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A Weekend in Tokyo, Japan

March 22, 2012

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So, as – hopefully – all of you know, we went to Japan over the weekend. We went on a small vacation of sorts. We’ve always been interested in Japan and Tokyo, and so we decided to hang out for a weekend and see what it was like. We were there from Friday afternoon to Monday evening and soaked in as much as possible. We also put together as much footage as possible while still trying to have fun. Prepare yourself for 4 days of footage boiled down into 11 minutes of non-stop video.

Anyhow, there was a bunch of stuff that we didn’t get on camera that was pretty awesome.

1) Cars in Tokyo: they obey the law. AWESOME! For the first day, every time we crossed the street we would flinch when a car approached, just like we do in Korea, because Korean drivers always seem to try to push their way through pedestrian walkways. In Tokyo, though, cars (we’re looking at you taxis) didn’t try to run red lights and squeeze their way through crowds of people. AMAZING!

2) Electronics:

    a) Bloody expensive, for starters. Like, seriously. Absurdly expensive. The notion that we had before of cheap electronics being in Asia, because a lot of electronics are made in Asia and, thus, should be cheaper, seems to be dead wrong. I checked out the camera gear in Bic Camera and FFFFUUUUUUUU it was absurd for everything: lenses, bodies, tripods, you name it: all cost vastly more than the prices we can find online.
    b) Buying a new iPad was easy. We thought we’d have to wait in line in the morning with everyone else to pick one up. We got into Ikebukuro at around 4PM or so and went out to the electronic shops at around 8PM, a full 12 hours after the new iPads went on sale. Every store had them in stock. No waiting in line for me. Walked in, asked for one, got one. BOOM!
    c) There are so many video games, that I want to cry (Simon here). Don’t get me started on this. There were enough PS3 games on one floor to fill 10 GameStops. And so many that I didn’t hear about. I remember before coming to Korea that I knew, as a kid, I’d want to move to Japan so I could learn the language and play the games before they come out in North America. I kinda forgot about that dream once I moved to Korea. Seeing all those games made me remember my childhood dreams.

3) Food: we can’t say much about it, because we ate Ramen a lot. Like, everyday but Monday a lot. Japanese Ramen is otherworldly. They boil their eggs in some way that leaves the yolks all gooey and delicious and bBbbbBBBARRRGGGHhhghghgh it’s so good. Japan has other foods to offer, and we dabbled in a few things here and there (we put some other Japanese foods in the Blooper footage…we didn’t really have bloopers as so much extra footage) but mostly we tried to keep our stomachs empty for non-stop ramen action.

4) Our Harajuku experience was a bit lame: it was raining, and so the only group of dressed up people we saw were the Rockabilly people. There were lots of other people dressed up awesomely otherwise, but not in a congregation. They were just peppered throughout Harajuku. Also, according to someone’s Tweet, we were in Harajuku with Yubin from Wonder Girls. We never saw her, but the Tweeter supposedly saw the two of us:

…buuuuut we never saw either Yubin or the Tweeter. Damn! Would have made for a cool video! We did get a chance to meet an awesome fan from Brazil at the Meiji shrine, who was fantastic and bubbly, and we also ran into a fellow Canadian who was disappointed to miss the fan meet by one day, yet still ran into us by pure fluke!

5) We saw some Japanese celebrity but don’t know who he was: we went to a Starbucks to rejuvenate and sat beside some douchebag wearing dark sunglasses indoors. Sorry: we call him a douchebag because we don’t like it when self-important people wear dark sunglasses indoors. It’s such a painful facade. The sunglasses are supposed to be because you don’t want to be seen, but by wearing them you’re only attracting attention to yourself, because then people think that you’re important. You’re pretending to want to be unrecognized but you’re begging for people’s attention as well. And it turns out we were right: the guy was a celebrity, and he was waiting for a girl to meet him. She squealed and gave him a CD to sign which we didn’t see the name of. Long story short: no musician should wear dark sunglasses indoors unless his name is Stevie Wonder. Or unless you’re getting harassed by paparazzi and the lights are flashing in your eyes. But this guy was plastered up against the window at the front of the Starbucks. And it was rainy, so there was no sun out. I don’t know. Maybe he has super-sensitive eyes, or maybe he’s Japan’s Cyclops. We just don’t like the indoor sunglasses deal.

