This evening, I had finally, after 3 trips to Japan, won a ticket to an AKB48 performance at their home theater in Don Quixote, Akihabara. Unfortunately, since it was my first time, I made a few mistakes which led to 2 hours of boring waiting with nothing to pass time with. The system they have in place is markedly different from that at the NMB48 theater.
Finally, the day has come when I can see the 1/1 scale Gundam with my very own two eyes. I also get to attend a live performance by AKB48 at their home theatre too! Read more of this post
Continuing on from Day 11a, I left Kugayama after charging up my phone, headed towards Kichijoji which is only one stop away. The area around Kichijoji station was confusing due to the lack of maps and the whole station being under some renovation and constructions, but I managed to find my way with GPS. After wrestling with the crowds of tourists and locals on the streets, I turned towards Inokashira Park in the hopes of at least having some breathing space there.
Day 11 heralds the start of the my weekend since beginning my student internship (read: work) and it would be packed with things to do. The plan for the day was to head into Tokyo for the Fate/Zero exhibition at Ikebukuro, then swing by Akihabara and spend the rest of the day there. I left Kugayama early in the morning in order to reach the venue at least an hour in advance to purchase tickets since I didn’t have a Japanese address or credit card to pre-purchase tickets in advance. However, this was not to be as the event had sold out solely on pre-purchased tickets so I had to think up of something else to do today. Read more of this post
Days 5 to 10 were spent working at a clinic in Shirokane. Work started at 10am and ended anywhere past 7pm with a 1 hour commute each way so there wasn’t any time to visit any destinations on work days. However, there was still the issue of meals and the main choice I had to make was whether or not to eat out somewhere along the way back, or buy groceries and cook something for dinner.
I arrived back in Ikebukuro early in the morning and headed straight for Kugayama to put down my bags. The plan for today was to meet up with a friend in Shibuya and then spend the rest of the day familiarising myself with the route to and from work, and the general surroundings of my accomodation.
My final day in the Kansai region would be by far the geekiest, most idol-oriented day so far. The plan was to go over to Intex Osaka for an NMB48 event in the morning, travel all the way to Kobe for Maeda Atsuko’s free mini-live, then hurry back to Osaka’s Umeda Sky Building for the night bus back to Tokyo. Several things didn’t go as well as I thought they could have, but read on!
I woke up this morning to an email with extremely good news. I had won a ticket to NMB48’s 3rd generation kenkyuusei performance which would be happening tonight! Noting the time I would have to be at the theatre to purchase my ticket, I then set off for Sakuya Konohana Kan, Osaka’s famed nature conservatory.
The night bus from Tokyo dropped me off at Kintetsu Namba at around 8am and this part of town had not woken up yet. The streets were deserted and the shops were all closed. The first thing I wanted to do, though, was to find my hotel and put down my backpack. It was getting heavy and I did not want to walk around with it for the next 6 hours. At the hotel, they told me I could only check in at around 4pm and were happy to hold onto whatever items I wanted to leave behind till then. I passed them the backpack and headed out to find some breakfast. Having skipped dinner the day before due to time constraints, I was quite hungry and thus settled for a meal at Mcdonalds. At first, I thought I could maybe relax at the fast food joint for an hour or so but the air conditioning wasn’t working and it was very uncomfortable in there. The temperature which was neither here nor there combined with having not had a shower for 2 days made me quite weary so I decided to do a quick scout of the Namba area to distract myself.
Flying direct from Singapore, this would herald my 4th visit to Japan and I was no less excited about it as I was before my 1st visit! I had drawn up a rough plan as you can see here which continued to fill as my departure date grew closer. This time around, I would be spending about 3.5 weeks in Japan, mostly involving a student internship in Tokyo but with a brief venture to the Kansai region at the beginning. This time, I would be travelling alone. Photos were taken with a Sony SLT and Sony Xperia S cameraphone so image quality will differ considerably at random times.