unfortunate stuff happened all over me today

started fine, went to the conveyor sushi place, that was all well and good

then i tried to go to one of the namco arcades, but actually got lost for the first time since ive gotten here. i wandered around a busy city area for a good 45 minutes before i gave up and just wanted to find the train station again. that took another 20 minutes or so.

when i finally got there i thought “no, i already came all the way into town i should at least check out the arcade”. so i flagged down a police lookin fella and asked him where the ferris wheel was since i knew the arcade was near there and i was able to get there pretty quick after that.

now, when i got it in my mind that i was going to an arcade, i was thinking it was actually a place where people would play games. in reality, it was 80% claw machines and chance games, 15% gambling machines with a bunch of old women huddled around them, and 5% speed games where there were already people who had spent 100+ hours on them in lines.

I fucked around with some claw machines with pokemon stuff in em. tried getting a ditto-disguised-as-pikachu plushie, but wound up with nothing. i was about to head out, but i still didnt have anything to show for my time at the arcade. so i said “fuck it, i’ll at least try to win a titty statue” and sauntered up to a promising looking machine. i popped three coins in without looking thinking they were 100 yen coins but in reality they were 500 yen coins. i tried the return coin button but my $15 were already taken by the titty statue, so now i had 18 plays on this slow ass machine that i had to play while countless judging eyes passed me by, silently and diligently evaluating the tall, chubby, pale, sweaty american weirdo who apparently desperately wanted this statue of a scantily clad college student

after a while i was finally through and i head back down to the ground floor and to the train station, but i passed “Men’s Hankyu” and i remembered my parents begging me to get new shoes since I’ve been wearing the same pair for a good 5 years now. nothing interesting happened but the biggest shoe size they had was US 10 ½ and that’s at least 2.5 sizes too small for me, so i went up to the 5th floor for nothing

when i finally got to the station platform i decided i should grab some dinner, so i chose a neat little cafe that was overlooking the trains. contrary to popular belief, my japanese is pretty minimal. i usually cant hold any form of conversation without the other person knowing some english to use as a form of training wheels. to make a long story short, i tried to order pancakes and hot cocoa, and i got 0 pancakes and cocoa with ice in it (basically shitty chocolate milk with whipped cream) and it cost me like $4. and the glass wasn’t even that big.

the day ended with me shamefully walking into the mcdonalds near my apartment and getting a burger and fries. and now my feet hurt, im sweaty, tired, down like 40 bucks, and all my friends are asleep because of timezones.



A new series of Pokémon plushies (and more) has been announced at Pokémon Center! This series will come out on July 29th, 2017. Here’s the line-up:

- Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, Popplio plushies - 1 400 yen each
- Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, Popplio mascot plushies - 1 000 yen each
- A4 clear files set of 3 - 700 yen
- Japanese paper-like stickers - 450 yen
- Masking tape - 600 yen
- Stick-it notes - 500 yen
- A5 note pad - 380 yen
- Japanese paper-like envelopes - 600 yen
- Tenugui towel - 1 300 yen
- Hand towel - 500 yen
- Pouch - 1 900 yen
- Drawstring purse - 1 200 yen
- Hard case - 1 100 yen
- Folding fan - 2 200 yen
- Chopsticks - 1 000 yen
- Teacup - 1 700 yen
- Bowl - 1 000 yen
- Cropped trousers - 2 800 yen
- Japanese outfit - 4 800 yen
- Noren - 3 500 yen
- Piercing - 1 200 yen
- Earring - 1 200 yen
- Acrylic charms - 500 yen
- Paper theater - 2 000 yen

anonymous asked:

Hi! How are you? I saw the pictures of your previous trip to Japan. They are awesome. I plan to visit Kyoto this April and I would like to ask which Shinsengumi related places are worth the visit? Are there any places where I can buy Hakuouki related things? Last year I watched the whole Hakuouki anime series (all of the seasons, movies, specials) and I became a fan and I would like to visit the places which were mentioned in the anime. As you were there in April was it crowded? Best wishes, Éva

Thank you! I didn’t post nearly enough of them, honestly, I have so much more to talk about because the whole experience was just… completely surreal, but what is time? 

There are books dedicated to touring Japan to visit significant sites relating to the Shinsengumi, including two Hakuouki ones (one of which JUST came out). Of course, the biggest issue is that this information is all in Japanese and that’s something you’re going to come up against if you want to visit these places. You definitely don’t have to understand Japanese (I’ve heard of people managing) but it honestly helps.

My personal trip started in Tokyo, then we went down to Kyoto, back up North to Aizu-Wakamatsu and then onto Hakodate. We really just focused on many of the big spots but there’s just so much to cover, two weeks was never going to be enough, especially as it was my friend’s first time in Japan too so we had other things to do. 

