This blogpost covers the day of March 26st, 2023 while in Fukikawaguchiko, Tokyo, and Yokohama.
An early start to the day waking up every few hours thanks to the noise in the hostel. People were noisy as heck. Shame. Could hear people coughing, pooping, showering, etc. Whenever I could sleep I happened to have a crazy dream relating to being in a decently sized Japanese mall trying to seek out pool gear. Going from one aisle to the next, even attempting to go into a pool. Later shifted into a work dream having me joke around with the staff, eventually getting peeved and leaving. A fellow coworker tried stopping me from leaving, I simply stormed out and away. All a dream.
Sleeping was both good and bad at the same time. Snapping back to reality, I had to ready myself for the day ahead. Needed to head back to Tokyo to allow me to get to Yokohama.
Related Blog Posting (Japan Travel):
Fujikawaguchiko (snapping back to reality):
Having woken up early I decided to venture to 7/11 for some quick food, especially for the trip ahead. Had to also wait for ‘Fuji View’ to open while taking advantage of my hostel for holding my luggage.
As noted, I had to wait for Fuji View to open having me travel to 7/11 and back to my hostel, and then back to Fuji View to eat. I even had to ask how to get into the Cafe, it was being weirdly “late” to open, etc. Cafe’s seem to run on their own schedule, or so I’m aware.
The day prior it was awesome hearing various sounds, chimes, and even the train crossing sounds from that vantage point in the mountain. It was almost surreal, yet awesome. A bit freaky, yet awesome.
10:20 AM at this point needing to wait till 11:20 AM for my bus. While waiting I decided to capture some trains before I left these area. I need my train video and picture collection, who knows if and when I’ll be able to return.
Fujikawaguchiko to Shibuya:
11:20 AM to 2 PM bus ride from Fujikawaguchiko to Shibuya on a Paddington Bear Bus. Unlike last time, someone was next to me causing things to be slightly awkward as a foreigner.
I’ve genuinely felt the most at peace while on the bus. Yes, it’s a shame I failed to see Mount Fuji, yet happy I saw what I saw. Even seeing the neat rural and semi-urban settings along the way really puts things into perspective. It’s neat. Work was wishing me I was there (back in Ottawa), also wishing me the best in Japan. They even noted my workplace was being chaotic without me being there, which was amusing. My 1 month of peace in Japan was bliss (even when negative).
While on the bus I was even trying to align my meet-up with a VRChat Midnight Haven person in Akihabara. We were trying to line everything up, as noted previously from Hibiya Park, and the hike up one of Fujikawaguchiko’s mountains.
Sorry, Japan! If you find the above image offensive, like how I accidentally crossed the Hiroshima tram crossing, or how I was ‘No! No! No!’d” while forgetting to ‘cheer/toast’ (Kanpai) a friend before drinking beer. The “No!” applies to both Hiroshima and the Osaka bit, and could have easily been applied here.
Japan takes safety VERY seriously, yet happy I managed to get away with this in my obliviousness. Don’t worry, I looked both ways making sure there was no traffic in either direction.
Having arrived at Shibuya (as noted above by the bus) I was trying to figure out how to make my way from the bus to the next JR rail connection. I followed a few tourists to an elevator, through a mall, and eventually into this connection. I was both taking my time and rushing to meet up with the Midnight Haven (VRChat) person, though in hindsight wish I hadn’t. I could have spent my time in Shibuya before heading to Yokohama instead of being led on a wild goose chase. The error is on both our front on this, as you’ll later find out.
Changed my viewing position to something “closer”. I’m basically in the middle of the overly large crossing bridge. A few Asian tourists were being weird, and even some Spanish tourists were being obnoxious. The Spanish female tourist was annoying the hell out of me for how “in your face” she was. An older woman in her 60’s, or so. I was trying to take pictures, even videos, this stupid woman got in my way (in front of me) obstructing my view. I wanted to slap her so badly, yet couldn’t. I’m in Japan.
I hate other tourists when they’re this stupid. Wise up.
In hindsight I’m genuinely amused seeing the ‘Jigokuraku’ Anime banner, it was a great 13 episode Anime, something I finished last night of the post date of this blog (July 11, 2023). I sadly missed my timing with ‘Oshi no Ko’ advertisements with the red London bus, among other fun advertisements during my time there. I’m however glad I saw what I saw. I need to take what I can get.
I’ve even shared videos and the crossing to my Vancouver friend, he enjoyed it. He was sadly peeved by the wire netting, yet otherwise awesome.
And off to Akihabara I go! The person I was meeting up with was noting how we wouldn’t make it, how they would be wandering off somewhere, etc. I should have listened to her. I should have stayed in Shibuya to explore it further.
Trying to meet up with an overly reluctant VRChat (Midnight Haven) buddy, someone I haven’t even met in the game. She noted they would wander off, everything wouldn’t line up, yet told them I was already on my way. I shouldn’t have this stubborn, yet when you tell something is possible (and it’s within my power) I will see it done. I’ve researched Japan before traveling to it, I had an advantage over “less experienced” other foreigners. I may not know it all, I however tried to be as informed as possible. Basically, “make the impossible, possible“.
