Random Curiosity

On Vacation – To the Land of the Rising Sun

Hana%20Yori%20Dango%20Final

While hearing about my vacation plans is probably not the most exciting thing, my blogging will be affected; therefore, this can be considered as a somewhat official notice of that. For the first time ever, I’ll be going overseas and on a real vacation (i.e. paid vacation days). Evidently, this will also be my first time in Japan, but I’ll be there for a month, staying at an apartment I rented in Ikebukuro, so hopefully that’ll be enough time for the Japanese lifestyle to soak in. I’ll have Internet access at the apartment, but I’ll only have my relatively old and underpowered 10.6″ Fujitsu ultra-portable notebook along with me. While this little thing has served me well in university, blogging will be somewhat difficult due to its inability to playback HD videos smoothly (…in addition to the time commitment of course). Regardless, I don’t want to put all seven shows I’m covering on a complete hiatus, as the backlog when I return would be somewhat daunting.

My tentative plan right now is to continue covering the shows that I currently am, but in a fairly trimmed down manner. These “lite” posts will probably be restricted to screenshots and impressions alone, so my apologies to those of you who come here for the summaries. (Writing detailed summaries is always the most time-consuming task for me.) At the very least, I want to have a “placeholder entry” with just screenshots for completeness sake (indicating that I have watched the episode), which would also allow for any discussion amongst you, the readers. The regularity that my posts appear will probably be affected as well, given how I’ll be on Tokyo time and out and about most of the time. Again, this is merely a tentative plan, but I’ll try to adhere to it the best I can.

I’m leaving in the middle of next week, but some of my posts this week may also be affected while I prepare for my trip. As mentioned above, I won’t be back until a month later (~July 6th), but hopefully by then, I’ll have some interesting stories that I can use for Random Musings.

Note: This will affect (Sun) Wagaya no Oinari-sama., Nabari no Ou, Special A, (Thurs) Allison & Lillia, kurenai, To LOVE-Ru, and (Sat) Kanokon, but Omni’s coverage will continue as normal.

 

Tidbit: The image above is taken from the official site of the Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) movie, which premieres on June 28th in Japan. Seeing as how I recently finished the drama and thoroughly enjoyed it, I just might check it out while I’m there. I was asked, “Do you really want to be in a theater surrounded by bunch of screaming Japanese fan girls?”, but the person quickly added, “Oh wait, that might not be such a bad thing.” I’ll let you guess who said that. =)

May 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm
60 comments »
  • May 27, 2008 at 5:10 pmbaaah

    Have fun on the trip Omni. Be sure to have fun and update us on some of the cool things you’re doing over there :).

    Oh, and first post!

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:23 pmDelicatewings

    Hope you have lots of fun.
    Enjoy.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:27 pmHalf Japanese

    Urgh, you should have posted and asked for some advice about where to go and/or stay in Japan. If you intend to spend an entire month in Tokyo then you won’t be experiencing Japan. You’ll be experiencing a big city where the people just happen to speak Japanese. Ikebukuro especially is a pretty bad place for Japanese “culture”, since it’s mostly full of gaijin. On the plus side it’s relatively close to Yokohama, and Nikko is easily accessible from Tokyo. I’d seriously think about planning some short trips away, because Tokyo WILL get boring, very quickly, unless of course all you want to do is hang around Akihabara and Harajuku all the time. Then you really really aren’t experiencing the Japanese lifestyle.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:29 pmGill

    See you Omni.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:32 pmJapan

    Uh, I think it’s Divine who’s going to Japan, not Omni.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:33 pmThe-Ghost

    LOL its Devine going on (paid) Vacation , not Omni guys/gals.

    BTW Devine have a good trip

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:35 pmMentar

    Have fun, Divine :)

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:38 pmSadmask

    Good luck, Divine. :)

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:41 pmdivine

    @Half Japanese:
    True enough, but I wanted to stay around the Tokyo area and have a place to go “home” to. I didn’t want to backpack through Japan since it would’ve felt more like a sightseeing tour than a vacation (i.e. no time to just relax in one place). I also have a friend coming along, so we plan to take short trips here and there. For example, we might stop by Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido, etc.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:43 pmKaito

    I love how you guys assumed it was Omni taking a vacation, lol. (Though I’d assume he probably wants one)

    Have a good one Divine!

