tadaima~ trip pics, some haruhi/nanoha/fate/stay night movie ramblings

Posted by meronpan on February 22, 2010

Well, somehow I made it back in one piece.  Recommendation: do not get sick two days before your flight.  I did, and basically spent the whole time trying to recover as quickly as possible ;_;  (thanks for all the well wishes! m(_ _)m)  On the bright side, I booked a hotel that was basically across the street from ueno station.  i.e. I could get to akiba in about 10 minutes ^_^

Think I’ll go in chronological order, lewt post will follow in the next couple days… (not too much this time, especially by rin’s standards :P)

First stop, pictured above, was ginzan. Way up north in japan’s yamagata prefacture it was pretty dang cold and snowing lots.  Soooo much different than the bay area here in california ^^;;

Was hard to take pictures because of all the snow… since my main focus were the onsen, i was constantly putting my camera back in a plastic bag to prevent condensation should we (was with a friend) head indoors.  That and trying to keep too much snow from melting on my camera ^^;;

Was pretty awesome going from the snow outdoors into scalding hot baths.  Prolly not too awesome for my cold, but as an experience, lovely ^^  Especially the rotenburo (outdoor onsen) ^^

Walked a bit around yamagata before heading out to zao.

One of the few days with clear weather!

Of course with all the snow, all I could think was, ‘kanon!’ ^^;;;

Zao is a pretty dang big place to ski, and also home to nice rotenburo.  Except I must say stripping down nekkid in the snow is quite an adventure ^^;

Towards and at the top of the montain the trees get covered in snow – they call ’em 樹氷 (lit. ice trees).  Something about the air, humidity and whatnot causes the snow to get caked on the trees.  It’s quite impressive.

Alas, it was snowing and cloudy so the pics are nothing like the gorgeous blue sky promotional pics you’ll see ^^;

After another overnight bus ride I was back in Tokyo.  At 6 am.  And couldn’t check in until 3pm ^^;;;

Took that opportunity to see the haruhi movie ^^  I enjoyed it thoroughly and I think nagato fans will likely get orgasmic :P  Wish I could comment on how the movie compared to the novel but haven’t read it yet orz.

Rest of the week was spent watching other movies and shopping in akiba… while recovering ^^;;

At the base of the building above, it’s no longer gamers (i.e. that corner of the building is no longer a games store front… the regular gamers store front is still there though).  Some new restaurant or something.  Bunch of other changes… seemed a lot bigger than the previous differences I’ve noticed in akiba.  Below, some store (pachinko mebbe? can’t remember, never went in ^^;) looks like it’s completely shut down.

Also that store where the rapping guy (near the JR station entrance) was seemed to be gone ;_;

And what’s with this aoki clothing shop?  Seemed out of place in the middle of akiba…

Below the railgun ad are a buncha kebab(?) vendors… been meaning to try them since I love that stuff but when I came back it was raining or I was still under the weather so it didn’t seem like the best place for a meal ^^;;

‘nother look at the gamers building ^^

Met up with another friend and took him to experience a maid cafe ^^;  First stopped by @home but it was deserted… sign said they were open but chairs were still stacked on top of some tables o.O  Ended up at MaiDreamin.

pics from main site

We didn’t order any but they have special monster sized dishes ^^;;  If you do get one you get a bonus 30 minutes (it’s like 500 yen/hour just to be there) plus a pic with the maids ^^;  In addition, instead of the usual moemoe power to charge up and make your food delicious, they do a super moe moe power up with the whole cafe ending with a moe moe beam ^^;;;;

They had english menus so I’m assuming they’re accepting of foreign guests (I mention that ‘cuz I thought I had heard of some folks having trouble getting in other places unless they could speak Japanese?).

At any rate, if you’ve been meaning to try one, from my experience MaiDreamin will probably sit well with you.  They also have like 4 locations in akiba and 1 in ikebukuro ^^;;;

Saw nanoha after haruhi… totally recommend it to all nanoha fans.  And for those of you that still haven’t become a fan or haven’t gotten around to it… totally recommend it to you too! (even you, blowfish :P)  Reason being is that it’s the entire 1st season compressed to about 2 hours.  Pacing was great, no more of that monster of the week feel… and it delivers almost everything there is to love about the first season.  So – if you haven’t watched the entire first season, here’s a way to get it done really quick.  If you still don’t like it, fair enough, and now you can say you even seen the whole thing (basically).

click for gelbooru

punynari wrote up a nice post on the movie if you’d like to know more (though remember to skip through the mid section if you’re afraid of spoilers).  I’m hoping an A’s and StrikerS film will follow ^^

Frog fountain thing in ueno park.  Walked around there for some pics before leaving tokyo.