As to the crowds, being hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season Tokyo and Kyoto were crowded, but I feel like that’s always a thing since it’s Japan, but the more you go off the beaten path, and the Shinsengumi sites kind of are off the beaten path, it’s not so bad. Aizu and Hakodate are definitely not as crowded, especially with foreign tourists. My friend and I were definitely standouts.

As far as being able to buy Hakuouki related goods, if it’s related to the Shinsengumi your chances of finding Hakuouki things to buy is high but it really depends on the location. I had the best luck in Kyoto, Aizu, and Hakodate since… they’re kind of big Shinsengumi hot spots, but we didn’t spend a lot of time in Tokyo for me to really go looking for stuff there. (I will say there is a disappointing lack of stuff in the Animates I went to.) I’ll be going back in April and focusing more on the sites in Tokyo so I’ll have to report back on that.

Here’s some of the major highlights of my trip that might be most worth noting:

**Warning: Long post is long! Click the location names for relevant links!**


Hijikata Toshizou Museum

The Hijikata family residence where Hijikata’s family resided during his lifetime has evolved to include a museum. Since the site is still a private residence, the added on museum is only open during certain days of the year. Typically two Sundays each month. Hino is considered part of greater Tokyo, but it’s quite a hike from the city itself. This is one of those places you have to be prepared to go to and spend a good chunk of your day at. The museum is small and you won’t be there long but it’s a wonderful place to go. The family runs it and is very pleasant to visit with. This is also where you would go to see Hijikata’s beloved sword, Izuminokami Kanesada. 


Being that Hino is Hijikata’s hometown, there’s more than just the museum to visit. Just a few minutes journey from the museum is the Sekiden-ji or Sekiden Temple which is one of at least four places, I believe, with a grave for Hijikata. It’s a temple with a cemetery, containing many members of the Hijikata family, so it’s important to be respectful but it’s easy to find the stone marker and the grave itself is nearby. 

Hino also has a big Shinsengumi festival every year in May. One of these days I’m going to go to it. 

It’s good to wander around the city a bit. There’s so many houses with the Hijikata name plate and it’s clear this town is proud of it’s famous historical figure. I’m looking forward to going back and exploring it more on my own to see what I missed last time.

Itabashi - Kondou Isami’s Grave Marker

Itabashi is where Kondou was executed and after the war was over, Nagakura Shinpachi built the grave to memorialize the commander in 1876. Hijikata’s name is also inscribed on the stone pillar. Nearby is also a grave for Shinpachi as well. It’s a straight shot from Itabashi station so it’s not too difficult to find. The grave honestly is a memorial to the entirety of the Shinsengumi, but being that this is where Kondou was executed, it has special significance for that reason.

Other places to visit in Tokyo, that I intend to visit when I go back this year, include: 

Shieikan dojo - There’s nothing much remaining here beyond a stone marker, but this is the origin of the Shinsengumi and worth visiting.
Ryuugen-ji - Kondou’s body was brought here (sans his head) after his execution and buried. 
Imado Shrine - This site is primarily famous for being the birthplace of the manekineko or ‘lucky cats’ but it’s also significant for being the site of the hospital where Okita Souji was supposed to be recovering from tuberculosis. It’s not his grave or where he actually died though.
Sensou-ji - But his grave is close at the famous Sensou-ji, however, it is only open one day a year.
Chofu/Mitaka City - Birthplace of Kondou Isami and many members of the Shinsengumi. 
Kashio Bridge - Former site of the Battle of Koushuu-Katsunuma, the battle the followed the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and Kondou Isami’s last battle before his execution.


Mibudera / Yagi House

One of the sites of the Shinsengumi’s headquarters, these two places are a must see. The nice thing is that once you find one, the other is right down the same road, practically around the corner. You’ll see big “makoto” banners that signify they’re Shinsengumi sites. The Yagi House does do tours but they will not be in English (hopefully you get the nice man with the strong Kansai accent–he’s super nice). After the tour you get to go to the little shop that’s out in front for some tea and a treat as part of paying for a ticket for the tour. There’s a little garden in Mibudera that you pay 100 yen to get into but that’s where all the statues and memorials are that are the highlight. Including this really neat prayer board:

Nishi Honganji

The second headquarters of the Shinsengumi. It’s HUGE and it’s beautiful. Definitely worth a visit. Seriously, my pictures do not do the size of this place justice. It was immense. No wonder the squad wanted to relocate here. 

Ikeda Inn/Hana no Mai Restaurant

Now the site of the Hana no Mai Ikeda Inn branch but there’s a stone marker outside that states that this is the site where the Ikeda Inn used to stand. You need to make reservations but worth it for a good meal and where I drank my way through the Hakuouki Shinsengumi XD

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle is a good place to visit just because it’s Kyoto and it’s where the Shogun lived when he was being protected by the Shinsengumi. As I recall it’s the site in the Hakuouki game where Kazama and the other demons reveal themselves to Chizuru while the Shinsengumi are guarding the Shogun.