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:48 pmdivine

    Thanks everyone. =)

    @Kaito:
    I don’t think a lot of readers are even aware that I exist. T_T While it’s pretty easy to overlook the “BY DIVINE” in the posts, I’m a bit surprised that some people find my writing so similar to his.

    Hmm, maybe I’ve been “Omni-ized” or my writing sort of lives up to the standards he set…?

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:49 pmpach

    I hope you have fun there!!

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:56 pmNette

    oh my goodness, u lucky dawg!! well, u’re definitely gonna have a blast!! :3.
    w00t for hana yori dango live-action MOVIE!!

  • May 27, 2008 at 6:03 pmCaitlin

    Paid vacation to Japan? Awesome! I hope you have fun. ^_^

  • May 27, 2008 at 6:17 pmviddy

    Wow. Coincidence there! I’ll be going to Japan at the start of June. And staying til start of July! .. Also, I’ll be living in Ikebukuro. Pretty much the same as you :3
    I hope you’ll have a good visit to Japan. I’ve been to Japan before, and i’m pretty much dying to go back. Half Japanese up here has a valid point, get to see some other places than Tokyo! Kyoto, Osaka and Nara are good alternatives. Also try to see some small-small places! Have a blast \o/

  • May 27, 2008 at 6:28 pmLithium17

    No worries….. enjoy your holiday.

    I had a great time while I was living/working there.
    Great food, great clubbing, great tech, great sex(mostly).
    Hope your experience is a memorable one.

    Cheers and have a safe trip!

    P.S… I dunno how old/slow your notebook is, but you could try a Xfce based Linux distribution (Xubuntu)and install MPlayer on it.

  • May 27, 2008 at 6:30 pmLithium17

    Oh….and I knew of your existence since Kurenai. Who’s Omni??…..heh!

  • May 27, 2008 at 6:53 pmMelchior

    Enjoy the trip Divine!

  • May 27, 2008 at 7:41 pmShannon

    Oh, yes! The 28th is the opening for the HYD-F! But I’m not in Japan during that time. I’m there before that. Gosh.

    Enjoy the trip! XD

  • May 27, 2008 at 8:02 pmSwiftyfire

    Man you are lucky to get a (paid) vacation. Anyways have a nice trip.

  • May 27, 2008 at 9:18 pmsetsuke

    Woah so lucky a free trip to Japan, well have fun and i hope you can get some pictures here and there in Japan (especially Akihabara xD) and could post it here, there’s always some wacky some stuff in Japan.

  • May 27, 2008 at 9:25 pmdivine

    I think I should mention that the trip itself isn’t paid for (i.e. that’s coming out of my own pocket), but I am getting paid my normal salary for the month off. I’m basically using all my vacation days at once.

  • May 27, 2008 at 9:43 pmSiesta

    Have a good trip Div, i hope you come back safely and that you come back with a lot of things to tell us, don’t leave the geishas out either.

  • May 27, 2008 at 10:19 pmBaphometClass

    I wonder if they really do put egg on everything… And if dealing even minor drugs can get a person a life sentence. Try to score some hashish and find out would you? You can’t enjoy those neon colors without a little good old-fashioned THC!

  • May 27, 2008 at 10:52 pmhashihime

    Yeah, have a good time. I personally think a month in a single neighborhood is a great way to really get to know Japan, or any other country. And modern Japan is at least as interesting as the demoralized and touristified remnants of some ideal “real” Japan. It’s all real.

  • May 27, 2008 at 11:18 pmomo

    nice laptop.

  • May 27, 2008 at 11:36 pmlialiakicks

    Wow! O_O

    Have fun and take plenty of pictures~! <3333

  • May 27, 2008 at 11:37 pmSepiraph

    Hey have fun in Japan… I want to visit there too!

