This blogpost covers the day of April 2nd, 2023 while Kure, Hiroshima, & Osaka.
Today was the day I would venture back to Kure, Japan to obtain an Kure stamp for my newly gifted stamp book from Y’s Cafe. Had to travel back (with the guidance on Japanese locals) to obtain my new stamp, even shared a map on how to find it by a friendly local. Given a tour of Kure, revisited Y’s Cafe, shown KanColle cut-outs, even hastily having to explore Hiroshima before heading to Osaka via Shinkansen.
Woke up at 7:30 AM, rushed out the door at 7:40 AM (no time to do anything the night prior or in the morning). I checked out, had the hotel hold my luggage, and rushed to the tram stop. I made it to Hiroshima Station to where I would get harshly scolded by a train operator for crossing the tracks, to my great ignorance.
Related Blog Posting (Japan Travel):
[Side-note: Prior to my leaving of the hotel, while I was sleeping, the hotel’s washroom lights were turned on during the night. The lights were on between 2-3 AM in the morning, something which caught my attention. There was a weird vibe in the hotel room making me wonder if the lights were automatic, if I remembered turning them off or not. I was trying to hastily, yet sleepily, recall if I turned off the light to which I simply went back to sleep. I don’t want to say the place was fully haunted, it however felt like it. That was my one and only “ghost story”, even if it was fairly minor in spookiness level.]
Taking a quick stroll around Hiroshima obtaining images before it was too late.
My only sin in Japan was not replying back to most Japanese Twitter accounts. I was overwhelmed, even hastily making my way from one place to another. If Japanese people want to blame me for not interacting with them then please do, I’m blaming myself for not conversing with many. I took screenshots, even smiled when seeing them. Sadly, I feel bad for not having made the effort to Tweet back to half of the people.
Even so, I thank you guys for your kindness, hospitality, and guidance. I genuinely respect Japan and Japanese folks for their genuine kindness.
Hiroshima Station – Scolded for crossing Tram tracks:
As noted in my previous blog posts (and few tweets), I accidentally crossed the Tram tracks in haste. I looked both ways, as one should, while thinking of how I’d behave in Ottawa (Canada) when crossing a busy area. I was thinking, I however wasn’t thinking properly. I was in a rush to visit Kure, and I was also confused as heck as to how to navigate my way from one part to the next. I was genuinely in a rush having stupidly (and in a confused state) crossed an overly busy part of the tram tracks. I didn’t know where the pedestrian route was for reaching the Hiroshima Station.
Haste makes waste.
I was – “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” – so hard I forgot what gender I was. I briefly forgot who I was. I made an ‘X’ with my index finger, lowered my head. I turned back around and ventured back to Hiroshima Station…. Embarrassed, frustrated, and even regretful. I had to make an fool of myself and I wasn’t happy. I’m sure I looked like a fool to other people, and why they hate foreigners so much in Japan. I’m now probably the reason why that train staff hates foreigners so much. God damn it! Here I am trying to get on their good side because I’m a Canadian, and I want to do everything properly and correctly.
Hiroshima > Kure – Y’s Cafe & Stamp Collecting:
Off to Kure to obtain my Kure stamps.
After rushing from the Kure Station, I rushed to the tourist center wondering where to obtain my goods. Eventually guided to the stamp station, to which I would obtain two stamps. One came out weirdly, another came out better. I happy and proudly tweeted about it.
Off to Y’s Cafe!
[Travel Journal Log: Kure, Stamp, 7/11, & Y’s Cafe]
Upon arrival to Y’s Cafe I was greeted by an overly “rowdy” bunch barely able to make sense of what was being said. People greeted me, even noting how I couldn’t speak Japanese, even though I kept saying – “Hai” – in varying tones. I tried to speak some bits and pieces of overly basic Japanese, yet wasn’t allowed, and wasn’t able to. Everybody was overly excited to see me, each other, and in various groups. Conversation was all over the place, in a good way.
“He can’t speak Japanese” – Seiko-san
It was hard to speak, even if I was able to. Everybody was greeting me, using translators, and talking over one another with me being able to understand half (or even a quarter) of what was being said. I understood what was being said, I however can’t speak, nor understand it fully. I couldn’t interject fast enough, and when I could I was basically spaced out. I can understand more than I can speak, and that goes with the Slovak language as well.
[If my memory is correct:]
The various folks still residing in the cafe were commentating about my Busou Shinki. I showed them my Renge, Arnval, even the page to Kotobukiya.
