Friday, December 26, 2014

Autumn-Winter Memories

Oh wow, it's been almost half a year since last post? Oops... So much has been going on I haven't had time left to spare. Let's try to do a recap...

There was Tokyo Game Show, which I went to. Plenty of games, but sadly not a whole lot I was super hyped about. Was lucky enough to pass a 2 hour queue for Psycho Break/The Evil Within, it looked great at TGS, but recently saw that the ending of that game was super disappointing... Went there with a bunch of friends, saw great cosplays and even saw Hideo Kojima in person. Definitely a good trip.

Tried the Burger King Black Burger when that was being sold. Pretty average. Tastes just like a normal Burger King burger to be honest.

Other experiences would be spotting a Japanese wedding at Meiji Shrine, a visit to the Edo era museum, going up Tokyo Sky Tree, a cat café, and a small Lantern Festival. These are things I could recommend taking a look at.

One thing that really stood out was the Owl Café. The owls are super cute and fluffy! Definitely a recommendation, and something I won't forget in a loooong time!

Another great thing to I did with friends was going to a shooting bar. That's right, alcohol and airsoft guns in the same place! Japan truly is a great country.

Recently, I was dressing up as Santa Claus for a kindergarten as part of a volunteer event from school. Being Santa Claus for 150-ish kids is an amazing experience. Definitely something to remember!

Also went to Shiodome with my girlfriend to see the Christmas illumination. They know how to decorate and set up a light show here! Until next post, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Demonstrations, Shrines and Art

I went to Omotesando today. Turns out it was some kind of protest going on there today which I randomly stumbled upon. Protests in Japan are weird. They had a police escort in front of them, had a car with a megaphone shouting something and flyers were handed out. Seriously the most peaceful anti-current government protest I've ever seen.

The main reason I went to Omotesando however was to see the Meiji Shrine. It's one of the most visited shrines in Tokyo, being almost in the middle of Tokyo, and having the name of Emperor Meiji. A fun thing I noticed was that on the Ema some Polish person wrote their wish (to find a relationship partner) in Polish and added their phone number. Way to believe in the shrine's power, haha.

 Also spotted a wedding, and apparently the western style weddings are really popular here, but they keep the old traditional style somewhat in there by having the mothers of the newlyweds in kimonos.

Lastly, went to a Meiji Era art gallery, which was really cool as I learned some more about the history of Japan. I mean, I never knew the Empress of Japan wore a classic English Victorian dress at one point. Seeing art of that was amazing.

When it comes to studies... Exams the next two weeks, so I'll probably make a post about that later...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kyoto, Roppongi and anime figures

 Summer vacation is about over, school starts on Monday. It has been an eventful summer vacation though!

To start off I went with a classmate to a mixing party in Roppongi, where the objective for the party planners were to have foreigners and Japanese people around the same age meet. Lot of fun, and we ended up walking back to Shinjuku afterwards, drunk, haha.

 Also took a trip to Kyoto, rented some bicycles and just went all over. Kyoto really is a beautiful city with a lot of temples and shrines, but it still looks like a modern city near the center. Next time I think more on the outskirts of the city could be better.

 Also saw a collection display of anime figures in celebration of Kyoto station's 50th anniversary. Sadly wasn't allowed to take pictures but I did buy some memorabilia. Bought a Solid Snake (MGS1) figure, a small Yotsuba figure (from "Yotsubato!", a manga from the creator of Azumanga Daioh) and lastly Black Hanekawa from Bakemonogatari/Nekomonogatari (pictured).

Speaking of anime, I recently started Sword Art Online 2. The beginning of the series was a bit stupid but it has gotten quite good after episode 6. (I had been told this and wanted to know for sure, otherwise I would probably have dropped it earlier). I may make a post about this separately.

This Sunday is the Awaodori, so I'm going to catch that event and get some pictures. More pictures of the Kyoto trip is at my tumblr.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Vacation

Summer vacation starts tomorrow and I had my mid-terms earlier this week. I'd like to think that I did pretty well with a 95% in kanji and 85% in grammar. Also got quite a bit of homework to do during the break, so I'm not gonna be bored, haha.

