Got Culture Shocked

Here we go!! This is my first Japan blog. Yay!

Since it was a 10-day travel from Tokyo to Osaka to Kyoto, I would post one blog for each day of my adventure. Each blog is from my travel journal (I always carry it wherever I go!) so you can expect a very detailed blog.  I would also include a list of all the expenses I shed that day so you can use them as a reference when you FINALLY decided to book your flight to this amazing country. (Trust me, you won’t regret it!) I will also include a vlog and series of phlogs so you will get more of Japan! Haha. But please… I have to tell this… my expenses may or may not be cheap for you because that would entirely depend on how much you value travelling,  how much you can welcome little inconvenience over luxury, and how well you can research and make your own itinerary.  Hehe.

So anyhoo…let me enjoy this trip once again as I unveil Japan for you! =)

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October 18, 2013

Tokyo, Japan 

Our flight to Narita International Airport is 6AM. Ahhmazing! I only slept for 2 hours. I was with Ate Jenny and Tita Geny by 3AM.  The Jetstar check-in counter was not open yet. Everyone was lining up.  A tour group arrived and made a very long queue. I turned around and saw some Japanese people in the queue. It finally dawned on me…I am going to Japan – The Land of Rising Sun where future and rich culture reside.

I sat beside a Japanese guy. I was tempted to talk to him. I wanted to practice my Japanese. But he just slept. The only thing I said to him was shitsureishimasu [失礼します ~ Excuse Me] to let me pass through.

I went inside the toilet and looked for my balance. Airplane toilet always frightens me. It is very small and shaky. I push the lock but I think there was another lock.  Apologies. Haha. So I took my seat on the throne and then suddenly someone just opened the door! Much to my shame, I paused for 2 seconds with my head down then reached the door to completely close the door. I did not look up. My first instinct was, “Ok. I got it. Please don’t ever try to look at my face.” So I went back to my seat praying that that someone would forget what just happened.  #deadmaangpeg

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Next is my encounter in Immigration. I stayed in the waiting room for around just 15 minutes. I was questioned. More of that in the last part of the vlog. Hehe.

We rode the JR Sobu Line from the airport to Bakurocho Station for 80minutes. I asked for the colored train map from the ticket counter of JR Line because today will be the start of getting lost in train stations. As I expected, everyone in the train is quiet. Some people were talking but I can’t hear them.

Our hostel was just 5 minutes away from Bakurocho station C4 East Exit. Finally, we arrived in Khaosan Tokyo Ninja! Khaosan Tokyo Guesthouse is a chain of hostels located in the main areas of Tokyo. I booked this specific hostel because of their cabin dorm beds. I wanted to try capsule hotel but they are more expensive than staying in a hostel. And upon knowing that Khaosan Tokyo Ninja has cabin beds, which are very much like a capsule, I booked them right away.  I planned to stay my first night with Ate Jenny in their twin room but they won’t allow me because they don’t give extra mattress and 2 people can only occupy twin room. The length of a double deck bed and a table exactly measures the room. So I just booked an additional night in the cabin dorm. I will talk about my cabin and the hostel next time! =)

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After stuffing our respective rooms, I, Ate Jenny and Tita Geny decided to go to Akihabara. We were supposed to go to Odaiba but we were 4 hours late with our itinerary. Akihabara is just a station away from another subway station near our hostel,  Asakusabashi Station. Our first challenge? How to use the train ticket machine. Second challenge? Getting familiar with the train station. Haha.

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We ate CURRY in Tandoor Gar. I always see this curry meal from the Japanese series I watch. I was curious as to why it has so much sauce filling up an entire plate.  And why it is in brown color. The curry of Philippines is yellow and you get to eat more chicken than the sauce. I ate a meat curry and drank all the sauce. We learned that you should give your used plate and utensils in their washing area. Don’t leave them expecting someone would clean them up for you. This is the first discipline we learned in Japan: clean up your own mess.

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As we went outside the station, the smell of original Anime and electronics welcomed us. Every building is lit up. I can see the huge building of SEGA. I saw another SEGA building just a few blocks from the first one. Some of the people were wearing Anime costumes. Akihabara or Akiba was very colorful. ELECTRONICS! Camera gadgets! Everything is digitized.  This is the land of Otaku, the people with extreme interests mostly on anime and manga. Ate Jenny finally bought a camera battery which she can’t find in Philippines and HongKong.

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We checked out the AKB48 Café. If you are a fan of the girl group AKB48, you should not miss this one. I was culture shocked that the café is jam-packed with guy fans. This is seriously new to me. I have never seen a bunch of guys who are very fanatic and buy stuff printed with faces of their idol girl group.  Ballpen, bookmarks, cups, laces, handkerchief, etc. And there is a mini theater with guy fans eating their food and relaxing on their comfy chairs while watching videos of AKB48.  AKB48 usually promotes their music and perform here! It was ahhmazing! But it was weird for me! But it was still ahhmazing!

Ahhmazing is the Word for Today.

There is also a Gundam Café just beside the AKB48 Café. Well, you get to have a picture with a mini Gundam. There are café and boutique shop also.

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We walked around.  Ate Jenny and Tita Geny attempted to go inside a Pachinko. For you to stay, you have to play and you should not take pictures or videos. It’s gambling, after all.

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Ate Jenny wanted to check out a maid café. We saw the huge well-lit billboard of Maidreamin’. Looked like we have to check this out. I asked Ate Jenny if she was sure. A girl was giving out fliers to men in front of the maid café in a very high-pitched voice and maid outfit. She overheard us talking if we should go in or not after we saw the menu prices. It was expensive! She is a half-Filipina.  We were thrilled (we’re always thrilled, anyway. Haha) so we went in.

….

….

Why?is the only word I uttered as soon as we stepped in the café.

Everyone is talking in a high-pitched voice! And everyone is extremely PACUTE. Oh my.

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No pictures. No videos. I asked a maid that looked like a 16-year old girl. She said we can take pictures and videos just don’t include the girls.  Did you hear their voices in the vlog? Haha. I was, again, culture shocked. Haha. Everything is expensive. I guess, you just really pay for the experience with the cute girls because you can talk to them as much as you want and if you are a guy, they will entertain you with their cute actions and all.  There are some guys who came with their guy friend who was just laughing during their entire stay. There were also guys who came alone and enjoyed their quiet stay while the maids entertained them. And there was also a guy wearing a kimono which I thought was just playing around but he is actually gay. He bought music CDs and looked like were friends with the maids.

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They said to us after they gave our very expensive (#deads) oolong tea and parfaits

“You’re now a Princess!  niyaw niyaw niyaaaaaw”

while making heart shape ( I think!) with their hands and raising their already high-pitched voice. Then they asked us to do the same. Haha. Oh yes, I enthusiastically imitated them. =)

To men, they said, “I’m your princess tonight.” Hahaha.

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I was having fun until the lights went off and only light sticks were lit up.

LIVE CONCERT…. IN A VERY HIGH-PITCHED VOICE!

I have to give a big applause to these girls. They do really give so much care, entertainment and service to their guests. We were only the women in the café which I think was unusual but they took care of us anyway.

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It was full of café exploration. Japan has a lot more cafés to offer than what we have discovered and experienced. And today is just the first day in Japan!

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Check out my vlog (video and blog) and phlog (photo and blog) for more of my experience on my first day!

Vlog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8FcEAYt2z0

Phlog: just click on the tags below

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