lördag 20 juli 2019

Expocity and park area in Osaka

When I had arrived in Osaka (and before things acctually turned) I was rather depressed. I had no friends and my weekdays were passed going to class and then spend the evening in my room. So on my weekends I really wanted to get out and do stuff. Osaka University is close the the Expocity and the Bampaku-kinen park, an area built during the 70s for the Japan World Exposition. The Expocity is obviously built later, and is a big mall including various shops from 100yen Daiso to Ghibli and Uniqlo.
I spent, easily, a whole day in this area. I started off with the Japanese Garden. The entrance to the whole garden area is accessible through any entrance, and the fee is as low as 250yen, which is fairly low considering the huge area.
Perhaps it's because I'm not used to Osaka, but my impression is that Tokyo has a lot more gardens so I missed that alot and was very happy to find this Japanese garden!

Unfortunately my Pictures doesn't make the garden justice. I really need to get a better camera... 

The garden is very big, and I just really wanted to have a seat and enjoy the view as well so plan your visit carefully so that you will have enough time!

I went in late October and by that time there aren't much blossoming unfortunately. Outside of the Japanese garden are enormous areas made for various flowers, and I did get a glimpse of the roses, but much of the autumn plants had began withering. 

Even so I did have a nice walk around the different areas, ending with the famous Tower of the Sun, a 70 meter tall building made for the 70 expo by Japanese artist Okamoto Taro. I saw the tower every day on my way to school and I have to admit, I hate it. The first thing which came to mind was the angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion. It looks creepy, sorry.

I was about done by the time the park closed so I then went for the Expo City to see what kind of shops were available. And like mentioned before, most things could be found. I'm not much of a shopper so didn't spend that much time there, but went to my final stop; the biggest ferris Wheel in Japan with a height of 123 meters!
I love ferris wheels, and I ride most I can find, so I've also been on the Tempozan which is 112 meters also located in Osaka (my favorite one has to be the Daikanransha on Odaiba, Tokyo though). One of the charms with riding a ferris Wheel to me is the night view, I just love seeing the city lit up, so I waited until it was all dark and then I bought my ticket! The line was pretty long, and the worst part was when I realised I was the only one riding alone. All around me were couples and some families, the worst part came when I had to pass the photographer. Yes, they have one of those memory photographies, where you can have your picture taken and buy it later. The staff looked like young university students, and I kindly rejected his offer, then he tells me something in the line of "it can be a nice memory :)" I felt like shaking him, bursting into tears "the memory of being f** alone?!!", fortunate for him I did not...

Anyway, the biggest disapointment was not that I could see all the couples sitting in their carts, but the view! There was almost nothing! The park is in a kind of isolated area, so not many buildings surrounding as in Yokohama, Odaiba etc. the only thing you got to see was the cars on the streets below and that damn Tower of the Sun, now with lit up eyes to really add to the creepyness.
It would probably have been better to go during the afternoon, I bet the view over the park is really nice.

Visiting the Bampaku-kinen kouen and expocity is highly recomended for those visiting Osaka, you can easily spend a whole day here. Plus, you get to experience the monorail, the view is amazing!

lördag 6 juli 2019

Buck-Tick karaoke at Round1

Since April Buck-Tick has been collaborating with the Japanese entertainment center Round1, to be more specific, the karaoke part of Round1. This means that they have a Buck-Tick themed room as well as original Buck-Tick cocktails.

When I visited Osaka in May I obviously went there! I was mostly curous about the cocktails and the promise of costers for every cocktail bought. The cocktails we tried out was both non alcohol  BISHU LOVE and BARAIROJUJIDAN - ROSEN KREUZER -, as well as MOON -Sayonara oshiete-.
I have to say the non-alcoholic ones were tastier than Moon -Sayonara oshiete, basically it tasted like a gin and tonic. The other two had layers wit syrap I guess and felt more interesting. After they came with our drinks the staff brought a box from which I got to draw costers from. I could not see which ones I drew so it's fully possible to get more than 1 of the same coster unfortunately. Since I had 3 chances I felt like I should be able to get Atsushi, but unfortunately not. (I ended up drawing Yagami, Yutaka and Hide) The cocktails was a bit expensive (800-650) but I'm a sucker for stuff like this so...

