*rolls out of bed*
Here we go again. Another busy day of cultural enrichment.
🔞 Some pretty NSFW images in the 2nd half 🔞
Finished off all those snacks I bought last night for breakfast.
These bag shelves are handy. Very Japanese attention to detail.
Shimarin on the Shinkansen~
>idly checking my home security cameras
Another city I can say I’ve been to.
You can collect a stamp here.
Apparently a lot of major train stations have them.
Might have mentioned this before but I’m always discovering new things in my photos.
I tunnel-visioned and didn’t even notice that woman collecting her stamp.
Perfect timing, lol.
You can see Himeji Castle all the way from the station. Cool.
That is some good game design right there:
Using leading lines to drive the player’s attention towards the centre ✅
Using the castle as a goal for the players to work towards ✅
And it serves as a landmark to help them orientate themselves ✅
Guess I’ll walk. It doesn’t seem that far.
I didn’t even need to come. I could have stayed at the hotel.
Himeji Castle-tan. Protecting pedestrians from danger.
Reality. At least it’s not raining (much).
This path would probably be beautiful in Spring.
Waa~ Himeji Castle~
Big, old and white. It even has a moat and everything.
It’s so big that it messes with your sense of perception. You think you’re almost there yet it never seems to get closer as you walk and walk…
The castle ground itself is like a mini village.
All sorts of winding paths and buildings sectioned with tall walls to delay invaders.
Nishinomaru Outer Wall
Before entering the castle, let’s go through the outer wall.
This is where a princess would have lived.
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
It must be a huge pain to live in the wall. It’d take ages to get anywhere.
I don’t recommend wearing the slippers. They’re…slippery.
They also don’t come in a large sizes if you’re a gaijin giant.
Your tea will be cold by the time you get back to the bedroom.
An example of one of the advanced ninja techniques used to discover intruders.
Come closer, child…
This is where I’d keep my weapons if I was an edo-period princess.
The tourist path is elongated by making you wind around the rooms.
Some of the rooms contain a cultural artifact and some fun facts.
Otherwise the castle is pretty empty.
I elected not to wear slippers this time.
There’s a shrine once you reach the top.
“Hey, I was down there!”
Secret passages to escape from invaders or from doing your chores.
The castle dominates the town.
It’s the rainmaker from Splatoon.
I don’t think they tried very hard with the design of this mascot.
Well, that was a thing.
Pretty on the outside, barren on the inside.
Makes a nice stop if you’re in the Kansai area or on the way to Hiroshima.
But I wouldn’t bother during tourist season/weekends where you might have to queue.
The internet says to avoid the zoo here and yeah, looks pretty depressing.
These trees are so Japanese.
There’s also a garden here but I wasn’t really feeling it. (~foreshadowing~)
Plus, I’d need to buy another ticket.
Back I go.
Not sure what’s up with these statues along the main street.
Couldn’t find anything from a quick Google.
Nice man hole.
Next stop, Kobe!..
So uh, I was gonna go up a mountain, check out a waterfall, eat some beef…
…but i’m really not feeling it.
I think the severe lack of rest has finally caught up with me. For real this time.
In hindsight, while writing this blog, I realise the lack of nutrition also probably contributed a large part to my inability to recover from all the walking. I only ate like 1 or 2 meals each day.
Today was kinda a filler day anyway. I’ll be back someday.
I guess I can still say I technically visited Kobe? (even though I never left the station)
Thank you for your service.
Healing Pokemon Sound
I was feeling better after crashing on the bed for a few hours.
My appetite was back again so I visited the ramen place outside my hotel.
It was always full whenever I walked past but it was empty this time.
I went for their recommended “Best Ramen” and dumpling set. Oishii 😋
Their kitchen was wide open and it was fun watching them work.
Having not learned my lesson, I rushed downtown so the day didn’t feel entirely wasted.
How is it to Japan of souvenirs!!
Another guest appearance by Mana.
Is this a case of “once you notice something you start seeing it everywhere”?
