Finally Back from Japan…plenty of visuals like THE LIQUID ROOM

4 04 2008

*sigh*…it’s only been a couple days since I left Japan and I’m already going through withdrawels. To be honest it sucks to be back in the States running into the usual annoyingly rude, inconsiderate people….mostly youngsters lol. XD

So we stayed in Ikebukuro again. I can never get tired of this area especially the night life. Great shopping area as I found a bunch of great clothing stores and music shops that carried some awesome electric guitars. I got the chance to try a Gibson Les Paul Custom and the John Lennon Epiphone Casino electric….oh man, the pick ups sounded excellent! Very smooth. Now I want a Les Paul Casino…*sigh*…some of the prices were decent but I brought my electric Kuro-chan with me so carrying two guitars back on the plane would have been difficult. I DID manage to get another Guitar gig bag but ended up giving it to my brother who needs it more since his current gig bag was falling apart. Perfect timing too as he has a few gigs this week.

 But anyhow, this journal post is will be more of a visual journal of my events in Japan. Though I will try to elaborate on some questionable images haha! Also check out the real Liquid Room ^_^.

And just another note, you’ll notice that people’s faces are pixelated. This is a common practice in Japan to protect the identity of strangers and other people. I decided to do this as well out of courtesy.

 So let’s begin, shall we? Just click on the thumbnail image to access the Flickr galleries.

Ikebukuro - Yamanote LineIkebukuro – The place where our hotel was located. Had access to several places cool places like the following:

Sakura TaisenSakura Taisen Cafe and Shop – Images explain it all. Almost had the chance to see the last closing performance of a Sakura Taisen Seiyuu but totally had forgotten it since we were indulging ourselves in Namja Town. Anyhow, normally people are not allowed to take picture inside the store but since it was the last day (the Sakura Cafe is officially closed btw) then the staff allowed visitors to take shots. すごい!

The Namja Town signNamja Town – A small Namco theme park inside the Sunshine 60 Mall in Ikebukuro. Wonderful assortment of food and snacks plus some small rides and matsuri type of games. Seiyuu come here often to perform. Unfortunately none where present when we were there…go figure.

NakanoNakano – Another awesome place to shop since it hold several sections of Mandarake! This means used Manga and character goods galore! Inside the Nakano mall is also a bunch of small clothing boutiques. One in particular was ‘Army Girl’ which was sweet. I stocked up on some more spiked chokers, bracelets and belts to prepare for more “rock show” visits at the “Whiskey-a-gogo” and the “2nd Street Jazz cafe” in Los Angeles. I feel a bit too old to be visiting the Roxy like I used too LOL. My brother performs at the 2nd Street Jazz Cafe so if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check him out. In Nakano we also had lunch at the ufotable Cafe which is part of the ufotable Animation studio animated titles like: Weiz Kruez, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed, Futakoi Alternative, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!, Coyote Ragtime Show, Tales of Symphonia (YAY!) and many more! They also worked on the recently released movie “Garden of Sinners.” Almost caught a showing at an Ikebukuro movie theater but ran out of time.

Ueno ParkUeno Park – It’s Hanami time! We watched the Sakura…not much were in bloom when we went but a few days later they managed to flourish….grrrr.

Yoyogi Shrine directoryYoyogi Shrine and Park – The shrine was nice. Before you enter the shrine, be sure to do the standard cleansing. You have to make sure you rinse your hands and at least your mouth. Some even cleanse their hair as well. Then you can enter the shrine and do your prayer. More of Yoyoi also included the famous Yoyogi park where lots of musical performances take place. You’ll see numerous bands around the area trying to outdo each other. Some have huge followings while others are starting out. I suppose it’s the place to get noticed but it was great catching some nice rock music. I ended up buying a CD from the band called “Chocolate Chip Cookies”….they sort of sound like Digijelly for those of you who are familiar with the Japanese Urban Rock scene. Most of the bands have a real raw sound which appeals to me. I tend to stay away from the pretty boy “hair bands” LOL.

Harajuku Station signHarajuku – One of my favorites. Some nice clothing boutiques and accessory stores…yes I like to shop for clothes. Anyway, I don’t have too many images on the Harajuku section since I needed to recharge my battery LOL. A shame too but I have Shibuya, Yoyogi and Shinjuku images to make up for it.