  • May 27, 2008 at 11:41 pmKaitune

    Awwww!!! So jealous of you!!! (Can you pack me in your bag???)

    Good luck and hope that you have a really great time in Japan!!!

  • May 27, 2008 at 11:50 pmSlade

    Have a good trip, recommend before you head out to BUY a JR Rail Pass (only visitors can get it AND must be purchased outside of Japan). Grab the 14 day one if you can, you will save a lot on train travel if you plan to go around Japan by train.

    Also make a point to visit an onsen, Gero is an awesome spot, has this 1000 yen pass that’s good for 3 visits to any participating onsen. times vary, but it’s a good deal. Train ride there is fun too.

    Akihabara and Caramel Dancing… well you will SEE and HEAR it when you visit..

  • May 28, 2008 at 12:02 amunknown2

    Well, since youre at ikebukuro, you could go to that big animate building near the toys r us. …The weather’s great now but youre coming here on a rainy season hehe. Dont be too down by ikebukuro, youre new, so you’ll probablly enjoy something new anyway…along with live anime on TV

    Enjoy youre visit.

    Maye you could blog youre little vacation too!

  • May 28, 2008 at 12:41 amBROOKLYN otaku

    HAHAHAHAH thats funny!! i thought u were OMNI TOO!!! “yall gotta do something about the subliminal camouflage on ur names up top”, too funny!! i was thinking, “i thought that dude already lived in japan”!!…heh, anyway..be safe out there pimpin,GET THAT MONEY!! me? i’ve never really been interested in visiting japan. BUT!!!!! theres one question i’ve always been wondering…….WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM DO THEY USE ON PC’S OVER THERE?????????? it cant be old billy’s thing?

  • May 28, 2008 at 1:02 amJohn

    1 month paid vacation you must have been saving up the days, what can I say enjoy yourself there.

    I came across alot of japanese stuff while I live in Hong Kong and has always love to visit Japan some day and try everything out while I am there.

  • May 28, 2008 at 1:04 amSpirit Rubi

    I have like never posted a comment on this blog site… lolz.

    But that’s awesome! I just got back from being in Japan for a little more then week. (As my whole family came so the hotels cost a lot a money… also to mention we stayed in Ginza… don’t shop in Ginza, unless you want to pay $400+ for a t-shirt! @ . @ )

    I recommend going to Kyoto as I went there part of the time. X3

    And Akihabara is just awesome so I hope you really have a great time there during your stay. :3

    BTW, you will also find Family Marts the best stores ever! XD

  • May 28, 2008 at 1:23 ammiden

    have fun! will miss u!! :)~

  • May 28, 2008 at 5:05 amshurikens

    gud luck to ur trip and here’s an advice don’t ever go to a porta-potty!

    there’s really really embarassing might happen. =P

  • May 28, 2008 at 5:19 amYuna

    Have fun divine!!!
    Take a lot of pictures!!! XD

  • May 28, 2008 at 6:10 amkanon78

    Have a nice trip to and stay in Nippon. It was always a pleasure reading your summaries/blog !

  • May 28, 2008 at 6:44 ammatt

    Can’t anyone help you blogging during your trip ? Anyway personally,I enjoy your comments better than your – very good – summaries.I mean summaries are interesting at a beginning of a season,to know what an anime deals about but in the middle of a season it just spoils the story.That’s why personnaly I stopped reading your summary after ep 1/2/3

    This way you could spend much time on commenting the show.
    IMO

    Have a nice trip & keep on with the good job ;)
    Matt

  • May 28, 2008 at 6:49 am41nano

    Have a nice trip divine !

  • May 28, 2008 at 8:03 amVisigoth

    Have fun!

    Enjoy yourself, I think the followers here can put their needs second

  • May 28, 2008 at 11:00 amsuki

    Have fun Divine! Ikebukuro is one of the more quieter places in Tokyo but it should be great!

  • May 28, 2008 at 11:02 amruffles

    Have a good trip divine.

    And if those guys in the picture is what gets japanese girls to go mad, then i think i may weep for all mankind. seriously, those are the most feminine looking men i think i’ve ever seen.

