Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Winter Break! Thank Goodness.

I started my first day of break yesterday. I did a four-stop tour on the Yamanote Line for some shopping. Akiba being the farthest, I started there. I didn’t think I’d be there for very long since I’ve been there three times before, but I actually ended up staying for about three hours and discovered a lot of shops behind Akiba’s main street. I ended up buying a 2GB microSD card for 480yen, a spare Nintendo DS battery and charger, and my favorite bargain…an Apple Remote. I’ve wanted a remote for my MacBook for a while, and decided not to buy one before I left the U.S.

So I went to Sofmap to look around for some used Mac items, and there I see a stash of brand new remotes. 498 yen each. Unbelieveable, because the retail price of a remote is around $20 (overpriced as always…shame on you, Apple). I was a bit skeptical that it wouldn’t be compatible, but I bought it and tried it out with my MacBook, and it works flawlessly. I’m very pleased.

My next stop was Harajuku. On the way to Takeshita Street, I passed a group of Versailles cosplayers. At first all I saw was some girl in a red dress (Hizaki) and didn’t think much of it, and then when I saw Jasmine You (the one in purple) I realized what had just happened. I only saw them for a split second but I knew it was really good cosplay.

I should’ve stopped by Watanabe hair salon to try and set up a consultation for the ionic straightening system, but decided to wait until I had more money. There was a specific bag I wanted to look at, which I ended up not buying. I went to Daiso and bought some things, and then got a Mixed Berry Mille-feuille crepe.

Then after debating for a bit, I decided to stop in Shinjuku just to look around Kabukicho for a bit. Hosts are so intimidating…so I stopped in a few arcades to play some UFO Catcher. I finally won something for myself! It took a few tries, but I got the MOST ADORABLE Chopper Man plushie:

Winning it was somewhat easy after I got used to it. This UFO Catcher was easier, because instead of getting just two chances to move the claw (once horizontally and once vertically) I could use a joystick to move however long I wanted, and then use a button to rotate the claw. After jiggling the joystick a bit the first time, I discovered that the right claw was very loose, but the left one was very tight. Thus I depended on the left claw to push Chopper Man down the hatch.

I also visited a pet store. It wasn’t to see the cute puppies and kittens though. On my last visit, there was a black Lab, pretty grown, sitting sadly in a small case. Compared to the puppies that cost anywhere between 500 to 3000 dollars, this poor thing had been discounted to 100 dollars. It made me so depressed that I couldn’t take that dog in. But fortunately, posted on that very case yesterday, there was a sign that said “A family had been chosen.” I was very relieved.

Last, I decided to stop by Sunshine City on the way home…to play UFO Catcher. I didn’t win anything except for a bit of candy. I could’ve knocked that tower down in just a few more tries if I was willing to spend more money. I figured out the timing of the machine and the best way to scoop up the most candy, so I’ll definitely play it again in the future.

On the way back to the station, I saw a circle of people gathered around this street performer. He was pretty funny. I only caught the end of his performance, but he made a Mario balloon figure and then did an amazing balancing act. It was really awesome. The first two times he couldn’t find his balance and fell, but he took it well and said he’d try one more time. Everyone was so nervous, as well as myself. But he finally got his balance and juggled three knives at the same time. It was amazing and a great way to end my day.


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