We conversed about KanColle & Azur Lane; How KanColle has better character designs, something to which I don’t disagree with. Azur Lane has decent character designs as well, though KanColle has set the benchmark on quality design. Both Azur Lane and KanColle are the opposite of each other making up for what the other lacks.
I showed the locals the Tweet about how an American KanColle admiral (that is what KanColle players are known as – “Admiral”) noted how both Western and Japanese players are genuinely frustrated with the KanColle developers sabotaging their own game. The game is hard to play, highly unfair, insanely salty, genuinely heart-attack & stroke inducing, among other factors.
I also respect the response which was said to me – “It’s all about acquiring the ship girls. The pride you get when obtaining them”… I genuinely agree with this comment and sentiment. HOWEVER! The risk and reward has to compliment one another. If you end up dying in real life thanks to how “challenging” the gameplay is then is it genuinely worth it?
I admire KanColle, hence why I even visited Yokosuka, Kure, and eventually Maizuru. I 100% KanColle! I genuinely do. I want to respect the KanColle fanbase as well without being lynched as well, but some common grounds have to be found along with some “foreign opinions”.
Half the people left the cafe, while those having stayed continued to converse with me, if with difficulties. I can’t tell if I was accidentally “off-putting”, I tried to be straight forward. I was still somewhat stressing trying to collect my thoughts.
A fellow KanColle Admiral couldn’t decide if he desire to sit or stand. He stood up for the longest while so I gestured for him to sit. He laughed I gestured for him to sit, even laughed about it with Seiko-san. Just trying to be kind and helpful. Glad we can have fun.
Even noted at the marvels of technology allowing someone as ignorant (Japanese language) as myself to converse with the Japanese locals. Language barriers are 80% knocked down, even if some Japanese locals (the older ones) take offense to you using translators. Or, so it came off as. We were able to converse using translators, and it was one of the best feelings one could get.
It’s better to have command of the Japanese language to allow for a proper flow of the Japanese language. I felt stupid having missed out on half of the conversation. I could have conversed with those that left, and those who even remained. It is what it is, and hopefully the future is bright.
During this, I was also both recommended and suggested to visit various KanColle displays. I was guided by the owner of Y’s Cafe to capture various KanColle cardboard displays, something which caught me off guard.
KanColle Characters (Cardboard displays):
The tour of the KanColle cardboard has begun! Y’s Cafe owner taking me on a tour with a few other KanColle Admirals. I genuinely thank you for the kindness and hospitality, even if I was in a varying level of shock and surprise.
My Twitter notifications was still blowing up like crazy. I knew it was going to be short-lived, yet it was surprising how warm and welcoming the Japanese folks are. How dedicated they are to their hobbies. I respect that!
Yes, I was also silent during the walk. I noted I had to be back by a set amount of time (1 PM) to tour Hiroshima properly, to eventually obtain my luggage, and to Shinkansen to Osaka.
If I wasn’t so reclusive I would have conversed more in using DeepL. I would have talked about KanColle more. I would have talked about Busou Shinki, Azur Lane, etc. Again, if people want to blame me for being “too silent” in my conversation, they have every right to. Just as my friend had scolded me for the same thing in Vancouver. Even so, I’m genuinely thankful to the kindness and the hospitality I’ve received in Kure. It was genuinely a surprise, and I genuinely respect every bit of kindness.
[We also noted how I was allegedly going to Shinkansen up to Sapporo from Osaka. I was instead told to take a plane from Osaka to Sapporo, something I ended up doing later. They jokingly blamed Google, something which made me chuckle. I later booked my flight while in Osaka, days later.]
Guided to my first KanColle character. Nice! Urakaze.
I’ll be honest in saying I genuinely felt weird capturing KanColle’s characters with Azur Lane’s AR mode. I’m well aware Japan prides itself heavily on KanColle, even shunning Azur Lane on varying levels. Even so, I had to capture this in some manner while actively admiring both Kancolle and Azur Lane at the same time.
To make it clear/Side-note:
KanColle has set the standard in quality art design (for the most part). KanColle is where everything should be. Azur Lane still however has decent character designs sprinkled about.
In the above and below images I kept noting her name to be something other than what she was named. I kept going ‘Fletcher’, or something similar. I kept being corrected, even oblivious I was being corrected. Here I was priding myself in knowing the KanColle shipgirls up until the period of when I rage-quitted out of the game. I take it I can’t pride myself with KanColle identification of shipgirls as I previously used to. Too many new faces. Gangut’s introductory event made me fatigued, Suzutsuki’s introductory made me fully rage-quit for not having been rewarded with her prior to the event ending. I was genuinely 100% burnt out having not played KanColle since her event. I couldn’t. Morale was painfully low. It was noted to be around 5-8 Years, or so. Basically, a long time.
