Unbridled Cynicism

less bullshit, more often?

Getting to Tokyo

Well, I’m here again. Arguably against my better judgement, I’ll be attending summer Comiket with my comrades AstCd2 and Akira, they’re selling their very first doujin. I’m going to say “our” because it’s just easier when we coordinate everything in our IRC channel, but it was really all their work.

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Caption: It’s a Haganai book, all-ages 4koma strips. IT’S SO ADORBS!!

In the last few days before departing I still hadn’t booked all my accommodation. That’s just me being my usual well-organised self. I was seriously running out of options; some places could partially fulfil my request for a room, but the evening of the 10th was booked out practically everywhere. I think it has to do with Obon. People usually leave the big smoke to go visit their family during Obon, but I don’t see why that’d lead to a massive spike in hotel occupation in Tokyo.

At the suggestion of a coworker I hit up Airbnb. I’ve seen them mentioned before, but it always sounded a bit informal and couch-surfy to me, which I don’t really go in for. But looked I did, and boy was I impressed. There’s nothing in Akiba, but there were places open in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi and a whole bunch of others, it’s just a question of how much I’m willing to spend. The place in Roppongi was absolute barebones, just a bed to crash on in a tiny apartment, but it’s cheap. I did like the sound of it. On the other end, a flash apartment close to transport could be had for 450 AUD per night. Bloody tempted, but I know I don’t really need to spend that money.

I settled on a place in Shibuya, not too far from the station. Decently located, offers the kind if privacy I desire, with a fair set of facilities included. Plus the host looks like Tiger from Tiger and Bunny. I signed up to Airbnb on the spot and sent in the request. I’ll be in town for a few nights, quiet non-smoking person, visiting Comiket before heading up to Aomori. Tiger responded in about half an hour, I was seriously impressed! The deal is done and I’m set for Comiket. I didn’t want to deal with this hassle for the first night, so I grabbed a room in Toyoko Inn east of Akiba for last night.

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Caption: I bet this thing’d be fun to drive.

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Caption: One of the flight attendants looks very severe, and reminds me of a certain North Korean leader.

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Caption: I think this is a profile poster for detector dogs at the airport? It was at the baggage carousel at Narita. I like it, it’s a bit of a soft touch, and says “Don’t be surprised”.

There were lots of students on my flight from OOL->NRT (and some twintails too :3 ). Remarkably empty, it was a great flight.

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Caption: It’s a little past midnight by the time I set out for some food after getting myself checked into the hotel, and I found this in a vending machine along the way. I’m normally pretty tolerant when it comes to weird drinks, but this really did remind me of Dimetapp, a grape-flavoured cough medicine that I had as a kid.

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Caption: Wandering in the general direction of Akiba, this place just south of the river was open. Google tells me it’s named 汐屋 まる長, and their ramen ain’t bad. Owner-san was playing anime tunes, which gets bonus points, though it was stuff just on the very edge of my recognition.

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Caption: I still can’t remember the name of the ramen I had that night.

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Caption: Something I think is really cool about konbinis is that they sell pretty much everything. Spare underwear, socks, shirts, ties, they’ve got everything that a salaryman might spill need or spill food on.

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Caption: There’s some sort of campaign to select a new mascot chara for their iced coffee, Yukico-tan, I heard about it on the web recently. I got Izumi-san, I think I like her best. :)

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Caption: A billboard near Shibuya-eki, I think I’ll decline its advice.

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Caption: In Japan, posters come pre-shooped for your convenience. Uhh… I think this says something about watching out for stalkers.

So there’s this little coffee shop between Tiger’s place and Shibuya-eki. That’s already a bit of a rarity, because real coffee shops are few and far between in Japan. This one, whose name I think is Charlemagne (シャルマン). The special thing about this shop is that they specialise in syphon coffee. It’s also okay to smoke inside Charlemagne.

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Caption: I ordered a Colombian coffee, one of about a dozen different options of origin.

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Caption: The coffee, quite tasty just as I’d hoped. I normally take my espresso with milk, but syphon coffee is much gentler and I find it’s best consumed neat.

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Caption: You get this teenie tiny jug of cream to go with the coffee. For reference, the lenscap behind it is for a 40.5mm diameter.

Charlemagne is a bit of a hip place, it’s got a nostalgic air to it. On the walls are little travel memorabilia and the cabinet at the back of the store, next to my table, has a series of classis film cinema cameras in it.

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Caption: Reverse face of the receipt.

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Caption: The exterior, I caught them just before closing time (19:00).

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Caption: This garish Merc was parked in front of one of the 109 buildings, presumably to promote… something.

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Caption: Waiting in front of the Hachiko statue outside Shibuya-eki. I thought this was a really cute style! Long bangs in the front, then soft and medium-length towards the back.

I’m off to meet Ast and dovac at the station before we get dinner. I’m a bit of a mess from the sweat, but hopefully it’ll get a bit cooler in the evening, touch wood. They haven’t really been in the area before, but I can think of a good place to go get dinner if everyone’s okay with ramen…

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Caption: We’re back at Ichiran again, this time in English!

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Caption: Negi and egg, best combo.

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Caption: You have no idea how much I wanna keep pushing this button >_>

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Caption: It’s delicious, as always.