The Buck-Tick room was fully covered in Buck-Tick images on the walls and a trailer for their live DVD was playing on the screen. Even the table had their image.
Unfortunately I could not use the Buck-Tick room as that required a minimum of 4 guests, and we were only 2. On my way out I noticed it was vacant though, so I went inside for some photos. My disapointment of not being able to sit in this gloryfull room made me pass out on the table! (hohoho)

This collaboration lasts until 15th of July, and they also changed the costers on May 28th. So the ones I got are no longer available but a new set. There 1 week left so everyone who can should go! >_<

torsdag 30 maj 2019

Schwarz Stein Immortal Verses Tour Encore Final -Daywalker-

Okey, this is odd. Never ever have I written a live report over 6 MONTHS after it acctually took place :P I considered not Writing anything, but as a huge fan of Schwarz Stein (and other smaller Visual kei bands) I know the available material is limited and therefore decided to write this...based on what I remember.

I wasn't even sure I'd be able to attend this live due to some issues with my uni in Osaka (one of my courses was going on a fieldtrip that very weekend and I was told it was mandatory). In the end I obviously decided to go anyway...because it's Schwarz Stein :P but it was stressfull because it wasn't very planned out from my part and I ended up leaving Saturday night from Osaka arriving on Sunday morning in Tokyo. With barely any sleep I headed for Shibuya where the live would be and spent a couple of hours at the infamous Starbucks (I tried waiting for as long as I could but I never got to see the crazy amount of people crossing unfortunately), then went to Donki to change into my live clothes and back to Hachiko to meet up with my friend. I've mentioned Before how I didn't really like it in Osaka, so I was so happy to be back in Tokyo, seeing my favorite band and meeting up people that I know (in contrast to my life up the mountains alone in Osaka:P).

This live was during daytime, like the title hints, and I have to say it was a bit disapointing. For me it was rather convenient as I could return to Osaka the same evening but I do prefer going to lives at night.

Kaya had mentioned on Twitter (I think) that there would be announcment during the live so I was hyped thinking there might be a new single or something, I'll get back to the disapointing news later...
Shibuya Rex was not so crowded, I bought my ticket late due to the issue with uni and assumed I'd get a high ticket number, but I ended up on the second third row from stage (and during the heavier songs I even managed to get to second row) so I wasn't too disapointed. I don't remember the exact order of the songs, but I do remember morgue and Apocalypse being in the begining and I really like those songs so it really got me in the Schwarz Stein mood. Kaya told us that people had been a bit jealous of the setlist from Hokkaido so they would basically do that, except for Beautiful the Virgin! The moment he said that I wanted to cry a bit (Beautiful the Virgin is one of my favorite songs and I still haven't been able to hear it live yet). Obviously they played all the songs from Immortal Verses and they were all good live, especially Immortal Light and Lotus. I'm not saying that just because Hora does vocals for them, but I've realised that the songs in which Hora acctually do have vocals Kaya tend to improvice more to be part of the performance if that makes sense. Everyone who hasn't been able to see them live, perhaps you've seen their live dvd from 2011? During Creeper and Syphilis and Disorder for example, Kaya will add stuff (might it be the arm movement during Creeper or the shouts in Syphilis and Disorder) so that he still is a big part of the song, and that I really like. They also played Release Me, one of my all time favorites so I was pleased. 
So what was the announcment? Before the live I noticed a woman to my right holding a paper or something with an image of Kaya and Hora, and my mind went wild imagening what it might be. Ticket for soemthing perhaps? ...oh no. The announcment was that added to the merch was a sticker set... 1000yen for 3 tiny stickers. sorry, but that was not what I expected (didn't stop me from buying it though...) Funny thing was they had a new photoset of Hora which was not announced and I think that was a lot more of value...