Digressing, we visited Urakaze, then Johnston. Next, we would visit another shipgirl after that.
Thank you for allowing me to take pictures of your KanColle displays. Even if I failed to show it in my air-headedness, I’m genuinely thankful. I was making a lot of clumsy mistakes, and I would continue to do so for a long while.
It was hilarious to note the lead-up to this prior to the whole KanColle display tour. I was being led outside to do the K pose, to my reluctance. I couldn’t say “no”. I had to partake as a tourist in Japan. I had to experience their culture. Everything was in goodwill, and I had to respect their kind wishes. I even overheard the two saying how – “mean” – the prank was. Mean, in a joking manner. I had a nice grin and a chuckle from all this amusements.
This situation allowed me to open up more socially, and I thank Japan (especially Kure) for making me do things outside of my comfort zone. I’m used to being treated like crap in Canada, yet this was really heartwarming once I was in the moment, and seeing it in third person (via Tweets).
As jokingly “mean” as this was, I can always look back at that moment in fondness. I love it! Japanese people may see things as I do as crude and rude (ranting or rambling), I however catalog this under Japan’s greatest moment and for myself. Basically being human, and I love it.
(Disclaimer: I know I can be fairly strange and weird. I’m struggling to be both myself and human. I had genuine fun in Kure, and I wouldn’t mind having that sort of fun in the future, if allowed. I know it’s a weird way of saying this, Canada is just a place with a lot of struggle.)
Thank you! Thank you for your kindness and hospitality!
Azur Lane doesn’t have an Ooyodo, though I could have used Azur Lane’s Akashi. Though, it could have also been argued I should have used my KanColle Arcade cards. I had to make use of Azur Lane’s AR mode, something KanColle Web itself lacks (or was non-existent during my visit).
The Ooyodo display was not out on display, having to be retrieved from the back, with the request from Y’s Cafe owner. I stupidly, and ignorantly followed the restaurant owner almost into the kitchen. Thankfully, I was stopped and pulled back. I apologized profusely. I genuinely hate myself for making such an obvious and stupid mistake. Too tired and oblivious to the obvious. I feel so bloody stupid…………… I want to forget I ever followed the restaurant staff into the back. This memory hurts, and I want something to over-ride my stupid mistake.
I even embarrassed myself in front of the people eating inside. My Hiroshima accident is more tolerable, this one however hurts. I lost my mind making me do something stupid.
So, why Kasumi? She is one of my special characters in Azur Lane for her foxy cuteness. Her main fox form (prior to her remodel) is adorable on her own, also reminding me of a special person in VRChat (Blue*****; Censoring second half of the name). Kasumi hits a special adorable sweet spot with her foxy design, her cuteness, and how special she appears. She also has that overly “mysterious” nature to her, or at least in my perspective when viewing her.
Her remodel may lessen her “mysteriousness”, she however stays special to me. She’s in my PVP fleet, Main fleet, among other fleets. She is my MVP.
I may have bought something, gave my thanks, and moved onto our next target.
Azur Lane doesn’t have Tone. I went with Azur Lane’s Suzuya, even though I prefer KanColle’s Suzuya. Granted, Azur Lane’s Suzuya was overly special upon her announcement. KanColle’s Suzuya all the way.
I was trying to match non-existent ships in Azur Lane with their ship class types. Sometimes it worked, other times it hadn’t. It is what it is, and I tried to make the most of it.
An attempt was made to view a Mutsu display, it however was shot down. Wasn’t able to get a viewing of Mutsu. My fellow American Admiral even noted how it was “for the best” I wasn’t able to match Azur Lane’s “loli” character of Azur Lane in comparison to a more mature KanColle version of her.
Was specially guided to Paparado to have my stamp book stamped out, even signed, customized. It was an overly special occasion. I may have been oblivious to the significance of it at the time (overwhelmed), I however genuinely enjoyed and tried to respect the situation. Being toured around reminded me of when I was toured around Slovakia. Shown various neat places, experiencing neat sights and sounds. Good times, on both Europe and Japan front.
They were customizing my stamp book in great detail. They added every little stamp possible to my stamp book, something which amazed other people on Twitter to have their own version of this styling. Some managed to obtain this level of customization on their stamp book.
I may not have fully shown it, I however was genuinely thankful and grateful. I tried to show my kindness, if overly awkward about it.
