Tokyo Wanderings #2

Full day #2. I decided to spent more time in Akihabara this time. So I headed over there in the morning. I spent a lot of time just browsing the stores, played a bit more of the Gundam game. I have decided that yesterday must have been a fluke, because this time I got my ass handed to me. Instead of being the top out of both teams, I was near the bottom this time. Plus I was against people with much more advanced mechs, either they had played a lot more or had paid a lot more. I found a great CD called CROSSFIRE BARRAGE by CROW’SCLAW which I’m currently listening to on repeat. It’s all instrumental metal.

After that I went and wandered and finally found Cos-cha, a maid cafe. I guess since it wasn’t the weekend it wasn’t very busy. There were only two maids working and only a few customers. As usual, I was surrounded by my gaijin force-field, so they said very little to me. One was very plain but the other one was quite cute. I had the Jumbo Menchi-katsu plate with a strawberry milk tea. It was basically a breaded burger with some rice. It was mediocre food but inexpensive. I’m going to have to go to another one at some time, preferably with some asian-looking friends to break down the gaijin force-field. I’m sure I just caught it on a slow day by myself.

After lunch I went and figured out how to play pachinko. I got a good hour/hour and a half of entertainment out of a handful of dollars. I did good to start with, it was an Eva-themed machine, and I got it to play the extended version of the theme song, but then I slowly lost it all. Oh well, that’s what gambling is, you’re paying for entertainment. It’s more expensive than some ways, less than others.

Finally it was about 3pm, and I was done. But I didn’t want to go home yet, so I decided to figure out the subway system (similar to the JR trains, but different system) and caught the Ginza line out to Asakusa. It turned out it was the right day for it, because I was there for Houzuki, which is a festival on July 10 in Asakusa where they sell ground cherry plants and everyone visits the Senso-ji, the main temple in Asakusa. So it was packed.

I went and prayed at the temple, and got my fortune. I got “The Best Fortune”. It reads:

Your gem has no flaw and it will glisten better when you polish.
Good character by nature becomes much better when you polish yourself.
You will become known better.
You become wealthy and you may have a repeated stroke of good luck.

followed by the interpretation (engrish left intact):

Your hope will be come true. The patient will be sure to recover. The lost thing is late to be found. Building a new house and removal are both good. It is good for you making a trip. Both marriage and employment are good.

So basically, it’s good to be me. I mean, look at this day. Spur of the moment I decide to go to Asakusa and there is a huge festival going on. So I wander through the market. A nice stall-keeper lady strikes up a bargin with me. Following is a transcript (translated as it was all in Japanese).

Hey young man, buy a Houzuki plant.
I don’t have anywhere to put it, I’m staying in a hotel.
No problem, just give it a little water and it’ll be fine.
Hmm… how much is it?
2500 Yen (~$24), but for you I’ll knock off 500 yen.
Well… I’ll think about it (as I start to move off)
You’re not supposed to think about it! (as she pretends to whack me with her fan).

It was awesome, it was the first time in Japan that a native spoke to me of their own accord. After that I got some Takoyaki (which was waaaay too hot) and a beer and sat down at a table to eat. While I was there a couple Korean guys, Kim and Jagarl sat down next to me. One of them started trying to say something in English when I told him Japanese was fine. Looking relieved he started talking to me. Turns out he’s a student at Nippori and his friend was visiting from Korea. I was a bit downtrodden when his friend started speaking Japanese almost as good as me and I find out he has only been studying 6 months. Anyways, we wandered around the market together and then headed back over to Akihabara because they wanted to check it out.

So back we went, and wandered around for another hour or so until they had to head back. We exchanged cell numbers and will probably hang out again soon. I make my friends in Japan and they’re Koreans. How funny is that?

Anyways, today I check out of the hotel and then have to wait around until late afternoon so I can go and get into my apartment, so I’m just working online most of the day. Tomorrow I’ll be exploring Asakusa probably and then to Kyoto the next day to meet up with Caitiy from the forums for a couple days.

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