Sanjo Bridge

We weren’t able to make it here, being on a time crunch, but it is near the castle. A site that is also famous to the Shinsengumi and all of Kyoto in general. This is the bridge where the notice was that Sano protected in Hakuouki. It’s also said that there’s a sword wound on one of the pillars on the east side from the Ikeda Inn Incident. 


Our ryokan was here so we got kind of an intimate experience of the area but it’s a nice little area to explore if you have the chance. The infamous red light district, this is where many men, the Shinsengumi included, would go to relax and drink off-duty. The entrance gate is kind of the major tourist attraction but this is where you can find the Sumiya.


This is the ageya famous for being visited frequently by Serizawa Kamo and the location where Hijikata and Kondou got Serizawa drunk before later assassinating him at the Yagi House. It’s also the oldest remaining example of an ageya still in existence. There’s sword marks inside made by Serizawa on the first and second floor. You need to make a reservation to see the second floor but it’s so worth it. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside (which is pretty typical) but there’s one room that is just covered all over with inlaid mother of pearl and it’s just insane. And they still don’t know how they did it! 

You are allowed to take pictures on the first floor and this is supposedly one of the sword marks from Serizawa:

Our ryokan was literally two houses down from this site and when I realized where we were I might have had an emotional freak out… >_>

There’s soooo many places in Kyoto though, one day I hope to go back and find the others that I know we missed. Fun side-story, one of the things one of my friends wanted to do what do some Shinsengumi cosplay, so he found us a shop that did it and on our last day in Kyoto we dressed up and got to visit the Mibudera in our outfits, it was pretty embarrassing but I’m glad we did it XD

Here, have a picture:

Ironically, it was the one day in our stay that it was RAINING LIKE CRAZY -_-


Tsuruga-jou (Tsuruga Castle) aka Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle

When Saitou talks about defending Aizu, this is the castle at the center of it all. Tsuruga Castle was the home of Lord Matsudaira Katamori, who is the man responsible for sponsoring the Shinsengumi in the first place. He is the man that they feel indebted to and is basically the man they answered to, ultimately, and this is where he and his family resided. And for me, this is where my fascination with this period in history started, so naturally I had to go back. The original castle had been so riddled artillery fire during the Battle of Aizu, that it was demolished by the new government in 1874. The tenshu, the largest tower of the castle, was reconstructed in 1965 and currently houses a museum on the inside. It really is a must-see for anyone interested in the Bakumatsu and the Shinsengumi. 

Iimori-yama (Iimori Hill) / Byakko-tai Memorial

The Byakko-tai was a squadron of young teenage boys from the Aizu domain that fought to defend Tsuruga Castle and the city of Aizu during the Battle of Aizu. They were fighting along with the remnants of the Shinsengumi that stayed behind (such as Saitou), perhaps not directly though under the same banner of Aizu, but tragically, when the boys saw Tsuruga Castle burning they assumed the castle had fallen and each committed ritual suicide on the hill. While the castle would eventually fall, the tragedy is the boys’ death was premature. At the top of a long path of stairs climbing up the side of the hill (mountain? Feels like a mountain lol) is the memorial dedicated to them. This was the site where I really felt my first interest in the Bakumatsu and the Boshin War blossoming, so while not exactly a Shinsengumi site per se, it’s still related history and worth visiting. 



The famous site of the last battle of the Boshin War. Goryoukaku fort is where Hijikata retreats with what remains of the pro-Shogunate forces when they flee to Hokkaido, at the time called Ezo. Now the site is a park that is infamous for it’s gorgeous cherry blossoms. I was sad that unfortunately we were there a little too soon for the cherry blossoms but practically all the trees on the site are cherry blossom trees so when they are in full bloom it is quite a site I’m told. 

The Magistrate’s Office (lower picture) was only recently rebuilt as a museum over the site of the original office and is the location of Hijikata and Chizuru’s infamous kiss in Hakuouki ;) Though in reality it is the last stand of Hijikata and his beleaguered men. Walking through it is rather incredible as much detail was put into the restoration and one of the rare sites that lets you take pictures throughout the interior. They had DVDs for sale that went through the details and the lengths that they went through to reconstruct the Magistrate’s Office and it is beyond fascinating, I purchased a copy and hope to be able to share it some day.

Goryoukaku Tower

Not necessarily a Shinsengumi site historically speaking but if you want a nice aerial view of Goryoukaku Fort this is where you want to go. Also, personally, there’s two wonderful Hijikata statues here that are worth seeing, and a whole blow-by-blow of the Battle of Hakodate that’s really neat and that I have pictures of that I hope to share at some point.

