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Tokyo observations

* it's hot and humid (no surprise.) Hasn't kept me from walking around a fair bit, I just sweat a lot.
* walking for three hours is more fun when you're in a dense city full of thing than in say bloomington.
* ramen shops are harder to find than expected
* broiled toro is really good
* there are many bicycles. They're more advanced than ours in two simple ways: the kickstand is a square u of metal that falls under the back wheel, so there's full support, unlike our leaning kickstands. And they have built in locks, no u-lock or cable stuff.
* the world of 12k fandom is small. aiwritingfic: "oh, I know someone translating that." me: "Eugene Woodbury, canis_m..." her: "yeah, canis! hey, don't nag her!"
* wi-fi is hard to find here; I think all the natives use data via cell phone. I, uh, scavenge. Right now I'm in a back alley.
* I have chosen to believe people about the low crime rate. I haven't felt like I need to rethink that.
* onigiri isn't very interesting. Well, the conveience store pieces I had weren't.
* there's a lot of gaijin in this back alley, I think that building must be a hostel. Khaosan Tokyo ninja -- oh, they're my current source. heh.
* I really wish I knew more of the language and kanji.
* my hotel has a space age bathroom. The airport did not. The airport did have baby seats in the stalls for parking your baby. Like the bicycles, a "duh!" advance.
* Engrish starts in customs. "REGULATIONS WILL BE REINFORCED". My rental cell phone's manual has it too. You'd think these people could pay $40 to get a native Englisher to proof.
* Ubuntu on the eee is decent but has quirks, especially in power management.
* I found shinto temples, and I think a buddhist cemetery.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
aiwritingfic
Aug. 14th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Onigiri really isn't interesting. Enjoying Tokyo I see! I got your e-mail, thanks. I hope you find more ramen soon!

By the way. Comiket is going on in Odaiba right now. 15, 16, 17 August. Get in line and get going? ^_^ It's a great experience. Friday is Shounen Jump day, Saturday is Game Day, Sunday is originals day.

I sent you an e-mail with directions to Tokyo Big Site (where Comiket is being held). I can't go this year (couldn't get time off work), but I'll definitely be there for the Winter Comiket. Natsukomi (Summer Comiket) is bigger/better, though.

Edited at 2008-08-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
canis_m
Aug. 14th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
I hope you're going to Comiket to buy out all the 12K doujinshi. XD;

Your nagging serves as a useful reminder, actually, because I do forget that I'm meant to be working on it. Easily distracted... although now that EW's doing Kasho I'd better either A.) finish up quick or B.) quit altogether--why bother when EW will do a fine job.
mindstalk
Aug. 16th, 2008 10:04 am (UTC)
I understand about distraction. I still haven't finished reviewing Mere Christianity.

As for Eugene, think of it as a learning experience. You do the translation, then you can compare it to his. Anyway, he's plowing through Kasho, there's no guarantee that he'll move on to Kizan next.

I doubt the existence of 12K doujinshi. And as I told Ai, I'm dubious about suffering through what I saw in Genshiken when I don't really know the language...
mlc23
Aug. 14th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
ramen shops are harder to find than expected

Really? I seem to remember them all over with signs in hiragana. Curry shops are nice alternative if you're looking for something cheap and I'm also partial to Yoshinoya and MOS burger.

* I have chosen to believe people about the low crime rate. I haven't felt like I need to rethink that.

Obviously I live in a backwater of Japan but in 3+ years I have never felt unsafe and rarely lock up my shit.

onigiri isn't very interesting. Well, the conveience store pieces I had weren't.

Yes! Even if you can't tell what kind it is, it doesn't matter. They all taste pretty much the same.

The airport did have baby seats in the stalls for parking your baby. Like the bicycles, a "duh!" advance.

Yeah, these are everywhere and awesome!

Do you have a guidebook? The typical tourist stuff - morning at fish market, Tokyo tower, Roppongi for nightlife, etc. may be overdone but is still pretty fun.
mindstalk
Aug. 15th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
katakana ramen-ya IME but yeah, took a long time to find the one in northern Tokyo, at least at street level. Actually I found a residental area where there wasn't much of anything.

Don't know MOS but yeah, went to a Yoshinoya last night. Figured Japanese fast food was part of the authentic experience. Didn't taste that different from Pasadena! But my meal came with miso (with seaweed, unlike the sushi place ai took me to). The McD's have shrimp burgers which amuses me though I'm not sure I'm up to finding out how fresh their shrimp is.

Yeah, some guide for Tokyo and a borrowed Lonely Planet for Japan, so I've got some clue. But today I think I'll cross the river. Sumo museum? I'm still into basic walking tours, plus it gets me out of dealing with the trains for a bit more. :) Wish I'd brought my hat though.
zosimos
Aug. 18th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
Japan sounds very interesting.

The lack of Wi-Fi is something I found to be true when traveling as well, it is kind of weird compared to the U.S. though.

I do have to ask what brought up the issue about the crime rate?
mindstalk
Aug. 18th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
crime rate: had been walking around late at night, down some deserted alleys, noting how blithe I was being about wandering a strange city.

Relatedly, I sheltered at a Starbuck's yesterday, very crowded, and an employee reserved a seat for someone by leaving that person's cell phone at the seat, where I could probably have disappeared it while people were distracted. High-trust society.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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