Like they seem to do most of the time nowadays, an after event was held as well as a 3person cheki. Unfortunately they're charging 2000yen for a cheki now, used to be 1000yen, so with the after event ticket, sticker and regular cheki I couldn't afford 2 but got 1 cheki with them. I'm not gonna post my cheki, because I fucked that one up bad :P let's just say it turned out to be the most funny cheki I've ever taken but also a really big failure. (I will be so disapointed if that will be my last cheki ever with Schwarz Stein XD)

Truthfully I don't have much memory from the after event, I don't think any special questions were raised and they didn't do any extra performance if I remember correctly. I do remember thinking it was way too short, I seriously think it was shorter than their previous after events I've attended which is a shame considering the price.

After the live, me and my friend went to a Hawaiian restaurant, in Hora's honour. Warning, if ever ordering pancakes, make sure you're REALLY hungry. The restaurant is called Moke's Hawaii and is located in Meguro, highly recomended. Very nice restaurant, the macadamia milk cocktail was really nice :3

tisdag 28 maj 2019

Urusei Yatsura Cafe

Unfortunately I haven't updated this blog in a long while, despite having done so much during my time in Osaka. I will upload my adventures later, even though it will be about 6 months since it acctually happened.

I couldn't stay away from Japan, so 2 months after me coming back I went to Japan again. This was just to get away from my thesis and personal issues really. On one of my last days in Osaka, I was walking around Shinsaibashi (my main purpose was to go to Amerika mura to visit Puresound and Closet Child, hohoho) and by pure coinsidence I walked by a pop up café themed Urusei Yatsura! I began watching Urusei Yatsura 2 years ago while studying in Tokyo and found it quite amusing (I've also liked Ranma½ and Inuyasha since my early teens so I was eager to see some more from the same manga creator).

I'm not so sure how popular Urusei Yatsura is outside of Japan, especially in the West. I know some movies were released in Sweden but I don't know anyone who watched those. In Japan however it's very popular, one of those most people know of no matter the age. Since it's old though, most guests were in their 30s as far as I could see.

The café was on the 2nd floor of the building, so at the bottom floor was a showwindow for all the merch and on the walls surrounding the stairway were different pictures from Urusei Yatsura. In the actual café the walls were covered in drawings from the manga, as well as posters looking like paintings. The soundtrack was playing and on one of the walls and tv screens the anime was playing.

The menu was interesting and I would probably have prefered the foods, but since I had a huge lunch that day and wasn't really up for eating, I just managed to squeeze down a french toast for the sake of it. When ordering a drink and a food you were given an original sticker when before leaving, and for every drink you got a random coaster.

Out of all the themed café and restaurants I've been to, the food here was not as good as what I'm used to. I can't say what quality the other meals had, but the french toast was rather dry and did not taste much. However, it was so cute that I don't really mind.

The french toast came hidden, with just an image of Jariten burning your food...

...and obviously it was made to look all burnt! This dish came with a sorry-card from Jariten, hehehe.

As for my drink, I ordered a minth/lime soda. Very tasty.

This is also a bit late, I realised that today (May 28th) was the closing day. It seems to have been a similar café in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Their webpage for those interested:

tisdag 25 september 2018

Malice Mizer ESP Exhibition

I first began listening to Malice Mizer in high school. I remember they usually came up on lastfm as a similar band to Velvet Eden and I really loved the picture from Gardenia so I decided to check them up. I really disliked Gardenia eventhough they were one of the coolest bands I had ever seen (still don't like Gardenia, so boring). A couple of months later I decided to try them out again and ended up on the PV for Le Ciel and from that moment on I've loved Malice Mizer (10 year anniversary for us this year). 

Out of my top 3 favorite bands I've been able to see 2 (sort of), Malice Mizer was the only one missing. I tried to make things work so that I could go but since I was going to Japan as a student I could not go too early and unfortunately I could not attend the concert, so I had to settle with just going to the exhibition held at ESP museum in Shibuya.

Eventhough I have been to Tokyo many times and stayed for longer periods as well, I still get excited when I get to see my favorite bands. Seeing Malice Mizer shown like this felt so special, Malice Mizer has sort of been something just displayed on my tv or computer, almost as if they don't really exist. By the entrance was a poster signed by various members and a picture of Mana and Kozi from Moi Dix Mois and ZIZ (which I found a bit weird but whatever).

