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Kuro Blog Days 3 - End

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Disclaimer: Most written on that god awful 12 hour flight or while slightly tipsy the day before.

Kuro Blog Day 3

Time to see Fuji-sannnnnnnnn (Mount Fuji). Today for breakfast, I went out and bought some conbini food. And I found two more things to cross off the anime/weab food list. Chocolate cornets and yakisoba bread. Well that and I bought some more mellonpan because I like them.

Now let’s eat! Hmmm… Hmm… Yakisoba bread. This is pretty saucy despite its appearance. The taste is fairly uniform until I bite into the pickled plum(?). But I liked it. Now for the choco cornet. It’s not too sweet. Sort of similar to German pastries of the right zone between sweet and not. If conbini store food is this good. I would love to see actual chocolate cornets and yakisoba bread!

Okay from Shinjuku to Mt. Fuji it’s about two hours. During that time frame, I got to hear a lot of stuff I sort of already knew. Like Japanese History such as the Shogunates, wars, creation of big things, and etc. So I’m off telling my mom and stepdad the more intricate details.

So on the way there, our guide makes a phone call and… we can’t go up Fuji. Goddamn it snow… You have betrayed me. I can’t go up grorious Nippon hory mountain. Oh well. I guess it’s just to Hakone and its view of Fuji.

So we went to the 5th Station and were we packed like the train to Shinjuku during Rush Hour. I legitimately felt bad for like this little kid. He was like glued to the wall and his mom kept slapping him into said wall with her backpack.

But after we got out, freedom! I decided to go to the far right and take some nice photos of Hakone instead of Fuji. That’s because some clouds came and blocked the view… Clouds why you betray me too?!? So now I’m looking at Hakone and walking down the path when I see a pathway fully covered in snow but still a noticeable pathway.

Naturally you would turn around. Go back to the more treaded parts of the station. Like check out the small shrine up there. Right? Nah not me. I’m walking through the snow and sinking into it. Slowly but surely following some other adamant soul who wanted some quiet tranquility. It was very relaxing to do that and after I got out of that snowed section. I went to the shrine. It was small. Upkeep was minimal but still there.

So we went to some kind of special restaurant. It was ninja themed. Like the servers were kunoichi or shinobi. Well there was a few geisha. But I guess the joke about that was that kunoichi might dress up elegantly and gather information as a geisha.

So yeah ninja themed. They had hattori samurai armor, some info about the Fuma, and then a mention of oniwaban. The food was okay… I mean I’ve been eating some great stuff and it was a let down for it to just be “okay.” I think I might have enjoyed it more if the server was a geisha, but instead I got a kunoichi. A not practical but not cute kunoichi. Also very infrequent like more infrequent than Germany infrequent which is already infrequent. So not that great until I spotted one small detail.

There was a staff worker kunoichi spying on us not wearing the odd face mask and watching us. The second, she saw I saw her. She pointed towards the other side. I looked that way and in her place was a fake wooden shinobi in her place. So yeah that instantly raised my perception of the place.

Then the way back was through the shinkansen. So quick and easy. Now when we got back, we decided we wanted ramen. So we looked up the best in the area. A little far away so we dropped that. We decided to wander around and find the closest one… for thirty minutes.

They were all filled or they just didn’t look appetizing… Eventually we said never mind, we’ll just go the extra mile (literally) and eat at the best place. Got there and we were told it was thirty minute wait. Eh didn’t matter. We would’ve had that anywhere else anyways. So we waited.

Ordered our stuff from the machine. I chose the cheapest ramen to test out what their lowest tastes like. After all their “worst” is good, then their “best” is definitely good. And so I had a little ticket ordering a normal ramen. Then I got to another line and handed a clipboard.

I was confused until I read the words on the clipboard. It was letting me customize my ramen!!! Richness, Broth strength, garlic, spiciness, and even NOODLE FIRMNESS. I kept mine fairly standard with a slight dip in spicy and increase in richness.