 Rock shopShinjuku – A very “cool” place to be. Did some clothing shopping and ended up with a 10,000 yen jacket which is almost the equivalent of just $100 so it wasn’t that expensive…to be honest, I was expecting to pay more.   Hey, when you’re in another country you might as well make the most of it, right? I didn’t take too many pictures here since we lingered mostly in the Red Light district of Shinjuku. You have to be careful since it’s full of Yakuza. I thought this fact was awesome. I love being in the middle of danger, heh. Since I grew up a “City Gal” and my playground when I was young was DownTown Los Angeles, I felt at home LOL.

Shibuya Station signShibuya – And here it is…the best place to shop for clothes and SHOES Hahaha! Even ended up getting a 12,000 yen pair of addidas high-tops. You’ll also find the well known meeting place located near the “Hachiko Inu”. I LOVE this place. I could shop here ALL day.  Oh yeah…here’s some wiki info on the Hachiko.

The LIQUID ROOMLIQUID ROOM – Yes, this is real one that I based my doujin off of. This is where Natsuki performs LOL! Be sure to check it out.

GinzaGinza – This is like the equivalent to Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive. Mostly middle aged people go here though Ginza has been recently reported to try to attract the younger crowd with some hipper shops. It’s also good to see that Japan loves Apple, heh. ^_-. Also had the chance to see the extremely small JAXA museum. If JAXA rings a bell, you’l remember that it’s the equivalent of US’ very own NASA space program. JAXA was also featured in the sci-fi anime entitled “Rocket Girls” LOL!

 Tokyo Bay TourTokyo Bay – Join me as I take the “Mai Hime episode 1 Cruise ship Tour”, LOL! The images will contain extra text for additional info. ^_-

TAF Tokyo Bigsite signTAF (Tokyo Animation Festival) – Yup! Got the chance to visit this official Anime Tradeshow located at the Tokyo Bigsite where Comiket is held. saw a lot of interesting stuff including a silent auction for an autographed Mai Hime promotional poster. I forgot to check on the final results of this auction. I heard it was going for pretty high though. There may be a few images that are slightly blurry but when you’re walking and trying to get past people quickly, it’s bound to occur.

Konata in Akiba!Akihabara – Don’t think that I forgot about this place! We spent about 3 days shopping here and I spent close to $800 in figures, manga, audio CDs, DVD boxset, character goods business card holders LOL. If I included the clothes that I purchased with, then I actually spent a grand total of 150,000 yen (yeah about $1500 equivalent). Spent lots of time in 3 different Liberty Stores, Yellowsubmarine, Toranoana, Animate, Asobit City, etc. Keep in mind that if you are a US resident, the maximum you can get past Customs is $800 without having to pay a fee. The maximum amounts in other countries are subject to be different so just look up the your country’s Customs border inspection sites to determine what the maximum allowance is before you have to pay a fee. Anyhow it also helps to buy used manga so you can purchase more without worrying about exceeding the costs. And if you buy clothing, don’t include that…just wear it and pack it (remove the tags). Other places within Akiba that I had the chance to visit were some Maid cafe’s. My friend and I have made this a tradition everytime we go to Japan LOL. More women are starting to visit these places which is cool. Now I don’t have to feel so odd….hey…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It’s pretty entertaining.

On another note, you’ll notice some images of street performers…they were a hoot! As usual I pixelated some faces to protect people’s identities…moreso the rebel Haruhi Dance group that was performing LOL…cops came to try to break them up but I think they managed to escape before that happened. Some other street performers like singers may like the exposure with the pictures but just to play it safe, I chose to pixelate their faces as well.

