terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Top Ten Highlights From The Trip

Don't think I'd be able to write about this trip the way I do whenever I'm on assignment in a disaster zone. But at least I have highlights to crow about:

# 10:

Cute Femalefolk. What can I say? The ratio is amazing. It's eye-candy land and it's all I could do not to leer at every person in a skirt that walked by. After a while, X and I needed bibs to keep ourselves decent looking.

# 9:

Getting Picked Up By Someone.

Er, yeah... cute woman near where I was staying stops me and then asks something in nihon-go. I say I don't understand and then she speaks in English: Are you wearing perfume?

Uh, yes.

It's a very nice smell. What is it called?

Polo. Ralph Lauren.

Very nice smell.

Er, thank you.

You stay here?

Just for a while. I'm visiting.

Oh, that's too bad. Maybe you visit again soon?

(Er, hell yeah!)

And that, as they say, was that.

# 8:

Drinking at Izakaya Meals.

There's very little bad to be said about going to a restaurant, ordering finger foods (deep fried chicken cartilage) and then having all the drinks you can have for 2 hours. Kiwi shochu, grapefruit shochu, sake bombers (shot of sake dropped into a half mug of beer and drunk at one go - very lethal combination).

# 7:

The Weather.

16 to 23 degrees the whole time. No perspiration, no sweat stink, no problem.

Sigh. I come back here, I feel completely unhygienic.

# 6:

Toy Shops at Akihabara.

Multiple buildings. 6-7 storeys of geek! fun. And all following the same floor layout:

Ground floor - All things Gundam.

2nd Storey - Model kits. Accessories. Paint. Painting accessories.

3rd Storey - Remote control cars. Including enough electronics for someone to make a bomb out of their old army mosquito repellant, some wires and their mother's old make-up kits.

4th Storey - Train modelling kits. Yeah, I know, yawn.

5th Storey - Replica firearms. Yep. For the inner Rambo in all of us. Replica firearms all the way from the M1 Garands, M14 carbines and MP40s from WW2 to the latest stuff, including that 50-cal sniper rifle. Uniforms from all over the world (including the USMC digital pattern desert camo fatigues), boots, accessories. That's right, accesories. So if anyone wants to soup up their personal rifles or other mundane equipment with laser scopes, torchlight holders, straps to engage in their most S&M fantasies, during their next in-camp, this would be the place to go.

Anime Heaven
Originally uploaded by Terz.

6th Storey - All things anime. Full-sized, scantily-clad anime chicks; quoth I, "Hmm. I don't remember this from the series."

# 5:

Museums Galore.

For Art. For Western Art. For Design. For Scandinavian Design. For a former Samurai family. For Photography. Cheapest ways to spend an afternoon. And most of them located in huge, serene parks. Speaking of which...

# 4:

The Parks.

Most of them attached to a shrine or temple of some sort. Most of them not as crowded as the more popular tourist places. And with the kind of weather we had while we were there, always good places to hang out, catch some sun, people watch and take a break from all the walking I'd been doing.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Singapore prides itself as being clean and green. No contest man. We're talking about Japan, about Tokyo. Population density alone would outrank us. Yet, someone made a conscious effort to keep all these parks in the city. Something to think about, when all we see are more and more concrete structures coming up where open spaces with grass and trees used to be.

# 3:


Fresh. Huge slabs. For 100 yen per dish that comes with two pieces. For all dishes. Uni for 100 yen? I'd take it.

# 2:

Great Ramen.

Case in point, consider this:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

This is the Kyushu Jangara special. The zen ramen - one with everything. A healthy dollop of noodles, in a pork stock soup, tons of ingredients, especially the meat. It had the usual slabs of char siew and two chunks of what I'll call bwee bak (fatty meat).

And all for 980 yen.

Come to think of it, all the food I had was great. For the budget I had, that is. Probably would have died and gone to heaven if I'd chosen to eat out a little more and try any of the more expensive looking restaurants.

On that note: these are the nachos served at TGIF in Roppongi. I'd say rip off, much.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Four measly chips. For 650 yen. Ouch!

# 1:

Shrines and Temples.

You know it's going to be a spiritual sort of visit when the moment you step into a shrine in Ueno Park in the morning, and the crows in the overlapping tree branches above your head take up the chorus of, "Oh! Oh! O-hayo!"

Sigh. Things like this that give you the good kind of goosebumps don't happen nearly often enough anywhere.

Coming in close at #11 would have been the mistake we made on our first day in Tokyo. Was supposed to catch the Keisei Limited Express from the airport to Tokyo, but we boarded the wrong train. Got onto a bullet train instead, one that would have cost us 2940 yen instead of the 1000 yen we paid, but we got away with it. Conductor came on and I made a show of getting up and trying to find my ticket in my hand carry. Dude just walked away.

So, yeah... there's the funny story.

The other one I promised, about the thruster hoshii-desuka, ask me in person.


  • At 4:29 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger sei-ji rakugaki said…

    sounds like a fun trip for less than a thousand.
    should try the "book-off" if you come again.
    it is a chain of 2nd hand book store/dvd/cd, u can get a good quality dvd(porn included) for less 300 yen or so;)..


    ーsingaporean in tokyo.


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