So after more waiting… I was finally sitting down. They ate my ticket and customization pad. To wait some more. When I finally got it, I had my doubts. Like what if this wasn’t actually good despite the weight. What if I fucked up my ramen.

I took a sip of the broth and… HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE BEST RAMEN EVER. I started eating that with an atypical energy. Like I haven’t had ramen this good since that 1st Generation Japanese restaurant in Germany. Ah~ I was in he av en~.

But afterwards it was just back to the capsule and time to sleep… In a top level capsule. Again. What are the odds I keep being assigned a top capsule…

Kuro Blog Day 4

Okay did some slight resting. Some hw. Some Regalia Rebalancing. Just R&R before going to
Odaiba. It’s sort of nice not having to wake up till 8AM. But yay glorious math… on vacation. Goddamn it I’m supposed to be on vacation not spending two hours doing Calculus during my break…

Okay to Odaiba. Fun fact, you have to buy a separate pass because it’s not subway or metro. It’s own separate thing. Ugh oh well. Shikata ga nai.

To the takoyaki museum! The takoyaki museum is in the DECKS. Yes the building is seriously in all caps. And the takoyaki was something. I tried cheese, salt, and “normal” takoyaki. The cheese takoyaki was pretty gimmicky in my honest opinion. Salt was something subtle that changed the taste of it. It was pretty good. However, I seem to like the standard formal of takoyaki with bonito, Japanese sweet mayo, and the sauce.

So from the Takoyaki museum to the Gundam. My stepdad and mom were all like “Yeah we should we be able to see it now.” Until I explained to them that the original Gundam is like 11-13m high if I recall correctly. So we won’t see it until we’re right on top of it.

And ah I saw it. The RX-78 1:1 scale model. I just fulfilled one of my life aspirations to see a real life sized mobile suit. After a few pictures, we went inside and went to the Gundam museum. To be honest, it was underwhelming. The knowledge database was unorganized and time limited. The picture with the characters was not good in my opinion. The unicorn cockpit mock-up was okay.

The only thing I can praise really were the movies. The first one was a development contest between the Delta Gundam Kai San with Quattro Bajeena piloting it in glorious red. I liked how they fixed the original’s problems of being unable to transform. The rival to the Delta Gundam was a Zeta Gundam Kai San with Amuro Ray piloting it in his white, red colors. They talked about how the Delta Gundam was more durable and heavily loaded in comparison, but the Zeta Gundam was more mobile and the transformation was a smich faster. I personally like things like weapons development so this was like super cool!

The second one I watched was Neo-Zeon’s attack on Odaiba. To be honest, it was prett confusing because first it was being attacked by Neo-Zeon with Loni's Shamblo. Then Full Frontal comes out and attacks with his Neo-Zeong. Not the city but the other Neo-Zeon suit. Literally wut. They do some fist boxing and Frontal is losing slightly. Suddenly Banshee and Unicorn in their Green NTD modes. The Banshee did nothing special. The Unicorn had its floating shields. One thing I noted was that the I-field on the shields weren’t active… Wut. But beyond that, I found it super cool when they push the rampaging suit back to their dimension (?) and Banagher stops at the RX-78. Looks at it and it turns on. Looks up at the Unicorn. It was like a small touching scene to me.

The last and final one talking about newtypes/variants and the development of psycho frames was my favorite. It talked about how Amuro and Char’s development into newtypes and their mobile suits over the ages. Then it talked about the sadness and happiness caused by newtypes. Then it went to something like a capture mission of the not!Sinanju or ReBawoo with the Banshee and a golden Unicorn (Phenex). The mission went badly because the pilot was super good or it's because a red suit. Their two versus one advantage got taken away when the Golden Unicorn was kicked. Presumably the pilot was knocked out. So just the Banshee is leftover to fight the Not!Sinanju. To even the odds, the Banshee was given orders to activate NT-D mode. The odds seemed to evened out. Until it panned over to the unconscious Golden Unicorn… Which activated its NT-D mode. Then it went on a killing rampage of EVERYONE. First it took out the Not!Sinanju of all people. Then it took out Riddhe. Then it took out the Nahel. Then before flying away the NT-D mode sparkled blood red.

