Ever get that floating-face-down feeling? Well, I did the day before yesterday when I attempted to negotiate the JE shop. XD I got there about 1, and the guy tried to explain very lengthily in Japanese about something or other, but I just took the ticket he gave me and said in Japanese "...I'll come back at 5 o'clock", because that's all he needed to say, really! I don't think Japanese people quite understand how to speak to foreigners - in Britain we have a lot more experience talking to people whose first language isn't English, I guess, but Japanese people don't always understand that it's much easier if they leave out all the gozaimasu-es and stick with easy words we might actually recognise. ^^'
In any case! I spent the intervening hours in Hama Rikyu Teien, down by the bay. It's an old garden with lakes and a teahouse and some beautiful, beautiful iris beds and azaleas. Wonderfully peaceful, even though there were quite a lot of visitors.
So then, when it was time, I headed back to Harajuku, had a cup of tea, and got in the queue. XD Even though my ticket was for 5pm, I didn't get in till well after 6. An American couple were sitting opposite the area where you have to wait, and I could tell they were dying to know what we were all queueing for, so eventually the guy came over and I explained to him in tones of shame and amusement. ^^;; After at least an hour and a half, then, I finally got across the road to the shop, where they put you in a kind of holding room downstairs where half the photosets are. You get sheets of paper with numbered boxes on, and you mark in the boxes how many you want, so I had at the K8 pics and then got in the queue to go upstairs, to where the other half of the sets are, including NewS.
It was only when I'd got right to the front of the queue to pay when I realised all the bands have their own set of numbers, so I had to hastily try and cross off the ones I'd added since I went upstairs, otherwise I could've ended up with some random weird ones, being as how they'd be from the K8 selection and all. XD (At least I only got a dozen or so photos, so she could show me them all to check!) I only spent, like, £10, which seems a waste considering the whole experience took about 3 hours. XD In short: next time, I won't bother with the official shop, I'll just go to the knock-off places a couple of streets over. They have older stuff too! :D So I'm so sorry, aicha
, I failed in my attempt to get you Shige pics! *hangs head* However! I did raid the second hand bookshops in Jimbocho, and there's a marvellous place that has copies of magazines going back to the mid-90s, so I got some gold
there. Including two where Yoko is still called Kimitaka! :O Some were really expensive (like, 2800yen O.O), and I'm afraid I'm too cheap to pay £14 for a magazine, lol, so I stuck to ones for about 1000yen and less, and I think I did pretty well. I'll scan them when I get back because everyone is so cute and fresh-faced! XD
So after that somewhat failing experience, I decided to get away from Tokyo yesterday and headed to Kamakura, which is full of shrines and temples (and a giant Buddha, but I didn't get that far cos my feet were killing me ^^;;). It was absolutely gorgeous - some parts were full of visitors and schoolkids, of course, but it was a lovely little town and the temples were pristine (though all seemed to have construction work going on ^^;;). The gardens are so beautiful I can't put it into words. In one of them you could even hear the monks chanting some way away, it was so atmospheric. I walked a short hiking course to a shrine where you can wash your money and it's supposed to multiply. I didn't actually try it, but the shrine reminded me of Taos pueblo - full of people selling stuff (except in Taos it wasn't as tacky XD) and a bit ramshackle, but utterly charming (and wonderful-smelling).
Exhausted, I got the train back to Tokyo and attempted to find food - sadly, all the places I wanted to eat looked like they didn't have picture menus (what can I say, I'm a classy person! XD) so I ended up going to this counter place where I had pork chop curry which wasn't great, but it only cost 650yen and I could say it. XD Then I went back to the hotel, watched Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom being bemused by small children on some TV show hosted by SMAP (I think - well, almost every evening entertainment show seems to be them or Downtown), then Hanayome to Papa. (Oh! And the other day I saw Propose Daisakusen too. :) Then I fell asleep, and when I woke up and flicked around a bit, Muchaburi was on! But it was just finishing. ;_; I completely forgot it was on Tuesdays! I thought it was Wednesday, and JaniBen on Thursday, but I guess that's because it's technically Wednesday morning. -_- Damn. Oh well, must remember to watch tonight!!!
This entry's been a bit less detailed than I would've done (haha, did you notice? ^^;;) but I really need to dash to the station and get to Osaka by 5. :D Still got to email the WWOOF place too! I need to know if they can have me, soon!