There isn’t train station close by so I’m going to have to walk the rest of the way.
Osaka’s biggest downside compared to Tokyo.
Nipponbashi, Denden Town
Looks like we’re here.
Welcome to Nipponbashi aka Denden Town aka Akihabara of West Japan.
Nipponbashi isn’t anywhere near as big or densely packed as Akihabara.
This is both a good and bad thing.
It’s already 7pm so most stores are closing soon.
There was a lil’ Yuru Camp promo going on at the Namco arcade.
This is not a free.
Aikatsu Friends was the main event on the showfloor.
But it had already closed for the day 🙁
The Aikatsu cards from my previous trip don’t seem to be compatible any more.
Cute. There’s a corner where you can leave unwanted cards.
I looked this up and they seemed to have shut down. F.
BT-42 cutest tank.
I debated against buying it but looking at the photo now I kinda still want it.
Unlike in cramped Tokyo, all these cosplay cafes can have their own store front.
And all the stores, including this Super Potato, are super spacious.
There’s actually room for more than 1 person to pass through a corridor. Imagine that.
If you have limited time in your itinerary, then I recommend doing your anime shopping in Osaka instead of Tokyo. It still has all the big stores and plenty of variety in independent stores.
This game looks super interesting.
Looks like LoveR is a spiritual successor to PhotoKano, a dating and photography simulator.
I actually could go for a strictly non-sexual massage right now.
I wonder how long this banner has been here. The earliest photo I’ve found is from 2013.
Interesting, they used her localised English name on the label.
This branch is a lot bigger than the Tokyo one.
Gee, Anchovy. Why do you get two figures?
Geez, I thought that doll was a real person when I walked in.
Dolls are cute…maybe I should get one?..
A new line of poseable figures with cloth clothes. It even got an anime.
Temples are nice but nothing is more mentally healing than being surrounded by cute anime girls.
Pasomaru: Figure & Goods Discount Shop
Sad that the older vtuber generation is dying out.
Too many agency mismanagement cases plus the rapid rise of the new streamer gen.
Look at this Nep.
That website is still half unfinished and placeholders.
The Nipponbashi neighbourhood association also runs a cosplay parade every year.
Though I’m a couple weeks too early for this year’s event.
🔞 Adult store above Guf 🔞
Shit’s ‘bout to get real NSFW. You’ve been warned.
The unnamed store above Guf might be the biggest adult goods store in Japan.
Ever wanted to fuck a curling stone?
Aww cute- wait OH NO!
Ever wanted to fuck a beehive?
This is why God abandoned us.
Ever wanted to fuck a frankenstein monstrosity?
Everything is closed now so arcade time.
Ongeki is the new rhythm hotness.
At least I don’t need to queue for Maimai anymore.
They added characters you can level up.
My knock-off Chino wife, Salt, is so cute.
Well, that was fun but I can’t hear any of the music. It’s too loud in here.
Oh, looks like there’s still one more store open.
Mana guest appearance #4.
Is…is she okay?
They made a live-action adaptation of that one doujin.
Except instead of a shota it’s an actor pretending to be one.
You ever wanted a scale replica of the one-way-mirror-bang-truck?
The Chinese never give up a tax-free shopping opportunity.
God damn, how far away is this train platform?
I was following the signs and it just kept going and going…
FUCK Namba station.
Got lucky and just made it to the last train. Didn’t realise they ended so early here.
I could really use that massage right now…
My last night here so I tried out the big baths for hotel guests. It was pretty nice 🛀
I like how they used Kotone’s localised name in the shop but not on the box.
It also came with that art board, exclusive to Kotobukiya’s retail stores.
The Nier music boxes had restocked just in time.
Though the loop is really short. I wish it at least covered the whole chorus.
Cute leaflet I picked up in Kotobukiya.
Sxaro has to pay the rent somehow.
Himeji is pretty close to Osaka. Plus the Shinkansen makes the journey super quick.
Easy straight line to the castle.
Next time…on Japan Trip Z…we head back to Tokyo…