Let the wild goose change and humiliation begin!
I’ve gradually wandered back trying to seek out some explanation, details, maps, etc. The REAL location, and ACTUAL answers. I needed clarity.
You know people who slam their desks in anger? I would have done that if I was sitting down. I would have been slamming a desk over, and over, and over again. No disrespect to the person I’m meeting, I’m however being honest and open making note of what I went through for blogging purposes, with potential dissatisfaction to those reading these and the Vancouver ones, and those prior to those as well.
I agree, I shouldn’t have met up. I shouldn’t have been stubborn. I reap what I sow, yet so does the other person in being ignorant in navigating. If you’re coming to Japan know what you’re getting yourselves into. My god. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy we eventually met up (further down), everything was made highly awkward. I’m aware I have flaws as well, I at least try to fix my flaws while trying to get the most out of Japan.
The female Cafe staff eventually asked me who I was waiting for, how many were expected, and to simply wait outside until everything is in order. I tried hiding under the green awning. I was becoming more and more livid (frustrated) as time went on, even trying to confirm where the actual location was being held. I was expecting them to be in the Cafe I made a scene at, not back at Akihabara. I even started asking in more aggressive tons. She refused to give me a clear direction, if unintentionally and by subconscious happenings. I followed her directions EXACTLY where she told me to, yet I kept being put on a wild goose chase. I even tried translating this to the Japanese staff lady, she was confused as heck. I don’t blame her. I’m just as confused as you are.
I do NOT want to look like a fool, I however was forced to appear that way thanks to other (foreign) people. Local Japanese people were looking at me with concern, and again, I do not blame them. I even asked them were the Cat Cafe Moff was. They were also confused.
Also, this was supposed to be a quick meet-up. I was dragging my luggage EVERYWHERE. It got SOAKED. Coin locker? Quick visit.
I passed down the Animate store side-street, back towards the station, and stopping in front of a Koban (police box) assuming a foreigner was who I was looking for. Nope! She was at the ‘Yodobashi Akiba’ (BookOff) side. Further we go. Awkward……..
As I reached the area I saw her instantly leave. She left. I told her I saw her, she left. She came back, we exchanged our greetings, apologies, etc. They could tell I was visibly frustrated, there was no hiding it. We eventually caught up and met up by going around the southern end, spotting an Itasha (blurry), and even making my way to where I initially was prior to this whole wild goose chase.
We eventually caught up at the third building (the corner building; Arcade) greeting their friend(s) and significant other. I followed them briefly around one place to another, even observing some of their arcade game desires. We eventually idled, to which I was eventually offered to part ways so I loosely went my own way before leaving them fully. Respectfully. Everything was done slowly at that point.
I obtained two Sora keychains from Hololive, eventually gifting the duplicate to my roommate. He was happy about the eventual Hololive gift I gave him upon arrival back to Ottawa.
As stupidly as I arrived, I awkwardly left.
(Side-note: In the above image you would see some red font saying ‘Yodobashi Akiba’, that is where she was. I was on the other side. Close, yet far. She took me north via the map, up, and around. It is what it is, we made up, yet we hadn’t talked since. I would continue to post in Midnight Haven’s VRChat Discord group up until LGBTQ nonsense was brought up (end of trip) causing people to ghost me. I posted Anime, was ignored. Everything became highly awkward relating to VRChat’s Midnight Haven group.)
I admired the quick travel from Akihabara to Yokohama. Was amused by all the station jingles along the way.
Yokohama Time! Operation Moving Gundam, GO!”:
Finally made it to Yokohama for my Gundam part of my trip! Why did I come to Japan? For this moving Gundam I’m about to view the next day over, on top of every other reason noted. Was noted how the Moving Gundam was supposed to shut down at the end of March 31st of 2023, I had to make it here prior to it’s closing. Before my trip it was renewed to close on March 31st, 2024. For now, let’s make it to my hotel to settle in for a week.
Yokohama’s base of operation is important for me to visit Kamakura for the trams, and solely for the trams. Later it was for ‘Bunny Girl Senpai’, Enoshima Island, among other areas. Not just that, for Yokosuka also for the Kantai Collection stuff, for the military views, and the Mikasa Museum ship.
I may be viewing things weirdly, though Yokohama (to me) seems to have that 1980’s vibe to it. Everything has that olden 80’s retro touch to it. People’s hair, the buildings, the style. Yokohama seems to be mainly in the 1980’s while being somewhat in the 2023’s timeframe. It’s a mesh of 1980’s vibes with 2023 technology.
On top of that, I had to also cross the main street at one point having me take those underground tunnels to reach the other side. Google Maps failed to notify me of this. I had to take some steps down to cross tunnels and back up into the other side of the street. I even accidentally took the wrong street going up and over my hotel, not directly at it. I failed to view my map this time around. My frustration must have gotten to me.