Man that shit was intense. I liked it. If wasn’t for that, I totally would’ve liked the “boring” one of weapons development. But then boom story and cool fight. Well that and a GOLDEN UNICORN is pretty cool. Well not as cool as the Delta Gundam Kai San but still pretty cool.

So on the way out, I’m browsing the Gundam Store. Hoping to find the hard to find Cherudim SAGA when instead I find the Delta Gundam Kai San. That thing was too good to pass up so I went up to buy it. I grabbed some panel liner markers I didn’t have and I went to pay. However, I didn’t pay. My mom did. Even after all these years, she’s still promoting my love for giant robots from Japan. Thanks mom. I partially blame you for inadvertently throwing me into this black hole of weabness. But thanks for supporting my hobbies

Afterwards we just went back to Shinjuku because we have no idea what else is in Odaiba. So night everyone!

Kuro Blog Day 5

To Kyoto today! I’m in charge of our activities here! So first things first Kiyomizu-Dera!

...Minor problem with that. The day pass for Kyoto doesn’t work for that line. So we had to take different stations to get to the north of it and then slowly suffering from the slight loss from the change in plans. I didn’t expect this okay? ;_;

So instead of Kiyomizu-Dera first with Higashiyama. We went to the Heian, Chion, and other smaller temples first. And let me say this. The map looked so much closer than it was in real life. So after a little bit of suffering we managed to find ye olde looking Nippon.

Read Higashiyama. It was nice and there was a lot of girls in kimonos. Like a lot! The best way I can liken it is… Like seeing the lederhosen that Germans use at like Oktoberfest. And I won’t lie there were a few girls that I had a nice doki doki waku waku feeling when I accidentally met their eyes. Like I’m already a Japanophile but then you’re in a kimono, hair is in that cute ponytail, and you smile when I think our eyes met.

It’s too much for my single heart! But on the other hand, goddamn these hills. Like shitttttttttt. Hills galore. Stairs galore. I hope you’re ready for stairs because there are so many stairs. Like I think climbed the Eiffel Tower a few times in Kyoto in pure stair count. For those curious, it’s about 700 steps. I counted on my various visits to it.

And it was a shame that Kiyomizu-dera was under some renovation and it wasn’t sakura blossom time because if it was. Man the view would’ve been great. Like absolutely wonderful. Then after marveling the sights of that, I had us go to the Inari Shrine.

The Inari Shrine is a special shrine like it’s known for its torii gates and it houses the god Inari. Remember how I said Kyoto is stairs galore? Inari multiplies that. In fact, the number who actually complete the whole shrine is pretty low. Forty-five minutes of walking with my parents only got us to the halfway point and that was their stopping point. I pushed on. I wanted to get to the stop of the mountain. First to pray at the top for a good trip and good grades. Second I ain’t letting no mountain of steps beat me.

I promised my parents twenty-five minutes. I did my praying and cleaning at a majority of the bigger areas, but after a fast pace to get to the top… It was legitimately tiring. But I did it. I climbed to the top and did it. My left foot is sore as hellllllll but I did it. Also that shrine is scary as hell by yourself at night. Like there’s stuff moving and stuff falling right next to ya. Like if a dog or fox jumped out at me. You probably could’ve heard me yell like a little girl.

So we got back to Shinjuku and it was time for Ichiran again. This time I’ll tweak my recipe to make the best ramen I can. Medium flavor. Very Rich Oil. Medium (not firm or soft) Noodles. Some Spiciness. ½ Clove of garlic. Extra pork and an egg.

And I failed. The spiciness threw my pork flavor out of wack. It was good but it wasn’t as good as last times… Forgive me Ramen. I didn’t mean to make you worse. Please forgive me.

Kuro Blog Day 6

Today is sort of a relax day. Go to Ueno. See Tokyo’s museums. Pretty chill day. And because I writed this sort of belayed like. It was pretty hard to remember anything special that day. Like I went to the museum and… Did museum things. Mileage varied but I was definitely excited when I saw the Katanas. I took photos of the ones I could.