  • May 28, 2008 at 11:38 amHalf Japanese

    Divine,

    I wouldn’t bother going to Hokkaido. Too expensive and not worth it for a short visit. And if you don’t want to be a sightseer, then I would bother with Osaka. Osaka is basically mini-Tokyo, only not as good. Kyoto is okay, but looking at temples and shrines day after day gets boring.

    As I half mentioned in my previous comment, go to Yokohama (right next to Tokyo) and Nikko (a few hours away from Tokyo). Yokohama is a much more interesting and Japanese feeling city than Tokyo is, and it’s very close and easy to get to. Nikko is a fantastic historical town that has everything that Kyoto has, but can be seen in one or two days. There’s a really good hostel there called Nikko Park Lodge, only 3000 yen for a night and close to the centre of town. Nikko has several temples and shrines, lots of local food on sale, mountains to climb and one of the three big waterfalls of Japan, Kegon Falls. It’s also one of the few places in Japan that still has Konyaku Onsen (mixed Onsens), though you can of course stick to the same sex only baths.

    Tokyo will get boring, and quickly. You can basically see everything of worth there in less than a week, and although you may think simply living there gives you a taste of Japanese life, it really doesn’t.

    The main two things you need to hope for in regards to the apartment is that 1) it is well structured. Most apartments have rooms separated by thin plastic walls, so you can pretty much hear people breathing in the next room. 2) You’re neighbours aren’t gaijin haters.

    I’m not trying to put a negative spin on your trip or anything, just warning you that Japan isn’t the country that most people in the west envisage it to be. Keep low expectations and you’ll have a lot of fun. Try to go in without any pre-conceptions. And don’t eat anywhere that has English menus.

  • May 28, 2008 at 12:07 pmGee

    aww lucky you. :) i wanna go there for vacation too before my school starts on june..(but i don’t think thats gonna be possible) lol.
    hmm, so you aren’t gonna post any summaries then? aw, too bad..
    but anyway., hope you have fun there!! ^^
    enjoy the trip~! ^^

  • May 28, 2008 at 12:58 pmdaffyduck

    have a safe trip!! see you back in a month! =]

  • May 28, 2008 at 2:39 pmdivine

    Thanks everyone for the kind words. I didn’t quite realize how many supportive readers RC had! =)

    ちょっと感動した~ (“I’m a bit touched~”)

    @Half Japanese:
    Thanks for the info. Given how one of my friends is from Yokohama (not the one that’s coming with me), I definitely wanted to check it out. However, reading what you said about the place made it sound all the more interesting.

    At first, I wasn’t planning to get a JR Pass, but after giving it some more thought last night, I’m thinking about doing so just so I can ride the Shinkansen to and from Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto/Nara a few times. Originally, I was under the impression that the Shinkansen isn’t included in the pass, but it turns out it is, except for the Nozomi line.

    As for staying in one place, I was actually going to use this trip to assess whether or not I could see myself living in Japan for an extended period of time (i.e. a year or more). I kind of want a change of atmosphere and really want to improve my Japanese towards fluency, so those are the main reasons behind it.

    Finally, what’s wrong with places that have English menus? o_O

  • May 28, 2008 at 4:39 pmsuki

    Yes Divine definitely get the JR pass! It’s such a deal. Hell in a month you can go all over Japan and come back to Tokyo in the same day on the Shinkasen. It’s very comfortable. I know if I were a Japanese native I’d be pissed gaijins got such a good deal.
    I don’t know how good your Japanese is Divine but no matter how good it is, I noticed when I went and tried to order in Japanese people would act like they didn’t know what I was saying. I’d just point and get it over with. So you’re definitely gonna run into some ignorance. And Nara will be so fun! But be careful because some of the deer will try and make a meal out of your clothes if you start to feed them and decide to stop lol.

  • May 28, 2008 at 5:36 pmLOL

    NOOO im so envious
    ill have to wait another 2 years before i can go to japan for the first time T_T
    if u want can u post some of ur vacation joy stuff for noobys to be ready XD jkjk enjoy ur trip

  • May 28, 2008 at 8:39 pmRuly

    Enjoy you’re Vacations :) .

