Monday, April 16, 2012

Harajuku and Sakura

As some of my friends know, I went to a concert by a Swedish heavy metal band "Arch Enemy". The venue was close to Harajuku station in Tokyo.

 Harajuku is known as a place where young people like teenagers get together, so there are many chic clothes shops and coffee houses. I don't know if I could say GAP is chic, but I thought this illumination looked so pretty.

 There was a pedestrian bridge from which I could overlook the area around the station. It was about 6pm. The concert began at 7pm. When we arrived here we were kinda lost so my friend searched this area on his iphone. It helped us a lot. 

 We were killing time so that we can be just in time for the main act. Any Doutor is never prettier than this. It shows why this area is hot among young people. 

 And these were what I was having before the show began. As I waited, young people came one after another. I wasn't going to stay here for more than an hour, but it started to rain and that kept us here needlessly longer. 

 And let me show you two Sakura pics. In the prefecture I live in, the Sakura trees started to blossom last weekend. The beauty of the Sakura always amazes me even though I've seen them many times. 

On this day, the temperature got close to 25 degrees Celsius. It was really an ideal day for the people in my area to take a walk and look at the Sakura. 

How do you celebrate the advent of spring? However you celebrate it, warm weather always makes us active, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kashiwa (柏)

There is a relatively big city "Kashiwa" in Chiba prefecture. It's about a 30 minutes' train ride from Tokyo, and it can be reached in the same time from where I live too. For the past few years I've visited AKB to do shopping, but I used to come to this city a lot before the line TX was in service.

 This is the entrance of a department store "Marui". You can buy many expensive clothes, watches, perfumes and etc in there. There are many clothes shops in my city too, but if you want to buy some as presents, you can get them easily at this Marui. The stall with the green flags nearside was selling "Zundamochi", which is a kind of rice cake sold in Sendai. 

 This Chinrai (珍来) is the Ramen chain that is the most well-known in Japan. You can see them everywhere in the Kanto region, but I don't think it's taste is very good. You can tell this shop from the others by recognizing this Dragon, which is holding the Ramen bowl. 

 And very often the main purpose I come to Kashiwa is to buy metal CD's. You can buy any CD's on Amazon, but most CD's are often cheaper at this shop. 

 I took a pic of a wall of the Diskunion. It sells not only metal but also J-Pop and even jazz CD's, too. 

 I bought this Murderdolls CD. I've been interested in it because the drummer of Slipknot plays the guitar in this band. It was only 6.8 us dollars, or about 5 Euros. 

We had these breads for lunch. The combination of the cheese and sausage gave a good taste, and in my book this "Delifrance" was better than any bakeries in my city. 

What cities do you want to visit except for Tokyo? Smaller cities of Japan have their own attraction too! :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AKB in early spring

This is a bit late update, but I went to Akihabara again to buy a special outlet for my audio system. I'm a huge fan of music, so naturally I want to listen to it in good condition. So, a friend of mine told me I needed an outlet made for hospitals that conveys electricity without loss.

So the best place in Japan where you can buy it is of course Akihabara. I come to this place to enjoy myself mainly, but I think you can learn about the unique aspect of Japan visually as there are many anime ads.  

I introduced before this shop "Hobby Tengoku", but this was the first time I entered it. There were literally so many figurines and anime-related goods, and people were standing in line for the cashier. The word "Tengoku" basically means "heaven", but in this case it means "paradise". 

 This is an ad truck for the game "Moe can change!". As far as I searched, it's a game where you grow androids. The game is available on computer and smart phone. I don't know much about games, but they seem to be evolving very rapidly. 

A stamp rally was held in AKB. You should visit many shops in AKB to get stamps for rare goods. You can take part in this rally on an app, so you need your own smart phone. 

I was relaxing at a Veloce. I usually drink coffee, but this time I had hot Matcha latte. Matcha is like bitterer green tea, but if you blend it in milk, its bitterness gets weak and it will give a mild taste. 

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is promoting Japan as "cool". And the promotion itself is called "Cool Japan". Hope you'll find Japan cool someday :)