Also I made sure to take an abridgement of blacksmithing, the various ways of katana making, and of course the blacksmith names if possible. Part of it is for weab naming of katanas and rattling off swordsmiths and their timeframes. Other part of it was because you guys sort of expect me to do it? I mean I find 1950s - modern weapon development to be the coolest things ever… Unless it’s like fictional weapons development like… Uh say… Mobile Suits.

There we found a taiyaki place that made several variants of it. I found that I really liked the custard filling. It was pretty good to replace the red bean paste with that.

So we went to Ginza after muesum. Nothing really noteworthy just wandering around. So I’ll end my log there.

Kuro Blog Day 7

Okay time for my solo day. I got my tour with my own cute maid in Akihabara. Then afterwards to Nakano to the UFOTABLE cafe. Well that and pick up souvenirs if possible for people. Maybe I should consider getting that Kongou Desu messenger bag if I find a lot of stuff. It is pretty nice...

So remember how I got lost in my previous visit to Akihabara. I did it again. This time because I relied on my phone’s Tokyo metro map… which doesn’t show certain lines. Like the one I was on. The Marunochi line that goes from Akihabara and through Shinjuku. It all went wrong when I got on. Doubted myself and then checked my app which then led me on a merry goosechase.

Like I got off the Marunochi line. Got onto a different line which led me to this station that had a Shinjuku line to Akihabara station… Which wasn’t the Akihabara station I needed down by Electric City. So I ended up walking nearby it and this time I only was lost for one hour.

I got to the meeting place. Hung around it because it was raining. Also if I can kick off my tour ahead of time. Perfect. So I got there fifteen minutes early after looking at the nearby mall and food. And then ten minutes passed. No sign of my maid… Then it was meeting time.

I did not see a cute girl in a maid outfit anywhere… I started looking around. Pulled out my umbrella looked down the side alleyways. Nope. Nothing. I started to go back to the station exit. Closed my umbrella when this person approaches me.

“Are you by chance… [Kuroyuki]?”

“Uh yes how did you… Wait could you by chance be my maid?”

Let it be noted that I couldn’t see her maid outfit because she had a coat on. Naturally because it was raining. So it was hard to pick her out since well she had a coat just like all of the other Japanese. You know the petticoat or dress jacket kind of thing.

So my tour started. She showed me some stuff I didn’t know. Like there was a huge building with like rare TCG cards, second-hand anime figures, and then a bookstore that also sold doujins. Also it was interesting since I booked a private tour and sort of knew my way around. So we kind of occasionally talked off topic things like taxes, the company she works for, and the cool nifty things of Nippon like vending machines.

She was pretty funny and I got a more in-depth look of Akihabara without fear of being lost. So then we went to the maid cafe. It was one of the chain meido cafes. @home. It was pretty nice. I liked their menu and stuff especially when in comparison to the Gundam Cafe. I was tempted to order a full set but decided to only order the dessert set so I can have a delicious chocolate sundae.

Also let me say this. I’m sort of shy of things like its not very big but it’s a thing. So when I had to do my “moe moe kyun” and repeat cutesy words. It was a little hazukashii desu… One thing I forgot about getting a set was that I could get a picture with a maid. I had no idea on who to choose so I chose a cute looking one. Her name was Rinoa if I recall correctly? But I didn’t remember the picture because I had this good and big sundae. Also I found it hilarious that they originally sat it in front of my guide.

Because you know girls. Sweet tooth. Men. Bitter and MANLY stuff. So it was a little cute to see the maid waitress get shocked to see that I was the one who ordered that. And I liked it. Loads of chocolate. Berries mixed in. Vanilla with chocolate sauce at the bottom. Some corn flakes for a little crunch. And mid-sweet tooth heaven.

“My master [Kuroyuki] please come up to the stage.”

Oh wait what. The picture is done in front of everyone. LIKE EVERYONE IN THE CAFE. I must have looked like a deer in headlights because I’m not normally the center of attention. Or if I am it’s when I prep myself adequately. So here I am with a maid clearly awkward trying to speak English. It was cute but man it was awkward.

