Good Friends, Games, and Drinks at the Capcom Bar in Shinjuku

After visiting friends towards the middle and southern parts of Japan, I took one last trip up to Tokyo to hang with some peeps I feel like I never see often enough.

Although we’d all been contemplating visiting the limited Ani-ON Sailor Moon cafe, reservations were totally booked through, so someone else in our circle suggested hitting up the Capcom Bar that’s also on a limited run in Shinjuku instead. ¬†Hey, it’s not like I needed any convincing! ūüėČ

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Traveling: See Japan for Cheap with the Seishun 18 Kippu

On a previous travel guide post, I mentioned some cheaper ways to travel around Japan. ¬†One of the ways to to do this is with a Seishun 18 Kippu (read as “seishun juuhachi kippu“), that allows you 5 days of unlimited JR train access except for special expresses/shinkansen. ¬†Granted you’ll need a lot of time to get around, but it’s great for backpackers, group travel, and hopping off random stations to explore‚Ķ ¬†Or people like me who don’t mind spending half a day or two on the train to save 40,000 yen ($400 USD) in travel costs.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

That’s right! ¬†I went to Gifu, Okayama, and back, and that’s about how much I saved with this ticket and choosing to by local/rapid trains instead of taking the bullet train. ¬†My whole train fare for the trip (including another trip I took to Tokyo with a friend to see the Fushigi YŇęgi¬†play) cost me less than 10,000 yen ($100 USD) with a Seishun 18 Kippu.

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White Day in Kawasaki & Yokohama

Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day where girls give chocolate and other baked confectionaries to their significant other or the guy they’re crushing on. ¬†But what do girls get out of it, you might ask? ¬†A month later, on March 14th, is when guys are supposed to offer up something in return. ¬†That usually means some sweets they’ve bought from a department store or a hot date.

Personally I prefer the American style way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, but because Mr. J and I didn’t have any time to spend the day of, we both had the weekend after White Day off, and so Mr. J promised to take me out somewhere then.

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Traveling: Missing My Flight

If you’ve been traveling for as long as I have, you’re bound to eventually experience that one flying disaster from hell. ¬†(And if for some reason you never do, I envy you ūüėČ ) ¬†Mine came as I was coming home to Japan, on an American Airlines flight from Dallas (DFW) that got re-routed from Chicago (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX).

Long story short, there were some maintenance delays with the aircraft that caused me to miss my connecting flight in Los Angeles (LAX) to Narita (NRT). ¬†Well technically I didn’t miss it and arrived at the gate 10 minutes before take-off, but they refused to board two other guys booked for the same flight as myself, probably because they had given our seats away to stand-by. ¬†Irritating, but hey it happens. ¬†Little did I know a shitstorm of bad customer service and excuses was next to come.

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Souvenir Culture

I’ve talked about souvenir culture in some previous posts, but since this will be my last post before I leave for the U.S. and I’m getting ready to make my souvenir list, I thought I’d write a more detailed post about what makes a good souvenir/gift and when to give them.

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Local Korokke Festival

Mr. J and I live in a somewhat rural part of Japan. ¬†I really like the area we live in, but sometimes other foreigners that are new to Japan and get placed here go on about how there’s nothing to do and how they wish they were living in Tokyo or a bigger city. ¬†Besides easier access to concerts, conventions, and huge shopping areas, I can’t think of anything Tokyo and other bigger cities have that rural ones don’t. ¬†Believe me, I’ve lived in Tokyo. ¬†ūüėČ

I find most of the time the problem is that people just don’t know where to look. ¬†For example, the shrine we took a walk through in last week’s 7-5-3 post held a korokke (Japanese loan word for croquette) festival during the holiday weekend. ¬†Our area is always putting on various events to introduce local cuisine/culture like this one, but if we hadn’t seen fliers for it or heard about it through a friends, we probably wouldn’t have known it was going on.

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