I went to the Sumida Firework Festival that was held not too long ago. There was a LOT of people there. But seeing the fireworks they had, and that it is only held once a year, I can understand why.

I got some plans for the holiday, but how much of it that will actually will happen remains to see. I'm not the best at following my own plans...

Anyway, more firework related goodness can be found in my tumblr and youtube channel.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Festival Fantasy

Last week I did go to the festival that I mentioned last week. Along with half of Tokyo. The place was seriously crowded, but it was still a lot of fun! Saw the decorations, tried some of the food from the food stands and saw the lanterns float on the water down-river.

The decorations for the festivals are surprisingly elaborate for the few days they stay up, which surprised me. It's really great! The food at the stalls are also really good, but a bit more expensive than food you would find at other places.

I also went to the Square Enix offices and their shop nearby my school. I ended up buying a small Tonberry plushie as well. Inside the store they had a lot of stuff like soundtracks, games, plushies, food (as it was like a café in a small portion of it) and figures. It's been a pretty good week, and if you want to see even more of the pictures you can find them on my tumblr.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Trying to be a tourist

So I went to Ueno and Asakusa today, in a weak attempt to be a bit more like a tourist since I am in Japan on a limited time after all. The big shrine in Asakusa looks great around 7 in the evening, but most of the shops there close at 6.

It's a veery big shrine, lots of stores. Definitely worth the trip. Ueno on the other hand didn't have too much to offer today, as the supposed festival there hadn't started yet...

Other than that, there is a festival I'm going to tomorrow. If it's good I might post something about that tomorrow. Also, the following xkcd comic strip fits me surprisingly well... Well, the French and blog part anyhow.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Level up!

Level 2 classes have started and I can honestly say that they want us to step up our game when it comes to learning Japanese. From now on, all the class lessons are in just Japanese, the amount of kanji we had weekly before is now daily, and we are now also gonna have a class weekly on Japanese old-style culture. Guess the real schoolwork starts here.

I've also discovered why the karaoke places are really popular here. It's not crazy expensive and you can get as much as you want to drink included in the price. The only downside us that non-alcoholic drinks are self-service.

Anyway, that's it for this post I suppose. Nothing too special going on in this past week.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Delayed Status Update

Been a while since the previous blog post... Again. I've been bad at keeping this blog up to date and as an apology I've added some photos.

Been really bust lately, with my end of level 1 exams (last one on Monday, with feedback on Wednesday). Luckily it's "only" 133 Kanji for level 1 to know, and a whole lot of grammar. (;´Д`)

I've gone ahead and gotten myself a Japanese phone, which makes blogging a whole lot easier than it was on the iPad. I also recently went to the Okinawa Music Festival in Ueno with a friend. Lots of fun and very catchy music.

I've gotten a lot of impressions and started to settle in a bit more here in Tokyo, so I'm planning on doing a post about the more different aspects of Japan and things I would've liked to know earlier, instead of when I had arrived in Japan.

Anyway, this was just supposed to be a short post letting you all know that I'm still alive and blogging! (The pictures are hopefully a nice bonus). Until next time! (≧∇≦)b

Friday, May 16, 2014

The First Big Test

I got my results from the test we had at Wednesday today, scoring a 98/100 on the Kanji writing and reading exercise (would have been a 99 if I didn't accidentally write さん, instead of きん for the kanji 金 ... Oh well...). I also got an 87/100 on the grammar part, which was alright.

In related news, my birthday was a couple of days ago, and I got a card with a present from my parents. That was a pretty nice surprise, as I didn't expect any presents.

As for other festivities, there's a local sake producing factory tour planned for tomorrow, as well as a party in a local park. Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun! One thing the japanese know, is how to make great parties, usually starting early. Just two or three weeks ago we went to a jazz club, at 7 in the evening, missed the last train, went back to the jazz club and took the first train back at 6 in the morning! ... In Norway people would probably start later, and end it at 2-3 at night, because people can't stand up straight anymore...

