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Report 05 März 28, 2008

Posted by Izabela in Misc.

Here it is,as promised,the report on what I did on Thursday.

In the morning, I was going to have some breakfast and was headed towards the mensa when I realized a bunch of people which turned out to be a filming crew making takes for something.

So,I went back to get my own camera to film their endeavors. Unfortunately,I was noticed by a production assistant who told me politely that „kamera dame desu!.I asked him,in Japanese,what they were exactely doing and he told me that they were doing takes for a J-Drama,something about school-life entitled „Gakusen“? (sorry,am not good with names) which is scheduled to start on the 19th of April on Nihon TV (the forth channel of Japan),so,if you can find that on the net,please enjoy :-D.

I’ve asked someone of the University staff about that and he told me that it is quite common for J-Drama crews to make film-shootings at the Surugadai because of the landscape and atmosphere. Normaly,they have to pay for it but sometimes a mentioning in the appendix is sufficient,probably,because is a kind of advertisement for the University.

Well,I had to find myself a less obvious place to do some filming anyway.Afterwards,I spontanously decided to go on a trip to Tokyo do have a first glance on the biggest city (or metropolitan area) besides Mexico City, in the world.

So I jumped on the bus in direction to Hanno (this bus is free for students of the Surugadai University) where I met a compatriot who gave my some advice concerning buying tickets or where to change subway trains. So,after buying the so-called „Suica“ card which costs about 2000 Yen and has already,if I am not mistaken, a 1500 Yen deposit (you have to know that there are several (!) compagnies like for example JR who are operating the public transportation system in Tokyo and the rest of the country,so,sometimes, you have to by two different cards/tickets….) I was on my way.This card is really handy, it is sufficient to put it on a special tablet adjusted to the entrance area to the underground,when you arrive at your point of destination you do the same thing when leaving,the exact transportation fare is then taken from you credit (which you can increase by transfering extra money through special terminals which is very easy even for foreigners,if they are fluent in English,that is)

In Ikebukuro I changed trains and rode to Ueno. Ueno is a very crowded and loud place but if you are looking for f.e interesting clothes (if you fit in them that is,which I don’t for several reasons f.e height…..) this is one of your places.

I asked my way to Akihabara were I first went into a shop called „Animate“.

Well, if I was a Manga/Anime/Videogamefan,which I am not or on a very,very limited scale only,this would be as if I had died and went straight to heaven. Yes,heaven. It had,if I am not mistaken, about 7 floors. In the basement you can find Hentais (japanese pornographic

comics often consumated by men who probably never had any kind of girlfriend.At least, I wouldn’t be shocked if they hadn’t.). The next 3 floors are filled with Manga,partially also with

so-called „Light Novels“ (this is something sometimes based on a Manga or Anime,basically it’s a short novel containing 2-4 pictures,I bought 2 volumes entiteled „Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu“ (The Melancholy of H.S) which I am going to read in order to improve my Japanese…),in the next 3 floors you can find computer-games,soundtracks,DVDs and stuff.Stuff,that is,merchandise.Fans buy that to enrich the producers and licencees and to express their allegiance to some fictional characters.If this are useful gizmos like jewlery or,ok,even posters I thinks its ok but who would buy a 30cm dust-attracting figure of (insert name of Anime character here)?

For 20000 Yen? I’m sure someone will,because this place is crowded,I guess,always.

Afterwards I went to „Softmap“ to buy myself a Nintendo DS and a program called „Kanji sono mama ni“.

This is handy indeed. You can use the touchscreen of the DS with this program to draw Kanji on it,after recognizing the Kanji it will tell you the pronounciation and meaning in English. Here,I encountered a problem.You can pay with Mastercard only (along with several Japanese cards,Visa or American Express).Normaly, I would have one,but the German Citibank messed things up so I still don’t have any. So, I asked the employees where the next Citibank was.He told me to go to the Tokyo Main Railwaystation. I walked there by foot,asking now and than about the way.

People would then normaly tell me how to get there with the metro and I would tell them that „arukitai“ (I want to go by foot).

They would than glance at me in a flabbergasted kind of way and than point towards its direction.

I don’t know how long it took me to get there.At some point, I even got some company in the shape of a Japanese woman who told me that she was also heading in my direction and could show me the way. We had a nice conversation (in Jap.) and at some point I asked her something that had been troubling me since some time. Are there any dustbins in Tokyo? No,there are not,only a very few.Why is that?

Well,in 1995 there was this terroristic attack by Aum Shinryko (with sarin gas) and,since some of it was emptied into dustbins since than,there aren’t any.Was I to carry my empty bottle of green tea along with me? Yes,but that was fine, I could through it away at home.

Ah,soooo desu ka? Omoshiroi….I smiled weakly,but shorly afterwards found some of the very rare possibilities to through away your waste anyway.For the Citibank, it was still some way to walk,but I asked at a Koban (a small police station) where the policeman took out a very helpful map and explained the route to me,also in Japanese. I’m really happy with that, if they would switch to English I would really be angered,but until now everyone is trying to stick to Japanese (or,perhaps they don’t have any fluent proficiency of any other language and don’t want to embarass themselves,but either way, it’s ok with me), talk slower and try to explain everything to me.

The Citibank is located somewhere near the outerskirts of the Imperial Garden. I stepped into it and was promptly asked by a guard where I was headed to.The word for ATM didn’t come back into my mind so I asked him to wait,drew out my electronic dictionary and looked it up. I than turned to him and read him the 5-6 Kanjis through Hiragana. He than said:“Ah,Ai-ti-mu (ATM) desu ka? Asoko de gozaimsu…

Some Japanese words are surely bound to fall into oblivion because the English/some other language counterpart is much handier.

So,after having gotten some money, I bought some onigiri and,on my way back to Akihabara stepped spontanously in to a Tenrikyo church.

There,I told the woman at the office that I was interested in Japanese religions (which is true) and would therefore like to get some brochures and pieces of information f.e how many adherents there are (which she didn’t knew but Wikipedia knows…..)

That was quite interesting although,unfortunately, I didn’t understand everything she told me.

Back in Akihabara,I went again into „Softmap“,bought a silver coloured Nintendo DS and „Kanji sono mama ni“

No question,Akihabara is indeed, interesting and I am definitively going to visit is during the next months.

On my way back to Hanno, I experienced a kind of small rush hour,meaning the train being packed with people,also meaning that I had to stand for about 30 minutes. I admire the Japanese,who are propably used to it, for their stamina. Personaly,having to stand still is something I am trying to avoid.

That wasn’t all. When I arrived in Hanno I realized that the bus was not driving any more (since 5 p.m) and the bus stop was closed with a fence. Or at least,they had tried to shut it close. Finding a way through literary everywhere is my speciality but I had to walk for about 30 minutes nevertheless.

But,that’s ok,even walking around is great because you can discover interesting things literary everywhere,which I did. The results I will post in new categories over the next days,until then,have some fun enjoying the rest of my blog!



1. Panagiota - März 28, 2008

Ich weiß nicht, wieso, aber du kannst anscheinend meine Kommentare nicht lesen… Schau auf meiner Webseite vorbei!
Liebe Grüße, Pana

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