Post Tagged with: "Pokemon"

Tokyo Trip: Making a List

Even though a trip to Japan has been my wish for years, the list of places I wanted to visit in Tokyo was small. Most of those places are related to pop culture and not so much the traditional side of Japan.

Pokemon

If you’re here, you probably know I’m a gamer. I’ve been a Pokemon fan for as long as it’s been available in the West, so the Pokemon Center is high on my list. Tokyo now also has a Pokemon Cafe, which is also on my list. We’ll have to make a reservation in advance if we want to go there, but it’s probably worth it (the experience, not the food).

Tokyo Tower

Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash

Tokyo tower is a well known landmark that’s often seen in anime and dorama. I do want to see it, but I have no desire to go inside. I have a fear of heights and I have no idea how that’ll show itself when we reach the observatory deck.

There’s also the Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku with free access to their observatory deck. I’d rather go there, in a building with enough support.

Budokan and Tokyo Dome

Both places are pretty famous. Budokan is an event location where lots of sumo tournaments are held, but it’s also the place to be if you’re in a band. That’s the stage to aim for.

Tokyo Dome is home to Tokyo’s baseball team, Yomiuri Giants, but the whole area is made to entertain. I’ve seen various concerts filmed from Tokyo Dome and it would be nice to see how big it really is. The Tokyo Dome area has attractions, a shopping mall and food court around it which makes a good area to go on a date.

I doubt we’ll go inside these places, but that’s okay.

Sensoji Shrine

Sensoji shrine is probably one of the most recognisable shrines in Japan. The bright red kaminari is one of the most photographed sites of the shrine and most people know where it is.

It’s a tourist trap. The shops lined up from the gate towards the shrine will probably be more expensive than when you buy the same things somewhere else. And since it’s popular with both foreign tourist, local tourists also like to visit the shrine.

Come early to avoid the huge crowds. And don’t forget to check out the smaller shrines in the area.

The list with all the places that we’re going to visit it much longer of course, but these came to mind when I first started thinking about what I wanted to see.

Tokyo Trip: Where It All Began

If you’ve read my latest post here or follow me on Twitter, you might have heard that I’m going to Japan this year. We’re just visiting Tokyo, but there’s so much to do and so much I want to see, that we won’t be bored.

My interest began many years ago, but I was already Pokemon daily and regularly watched Dragonball Z, Sailormoon, or other dubbed anime on Jetix. But there is one other pop culture franchise that truly launched me into the otaku world: Kingdom Hearts.

I’m not even talking about the game (which is amazing), but the TV ad that ran before it came out. I loved Disney and Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts had both. The anime look just completed it.

The ad had the amazing soundtrack done by Utada Hikaru. The song is called Simple and Clean in English and Hikaru in Japanese. I fell in love with that song and I spend two hours looking for it online. I don’t remember if the ad actually mentioned it, but I missed it. The Japanese version popped up first and later I found the English version. But I was hooked.

I explored more of Utada’s music and found Maaya Sakamoto later. She’s also a well known seiyuu. One of the shows she did was Escaflowne which was one of the first animes I watched.

From there on, I went into jdrama. Kimi wa Petto was my first, with Matsumoto Jun. I loved his acting and looked him up. He is the concert master of the boyband Arashi. He provides the MC when necessary when they do live performances.

I just found out there’s a remake of Kimi wa Petto on Viki from a few years ago and I might have to watch it now…

Arashi was the biggest snowball. From there I found more jdramas, other Japanese artists and connected more with the Japanese culture from watching their variety shows. If you need something fun to watch, try finding episodes of Himitsu no Arashi with English subs. Below is a highlight reel of things they do.

All of the Arashi members did their own shows and series. By watching most of what they’ve done, drama or real life things, my knowledge and interest in the Japanese culture became larger.

My wish to visit Japan and see the places from the series in real life, taste the foods that they showed, but most of all, I want to try the sweets.

Come back later to follow me as I prepare for the trip of a lifetime. If you want to know more about something specific (like my obsession with Arashi or Pokemon) let me know in the comments below so I can dedicate a separate post to it.

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