Some yo-yo performing dude ^^;

If you’re planning on upgrading to a nicer camera, one thing I can attest to is the value of a high resolution and a sharp lens.  Took this pic:

…pretty uninteresting.  But from that pic I was able to make the following 100% crop:

Prolly not enough resolution for a print (1179×768) but more than enough for a blog post ^^  Quite frankly I was amazed how sharp it was at 100%, only using 1/125s shutter speed.  At any rate, still not a superb pic (bird kinda blending in too well with the tree ^^;) but an improvement ^^;

I’m sure it must look better at some point during the year… but in February the lake in Ueno park looks absolutely dreadful ^^;;;;

Not really sure what this cat was going after ^^;

…which reminds me, some cats in yamagata, above ^^

Also ended up seeing the fate/stay night movie… Though honestly I’m not really sure what I thought about it.  I felt like it was epic… but I was still a bit sick and had to leave for a short while midway… when I came back I knew I had missed a(some) pretty big scene(s) ;_;  Also, I didn’t really know what the heck was going on… had previously been planning to complete the game before watching the anime or anything.  Since I’ve only played like a half hour of the game, I know close to nothing.  I felt like there was a lot of imagery that was supposed to invoke responses in those familiar with the series, but I just left with more questions ^^;;  I’ll definitely have to finish the game and rewatch it… though it won’t be the same without thunderous cinema audio ^^;

click for gelbooru

One thing I did fully appreciate was rin’s tsundere ^^

Again, I’ll point you to punynari, who also has a post on his thoughts on this movie too if you’re interested.

Well then that ended up being longer than I thought ^^;;  A nice trip, but definitely crippled by being sick.  Guess there’s always next year ^^



20 Responses to “tadaima~ trip pics, some haruhi/nanoha/fate/stay night movie ramblings”

  1. punynari said

    Sorry that you were sick so much during your Japan trip but it still looks like you had a lot of fun. :D

    Love your pictures of the Yamagata area. I’ve always wanted to explore that area but I’m not too good with the cold. I have always lived in warm areas and am not used to harsh winters. Maybe in the summer, I will check it out.

    See you’ve noticed what is happening to Akihabara. There also an anime store (forgot the name), that was turned into a clothing store as well. The last time I was in Nakano Broadway, I also saw fewer anime stores and more clothing/purse stores. Maybe clothes/purses sell better then anime now-a-days?

    Thanks for the links and hopefully I can see the Haruhi movie soon. I do like Nagato so it sounds like it could be good. :3

    • kesenaitsumi89 said

      That store’s Name is Asobit City which turned into Jeans Mate now… But they still have Maid workers to help you choose out your shirts and jeans ^^

      Watched Haruhi, Fate/stay Night and Nanoha’s Movies too.^^ All of them was great. Haruhi the movie is like specially made for Yuki’s Fans. While Fate/Stay night the movies is for Rin and the Battle scenes of the servants?

      Good to see you enjoyed your trip here.

      • meronpan said

        ah, the asobit on the chuou doori is gone now too? don’t think i went into that one so much… prolly why i didn’t notice.

        was great timing for anime movies, great dumb luck on my part ^^

    • meronpan said

      definitely wait for warmer times if cold isn’t your thing ^^;; practically turned into an ice cube ^^;

      wonder if the akiba changes are a sign of the times, or just a result of the large amount of change that area seems to undergo naturally ^^; now if only they’d finish work on the station…

      thanks for clarifying that part of the fate movie i missed… of all the times i had to get up ^^;;;;

  2. Welcome back to the US ^^. Shame you were sick but looks like you were still able to enjoy yourself somewhat :) Nice pics too. Those ice trees are particularly awesome!

