A Weekend in Tokyo, Japan
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!
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:
— Cynthia Chii (@tchiipi) March 18, 2012
…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.
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: