Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Obon Vacation

...That happened like a million years ago and I never talked about. MEH.

Obon wasn't *amazing* and I actually didn't get around to doing any of the things I really had my heart set on. Didn't make it to the beach, didn't go out clubbing, spent way too much money. But there was some fun to be had:

1. Saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Did not see Part 1. Meh, details! It was a great movie and this theater was easily one of the best I've ever been to.

Gelato??? OMG YES.


Your goodies are placed in this convenient tray thing...



Like a boss.

2. Ate delicious Korean food in Shin-Okubo and got to see a live taping of some show with Ikko.

I was mildly impressed.

3. Witnessed a handshake event at Sunshine City for SKE48, the Osaka version of AKB48. It was awkward seeing these guys who are probably my age absolutely falling over themselves to meet these girls. Considering the amount of money this entire BlahBlahBlah48 franchise rakes in, it was also very low-budget. You couldn't pay for some tablecloths for those tables??? Gosh.

Guys in red, white, and black are staff.

The male fans were increasingly manhandled as they went up
to shake the girls' hands.
Uncomfortable to witness, really.


4. Went to Tokyo Tower for the first time! Beautiful views from the very top observation deck. We were STARVING when we got there, though! Should've gone into the Family Mart in the bottom before taking the elevator up.

Top is still slightly bent from the earthquake.
Still can't figure out how that happened...


...to dusk...

...to night.

Only another four months until I get another extended break from work... Ugh. Can I handle it??? I guess I have no choice but still.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wipe Your Butt with Pikachu!

Way back when my vacation was still fresh and new and had potential, I found myself with Tracy wandering around Sakuragicho. Prior to our pit stop at Anna Miller's, she had mentioned the Landmark Tower had some sort of Pokemon event going on and they were giving out toilet paper.

Well now, that just meant we had to go get a few rolls of our own~

The Landmark Tower is home to one of the many Pokemon Centers in Japan. You can go there to buy all kinds of Pokemon merchandise and sometimes there are events where you can download special edition Pokemon to your DS, like Flying Pikachu or something. On this particular day, I think they were holding an event to help promote the new Pokemon movie.

Let's get roll paper!!!

There were five stations set up with different activities. You had to complete each activity, turn in your scorecard, and BAM free toilet paper. We knew we didn't really have to complete all the games to get the toilet paper, but we had time to kill. The games included a Rhythm Heaven type game, a matching card game, a search and match game on a touch screen, a singing game, and a listening game. 

Only worthy of a blue stamp :(

TRACY AND I ARE STILL VERY PROUD OF OURSELVES ON  SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING THE LISTENING GAME. You had to listen to a portion of the song below and somehow determine which Pokemon were named. I listened like 10 times but I got it OH YEAH.

Song lyrics and Pokemon to wipe your butt with!

Between the games and visiting the Pokemon center, it was a fun way to waste an hour.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Anna Miller's Yokohama?

Yeah, really. I found ANOTHER Hawaiian institution in this great city, and it's the Yokohama branch of Anna Miller's!

They even have a take-out pie counter!

On my humble island of Oahu, there is a modest family restaurant by the name of Anna Miller's. It's not really fancy but it's a nice place to eat if you're out by Pearlridge. They're known for their pies and baked goods back home, and I'm pretty sure even my family has an old pie tin that was borrowed but never returned to the restaurant.

Mmm pie~

Tracy gets credit for this find. She and a friend of hers were walking around the mall in Sakuragicho and she was shocked to see the big familiar 70's looking font. Seriously, of all the Hawaii restaurants that could've been transplanted in Japan, especially in a fairly high-end mall, Anna Miller's is not at the top of the list.

The original restaurant~

I was kind of disappointed to see the menu consisted of stereotypical American food and not true local kine grindz, if you know what I mean. We lucked out that the restaurant was having a Hawaii fair and serving loco mocos and things with my beloved luncheon meat Spam.

Tracy ordered a slice of banana cream pie and I got the fried saimin. Allow me to use some pidgin for a moment when I say HO BRAH BROKE DA MOUT' (I do declare, it was quite delicious. So delicious, in fact, my mouth is now broken).



This was this past Sunday, so I've got the rest of my summer vacation to write about! I can't believe it's almost over... I need another month...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Omiya Matsuri

The same day I went to Harajuku, I also got to see some of the festival in Omiya! I met up with the #1 Urawa Reds Fan Ever (I have never written her name since I've never asked for permission) and one of her friends to enjoy parade and matsuri food.

We made a pit stop at Starbucks for drinks and air conditioning. They've had these cake pops for a little while now so I decided to try the strawberry cheesecake one. Interesting to say the least.

No parade or matsuri in Japan is complete without hula dancers! Seriously. The Rose Festival had lots of different halaus performing, but I'm not sure if all the women in this photo are from different halaus or the same one. They danced to a song about Kamehameha that was in Japanese (lolwut) and my two friends were beyond surprised when I told them I had never heard it before.

After the hula dancers, the samba dancers came by~ I was a bit taken aback by the outfits, since most of the dancers had little more than bedazzled bras and thongs on and I had thought this was supposed to be a more traditional festival. They were all fierce and amazing, regardless.

The last big group of floats to pass by were the more typical things I've come to expect from these types of parades. The lantern things, the guys carrying shrines (although no one ran with them full-speed like in Odawara), etc. I can't remember any of the proper names and I am too lazy to Google, so just be happy with my half-assed descriptions.

I was disappointed to only see one group of yankees carrying a shrine! I thought for sure I'd get to see a few more tattoos and crazy hair in Omiya, but my friend said those types come out after all the festivities have wrapped up. Sad pandas.

And I finally got to eat one of these spiral potato things! I've seen them at the bigger festivals but I never got to eat one. It was delicious and paired very well with yakitori.

I have ONE MORE DAY OF WORK and then summer vacation! SO CLOSE IT HURTS X_X

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eggs 'n Harajuku?

Nishihara and I went exploring in Harajuku this past weekend. We originally went for the elusive yet official  Johnny's idol shop, but found so much more.

The Johnny's store was ONE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, Johnny likes to squeeze every last yen out of JE fans that he possibly can, but seriously the unlicensed stuff at the Takeshita street shops is so much better. Tracy had walked past earlier in the day and saw a line to enter the shop that was out to the street. Honestly though, it sucked! Why you'd wait in line for that store I'll never know, unless MatsuJun is there personally helping you pick out the best photos of him to buy.

We walked along toward Omotesando Hills, but got distracted by this long line of people waiting for something. I made Tracy stop and walk with me to see what they were all waiting for...

A piece of Hawaii nestled on a Harajuku side street~

They were all waiting in line for a table at Eggs 'n Things Harajuku! The original restaurant in Waikiki was known for their crazy hours, which used to serve the post-club/post-bar scene. This was before my time, however - they closed down for a while a few years ago during my peak clubbing days, so all my late-night cravings had to be satisfied at Zippy's.

When we walked by it was like 3:30 in the afternoon, not even a peak meal time, and there had to be at least 30 people in line. We passed by again maybe an hour and a half later and the line had shrunk to about 15 people. I've never been to the one in Honolulu, and I'm sure as hell not gonna wait in a line that long for the one in Japan. I didn't get a chance to study the menu, but it looked far more Hawaiian-y than I would think it should. 

I have to make it through four more days at work and then I'm off for Obon!!!!!!! Gaaaahhh it's so close but so far away...