Friday, November 30, 2012

Project: Arrived in Japan

Hello from Japan!

As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent the first week in Okayama visiting my brother, it was fantastic! I am currently in Tokyo for my second night and I am almost settled in. Time to recap my first week!
Adventure to Japan

I had a great flight, even with the annoying transfers. I started in Adelaide with a brief stop in Melbourne. then a 3 hour stopover in Hong Kong, followed by a 3 hour flight to Tokyo. The plane had very cool HD touch screens but sadly I had seen 90% of the films on the system. I did however enjoy watching  'Painted Skin 2 : the Resurrection'. The hardest thing about the flight was the HK transfer at midnight, flying back out at 4am. This is prime sleeping time! I planed ahead and had a good sleep between 7-11pm.

I made it to Tokyo

I arrived at Narita airport at 6am in the morning. Got all my belongings and made it through customs. First thing was to have a shower! I love public showers in Japan, so clean and nice. I have to say though, the shower facilities at Osaka airport are much nicer. Showed, clean and in fresh clothes, I made my way to meet up with César Zanardi.

I was only in Tokyo for a few hours before catching the Shinkansen to Okayama, so I was really happy we managed to meet up! Not having much time, César suggested we go to Asakusa. I haven't been there so thought it would be fun. 
First time seeing Sensōj, it was packed with tourists!

Waniphant with the Sky Tree and the Asahi 'golden poo' by Philippe Starck

I have always held back calling Waniphant a 'kaiju' directly but when an old drunk Japanese man walks by and yells out 'AHHHH KAIIIIIJUUUU' I think it is safe to say Waniphant is a kaiju.
We did take some photos of Cerrito and Waniphant together but it was of a special Cerrito that César will reveal later. Lucky for us, TOVI did a really cool sketch to celebrate Waniphant and Cerrito meeting.

Yeeehaaaa ~~ Love this sketch by TOVI

After taking some photos, it was lunch time! This was an important occasion as it will be my first meal in Japan! With so many choices, it is always hard to decide. It doesn't help that I am shocking when it comes to deciding where to eat. Interestingly, for my first meal in Japan, I had Indian curry!!!
Look at that spread! It was really yummy!
Toy shopping

After lunch we went to Ueno to check out Yamashiroya, a single toy store with the lot! With not much time before I had to leave, it was a perfect choice. It was my first time there and seeing so many toys was overwhelming but I loved it. 
 "6 levels of happiness" - César Zanardi
 The store is amazing! Full of big licensed series, character merchandise and independent sofubi makers. Trying to keep my budget in check, I only got myself one toy. Originally I wasn't going to get any but I have to thank César for the little 'push'

"Shocker is the organization that spred of world allu with the clique and very fierce and horrible. Their evil purpose what to change the humanbeing and subordinate mankind to them and conquer the world." - word for word Engrish text on the box.

Time to head to Okayama

3 handsome gentlemen; César, Wanihpant and Shane. 
With my time up, I had to say goodbye. César is a great guy and we had a great time, especially talking about Australian rock music! Tired and exhausted, I still wanted a photo to remember the occasion. 

Considering I have only covered the first few hours of my time in Japan, I will leave it there for tonight and continue the story next time. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Project: Leaving Wednesday!

Hello all!!

Well, I'm almost fully packed and ready to start my 3 month adventure in Japan. I am very excited and nervous at the same time!

I will arrive in Tokyo on the 22nd, to which I will have a quick meet with toy friend César Zanardi from Argentina. He is the creator of CERRITO and was in Japan for Design Festa and a joint exhibition with Monster Factory. Sadly I missed the show but look forward to meeting César on Thursday. I really wanted to check out the event but I wasn't able to arrive in Japan sooner. Lucky for me, I was able to check out some cool coverage of the event by Andy from Kaiju Korner:

After handing out with César in Akihabara, I will be taking the shinkansen down to Okayama to stay with my brother for a few days. He has lived in Japan since 2009, so it is always great to catch up with him. We will check out some Bizen-yaki and hang out in some izakaya, generally take it easy before I start working hard. I really like the whole area Chūgoku region, I would say it's my favourite area in Japan.

Then on the 28th I will be moving into my new home in Tokyo! Without jumping too far ahead, I will leave it at that but keep an eye out for posts starting in December as the ball will be rolling!

Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Store: Sparkle Sparkle

I was a bit sneaky and added a new Waniphant to my webstore~

Made from high quality Japanese clear vinyl and packed full of glittery goodness, this special release was produced for personal gifts I would give on special occasions. Only 3 left and I thought I would make them publicly available. 

Waniphant 'Sparkle Sparkle' heavy glitter edition

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Project: Everyday living

All systems check!

Not long now! I am in the last stages of arranging my travels and I thought I would do a post about everyday living. 

Finding accommodation to spend 3 months was interesting, tossing up between a share house and an individual apartment was hard. I did have some offers from friends but I didn't want to be a burden. After weighing up my options in regards to location, size and cost, I decided on a shared house for my stay in Tokyo.

A few friends that have lived in Tokyo recommended Sakura House for long term accommodation, I have stayed in their hotels before and had absolutely no complaints. After looking on their website for some time, I found a nice place that would suit me just fine.

My new home will be in the Arakawa ward of Tokyo. It seems like a really nice area with some greenery and open spaces, far from being a concrete jungle I was worried about living in. They also have a really cool symbol!

Symbol of Arakawa

When I get there, I will do a follow up post on the area and how I am enjoying my new home.