On a tv they played the first live DVD with Gackt as vocalist (unfortunately they did not include the N.P.S.N.G.S), and on the walls hang posters from the first era with Tetsu to the very last with Klaha.

Other than posters were also nostalgic items such as the doll Kozi had on his back during Brise at the Merveilles concert, Mana's teddy backpack and the Merveilles book.

Of course the new costumes were also on display! My pictures are rather poor though and doesn't make them justice considering the amount of details. Közi's especially incorporated much of his previous costumes doll like appearance. The chest part had a ruffle like his Gardenia outfit, and the left leg of the pants had a check pattern.

 Kami's drumset as well as other items, such as a bag he had drawn on was up for display. By the cashier was Kami's hat and gloves from Gekka no Yasoukyoku on display with the two dolls from the PV.

I really liked that they had so many random objects (even the whips Mana and Kozi used), and of course their instruments. They also had a guestbook in which you could write something in (I assume the band will receive it later?), and I saw some fans who spent a lot of time writing their messages. I went back the following day just because I wanted to spend some more time in Malice Mizer heaven, hoho, and noticed they had then changed to the last live DVD. I didn't stay for all of it, but a long while, and picked up both of Közi's and one of Mana's guitar picks! ESP also sold a keychain so you could put the pick in there, I decided not to get that because I sort of want to try and make one of Közi's picks into an earring (let's see how that goes :P).

Seeing the exhibition was awesome, but it also made me so sad I could not make it to the actual concerts. Might not happen but I can't help but to hope they'll make a new one in a couple of years. The last couple of years I haven't really listened to Malice Mizer as much as I used to, but this exhibition really made me remember why I fell so hard in love with this awesome and so unique visual kei band.

söndag 23 september 2018

Sailor Moon shop in Harajuku Laforet

Last September the first Sailor Moon shop opened in Harajuku Laforet (a couple of weeks after I left Tokyo grrrr). Since then I've been dying to come back and have a look.

watched a couple of videos on Youtube recorded from the store and I have to say I was expecting a bigger shop. It's devided into two parts though, one with more expensive items, such as dolls and clothes, and one with cheaper and more usable items such as totebags, pens and smartphone cases.

Since I was about to leave for Osaka I didn't want to shop and fill my bag even more, so I just bought an accessory for my phone (or any other Place you which to hang it), in the shape of Sailor Jupiter's staff.

The store is totally worth a visit, even if just for window shopping.
Laforet can be reached from the Omotesando street.

lördag 22 september 2018

Tokyo Bay Night Cruise

I really love Odaiba, it's so different form other parts of Tokyo. The architecture stands out and it's kind of quiet compared to the rest. During my many visits to Odaiba I've seen boats circulate in the water at night and it looks very nice, so I mentioned this to a friend who also wanted to try one of these Cruises and we decided to go.

There are different kinds of cruises in the area, the smaller boats just go between different stops (for example Asakusa-Odaiba) during the day and then sometimes during the year they will have a longer trip for which they will lie in the water outside of Odaiba for a while for the night scenery.
The cruise I went for though, was a bigger boat with 4 floors, taking off from Close to JR station Hamamatsucho.

The tickets cost 2600, but if bought beforehand 2100yen, and if wearing a yukata 1600yen. Included in that price is a nomuhodai, meaning they have drinks available for free. Smaller food is sold as well. The boat leaves at 19:15 and is back at 21:00.

They have events on the boat aswell, like dancing for those who might be interested. I went for the view, and I also like riding boats. Unfortunately we did not have much luck with the weather. It rained, a lot. To the point where we had to go inside, and we weren't allowed on the top floor either due to the weather.

I did get some good photos though from passing Odaiba, and it was a fun experience. Will probably try it out another year.

Beautiful rainbow bridge.

This was when all the water from the roof ran down the side... it had rained a lot.

This cruise is only available between June and September!