  • May 29, 2008 at 11:16 amMortal

    have a nice trip Divine !

    i’m jealous too, although i’m planning a trip to go there for next year :)

    as already said, take a lot of pictures ^^

  • May 29, 2008 at 4:49 pmJinx

    I went to Japan in April with my best friend, it was awesome and had been waiting 10 years for it! (from age 14, im 24 now) lol.
    We’re going again next april.

    Do enjoy your trip!!

  • May 30, 2008 at 1:14 amMEE

    OMGAWD! HAVE FUN! IM JEALOUS! WAAAAHHH lol well then have fun ; ) i cant wait for HYD MOVIE :d WAAKAKAK

  • May 30, 2008 at 11:27 amKai

    Enjoy your vacation :D

  • May 30, 2008 at 2:59 pmMaikeru

    Hey Divine, hope you enjoy yout stay, Japan is awesome.
    I’ve been living near Fukuoka since september and its seriously been the best year of my life. I have to go back to England after the summer to finish my degree, then I’m gonna focus on getting back here as soon as I can.
    Try to eat out as much as you can, the food here is delicious. Find a good izakaya and you can spend the night eating and drinking.
    I’d say that Osaka is certainly worth the visit if you’re in the Kansai region, the people and the nightlife there are great. Also, you should do what someone else mentioned and visit a few quiet areas with less tourists. I had a great time in Yamaguchi, and there are some lovely places in Kyushu where I I live, but that might be a little out of the way for you being based in Tokyo.
    Oh, and invest in some mosquito spray, they just came back and I’m itching all over :(

  • May 31, 2008 at 4:10 amdivine

    @Maikeru:
    Thanks for all the info! I’m hoping to check out some of the smaller, not-so-touristy places as you’ve mentioned. If I end up getting a JR Pass, traveling around shouldn’t be too bad since I can ride the Shinkansen.

    As for bug repellent, I already picked some up. =)

  • May 31, 2008 at 6:47 amMizu

    I’d wish I could go to Japan. Oh well, have a nice trip!

  • May 31, 2008 at 6:19 pmHalf Japanese

    Divine:

    The JR Pass is well worth it if you want to do some traveling around. Missing out on the Nozomi line doesn’t have any negative effect, since the other 2 lines you can use to get to Kyoto etc are the same, just 30 minutes slower. So instead of 2 hours to Kyoto, it’s 2:30. If you do intend to get the JR Pass, I’d even recommend going further South/West to Hiroshima and even Kyushu. Fukuoka is well worth a visit.

    If you intend to go back to Japan and stay there for a long period of time, then Tokyo is a mixed blessing. Tokyo doesn’t represent Japan. It’s like London, or Sydney, or New York. An international city. And Tokyo is very expensive in comparison to the rest of Japan. So what I’m saying is, if you like Tokyo, don’t expect the rest of Japan to be like it, and if you don’t like Tokyo, don’t expect the rest of Japan to be like it!

    The reason I say don’t eat in places with English menus is because they’re made for tourists. So they’re more expensive and have more western oriented food. Best way to choose a restaurant is to look for lots of Japanese people and a Japanese menu. If you can read Hiragana and Katakana it can be easy enough to find out what most things on menus are. And if you know the Kanji for meat, then you can avoid things like Octopus (though Octopus is delicious!).

    And I’ll say again, visit Nikko. Well worth it.

    I’d recommend my home town, too, but no one has probably ever heard of it. And there’s nothing there anyway! Unless you like all night karaoke and walks by the Sakura river.

  • June 2, 2008 at 6:16 amdivine

    @Half Japanese:
    Thanks again for the additional info. I’m still a bit torn as to whether to get a JR Pass or not at the moment, but I still have two days to decide. I do plan to make some distant trips, but I’m not sure how often they will be. I *do* want to ride the Shinkansens though.

  • June 11, 2008 at 2:47 amSaruko

    OMG lucky, i wanna see HYD final!!!