There's also some sort of festival going on in Asakusa this weekend, so I'll try going there as well, maybe get some more nice pictures out. Today on the other hand, I'm heading out to a local bar to meet some friends. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golden Week

During Golden Week I was lucky enough to be allowed to join a friend of mine and his family for their trip to Atami and Hakone, as they have a house there. Atami is a great place, we had some rice crackers wrapped in nori (a kind of seaweed), went to some hot springs and saw the art museum! The art museum had some stuff from way back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries, as well as a display of the golden tea ceremony room the emperor had in his castle way back in the Edo era, if my memory serves correctly.

In Hakone we went up on the ropeway, walked on the trail at the top and had some of the black eggs they boil in the area. According to my friends japanese wife, those eggs supposedly prolong your life by 7 years, but they looked like normal eggs to me underneath the sulfur encrusted black shell. Was also lots of sulfur in the air, so the place smelled like the worst fart ever though...

It's also been more than a month since I've arrived, and I've gotten the chance to meet a lot of amazing people. Some have said that they've had some racist encounters here, but I haven't as of yet. The closest would be someone asking me why I chose Japan and not China or Korea, just for someone else to point out that they should stop asking questions like that because it makes them look bad, wanting to gloat over their neighbours. xD

As always, pictures of my trip can be found on my tumblr. I might just pop them in the blog posts one day if I ever go to a net-cafe or something. No promises though.

Umtil next time, stay safe, and have fun!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Mini-Update

Just wanted to do a quick update/new stuff I found and really, really like post, so here it is!

First off, VisualArts/Key has done it again. I finished the visual novel Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume (Dream of a Little Star in English) recently. Yes, it's a visual novel by the people behind works like Kanon and Clannad. It's a bit on the short side, with me finishing it in one sitting, but damn, the feels are strong in this one. Give it a try if you got 3-4 hours to spend.

Other than that, I've also started reading a manga series by the name of Yotsubato! (Eng: Yotsuba and!). It's made by the same mangaka that made Azumanga Daioh, very similar style. The difference is that this time it's about the girl Yotsuba and her adventures and daily life. I personally picked it up to read in japanese, to improve my reading, understanding and vocabulary, as it has simple japanese day-to-day talk and furigana over the kanji. I'm surprised at how good it really is though! (The first volume is a couple of years old, so I'm sure you can find an English version somewhere as well).

To wrap up, I also went on a trip to Mt. Takao today. Lots of shrines and nature, lots of photos from my trip at my Tumblr account. Great fun!

Until next time, stay safe and have fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kyojins, Harajuku and food!

Been a while since last post, and for that I apologize. The network we got at the Share House I live in is a bit flimsy at times, dropping out and dying whenever it feels like it. Probably doesn't help that whenever the network is up, my neighbor keeps blasting boring music that is just two or three beats that repeat over and over from the net, haha.

So, if you've seen my tumblr, I recently got some Shingeki no Kyojin loot with my drink at a 7-11. That series is immensely popular here, and you'll spot some stuff even at family restaurants or convenience stores. I also went to a big, eight floor store called Tokyo Hands, where I bought the Tiger Tank nanopuzzle model I'm working on in between studying and looking around.

Speaking of Kyojins, I've tried looking a bit on TV over here, but it's not that great when the only thing you manage to make sense from is baseball, haha. Did see a match between the Tokyo Kyojins and another team I can't remember where they were from, just that they were named Sparrows. Pretty good stuff. There's also a tv-show where they showed off a couple of Rube Goldberg machines though, that was pretty cool, and I saw one performance of Rakugo on the TV shortly before that. I find Rakugo fascinating, even if I don't get the jokes (yet).

I've also been lucky enough to meet a couple of people I can call friends! Been at some local bars and Izakayas with them, with more probably to come. Food and drinks here are great, both in taste and price. Lunch at a restaurant here costs about as much as a hot dog from a gas station in Norway! It's great!

Also tried taking the trip to Harajuku, as I was told that there's cosplays and stuff there. The weather wasn't too great (overcast, lots of clouds), and the entire area seemed to consist of foreigners, girls under 20 in groups shouting "kawaii" every two seconds, lots and lots of girl stores (clothes, phone accessories, outfits like school uniforms and such...), candy stores and the famous pancake/crepe stalls every 150 meters. It was nice to see it, but I think you need to have female company to fully enjoy what Harajuku has to offer.