Shomyo-ji (Shomyo Temple) / Memorial Monument for Hijikata Toshizou and the Shinsengumi

Here’s a description taken from the sign on site:

“After joining Enomoto’s army, Toshizo Hijikata (deputy leader of Shinsengumi) was killed in the battle of Hakodate. Opinions are divided regarding the exact location of his burial; Ippongi in Wakamatsu-cho, Tsuruoka-cho, or Eikokubashi in Jujigai. A record taken from the Kongoji Temple in Hino, Hijikata’s hometown in present-day suburban Tokyo, only noted that Hijikata’s memorial monument was erected in Shomyoji Temple in Hakodate. The monument did not survive three fires during the Meiji era, and the present monument was erected in 1973 by volunteers. 

Four others names of Shinsengumi members’, whose tombstones in Shomyoji Temple were destroyed during a typhoon in 1953, were also engraved on the monument.”

Monument Marking the Site of Hijikata’s Death

Located in front of a rather normal office building, this was the end of our pilgrimage, which I’m not a religious person necessarily but the weight of standing here and having come so far, I cried. Finding this was a little difficult but we had managed to get lucky and when I explained to our taxi driver why we were there and what we were doing and he literally drove us to our last two destinations pointing out highlights and patiently waiting for us at each site. It’s really cheesy, I know, but coming here was the pinnacle of a long journey and I really hope I can go back again one day to pay my respects again.

This person’s blog has some great suggestions of things to see in Kyoto relating to the Shinsengumi: 


Of course, as I said earlier, the only downside is that none of it is in English, which is going to be the struggle for anyone really wanting an immersive Shinsengumi or Bakumatsu experience. While you can get around not knowing the language I feel like, honestly, there would be a lot lacking. Especially if you try to venture further North to Aizu or Hakodate, Aizu in particular would be tough for non-Japanese speakers. 

There were so many places to see and since I was not on my own there was just not enough time to hit them all, but these were the major stopping points on our tour along the path of the Shinsengumi. 


100 yen shops are a type of discount store that sell a wide range of products for 108 yen (100 yen + 8 percent consumption tax). I found and bought a set of 2 rice ball cases at a 100 yenshop in my neighborhood.

You can press the rice into a triangle easily with the case and plastic wrap without forming the hot rice with both hands and bring a rice ball kept in the case.

That’s awesome that it’s possible to get such a useful tool at 108 yen only.

[3/7/16] 🌿💛📚

what’s in my pencil case?

  1. little sticky tabs: i bought these in one of the 100 yen stores in japan. super useful for sticking on papers that i need to revise, get help with and keep track of!
  2. tombow correction tape, 2.5mm: was given this as a gift from my english teacher in japan. really convenient when i need to get rid of the tiniest of mistakes!
  3. whiper push-pull plus correction tape, 5mm: this was also a gift, but from a relative who visited vietnam. i’ve had so many correction tapes before, these are definitely my favourite.
  4. muji 0.5 gel pens: from a local store in the city. these gel pens are really good for writing notes and they last for quite some time.
  5. mildliner highlighters: they have a pastel coloured pay-off and have two different tips on both ends. 
  6. pentel sharplet-2, 0.5: i love mechanical pencils! they’re so easy to maintain, and you don’t need to sharpen them all the time. however, it is a bit thin and i prefer mechanical pencils that are the smallest bit thicker for a better grip. 
  7. muji 15cm ruler: it’s double sided and really light. so minimalistic too!
  8. 0.5 writing pens: i got these from vietnam when i went a few years ago. i haven’t used any other pens since! they’re really easy to write with. 
  9. muji black eraser: these have a better quality than the white erasers in my opinion! they don’t really ‘flake’ off and get a weird texture to it once you’ve used it for a while. 

New Takara TOMY products showing up!

Vol. 7 of Moncolle GET figures, featuring Meowth, Marowak and Sandslash (Kanto + Alola) will be released in April, 2017. The whole set will cost 2 500 yen.

Moncolle Pikachu Z move and Alolan Raichu Z move have been releaved! These will be released on April 22nd, 2017. Each figure will cost about 1 300 yen.

The talking Rotom Dex plush will be 29cm in height. It will be released on April 29th, 2017, for a price of 3 200 yen. Also a new Pikachu clip on has been revealed! This time with the hat Ash wears in the Sun & Moon anime. The plush will be 11cm in height. Release date is April 22nd, 2017, and the plush will retail at 2 100 yen.

Autumn - Making the Demon Cry
Gakuen K Drama CD
Autumn - Making the Demon Cry

To celebrate our braveheart vangard’s birthday I’m posting the translation of yet another hilarious Yatamoto’s foray in Gakuen K verse.

Translated again by fabulous @yumegasaki


@secretsoftheslate if you please

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