(Side-note: Had a slight misunderstanding causing some awkwardness. The traditional Japanese toy on the left made me recall a moment I played with such a toy in Ottawa’s Japan Pavillion during the Tulip Festival. I failed to find the video clip after the owner of Popurado
Various Japanese locals would even guide me towards other KanColle Arcade type locations. They told me how to track down more KanColle Arcades in places I was going, especially Sapporo.
[Side-note: Busou Shinki community failed to inform me how to find Busou Shinki arcades in Japan so all my focus was on KanColle, and specifically KanColle. I could have played Fate/Grand Order Arcade, deciding against it thanks to all the spite and grudges I hold against F/GO for region blocking their game. They blocked me from re-connecting with Scathach.]
We arrived at a fellow KanColle Admiral’s Clock & watchshop to where I was gifted a Yamato KanColle Arcade card. Thank you! I’ll genuinely cherish it, protect it, and have her help me out. She genuinely assisted me in KanColle Arcade. I failed to capture images in my over-whelmed state of mind. Shop owners looking at me just as puzzled as I was puzzled looking back at them. I was waiting to see what would happen. More stamps? I was going with the flow.
Warspite I purchased in Sapporo (in the future of this blogpost), Yamato was gifted to me, and Akashi was obtained via KanColle Arcade.
Kure is Yamato’s birthplace. Yamato anchor, docking area, Yamato museum, etc.
After having return to Y’s Cafe I had to decline any more food. I had to run off to Kure Station to head back to Hiroshima. I was given a lovely warm send off, something which caught me. Thank you for your kindness!
Hiroshima – [Back to Hiroshima]:
Now back in Hiroshima I had to make my way to various landmarks before my luggage’s holding time was up. I had to visit Hiroshima Castle, Dome, and a park. It had to be a hasty experience. I refused to take a bus seeing how disconnected the experience would be. I had to speed-walk my way to the Hiroshima Castle, then to the Dome, and then the park connecting to the Dome.
Was an interesting experience having to use specific stairways with the interior becoming smaller and smaller the higher up you get. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in some areas, and I obeyed the ‘No photography’ rules. Other tourists however refused, I even told them to obey. If I’m not allowed, you’re not allowed.
Was neat viewing the various displays. The banners, ornaments, parts of the castle, the scrolls, etc. I’ve seen them in various games and Anime, it however was neat seeing them in person.
The animated 2.5D experiences were neat as well. How Hiroshima was founded, how locals behaved/lived, and the more traditional side of the castle was showcased the higher up you went.
On the top floor I was forced to hesitate causing me to be pushed by people behind me. I was confused as to where to go so I stood on the steps trying to figure out where to go. Either tourists or locals gave me a push on my bag to give me a nudge. I went further finally having made sense of the layout. I went around the loop, even discovering Hiroshima’s stamp station. I stamped my stamp book. Sweet!
(Some people were getting in my way, just as much as I got in their way. It was a decent experience.)
Made my way down, and around. Followed the other staircase designated to go down. Made my way out, trying to find a pathway leading to the Atomic dome. Google constantly noting all these weird, and funky places. Maybe Hiroshima is that poorly mapped out (or designed), or Google needs to do better.
Google Maps taking me through all these weird locations, streets, and pathways. I had to improvise on numerous occasions, even trying to make sense of where I was going.
Google Maps told me to cross an intersection (red circle in above image) forcing me to improvise by taking an underground tunnel. I followed the tunnel as far as I could heading in the vague area I desired to go. I followed this tunnel to Motomachi area. It led me out to a nearby park (2nd image above) to which I tried to line myself up to a pathway leading to the Atomoc Bomb Dome. It worked, if having to go through a festival area.
I couldn’t partake in the festival, I was on a time limit.
Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Site:
Having seen it on numerous occasions on various documentaries, TV, and in other people’s figure.fm image showcases I can now say I’ve personally visited this area myself. I’m now no longer as ignorant as I was previously, now aware of how various Japanese cities are laid out. I’m now more aware of the significance of things.
Hiroshima Station – Hiroshima to Osaka:
The wait for destination Osaka. Happily mimicking the Japanese locals with the way they take travel images, hence why I’m taking images like these. Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka.
I had to do a combination of Google Translate and DeepL to converse with the Japanese locals. Found DeepL to be a better translation tool to converse with the locals and vice-versa. I was genuinely happy learning about Kure, the K pose, and all the other goodies. It’s thanks to DeepL for allowing us to converse with one another. I know I should have conversed more, or made an attempt. Everything is a learning experience.
