ever.

Well, kind of.

We went to find the segway but the guy teaching it and his limited English kind of confused us. But apparently we had to register on the 3rd floor (put our names down on this paper…) and then it was actually a lesson at 8.20pm so once it was time, we went back up to the Segway place and the guy helped me put on my gear because I got confused with the colourful pads.

There was a small group of us, 8 in total so a mixture of me and my friends and Japanese locals. The guy showed us how to ride the Segway and then he got us to try it out one by one.

HOLY BALLS IT IS REALLY SCARY!!!

The way how I worked it out was, you basically had to use your toes to keep yourself going forward. There were handlebars on this Segway (thank the lord!) so it is easy to turn left or right, and getting off you kind of had to jut your bum out to make it stop. The maximum speed on it was like 10 miles per hour and when we went on the rink I was probably the slowest person there, going at 5 miles per hour in the circle.

It was quite nerve wracking but I enjoyed it.

I will show a picture of me and my friends on the segways. But to respect their privacy and mine, I have censored our faces out LOL HAHAH.

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Since we were almost 90 minutes up, we played some basketball, archery and then went downstairs to relinquish our wristbands. I was really sweaty by then so I guess that was my exercise for the entire month or something.

We were given a photo coin where we could take purikura photos of ourselves at Round 1 and we were also given UFO vouchers and gambling tokens. YESSS gambling tokens for the machines downstairs!

I tried the coin game and didn’t really get much from it so that was meh. But on the UFO catcher we were only given a choice of 2 machines only, I thought it’d be a lot more but it was only just the two. I won a Snoopy doll yay!

And on the way out, we passed the Dance Evolution game where a guy in a skirt was dancing, a guy in a Policeman costume and a guy in a chipmunk onesie, and two girls in kimonos were dancing.

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Animate Umeda (アニメイト梅田)+ Animate Tennoji (アニメイト天王寺) Haul!

Every weekend I have, I try to use it to the best of my ability by walking around, shopping, trying out new food etc. To be fair I am not much of a foodie and if I am out on my own, I try to miss out food altogether because it’s better when you are with someone.

So! Today, I headed to Animate Umeda, as well as Animate Tennoji to have a look at what kind of stuff they have for sale. I am a HUGE fan of anime. I literally had an anime-gasm when I stepped into the store.

Let’s talk about Animate Umeda first. It’s pretty easy to access if you live in Osaka. Get off at the JR Osaka train station, walk towards the Yodabashi Camera mall then pass the Umeda station, walk out until you see Toho Cinema, then continue down this path that doesn’t look tourist friendly and then cross again under a bridge and you’ll see the sign that says ‘Animate’.

Voila, here you are.

I was pleasantly surprised to see it chock-filled with all sorts of anime stuff. The floor to ceiling is covered in all sorts of anime goods for sale, ranging from posters, manga books, DVDs, blu-rays, CDs, magazines and capsule machines.

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My pictures do not do this store justice at all. BELOW: Persona 5 stuff! Because it just came out here…

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I was relatively surprised to see that anime like One Piece, Naruto, Bleach etc, had limited stuff for sale. Kuroko no Basuke had a section, which I was happy about because I’m a KnB fan, so I went crazy there. Then there’s quite a lot of loli-looking anime, boy’s love, otome game stuff…for instance, I finally found Scared Rider Xechs merchandise!

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There was so much stuff for sale.

I wish I had enough money to buy the entire store.

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Lots of CDs and DVDs for sale.

The staff and their english capabilities seem limited, but she asked me to choose 5 out of the KnB guys because I think I bought lots of KnB merchandise so qualified for those free goodies. Yay!

I got more KnB stuff…

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Gintama glasses are for sale lol.

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The staff member also tried to tell me something about the stuff I bought of Persona 5 but in the end I gave up so I just said ‘Ok’ to what she was saying.

My haul…

Next I went to Animate Tennoji to see if they had anything else.

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They did!

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Again I went nuts but I didn’t spend as much here as I did in Animate Umeda O_O

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I would highly recommend you go to Animate if you are a massive fan of anime. It’s easy to access but I wouldn’t say it is affordable. Then again, everything in Japan is expensive so make sure to save up first!

My haul (in blue bags)

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Umeda Haul

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I got a Persona 5 Anne keyring, tote bag. I got 2 KnB clear pouches, 2 Aomine badges. Random stuff that I got-

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Tennoji Haul

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I completed the KnB cards 🙂

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That’s everything 🙂 Thanks for reading!

 

 

Things I noticed in Japan so far…

I’ve been in Japan for 3 weeks now. Since I’m from the UK, the differences are HUGE. I’ll cut straight to the point and start.