6) Kpop is a lot more popular than we thought: It’s really hard, in Korea, to know how well Kpop is doing outside of Korea, because the media isn’t really reliable. We always hear about Kpop taking over the world, how Europe and Japan and now North America are bowing down to Kpop the way Kitties are Conquered by Bilasa. But, clearly, that’s not wholly accurate. When we were in Japan, though, we were amazed at how much Kpop was playing. We heard lots of Big Bang and 2NE1. IU was playing a lot as well. We saw Billboards of U-Kiss, ad vans of Rainbow, and big sections of Kpop music at the record stores. Wow. Totally didn’t know Kpop was so big in Japan.

Eatyourkimchi in Japan Fan Meet

Thanks to all of you awesome people who came out to meet us in Japan.

7) Thanks to everyone who came out to our Fan Meet: We seriously didn’t expect that many people to come. When we look at our site stats, Japan isn’t even in the top 10 for visiting countries. So, we thought maybe we’d have a couple of people, five at most, that would be nice enough to meet us in Tokyo and chat over coffee. We were really wrong. We totally took over the patio of Excelsior Cafe. We would have gone inside but there wasn’t enough room for us, so we huddled together in a circle and tried to use our body warmth to keep us from shivering. Some were not warm enough. Sorry everyone, but – again – thanks for coming out!

Oh! And we took lots of pictures from our trip. We’re not photo people, though, so forgive us if our pictures suck. We like making movies. Pictures are a totally different ballgame. Anyhow, if you like pictures, look at them!

Lastly, our video was quite long, but we’ve got even more footage. If you’re interested, check out the deleted scenes here:

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A Weekend in Tokyo, Japan

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  1. Did you know that the Murasaki Sports that you took a photo of has been visited by these guys? ;D

    4 years ago
  2. Watching your WANK videos really makes me want to go back to Asia. WTH am I doing in my hometown in Michigan?! le sigh

    4 years ago
  3. Oh my God, how can you not see Yubin? It would be so epic if you had some footage of her. Ahh, God I’m disappointed (Sorry, WG fan here, lol). And I’m really so happy for the success of Kpop internationally. Too bad, I’m mostly anticipating the Harajuku part but well, you can’t stop the rain. lol. Anyways, welcome back guise! Hope you really had a blast!

    4 years ago
  4. cutest couple eveer!!!!!! :3

    4 years ago
  5. What was the name of the ramen place that was the best meal of your life? Going to Japan in a few weeks and I’m dying to try it!

    4 years ago
  6. Love ramen, sooo good.
    the best part for me was watching Spudgy all happy after seeing you guys.

    4 years ago
  7. Awesome gaiz!! Glad you had fun.

    4 years ago
  8. That seeem a great weekend vacation you guys had in Japan.

    Make me so jelly~~~
    >_<
    But why only 11 mins of vlog for 4 days???
    That seem inappropriate vlog for Simon and Martina Stawski,, i hope for longer one
    XD

    Anyway,, where the place you had the fan meet finally? Coz it seems lke the huge group could fit in one place without had to notice the cafe before.

    4 years ago
  9. Stellar Eric’s group… he had that random part where all he said was – I need a rocket, I need a rocket spaceship and took off and put back on his sunglasses

    4 years ago
  10. I need a rocket!  I need a rocket spaceship!
    (10 cool points for the first person who gets that reference!)

    4 years ago
  11. It’s funny how Korea *bans everything remotely sexy*, but Japan is like *pastes half-naked girl on truck*…..*shrugs* lol

    4 years ago
  12. Simon,

    I studied Japanese for 3 years in University for just that reason…I’m totally living that video game dream. JRPGs are my favorite followed by wonderfully, horribly, difficult SRPGs…Importing all these games to the US? Not so pretty…

    4 years ago
  13. m

     I thought you guys would go to Puroland or FaSoLa Market(Narita, Terminal 1, 4th Floor) since Martina is such a big Hello Kitty fan. Love the new glasses, Martina! :)

    4 years ago
  14. Drink your Miso?

    4 years ago
  15. That giant ass Martina saw was Ayumi Hamasaki’s new album. I totally love her, but I saw that picture on the album cover online and I was like, “…oh…”
    Glad you guys had fun, and I’m so jealous of all your ramenscapades!!! ><'

    4 years ago
  16. Looks like fun fun fun! Glad you enjoyed yourselves. Welcome back. Truth be told I was kinda wondering what you were going to do with the Spudgemiester. Looks like he had fun too, though he obviously missed you. I think he needs a purple stripe next time. Kawaii ne?

    4 years ago
  17. Funny about the ‘cars obeying the law’ thing; as I recall I broke a zillion laws when I was driving there lol….they were like ‘Why the hell did you stop when it turned red? You totally could’ve made it’ and going 40 over the limit was the norm (what? There’s a speed limit? :p) BUT, I do admit that they treat pedestrians fairly well.