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Taking the train to school is a bit of a pain. Those train-pushers you might've heard about? A real thing during rush-hours. A German friend of mine put it in a rather eloquent way: "You will never be as close to a woman, not even during sex, as you will be to the women on the train". It is crazy how many people they want to fit into one train...

I'm afraid that is it for this post, as I got some preparation to do before tomorrow. Tomorrow we begin with the Kanji characters, as well as some more grammar. Until next time, stay safe and have fun!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First school week!

My first week at school is over, and we seriously went through all of hiragana in that one week, along with some "survival-japanese" phrases (stuff like ordering at a restaurant, asking for directions, and shopping). We even had a test at Friday, which I think went really well. Tomorrow it's the same deal as this week, just with Katakana I bet. They really weren't kidding about it being an intensive course!

Also went to an Izakaya, which was great! Lots of drinks, food and happy people! We ate liver, the small intestine of chicken, shark-sushi and some kind of vegetable that I was told was similar to natto in texture. It all tasted really, really good! Until next post, stay safe and have fun!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So I took a trip to Roppongi today. Lots of great things to see! Went to see Sakura-zaka, which is a road covered with cherry trees on both sides, then I went up on one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, not counting the towers. Also saw 3 girls in kimonos, and was lucky enough to be allowed to take a picture of them! ^_^ Remember, you can follow my tumblr to see all the photos I share. Adding a lot of photos on blogger is a pain, since I can't scroll on this page on my ipad... Anyway, pics at my tumblr!

Enjoy the pictures, and until next time, stay safe!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cherry blossoms

It's raining, today. A lot. Because of the rain, I haven't done a lot, but I did take the chance to go and see the cherry blossoms! Even in the rain they looked great! I'll try to take some photos of them in the sun if the weather allows.

Tomorrow I gotta check in with the school for some paperwork, as well as the Ward Office... Doesn't sound like much fun to deal with paperworks, nor does it give any good pictures to share, so don't expect any. 

Stay safe!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A brand new adventure!

As of today, I've moved to the Suginami Ward in Tokyo! I'm still in the process of settling in, getting some paperwork in order and all the boring stuff you probably don't care about. Therefore, have a picture I took nine in the morning from the roof!
As a bonus for this short post, have a picture of my breakfast/morning snack.
It's Melon Bread! It tastes amazing! 

Until next post, stay safe!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Recommendation: Dr. Koto & Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

I figured that today would be a good day to write about two of the things I wish more people knew about, because of how great these things are, in my eyes. The first to be mentioned is Dr. Koto's Clinic. I haven't read the manga version of it, but the live action TV show is amazing, and highly recommended. Do be warned though, as it may give you a severe case of the feels.
Dr. Koto is a series about a small village somewhere in the southern part of Japan, which the new doctor Kensuke Goto has just arrived to. A lot of the people don't trust him, because he's an outsider and a doctor. They've previously had good-for-nothing doctors who would either get drunk or give them wrong medicine and other malpractices. Nevertheless, he works diligently to help the villagers and improve the reputation doctors have on the island. It's a great story, with amazing characters, and I really wish more people knew of this series. 

Even if you're normally not a fan of live-action TV shows, do give this one a try. I did, with no prior experience to Japanese TV-shows, and I'm extremely happy I gave it a chance. It also has a pretty amazing ending song. 

The other series I want to talk about is Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Some may recognize it as the current banner on my blog. It's an anime series made by SHAFT that parodies everything and anything you could possibly come up with. A few of the running gags include attempted suicide which always fails followed by the line "What if I had died?!", stalking, blissful ignorance, preciseness, despair and tropes that are popular. 

It's something of a skit-comedy, meaning there isn't a particular strong story to follow. It's a series made to entertain with jokes. Because of this it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but give it a fair chance and you too might end up a fan of this amazing series.

