A month has passed since my short Japan trip. Everything went so fast that even up until now, I’m still trying to absorb whatever happened during that 5-day trip. The trip went so well that it didn’t feel that I was overseas. The directions google maps provided was spot on that I didn’t get lost even in the dreaded maze that is Shinjuku Station. Trains were fast and on-schedule that there was no time to get lost in deep thoughts. Even though I only know an ample amount of conversational Japanese, it didn’t feel that I was alone in a foreign country. The only problem I had during this trip was when my smartphone charger screwed up. (I’ll tell that story later.)
August 24, Day 0
There were several not-so-serious mishaps the occurred before getting to Japan: Flight was delayed for 30 minutes due to technical problems, my friend got separated because the seat change he applied for didn’t register in the website, and lastly my window seat didn’t even have windows. It was pretty annoying since you have to pay extra for it. There isn’t much to tell during the plane trip but it was the longest 4 hours of my life. I was probably too excited.
12:00nn JST. The plane lands.
Upon exiting the immigration, claiming our baggage, and passing through customs, me and my friend got our SIM cards, ate a quick lunch, and immediately went our separate ways. I rode the Keisei Skyliner to Nippori. There isn’t much to say about the Skyliner, aside from it being fast, spacious, and clean. Preoccupied during the ride, I was busy configuring the Kanna Hashimoto SIM card to my phone. I briefly enjoyed the scenery afterwards.
Upon arriving at Nippori, a slight problem has arisen, there was no English version of the train map and the train schedule board was nowhere to be found. I told myself, “I’ve researched this several times. Might as well go with my instincts and go YOLO”. Bought my ticket and head immediately to the train platform. In the end, reason kicked at the back of my head. Just to be sure that I won’t get lost, I asked the old man in front of me whether if the next train will go to Akihabara. I was amazed how he went out of his queue just to check. Afterwards, I found out that we came from the same flight, he talked to me in English and Tagalog. It was a welcoming and funny experience.
I arrive in Akihabara. The first thing I notice is the summer heat. Even under the shade, the summer warmth permeated through my skin. Comparing to the summer in Philippines, I can say that the heat is almost on par.
I proceed to my BnB, dropped-off my luggage, and went to meet my fellow PH eventers (ZB, DT, and マーク). Spent the rest of the day raiding Akiba shops of things to buy. Unfortunately, my credit card failed on the first day (and the rest of my trip), thus I held back on spending on other things that aren’t planned.
At the end of the day, we ate at Pluck, a curry place famous among anime fans and the like. The entrance is on the ground level but upon entering you will be greeted by a flight of stairs that heads down. The shop is contained inside a small room that can only hold around 10 people at a time. The shikishis (autograph boards) of manga artists and seiyuus that visited the place are the shop’s prized treasure. It seems that the place is famous to the female gender during the time of our visit since a lot of girls queued to eat at the place on that day.
After eating, a Singaporean eventer, oldpier asked whether if there was anyone of us wanted to accompany him to Kanda Myojin that night. Apparently, he wanted to play a game on his phone that involved walking around the city. I took up the offer because I knew I won’t have much time to roam around and do tourist stuff on the next few days. We took the back route to Kanda Myojin, where the iconic stairs can be found. We also passed by the iconic bridge.
Upon climbing the stairs, we headed to the shrine and paid our respects. As expected, the shops are already closed at night so there isn’t much anything to do. I just silently observed the beauty of the place during that time. Shortly afterwards, me and oldpier went our separate ways. I went back to my BnB to prepare for tomorrow.
Dodged a bullet
That night, I unpacked my things to prepare for tomorrow. Plugged-in my phone to charge while I take a quick bath. Upon returning, I found out that my phone stopped charging. Plugged and unplugged it, but to no avail, the charger does not work anymore. Panic started to set in but I tried to calm myself up. Asked my fellow eventers of what could I possibly do in that situation. Good thing that my BnB is only 5 minutes away from Akihabara station. Still a bit wet from the shower I quickly dried myself up, wore some proper clothes, and immediately ran to Yodabashi Camera. Asked around some sales representatives. At first they directed me to a charging station but after clearing things up, they understood that I needed a real charger. I wanted to try if it works but unfortunately, they didn’t let me. They were closing in 30 minutes and I had no choice. Went back to the BnB, plugged my phone in, and Thank God it was working. After dodging a deadly bullet that could have jeopardized my whole trip, I slept soundly while looking forward to the Day 1 of Anisama.