Sunday 16th August 08 – Akihabara

Well now I’m in my room before bed. I just had a nice shower and bathe, and am wearing my first yukata! (Which I might have done up wrong) So after not getting up this morning, we had a breakfast of omelette, rice, vegetables, miso soup, seaweed strips, green tea, red beans, and some really nice mackerel (shoes off again).

So then we are off to Akihabara! Geek Central! One great big streets’ worth of Forbidden Planet! The first store had so many different floors worth of various things and despite all of my searching, I luckily escaped the hentai section which both Petros and Tom suspiciously stumbled into. Apparently there’s a lot of tentacles.

After about an hour we eventually needed to leave, but I found a Rhythm Paradise Arcade with games not on the DS. It was music game heaven on that floor and I could have easily spent hours in there but unfortunately I was alone in this so I had to leave. With 1 life left might I add which was kinda frustrating.

We had a meal where Tom and I shared some spicy pork, beef, rice, other… stuff, and even cow tongue soup called tail soup.
I tried to teach him Doitashimashite but both he and I know that he won’t remember how to say ‘you’re welcome!’

After this we saw lots of other anime shops (although I can’t buy the new Ghibli, I’d hardly understand any of it!) And something which I forgot to look out for, half naked anime girl full length pillows! I also found a lack of willingness for photos, but managed to grab some from a Pachinko place before I got stopped. Yay! I didn’t find myself so lucky with the cosplayers in the arcades who crossed their arms up over their faces, but I didn’t mind too much as I have my own memories… And google.

So we had walked up and down, needed to decide where we were going next, and I vouched for a maid café. I’m quite curious anyway, and maids had been advertising for ages on the street so it wasn’t very difficult to find. But it was so surreal! The whole room was decorated with pink and cutesy things like Disney plushies on the alcoholic drinks and strangely enough, Gloomy Bear paws with blood on. Kupo? There were extremely friendly maids calling us sama in maid outfits with things like cat bags and giant pink scrunchie things on their wrists, so you could tell that they were given free reign to be a little individual. The menu included cute animal ice-creams and cheesecake etc., and an ice-cream tower which was really expensive as it bought you a ‘maids’ individual attention’, and a picture with all of them! Unfortunately we opted out of this but it was funny to look one way and see Tom’s eyes wide open in horror, and the other way where grown men were wearing cat ears, saying ‘nya’, and posing with paws for their pictures with a grinning maids on a small pink platform. When we got our ice-creams and drinks, each time the maid would get us to do something kawaii usually involving something like making a heart with your hands, then cat paws, then blowing at the beverage saying ‘Moe moe nya nya kyuuuuu!’ As expected, there was lots of giggling!

Also, strangely enough this was the first place where I tried the toilet fountain. ‘How was it?’ you might ask. Well it tickles a little, and you definitely feel clean! Although I panicked a little when I couldn’t work out how to turn it off!

When I came out of the toilet it was also a little surreal as there were suddenly disco lights and Disney songs as someone had ordered the tower. I even saw a maid bring Jenga to a couple and start playing with them!

And on another note, we were allowed to take pictures of our food, and I was complimented on my Japanese for saying ‘usagi’ and I was called ‘beautiful’.

The guys were a little uncomfortable at first, but I think that they kinda sorta perhaps enjoyed it overall.

So after ticking this off of the list we returned to our ryokan for a little rest and in my case, 1 hour nap (jet lag I think). And went back to tick two more things. Teppanyaki and karaoke!

Teppanyaki was another culture shock. Shoes in carrier bags, cushions down, borrowed fans for the heat radiating from the tables, and shame to say, seaweed all over my foot. (By accident I assure you) The waiters bring you the ingredients in a bowl, then you stir it together, pour it on the table, and cook/chop as you need with little spatulas. So our food consisted of potatoes, two different omelette things, and noodles. All of which were great, but the omelette was… pleasantly disgusting? Tom and I found it difficult to explain. Disgusting, but I like it! Unfortunately Petros didn’t share our appetite, so more for us!

Then on to the much awaited karaoke yahta! Colin sang a collection of Japanese songs surprisingly well ( though with little range) and great projection. He even did Oshakashama by Radwimps OMG! I got to sing Rewrite from FMA with my printed Romaji lyrics, and Passion by Utada Hikaru (Kingdom Hearts) as the final song. And although Petros and Steph didn’t sing, I still think that they enjoyed watching songs like:
Through The Fire And The Flames
I’ve Had The Time Of My Life
Livin’ On A Prayer
Bring Me To Life
Bohemian Rhapsody

And Colin attempting the horrendous Run DMC song
which kept him laughing.

Unlimited drinks and ice-cream came with this, which we didn’t overly take advantage of but it turns out that the mango sour is quite pleasant!

So anyway, off to futon now as my hand is starting to hurt with this tiny pen, and Shibuya and Hachiko tomorrow.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!

So oyasuminasai. Jaa ne?

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