    4 years ago
  18. u guys should’ve tried wasabi ice cream!! it’s really cool tasting.

    4 years ago
  19. this is an awesome episode :) do you plan to go to china at some point ( in the near future or just in the future? oh the food was sooo tastylisious looking :) and spugy was the extreme happy doggy ever when he saw u guyz :)

    4 years ago
  20. lol if that famous japanese guy was the japanese cyclops, wouldn’t he have a giant face monacle or something, as opposed to a normal pair of glasses? :s
    the food looked hella good!

    4 years ago
  21. D

    Such great videos. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain all of this, and make these videos on your vacation. We really, seriously appreciate it. Hope you two had fun, and the spudgy reuniting was ADORABLE! :)

    4 years ago
  22. Eat Your Sushi?

    4 years ago
  23. how much was it for airfare between korea and japan? i’m planning on going to japan then korea but don’t know how expensive it’ll be…it’ll be expensive regardless because u’m flying from canada XD

    lol ayumi hamasaki’s butt pasted on trucks :p awww spudy’s so happy to see you again <3

    4 years ago
  24. if i went to Japan i would totally act like Martina when seeing all the cute things surrounding me!!!!

    4 years ago
  25. I feel bad for y’all because the crosswalk in Shibuya was not crowded at all in y’all’s video…you guys have to go back when it is not raining….and oh God I miss the ramen so bad…I could almost taste it when y’all videoed it….great…now I want authentic ramen and that is no where to be had in Tennessee!!! I am glad that you guys had fun and got to relax some…^^

    4 years ago
  26. Eat Your Wasabi?

    4 years ago
  27. Spudgy was so excited!  That just put a smile on my face and melted my cold, cold heart.
    As for kpop being everywhere, try this one on: Lately 2NE1 has been playing on one of the big mainstream stations in CHICAGO.

    4 years ago
    •  WHAT!? I’m in the Chicago area!!! What station? Tell meeeeee! Please.

      4 years ago
      • 103.5 Kiss FM.  Don’t get too excited!  It’s not on heavy rotation or anything.  I was just stunned to hear it at all.

        4 years ago
  28. >.< i'm very jealous. I want to go to Japan. Thanks for sharing this with us!! 

    4 years ago
  29. guise! i totes know how to get the egg to be that way! just boil the egg in boiling water for 3 minutes, then turn off the stove and let it simmer in the boiling water for another 5-6 minutes. tried it before it was perfect! learnt it from a certain Nigella ;) anyway cant wait to meet you guise in july, i’m the girl who asked about the documentary interview ^^ glad you both had fun in japan and DAWWWW Spudgy looks SO happy to see you two again!!!!

    4 years ago
    • Do you cover the pot after you turn off the heat? I’m so excited to try!

      4 years ago
    • I love Nigella! 

      4 years ago
      • Us too!  But she’s a bit too sexual with her food, sometimes.  Makes us laugh big time :D

        4 years ago
        • i THINK i covered it! damn i can’t remember which nigella episode it was but yea it legitimately works! you’ll definitely get a slightly runny yolk and hard whites at least, then you can adjust the timing accordingly :) :) i recommend everyone give it a go, changes your eggs forever :D 

          4 years ago
        • nigella is definitely too sexual! haha my brit friends parody her all the time… too bad she’s off the telly, ramsay’s all the rage now ~~

          4 years ago
  30. I know that I will probably sound like a nerd for saying this, but are you familiar with the anime and manga of “Kimi Ni Todoke”?  The main character has the last name of “Kuronuma”, so I just had to comment.  I absolutely love the manga.

    4 years ago
  31. AAAAHHHHHH so jealous. I wish I could have gone to Japan too. But I guess since I’m going to Seoul in June I can’t be to jealous :)

    4 years ago
  32. Did Simon say “Holy shit” at around the 7:10 mark?

    4 years ago
  33. Rock the rocker room and keep the rocker key with you at all times? It was good English until I read that part XD. So funny lol. Thanks a bunch for the videos~!!

    4 years ago
  34. Okay, I gotta stop watching WANK videos when I’m currently hungry, this makes it only worse.

    4 years ago
    • I know EXACTLY how you feel. My stomach makes more and more noise. But there isn’t too much yummy food here.

      4 years ago
  35. spudy is too cute. that was my best part of the video. it was like la la la la fun with simon and martina then that reunion just crept up on me i got teary eyed.

    4 years ago
  36. Although there is a lot of Kpop in Japan, there is also a ton of Kpop that is sung IN Japanese, and that is what has really helped to push Kpop further. 