  1. Everything here is expensive. It is expensive. I cannot stress that enough. And top of that, Japanese shops will show a modest price….until you get the tax added on. YEP! There’s tax on top of that. A piece of broccoli will cost me double the price here than the UK. At first I thought it was because of its uncommon in Japan or something, but nooooope, everything is expensive in Japan. Shoes can go up to £100. For example, Nike, Adidas….even converse. Clothes, like dresses for example, can go up to 10,000 yen, which is about £70 in UK. BELOW: £10 for a hot chocolate in Japan (whereas its about £3 in UK). It is probably designer chocolate, but… See what I mean lol……img_5699
  2. Customer service. Japanese customer service, so far, is 100% 5/5 stars. Every time I go into a restaurant or a store or walk past a shop in a department store and the staff will be like “Irraishaimase” to every single entity that walks past or goes through the door. It means ‘Welcome’ and frankly I LOVE IT. I don’t care if its fake, but so far every Japanese staff member I’ve come across have been genuinely polite.
  3. No self service counters. For the UK, most supermarkets will now have self-service checkout counters which saves me a lot of hassle of actually having to TALK to someone…. in Japan, nope, you need to go to a checkout belt, speak to the operator etc etc.
  4. Everything here is convenient. From the 7-11 to the Daiso. 7-11 stores, Lawson, Family Mart….they’re everywhere and you can buy food and drink and stuff…there are ATM machines too….Then the Daiso. I’ll talk about that next… but I can’t express how convenient Japan is. I went to an electronics store to buy a hairdryer. They showed every single hairdryer in stock and guess what? There was even an adaptor for you to plug in the sample hairdryer and you can test out the heat!!!! Convenient!!!!
  5. Daiso. I love this store. It is literally the best store on earth (along with the Disney Store in Japan, more on that later). The Daiso store has EVERYTHING. From stationary, sweets, t-shirts, gardening tools, bath towels, buckets and washing up liquid. And all for 100 yen too. How awesome is that???img_5090
  6. Disney Store. Holy balls, Japan can take something and turn it into something else, like 100 times better. The Disney Store is one of them. Honest to god, Japan is turning me into a 10 year old again.IMG_5065.JPG
  7. Toilets. Okay, this is a strange one. But toilets can be heated, so your bum is nice and warm when you sit on the pan. And there’s also sound buttons. You probably knew that already. So next time you feel a big one coming and there’s a big queue of folk waiting for the toilet and it’s deadly silent…don’t be afraid, just press the toilet sound button for a range of bathroom, echo-ey noises in the background. Or birdsong, but I’ve yet to encounter that.
  8. Pets. Pets is a big deal in Japan. People like to dress their little dogs here. So far I saw a grown man in a bike with three white dogs in his basket wearing sailor outfits and sunglasses. You just don’t see that kind of thing in the UK.
  9. Arcades. Again, Japan takes everything to a different level and the arcade is no difference. People love video games here, so there are shoot em ups, gambling, pachinko, purikura and DDR (where I saw this guy doing a crazy 150+ combo), and there’s also Dance Revolution which is INTENSE. I’ve seen men dancing to these games and not only do they use your feet but you must DANCE. And spin, and twirl, and use your arms. IMG_5048.JPGimg_5057
  10. Their systematic way of walking…. and freezing-on-the-spot-when-you-accidentally-walk-into-their-path. One side will always be reserved for those going forwards (or going inside a mall, for example), one side will be the side going back (going out of a mall). Also, if you walk into someone’s path, most times they will literally freeze on their spots until you move or they move.
  11. Women only train carriages. So there is groping on trains. I got warned about that. I don’t know how to stop it from happening…like not wearing skirts/shorts but wear jeans or just look unappealing when you go out, or trying to find a spot where there are girls, not men (?), I don’t know, but it happens and there are women only carriages. They can get cramped and full.
  12. SIM cards. In Japan, you can get 2 different kinds – data or call only which means you can either a), use your phone for internet, or b) use your phone for calling only. Frankly this is something I really dislike because I’m so used to my UK phone contract where I was given data and minutes at the same time.
  13. Limited variety of international brands. For this case, I refer to brands like Forever 21, McDonalds and Head & Shoulders which are in the UK, America, Hong Kong for example. I did find these brands, of course, but they’re very limited and don’t have as much exposure as I thought and most Japanese shops are…well, Japanese of origin. So far, I’ve been to Wego for shopping and A-G Plus.
  14. Japanese guys with funky anime hair – mostly light golden brown in colour. Ok, so why am I mentioning Japanese guys? Well, for starters, they do look like they come out from anime. It’s a 50/50. You will definitely see guys with  spiky hairstyles and mostly with dyed, golden, browny hair.
  15. So since I mentioned Japanese guys, then I must mentioned Japanese girls. I noticed a lot of Japanese girls will have their hair dyed. They might wear circle lens. They wear long dresses or baggy trousers.
  16. Riding their bikes. Bicycles are common here. People will also cycle on the pavement and the road, so be careful of someone zipping right past you silently.
  17. Salarymen. Or those working in office jobs, I think. They will always look the same – wearing white shirts and black trousers and carrying briefcases, looking very tired…
  18. Their ability to make anything look cute. Look at their cakes. Look at it…..img_5698
  19. Food that expires VERY QUICK. So I tried to buy bread the other day for lunch. Each bread bundle gave me 5 slices. Fair enough, they were quite chunky. But they expired in 4 days. Like WTF! Same goes for meat, like chicken.
  20. Big flush and little flush. Technically this should be in the part about Japanese toilets but I wanted to add this too. In Japan, you can choose a big flush or a little flush. Make the choice…