So yeah I got a picture with both my tour guide maid and a cute meido from the cafe. Shame it wasn’t my birthday else I could’ve had a twelve maid entourage for my picture. But yeah I’m glad I went with my tour guide both for translation and to help make it feel less creepy. Like seriously, I can’t help but think visiting a maid cafe by yourself is creepy. Let alone some of these regulars. But on the upside, my maid was like all surprised I came from America. She was like

“Wow you came so far. Where did you come from? Florida? Like Disney World?”

She was super happy that I chose her especially since I came from America. Well that or she was a good actor. Like apparently one of the girls, my guide sort of knows personally makes faces behind the other masters. So who knows if she was actually happy or just “I hope this foreigner doesn’t come back again.” But on the other hand, I am now a card carrying member of @home.

So soon after my tour ended after being shown a doujin seller shop, gachapon machines, and the Akihabara Shrine (it’s portable!). I felt happy about my tour. I got to see some hidden shops. And time to shop in them.

And shop did I. I bought several doujinshi for about 400 yen. Went to a resell shop to pick up Katie a gift. I tried to find the Love Live final movie poster, a MHX figure, and a Thunderbolt kit. But I couldn’t find any of themmmmm. Like I think someone bought the MHX figure. The Thunderbolt kit I actually saw yesterday in Odaiba.

So at about five, I went to Nakano to get Lianru’s Clear Folder of Gilgamesh. Knowing me, I was actually worried I walked the wrong way. I mean the street where I was at wasn’t particularly busy. It was kind of small town kind of busy. Cars are going by and there are a few walkers/bikers. But somehow I didn’t get lost! I actually walked the right way despite my misgivings about accidentally walking the wrong way.

And the UFOTABLE cafe was cool but nothing special. I guess it might be because I just went to @home where the girls were super cute and the food (dessert) was good. And when I went to buy Lianru’s thing. It was out of stock. Gilgamesh was actually sold out! I still don’t know how to feel about this. One hand, I did go to the UFOTABLE cafe. On the other hand, I didn’t complete my original objective…

Whatever, let’s head back to Shinjuku for some actual grab. At you guessed it, Ichiran. My go to place for sweet delicious Ramen. I will make my ramen perfectly this time. Everything the same minus the spiciness.

And I did it. My ultimate ramen finished. Super rich. Flavorful but not overpowering. Noodles perfect. I will probably never have a ramen this great ever again. Oh shit. I just raised my tastes to impossibly high level… Can I even go back to not so great insta-ramen?!? And a beer. I sort of still dislike beer but I figured. Last day of Japan. Might as well finish one of their shitty beers.

Find out in your local IRC channel where I’ll cry about it eventually.

Also on the way back, I bought like some sake. A seemingly mid range 7-11 bought Sake. I still like how no one even bothered to ID me for the beer at the ramen place, Freshness Burger, or at 7-11. So I started drinking it and offering it to my parents because hey I can't finish this whole bottle without getting drunk.

Regardless I finished about 1/2 of the bottle. About 4 small glasses of sake to my stepdad's 2 glasses and my mom's 1. Also I only had like one "on the rocks." So about 3/4ths down? I would've finished it, but man am I feeling the effects. So I decided no more. I need to walk back to my capsule hotel and have enough wits about me to avoid those people who want to drag me off to soapland.

Kuro Blog the End

It’s the day… The dream ends today. I know I have to go back. I know but a small part of me can’t help but go “I don’t wannaaaaaaa yadda da yooooooooooo.” Well it doesn’t help that I can see an image of a cute anime girl acting like a little baby on the floor.

It’s cute but also like goddamn it me. Get your shit together. So yeah no more capsules. No more touring foreign lands and eating absolutely delicious food. No more communal baths. Back to the daily grind. Fun… And I ain't drunk or even tipsy off the remaining 1/4th of the remaining sake I just drank.

First off this wonderful twelve hour flight. I’m soooooo ready. ;_;