So there you have it…my trip to Japan rolled into one Blog post haha! As always, it’s a fun experience. Last time I went, it was around the time of “The Tokyo game Show” but this time around I wanted to visit TAF (Tokyo Animation Festival) so we scheduled our trip around that. The trip was something I really needed as I was stressed out from work beforehand. Again to reiterate, you might find it disappointing that there were not a lot of indoor shots…it’s not really allowed in Japan so there’s not much I can do there, right? One can always ask politely which I did and if they still refuse, then just put away the camera. No worries. Just being there made up for it all  ^_____^

Speaking of work, I’m no longer at Bandai as I’ve returned to Video Game Industry once again. I’m now involved with a smaller development studio but I at least landed a wonderful position as an Art Director. So that is my line of work now. Once we get past our initial business plans, our Studio Director/Executive Producer gave me the “OK” to release information but that will be later down the road. But that will be much much later. So hang on tight. We are also working on some manga so you’ll be able to see some samples soon. We are trying the Square-Enix approach and trying to corner each sector of the industry so please continue to support my work if possible. I appreciate the support that I’m receiving thus far and it’s you guys who really motivate me to pump out whatever NatShiz artwork I can get out. While I’ll still do the NatShiz stuff, I will pay attention to my original artwork that I’m creating with the Game Development company. So wish me luck! ^_^;;

 *sigh*….I’m still operating on Japan time LOL as it’s 12:55pm over there and it’s 8:55pm here in California Haha!

Until then…..またね、

Lone Wolf

一匹狼

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7 responses

4 04 2008
ShizNat_No_Yume

Heyyyy! Glad you’re back safe and sound from your trip ^__^ I wish I could have seen the cherry blossoms blooming….would have been nice lol
I hope your movement away from Bandai gets you a bit less stressed…also, those places in Japan look really nice *__*
Oh, I was thinking of sending you another e-mail, but I never received a response from the first one xD You know, it’s kind of my point in life when I’m trying to figure out what I would be happy doing for the rest of my life…I got accepted to MMI as well. I’ll probably be going to college after that lol
Anyways, I was wondering if we could talk about some things..I don’t really know any female motorcycle mechanics, besides yourself.
Uh….I guess you can send me an e-mail? o.o; Yeah……talk to you later!
~Samy
Oh, and um…

4 04 2008
Art Blog » Finally Back from Japan…plenty of visuals like THE LIQUID ROOM

[…] Do ya feel lucky? Well do ya, Punk? ~ Clint Eastwood added an interesting post on Finally Back from Japan…plenty of visuals like THE LIQUID ROOMHere’s a small excerpt […]

4 04 2008
Kiyuki

Hey, glad to hear that you had such a great trip. It makes me more anxious for my up coming trip next summer, lol. Congrats on the new job too! I hope that things are better for you there, especially with a title of Art Director in the Vid Game Business. Hopefully we’ll get to see some of your original artwork soon, and some more NatShiz too.

7 04 2008
Lone Wolf

To ShizNat_No_Yume

Oh, I was thinking of sending you another e-mail, but I never received a response from the first one xD You know, it’s kind of my point in life when I’m trying to figure out what I would be happy doing for the rest of my life…I got accepted to MMI as well. I’ll probably be going to college after that lol

Ugh…a thousand apologies. I’ll track down that email. ^_^;;

You go into MMI? That’s great! Which programs/electives are you going to take after the prerequisites? I ended up taking Yamaha and Suzuki when I was there. I stayed away from Kawasaki since that’s just dying anyway. The last time I was at MMI, a couple of my friends took the class….but that only made up about 4 or 5 people LOL! Typically a class consists of 15-30 student. Anyway good luck!

Which MMI? Arizona or Florida?

7 04 2008
Lone Wolf

To Kiyuki

Hey, glad to hear that you had such a great trip. It makes me more anxious for my up coming trip next summer, lol.

Well that’s pretty awesome that you’re going as well. Hope you have fun! Are you staying in the remote Tokyo areas? Or did you purchase a JR Rail pass and plan to travel to more destinations that what the Yamanote line has to offer?

7 04 2008
ShizNat_No_Yume

LoneWolf,

I’m actually going into Kawasaki and Suzuki. I’m an imported bike fan ^^; I really hate Harley’s with a passion @__@ I think I’m going to go to the Arizona campus….not 100% positive though. Thanks for the luck. I think I’m going to need it ^^;

I might have to get another owner for BS if I end up spending too much time with MMI xD

~Samy

8 04 2008
Kiyuki

I’m not really sure yet, but I’m thinking somewhere in the Ikebukuro area. I have a sensei that just moved from there and he’s giving me a hand and some extra tips, lol. I haven’t really decided if I want to buy a JR pass yet or not. I do hope to be able to go and see as much as I can while I’m there. Still working out the kinks though, lol. Thanks for the well wishes too.

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