Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We didn't win. Damn~

So, I have a blog post about my new job with pictures and whatnot, but I thought I'd go ahead with my Tokyo post first. Ahhh~ Tokyo. I love it there. My wonderful husband decided that the best cure to my bout of depression last month was to send me on a week trip to Tokyo! Of course, another good cure for that is obtaining a job, but at the time that didn't seem like a feasible option. Oh well~

SO! David sent me to Tokyo via highway bus on the morning 12th of April and I came back on the 18th via nightbus. Yep. Oh nightbus we meet again. So, the trip TO Tokyo was pretty uneventful. It was like a 6&1/2 hour trip and we left at 9am. I spent most of the trip dozing and exchanging email/texts with Angel. However, a funny thing happened~! I fell asleep at one point while listening to Cabin Pressure. And then I jolted awake, even though the volume was pretty quiet on my iPod. Turns out, I woke up right as we passed through Shirakawa. I looked out the window and saw my old stomping grounds and then turned to look out at the mountains and laughed, because they were covered in snow. Poor people at BH! Anywho, I drank my coffee around this point to keep me somewhat alert and alternated between the text/emails and reading my ebook.
Why yes~ I did buy the coffee specifically because it sported a rather sweet moustache. And really, it was pretty good. I'm drinking one right now, actually. Anywho~ I arrived at Tokyo Station around 3:30. I had made plans to meetup with my friend Keira at the Marunochi exit. I snapped a few photos of the Tokyo Station Hotel while I was walking up to the exit. That place looks so fancy! I really wanna stay there someday!
So, upon arrival at the North Marunochi exit, I started to look around for Keira. The exit seemed Keira-less, so I just planted myself in a corner that had max visibility and waited. And waited. And waited. Now, you know in kindergarden when your teacher tells you to stay in one place when you get lost and someone will eventually find you? That was exactly what was going through m head at this point. Keira doesn't have a cel phone, so I couldn't call her. But, after an hour I started to get worried and decided to check the other exits. Low and behold, at the Central Marunochi exit, waiting patiently for me to show up, was Keira. We hugged and then both laughed about the situation. Keira was using the same stay-in-one-place logic I was! Hahaha. So, we hopped off to our hotel. We had booked a room in Itabashi. It was in a perfect spot. The hotel was literally across a small meeting area/festival area from the station and it was very quiet and residential. There was a karaoke place, McDonalds and a Family Mart conbini all within a less than 3 minute walk. Awesome.

Keira and I checked in, grabbed a bite at McD's and then went for a nice walk around the area. It was really nice staying in such a quiet area. Only the Saikyo Line train visited this station and it was one stop away from Ikebukuro. Awesome. So, after our little exploration we decided to go do some karaoke. Wooo! We sang a couple Disney songs, I attempted to sing a W song without Angel, Keira sang some Garbage and then we sang Don't Look Back in Anger. I also made a shocking discovery: They did NOT have Our Lady Peace or Theory of a Deadman, but the DID have Default! Of all the Canadian bands to have, they skip Theory of a Deadman and have Default instead! It just made me laugh. (Not that I don't like Default. I do! I just think it's funny that they have them as an available choice in a Japanese karaoke place.)
So, we sang like fiends for about an hour and a half then we retired back to the hotel. It was still relatively early, but we were both pretty damn tired. So, Keira went to take a bath and I dug into the treats she brought from the motherland for me. Salsa and Tostitos! I have missed you sooooooooooo much! Oh, and she brought David and I real deodorant! I was sooo happy to see that!
So, we went to bed early and woke up early, too. We were up and out at about 9ish. We chose to go to Akihabara in the morning. When we were walking out of the station we saw that there was a setup with a model for the new Gundam series, so I snapped a photo. After that we popped to Le Vie de France for a quick breakfast of iced coffee and fresh breads. I got a chocolate croissant thing that tastes like chocolate chip bagels and a potato salad, bacon and asparagus thing. Both were insanely delicious.
We wandered about Akihabara for a good portion of the morning. We didn't really have specific places we HAD to go, so it was nice just to chat and walk about. We checked out Animate, I bought David a tin of Hayate no Gotoku candies and then we spent about 1,000yen between us trying to win a kitty charm from a UFO catcher. We didn't win. Damn~
After a while we decided to pop to Harajuku. I had a few lolita things I wanted to sell at Closet Child, so we popped off. And man, was it ever busy! I always forget how crowded that place can be. Takeshita Street is just crazy! I sold a few things to Closet Child, which helped with my trip budget and then we were off to walk around and explore. We wandered into Omotesando Hills and looked down a sidewalk that was literally crawling with people as far as the eye could see. It was amazing! We popped into MosBurger for a quick lunch and then we decided to head off to Shinjuku. I snapped a photo of Arashi member Sakurai Sho's new drama poster at the station.
So, our big plan for Shinjuku was to visit the Square Enix store. And, as I'm sure none of you remember, the Squeenix store has been the cause of much frustration in the past. Read: Ashley and David spent an entire afternoon once trying to find it IN THE WRONG PART OF TOKYO. However, Keira and I knew where the store was supposed to be, so off we headed. I was in such a good mood that I took several pictures along the familiar path.
And then, when we arrived at our destination... It was gone! The signage was still there, but there was a crude looking map taped to the window and instructions for customers to find them at Artnia, their new cafe and shop location. The map was awful. Keira and I couldn't seem to make heads or tails of it.
So, we decided to walk a bit further and go from there. We ended up going into a Family Mart and asking for directions. The clerk had no idea, so he sent us to the police box across the street. The police were really friendly and were happy to help us. They spoke to us in English and asked where we were from and how long we had been in Japan. They found the location in their big Shinjuku map book and were kind enough to draw us a proper map. Thus armed with a good map, we set off to find the new Square Enix store and cafe. I think it took us about an hour to get there, but we FINALLY found it. And my first impression was that the new premises looked like a sandstone hut from Tatooine. It honestly looked Star Wars-y. The inside was nice. They had a nice setup for their cafe and minishop area and there was a separate area for the showcase room. And man, do I looooooove the new showcase room. It's gorgeous. The crystal hanging from the ceiling is so prett and I love the materia pile at the bottom. And to top it off, there was an exhibit of concept art from Final Fantasy VIII and they were playing the Piano Collections from VIII, too.
After drooling around the showcase room, Keira and I put our names down for a table in the cafe. We only waited ab out 5minutes before we were escorted to our table. We both looked at the menu and decided to get pancakes and a drink. Keira got the High Potion (ginger ale, mint, honey and lime) and I got a honey cappuccino. My drink had a Moogle on it made out of cocoa powder! I got the chocolate banana pancakes and Keira got the caramel apple pancakes. My pancakes had a chocobo on them! For my snack it came to 1500yen. That was really reasonable, considering it was a themed cafe and the plate of pancakes was pretty substantial.
And that conclude part the first. I know I always do this, but I have to be up early for work tomorrow, so I really do need to head to bed now. I will update with part deux sometime in the next few days!

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