Kyoto & Osaka, Japan 2014

This late spring/early summer, my parents and I were invited to Kyoto, Japan, to stay with my exchange sister’s family for both her wedding and vacation. Megumi was our exchange student back when I was still in high school and lived with us for a year. We bonded during that short time, and kept in touch over the years–she visited us in Alaska multiple times, and once in Washington with me just last Christmas. It was our turn to cross the waters for the biggest event of her life, and I hope to visit many more times in the future.

The following sections are divided into temples/shrines (a bit huge, I apologize!), various other establishments like a bathhouse, aquarium, and zoo, restaurants, the wedding, and random final thoughts.

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Happy New Year!

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America

Happy New Year, Anime B&Bers! I spent my first day of the year driving an hour out of town to visit for the first time the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, located in Granite Falls, WA. It is the North American branch of the Mie prefecture Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro Shinto shrine, and sits in a delightful wooded glade next to the river. And despite its somewhat remote location, the car line leading up to the lot was long and attendees stood by directing people to open spots. The organization was surprising and efficient at making what could have felt like a long wait not too annoying. Continue reading

“Let’s keep in touch, ok?”

This season’s Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb is really hitting the ball with the stories and movement upward from high school to college. This week’s particular episode struck me since I’ll be moving out of my college town soon and into the big world. Even though a large distance will soon separate me from friends I have come to know over my seven years of undergraduate and graduate school, I can rest easy remembering that they’re only a simple text message, E-mail, phone call, or Skype chat away.

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Anime Expo Day 2

The only Nichijou cosplay I could find! When not posing, she pushed the shark around in a blue cart.

Day 2 of the convention was easily the busiest day, with delays affecting the shuttle system, panels, and especially the concert.  I had quite a few activities scheduled for this day, but was unable to make many of them due to the time crunch and the often disadvantageous distances across the center.  Lesson learned: don’t even think about trying to attend events back to back.  Nevertheless, this first day to myself was amazing in almost every aspect.

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Anime Expo Day 0

My adventure started a bit on the wrong foot–I was so excited about the trip that I didn’t sleep a wink the night before my very early morning flight.  Coupled with the fairly short distances and almost zero layover time, I wasn’t able to snag any zzzs on the way to L.A.  By the time I finally made it through the airport, to my hotel, and to the Convention Center to pick up my badge, it was already 5:30 PM.  The happy result of this was that by then the line was a constant flow and the whole process only took a painless 1.5 hours (compare that to the 3 hours and up some people waited at the start!).

Although I was unable to meet up with any of my forum friends, I did get to enjoy a dinner with a large group of fellow anibloggers and co. in Little Tokyo, all at the patient coordination of zzeroparticle.  Honda-ya was a great little Japanese restaurant, and my takoyaki and zaru tororo perfectly complemented the chit chat I shared with Icy and Blitzwing, who were kind enough to oblige my shyness.  Zzeroparticle was a champ with the organization of over 30 people who were spread out over four different tables.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet everyone there, but it was nice to see such a sizable group from many different locations get together in one location out of love for anime and blogging.

Anime Expo 2012 Plans

Dun-da-dun!!! This will be my first ever convention (of any kind), and I decided to go big by choosing the biggest anime convention that the US has to offer: Anime Expo. I have been to an academic conference, but I’m preeeetty sure that the experiences are worlds apart. For starters, I’m set to throw down some serious cash if I’m able to find what it is I’m wishing to see–with the second season of Moyashimon soon to air, and Fate/Zero garnering a lot of attention at the con, hopefully there will be plenty of plushies, wall scrolls, figures, and BDs for everyone! I honestly don’t really know what to expect, but I’m going in with some tentative plans for these upcoming days.

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