Please give these two series a shot if you got the time. My next blog post might be a while, as my trip to Japan is coming up. Once I get settled in, you can expect content on this blog right from Tokyo! Until next time, stay safe!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Big "What's Going On?" Update

Holy carp, it's been a long time since my previous post, and a lot has happened since last time! I've kind of struggled with making a post because of this. I also have a super-special announcement at the end of this post! Anyway, let's start of with something recent...
Holy Magicarp, the Demigod of Time
I went to the US, to Florida for the Daytona 500. For those not in the know, it's a big 200 lap race, with amazingly fast cars that are LOUD. We had tickets that allowed us on the in-field, and take a look at the pre-race checks and such. Got to see 30-something laps, then it started to rain heavily, they issued a tornado warning and shit, so we decided to go back to our rental house. The race continued on later in the evening, so we watched it on TV...
The Great American Race
I also got the chance to fire a gun for the first time at a gun range. That was amazing! I tried a Glock 20 (which had a helluva recoil, being made of plastic and firing 10mm bullets), and a .357 Magnum (which I felt had less recoil, maybe because of the weight an the heavy barrel). Definitely an experience to remember.

I bought a 3DS, Pokemon Y and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. So far I've only played Pokemon, and it's just been a big old Nostalgia trip for me. It's a great game, the new Exp. Share makes it easier to have your entire team at about the same level, reducing grinding time to almost nothing. Might make a more detailed post about these games later on in a different post.

So, for something a bit more exciting, that will have a big impact on this blog... I'm leaving for Japan by the end of the month. My housing arrangements should be in order, during these next two weeks my Visa application should hopefully be done and dealt with, and happy, scary times will be here! An ENTIRE YEAR in Japan! With no one I know on beforehand!
My feels. Nervous? Not at all! Looking forward to it though!

On to the super-special announcement: absolutelyanime (previously known as Blackragdoll), my friend Marius and I, made a podcast where we talk bullshit about anime! I would have it embed in here, but it's impossibly hard to find via the tools blogger has. Instead, have a link to it! Anime Talkathon's first episode!

As a bonus note, I recently watched the OVAs of Valkyria Chronicles 3 (all two of 'em). It's really, really great, but you kind of need to have played the PSP-game to know the relationships the people have, and a healthy dose of the first Valkyria Chronicles game (for PS3) to know who Squad 7 is would also be helpful. A really great OVA though, which I would recommend even so.

Until next time, stay safe and have fun!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ace Combat Infinity EU/US Beta

Word has come to me that the Beta for the PS3 exclusive Ace Combat: Infinity will be held between February 4th, and February 11th. During these days you can get in on the Beta, for free, and play it as much as you want!

As far as I've been told, there's two single player missions, and three multiplayer missions. The Sortie Fuel system is implemented, but you can supposedly just "buy" more fuel for no cost.

I dunno about you, but I'm massively excited for this! Beta players, launch!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not-so-surprise Post!

As I said in the previous post, I'd have a surprise in less than a week. This is that said surprise! A picture of my very own PVC figurine collection! These are all from anime and games, and they are all safe for work.

First off, Chie Satonaka from Persona 4. My favorite character from the Persona-series. Even included the dramatic close-up picture from casting spells in the game! The glasses were also included in the package, but I decided to not put them on.

Number two is Ruri Gokou, also known as "Kuroneko", from Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (English: My little sister can't be this cute), with cat-ears and a tail.

Number three and four is none other than Hatsune Miku, the Vocaloid!

And speaking of Vocaloids, Megurine Luka!

Since we're into music as a genre, here's Mio Akiyama from K-on!

Next up is Rita Mordio from Tales of Vesperia. The book on her left hand is supposed to be around her neck, but I didn't want to risk breaking anything, so I put it around her wrist. Also had a mini-Rita as a bonus in the package!

Alicia Melchiott from Valkyria Chronicles, equipped with a Gallian-4.

Isara Gunther, also from Valkyria Chronicles

And the final one, Cosette Coalhearth from Valkyria Chronicles 2. Cosette and Isara were actually the first ones I bought, as I impulse bought them both at the same time at a convention, because how much I love the Valkyria Chronicles-series!

That's my collection. It's not the most impressive of collections perhaps, but these are all figurines of characters I really, really like.