Checked in to my hotel, unpacked, and unwound. I stayed here for a few hours making note of things, even noting my “scenic view” being fairly urban. I genuinely recommend this hotel, it was one of the best stays ever. I was able to sleep for as long as I desired, do what I wanted. It was great. I wish I could still be based at Hotel Unizo. The best showers, the best TV. The vibes were great. I even had a nice chill area in the corner.
Going through my luggage I noticed the top part soaked right into everything which was top-side. I even used a hair dryer (blow dryer) to dry my shoes off. I would keep doing this every time it would rain making my feet soaked. I had to keep drying things off after every rainy day. (As noted during my time in Daiba, I couldn’t buy shoes. I had no space to swap or store them.)
Hours later, I ventured out. Couldn’t let this night run away on me, even if my feet began killing me again. I had to go eat somewhere, I HAD to visit Yokohama’s downtown area. Something inspired me to do so.
I had two goals in mind this night.
1) Eat food nearby, which ended up being ‘Sukiya’.
2) Go to downtown Yokohama for the night views.
Family Mart food? Maybe. Let’s try restaurant food.
I may have accidentally ran a red pedestrian light while it was warning pedestrians not to. When it flashes it’s already too late to cross. (May have been this, or the following days.)
Basically making my way to the intersection to go right, and then forward. A restaurant I desired to visit was closed, or in accessible. I needed another area, hence ‘Sukiya’ being the final food destination. Also managed to pass by some Sakura trees I would make note of for another day. Neat find.
YOLO (You Only Live Once), I might as well try out the ‘Sukiya’.
I’m amused how I was “shamed” (not really) into eating “coin food”, not proper Japanese food. Japanese food is Japanese food. Conbini food is also far superior to Canadian food. 😉
I’d rather eat Japanese Conbini food than any Canadian food, any day! It appears healthier, especially the Marinated Salmon.
As for Sukiya food, it was tasty. It’s not really in my style, it however filled me up nicely. Even interesting to note how every staff appears to be in their 1980’s fashion wear vibes. That’s curious.
Once done eating, I made my way down those 2-3 major streets. They genuinely had those retro vibes to them. Even those Bakemonogatari Anime vibes. Very… Surreal, in certain ways. It’s like a generic Japanese map you would see in Japanese RPGs, Japanese indie horror games, or VRChat worlds. It’s not bad, nor poor (maybe it is), it was however interesting. A culture shock, for sure. I mean, see for yourself (left side; Top side; Below images in general).
(Google up ‘Shin-Yokohama Dori’ while following the street in street view, or something)
Made it safely to Yokohama Tower area. WOOOO!~
(Yokohama Grand Hotel, Ferris Wheel, and ‘Building D’, as noted on Google Maps.)
I’m going to strongly side-note how I had an overly strong ‘Bakemonogatari’ scenery vibes with the scenery here. The road and the various apartment buildings and side shops. According to Google Maps, the ‘Shin Yokohama Dori’, and the Hanasakibashi roads both remind me of ‘Bakemonogatari’ Anime. Mainly speaking about the first Anime, nothing more. All those weird and funky from that Anime’s urban views reminding me of Yokohama and vice-versa. That’s the only Anime to do that to me in this area.
Made note of a few stores nestled into the side of the bridge. Various pathways, and stores giving this area an interesting vibe. Saw 7/11 while stopping by at a closer Lawson. Bought beer (1 Asahi, 2 Sapporo), saw teens spitting on the sidewalk all the while making it back to my hotel. I can see why that Lawson is rated poorly.
Both Japan and Europe are awesome this way in how they take advantage of cramped spaces. Neat creative spaces are formed out of them.
Made it back to my hotel to unwind. Even somehow managed to catch ‘Handyman’ Anime finishing airing, even making me nostalgic cry for the night. Viewing Anime in Japan gives off a different vibes than when compared to watching it in Canada. That nostalgic tear in the eyes ruined me for the night (with the assistance of beer), as it will continue to do so whenever I view Anime in Japan. Once I saw the ending credits it really set me off emotionally. I needed to see two more episodes, this specific one being the final one. It aired while I was taking a shower in one of the best shower set-ups I had yet.
I eventually became highly buzzed from my three beers, even sad for the night thanks to the Anime nostalgic vibes. Not depressed, just sad. Though, one could probably equal in the end in hindsight and generalizations. Anime flicked an emotional switch while noting the goose chase, and my growing feet pains. I became “Anime sad” for the night.
When an Anime is highly relatable and enjoyable (this surprisingly was), it hits harder. I genuinely admired this anime, as I do with any Isekai, slice-of-life, Romance, etc. I actually end up highly engrossed/engaged/immersed in it.
I captured images and videos of what I could, I experienced neat things. Sadly no Mount Fuji, yet everything else was neat. Yes, I’m livid about being led on an “unintentional” wild goose chase in and around Akihabara. Even sadly making a fool out of myself thanks to other people. Some hard feelings, yet we apologized. Safely arriving in Yokohama and staying in Yokohama was neat. That walk was neat, if eventually painful.