Sadly, I may have eventually angered Kazimotosan, and others. Or, Twitter may have knocked him off my following. Regardless of what happened on Twitter I’m still genuinely overly grateful and thankful for the kindness that was shown in Kure, and in other places.
I thank you guys highly for taking me out of my comfort zone. Thanks for breaking me out of my shell; For showing me all the lovely places in Kure, and elsewhere.
Had a stupid happening upon arrival onto the Shinkansen. I assumed a Japanese women took my seat (maybe she had) according to how the labeling displayed it as. I stared at her, even showing her my ticket. She eventually told me to sit down next to her. Irritated, I assumed she took my seat. She had a window seat, a seat I had assumed. Later, it dawned on me the labeling (as shown above your head, once seated) noted how it’s actually seated.
As noted in the second image below (C = Aisle; D = Window). I wish I had obtained a window seat, instead having an aisle seat. The error was later corrected, even mentally resolved once I’ve seen the errors of my way upon viewing images. It made sense upon further review at a later date.
In hindsight, I feel bad for having pestered the Japanese women the way I had. Everything is my fault. I was cranky; Highly mistaken. Sorry. I’m an idiot, and I don’t know why I’ve made so many mistakes, including this one.
For the longest time I recalled this moment as being located at Himeji. That’s what I recall hearing at the time. This is Fukuyama (according to my Google Map search on my computer), a castle lined right up to the Shinkansen station.
The lovely castle parallel to the station is Fukuyama Castle, not Himeji. I even noted Himeji as my destination to visit, and maybe I should visit both Fukuyama and Himeji the next available opportunity for this happening.
Thank you! I try to be happy as much as possible. Being in Japan has made me feel human again, and I thank you for all you had done for me in Japan. Thanks for all the KanColle tour guides, pointing me to more KanColle landmarks, and the fond memories.
Safely arrived at Shin-Osaka, if sadly with the memory of accidentally pestering the sleeping Japanese women next to me. Poor gal. She just wanted to sleep, and I accidentally disrupted her sleep in confusion. I hate myself.
Other than that, I’m happy I arrived at Osaka. Now to figure out how to make it from Osaka to my hotel.
Was trying to figure out where to go, what bus terminal to use. Was guided from one end of the mall to the other. I eventually found the domestic bus terminal, not the coach bus terminal. Was even assisted with what bus to use. The bus number and name matched to how the locals had guided me. I was in haste sadly not thanking the locals, even suffering with the amount of baggage I brought with me.
I asked how to pay, they confusingly told me I would pay when I got off. Everybody was confused trying to make sense of everything. Sorry! Traveling is painful and confusing at times, this is one such situation. I’m not going to lie, I was genuinely scared in how I would reach my hotel from Shin-Osaka, and even Osaka JR station itself. Everything was out of my element. I simply viewed the city as a flat major city in an overly generic perspective. An overly confusing maze of buildings and roads. That was my first impression. I felt genuinely lost.
Eventually made it safely to my stop. I rang the bell, got off the bus at the front tapping my card on the reader (or so I recall). I struggled to find my hotel having accidentally gone behind the hotel in the back street (as Google Maps suggested I would go), instead having to go on the main street. Eventually found the main entrance.
Checked in, made my way upstairs, and unwinded. I’m certain I went to a nearby conbini to buy beer to drink my night away.
By chance, an Anime called ‘Bunny Girl Senpai’ aired on TV. Watching it, I noted familiar areas I had visited days prior to my visit of Osaka. I tweeted out – “HEY! I’ve been there!” – even showing comparison tweets with real world and Anime images. I’ve been to Kamakura, Enoshima Island, even Fujisawa! I’ve been there! I nearly broke down from nostalgia.
With this newfound nostalgia and knowledge I planned to revisit Kamakura, Enoshima Island, and hopefully Fujisawa with this knowledge in mind. I wanted to visit the areas I knew of from Bunny Girl Senpai Anime.
Japan truly makes me happy because I can truly be myself. I can do what I desired (for the most part) admiring things which has kept me alive till this point in time, and further. Japan and Anime has been a blessing.
From here on out I drank myself to sleep (3 Sapporo cans, or so). I’m certain I made a conbini run. Azur Lane nightly runs, and good night! Catch you tomorrow!
Tried to save as many Tweets as possibly, sadly half (or majority) of them have been lost to time now. Thanks for the warm welcome, the hospitality, and guiding me around Japan! Genuinely means a lot.
Thank you Kure and Hiroshima! Now onto Osaka focus! 🙂