    • meronpan said

      i probably coulda enjoyed akiba more but only at the expense of the onsen and trip up mount zao (i.e. if i had rested instead of going)… ah well, at least i know i can survive international travel while ill now ^^;;

  3. Nopy said

    You’re so lucky you get to see both the Haruhi and Nanoha movies. I have to wait for the DVDs :(

  4. lovelyduckie said

    I’m most curous about the Fate: Stay/Night movie myself. Also your first few images are really breathtaking, I’m still debating what season I want to visit Japan in. Spring is a common choice, but I imaging Kyoto is particularly beautiful in the winter. But I’ll probably go during one of the warmer seasons.

    “They had english menus so I’m assuming they’re accepting of foreign guests”

    That’s good to know. Thanks

    • meronpan said

      spring is really lovely… late march or early april lets you enjoy the beautiful sakura, just be sure not to go all the way to the end of april when golden week starts ^^; late may gets you past golden week but then it starts getting warm and with june, you have tsuyu (rainy season).

      i’ve read fall is also a great time to visit, though personally haven’t been during that time yet…

      of course with those generalizations, moving farther north or south may dampen the impact of some less preferred weather trends…

  5. Tier said

    Sounds like a fun trip! Seeing all that snow brings back some really bad, long-buried memories from a couple of weeks ago. I always want to try eating at a yakitori stall, I liked the street food back in Seoul when I was a kid.

    • meronpan said

      that’s right, you guys just got through some pretty intense snow, huh ^^;;

      highly recommend any and all food from carts and such ^^ yakitori, takoyaki, taiyaki, fried mochi… always seem to have tasty stuff ^^

  6. Blowfish said

    You know what?
    I was sitting here sighing when the name Nonaoha popped up and soon after my name popped up XD
    Well if its really a compressed version of Nanoha its probably a hundred times better than the series but I still dont feel like watching it…ever again.

    So Ive actually got a qiestion about the Onsen.Is it actually really that steaming hot as everyone says that it makes you nauseous of you stay too long in it?

    • meronpan said

      hahahah ah well, figured it wouldn’t hurt to mention :P

      personally yeah, they can get quite hot. i got sort of nauseous the first time i was in one… though that may have been the hangover :P

      to some extent you can get warmer/cooler water by moving closer/further from the water source.

  7. Q said

    For some odd reasons I have never stepped foot into Gamers, even though I have been to Akihabara for a few times already. It’s really strange but I always felt like to go to other stores instead.

    So both Nanoha, Haruhi, and F/SN movies are good? There sure are a lot of anime movies this year; I also have Gundam 00 movie on my to-watch list later this year.

    But regarding to what you said about Akihabara, it sounds like some stuff are fading away, and that the place nowhere close to its higher times anymore (especially after hokosha tengoku got removed there).

    I’ve only been to Ueno Park once, but there sure a lot of performers there, and for some reasons a lot of crows too which surprised me a bit.

    • meronpan said

      don’t blame ya… like most stores it doesn’t necessarily stand out that much until you know it’s there ^^; not to mention it’s pretty much the same as most other stores… manga, anime, games, character goods… ^^;

      as you may know i’m pretty easy to please but yeah, in my opinion all three movies were great ^^

      with the economy the way it’s been i’m not surprised akiba seems to have contracted a bit… over the years the buildings have always been changing a lot (even the good years) so assuming that’s still true it would explain the empty buildings and change of focus.

  8. Shiddo said

    So pretty photo https://meronpan.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/2010japantrip02.jpg and so pretty place. Love these Japaneses buildings ~ old streets. Would love to live in one of those ^^

    Lucky you to see those movies ^^ Will have to wait a bit ^^

    • meronpan said

      indeed very beautiful ^^ although that is a special area where they’ve preserved the historical look of the taishou era on purpose, giving it that particular look ^^

  9. Falling behind on the blogroll. Sorry to hear you got sick before your trip :( I would have wanted to see the FSN movie myself but alas, all my budget is being allocated towards Dollfie Dream atm.

    When I stopped by Gamers last August, I knew they were doing some construction work, so it seems like they have shrunk their size a bit? I would love to hit Japan again sometime this year.

    • meronpan said

      yeah, was a bummer being under the weather but somehow still managed to have a good trip ^^;

      it does appear that gamers has contracted back a bit. a little easier to navigate though since you don’t have to wonder which side of the store you’re on ^^;

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