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August 19, 2007

Comiket and Strawberries

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:04 am — Tags:

I need to start getting up earlier in general.  It’s really a part of my sleeping with other people.  I tend not to get up when other people are sleeping, because I think I’ll bother them.  But I’m trying to get over that.  They certainly don’t afford me the same courtesy.  In fact I’m pretty sure for the most part, everyone except the Japanese are inherently rude.

So today all I did was went to Comiket for a few hours.  Essentially this is a gathering of a half million japanese comic fans.  There’s not any commercial stuff here, just fan made stuff which is pretty awesome.  I don’t have a particular interest in doujinshi (???) although, I’m sure there are some pretty good circles, maybe once my language ability improves I’ll be able to get into stuff like that more.  I really just wanted to experience the massive amounts of people who convened out of love for the creative process.  I have some pretty cool photographs of the crowds, and also a few good photos of some cosplayers (people who dress up).  I might have wished for more time to photo the cosplayers, but I was being too slow about my process anyway, as I’m a shy introverted person as everyone knows.  But it was a cool experience.  Another cool thing to see is all those people get on a subway once they leave, it’s pretty ridiculous.  The entire platform was packed with people, and of course so was the train once people got on, maybe worse than normal rush hour train packing, but it was hard to tell.

Speaking of trains, as I was passing through Ueno, I took the time to get reserved seats on the shinkansen to and back from Hiroshima.  My only purpose there is to explore the peace park.  Experience all the horrors of atomic bombs and stuff.  It’s about 5 hours on the train, and I’m only there one day, so I’m making an exerted effort to go there, also spurred on by the fact that I can go for free on my JR pass which will have saved me several hundred dollars on travel when all is said and done.

In any case,  it was sort of cool encounter getting the tickets.  The exchange happened all in Japanese, and while I was far from fluent, I successfully got my point across at all times.  From the the start of the conversation, I walked up and said, “Tomorrow, as far as Hiroshima” (in Japanese) and never looked back.  I still have trouble catching numbers, but he was also cool, and wrote them down for me as well, so their wasn’t much confusion.  As sort of awesome as it was, I was far too choppy, and I make mistakes like using ‘ka’ instead of ‘yo’ as an ending particle.  (ka denotes a question, while yo denotes assuredness)  But it’s good to get out there and talk to people.   It’s really not enough though.

This is the part of the post where I talk about food.  For the majority of the time I was in Kyoto I ate out of convenience stores and supermarkets.  Usually, this involves a lot of guess work, and I’ve learned things which I thought I’d share.  Deep fat fried things are always good.  Hotdogs in any form are also always good.  Things filled with strawberry filling and/or margarine exceptionally good.  Honey and margarine also okay, although one brand I tried had too much margarine.  The quality of Ham sandwiches varies greatly, although they are all at least edible.  Meat candies are not of the same level of quality as here in the states.   Also, while strawberries are great, there are no cherry products in Japan.  I love a good cherry snow cone, and while strawberry is okay, I prefer more with my bread.  Also, no grape, which would also be preferable.

Things McDonalds are lacking here: chicken Nuggets, and the quarter pounder (or in their case the eighth kilo[er]).  (Funnily enough, instead of charging more for things like bacon and cheese, they charge more for tomatoes.)  They also lack readily available condiments but that’s probably a money saving practice.  One thing I notice about the Japanese in their stores is that they do not waste anything.  I think they found an unopened barbecue packet or something on a table, and they picked that stuff up and put it back in the box behind the counter.  And why not, it’s still good right?

Right, I get up retardedly early tomorrow (I hope) so I’m going to start the going to bed process and look forward to breakfast tomorrow (really didn’t eat much today).


  1. I’m not sure you’ve mentioned it, but what are the conditions under which you sleep? I don’t remember you mentioning that you “sleep with other people” in the room.

    Hmm, fruits basket…

    Comment by Manny — August 19, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

  2. Interesting reading — glad you are getting out there and enjoying yourself.
    Penny & Grandma

    Comment by grandma — August 19, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

  3. See, two weeks in country and you are just starting to get the feel of it. I am excited
    about your exchange with the ticket guy-there have to be patient people on both sides of
    that sort of conversation. I think the peace park would be very moving to me-if
    my reaction to the Vietnam Memorial and the Submarine Memorial are guides to the way
    I might feel at the peace park.
    I think I would be doing the same thing, eating out of conv. stores and
    grocery stores rather than restaurants.
    Are you going to try to do a “tea ceremony”? D.

    Comment by Darrel — August 20, 2007 @ 10:13 am


    perhaps you can add that to your trip itinerary

    Comment by Jessica — August 20, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  5. Manny- I’m staying in Hostels, so I have a dorm type room with up to 11 roommates so far. Currently I have 3. Fruits Basket actually looks pretty good, especially for shoujo.

    Darrel- I probably won’t do a tea ceremony. The tea is actually gross (even by tea’s standards) and the sitting position is painful, especially for a big guy like me.

    Jessica- lol

    Comment by Erek Speed — August 21, 2007 @ 10:55 am

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