    4 years ago
  37. OMG That’s awesome guys! I’m so jealous of everyone who got to meet you there… honestly, if 
    I had a list of people I want to meet in my lifetime, you guys are at the top of that list. The food looks so yummy. ^^

    4 years ago
  38. When are you guys post kpop music mondays? I was dying lol!

    4 years ago
  39. my friend was in japan for 6 months, she told me that although kpop is everywhere, quite a lot of the japanese people she knew were sick of it xD 

    4 years ago
    • I’ve never been to Japan either, but the semester I spent at college I was a language parter for one of the Japanese exchange students, and would chat with her and her friends over lunch. Anyway, of course my love for kpop came up….one of the girls hated it and didn’t like any kpop. One knew some songs from Kara or SNSD……and the other girl, who actually liked kpop, didn’t know any of the newer bands, so she liked some of Super Junior and Tohoshinki’s older stuff (No B2ST, UKISS, SHINee, or MBLAQ) Kind of interesting XD

      4 years ago
    • My penpal in Japan is 23 and she loves K-pop. She’s a fan of After School, SNSD and Big Bang too. She goes to concerts a lot. When I was in Japan I saw that there were actual “Kpop stores” where everyone can get all kinds of pictures, calendars, keychains with their favorite idols on them. And KARA was in about 3 TV commercials while I was there.

      4 years ago
    • I did ask…or rather, I spoke with almost a hundred people between the ages of 20-70, and would mention at some point that I liked Bigbang. Generally there were the following responses:

      1. Haha sorry, I’m really not with the times. Haven’t listened to mainstream music for over 30 years…wait actually, I still remember a bit *starts singing enka song* (OLDER PEOPLE)

      2. Oh, Kpop? You mean like KARA and Shoujo Jishou (SNSD)? They’re not bad. Haven’t heard of Bigbang though. (MOST PEOPLE) Fair enough, since KARA is playing in practically half the supermarkets and shops.

      3. I like Bigbang too!! There’s their sister group too, 2NE1 yea? *rants about other kpop groups* Eh you’re going to the YG Family Concert? I’m so jelly~!!! (10 people? All were females, 20-40)

      4. You like Korean music? *awkward silence* How about Japanese music? Do you know Monkey Majik? (Japanese who have lived overseas, or vice versa)

      5. Ugh, what’s with all those Kpop groups and their white suits?? The boys are too girly. I hate Jang Geun Suk *tears up flyer with his face*. (a few guys).

      But then again, I hardly spoke to anyone under 20, so that excludes all the emotional teens and pre-teens, who would probably be the main target market. Oh, and the stay-at-home aunties lol :p

      4 years ago
      • I’m teaching English to Elementary and JHS kids right now in Japan.
         
        I’ve only met one girl in JHS who was really into Kpop, but she only knew KARA, Girls Generation, and T-ara.  It seems like most of the students are pretty uninterested in Kpop, especially since they have their Jpop equivalents in AKB48 and Johnny’s.  When I’ve been to Karaoke, though, I’ve seen posters for @1amLinK:disqus irls Generation, 2NE1, and Shinee.
         
        When I studied abroad here I think there was only one girl I knew who liked Big Bang, but again most people didn’t seem particularly interested.  Now that I think about it, the only people I’ve met or heard about liking kpop here are all girls.
         
        Recently for a couple months I keep seeing an advertisement on TV that says “Date a Kpop Star!”  They have these Korean guys dressed in white suits all lined up, and then they have a close-up of each of them holding roses and saying something really cheesy in Japanese, like “I love you,” “You’re beautiful,” or “I don’t want you to go home tonight” (rawr). XD  Basically you pay money each month to text them.  I didn’t recognize any of the guys, so either they’re just random Korean guys (they were definitely Korean, since they all had Korean accents), or they really ARE a Kpop group but not at all popular.  I seriously hope that no one falls for it… because it’s obviously a scam >,<
         

        4 years ago
      •  i’ve heard this too. i’ve never been to japan, but i have a language partner from there, and she pretty much said that the only thing korea is good for was food. :( i can’t talk to her about kpop for fear that she will hate me ;'(

        4 years ago
  40. totally awesome!! i’ve always wanted to go to japan!!

    that meet-up was pretty sweet, tho i find it hilarious that it’s pretty much all female except simon!!

    4 years ago
    • There was one more guy there!  And, no, we didn’t get those PJs.  We were thiiiiiiiiis close to buying them, but we had no room in our bags to pack them.

      4 years ago