rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
Time to play a bit more LJ catch-up again. I'll start with my mini spring vacation.

During the last week of March I took three days off of work to go to Kyoto with Greta and Leslie. We took the shinkansen to Kyoto on Monday night and spent next three days staying with Lilith at her dorm. Lilith was nice enough to let us invade her small living space for a few days, which made our trip cheaper than it would've otherwise been.

Day 1 - None of us had been to Fushimi Inari before and we all really wanted to go, so that was the first stop of our trip. The four of us met up with Kiri and her parents because they happened to be in Kyoto at the same time as us. We all of hiked up Fushimi Inari together. It took up a good part of the afternoon, but it was completely worth it. Climbing up the mountain under all those red torii was beautiful.

010
Fushimi Inari's famous torii.

There were also so many shrines, big and small, scattered over the whole mountain. Certain places on the mountain felt like they had some serious spiritual energy, too. We made it all the way to the top of the mountain. Then, when we got back down to the bottom, we had delicious taiyaki parfaits as a reward for all that climbing. We then parted ways with Kiri and her parents to go to Sanjusangendo. It was so cool! Inside the building are hundreds of amazingly carved wooden statues of Kannon and other Buddhist gods. I only wish that they allowed you to take pictures inside. It was definitely worth seeing.

Day 2 - We started off by going to Heian Shrine, which was pretty big. It seemed like it had a Four Gods motif going, which was neat. The shrine itself wasn't too exciting though. After Heian Shrine we met up with Kate. She came up from Osaka for the afternoon to visit with us. We then went to Yasaka Jinja, which is quite nice. I'd actually been there before with my parents on my last trip to Kyoto. While we were at Yasaka it started raining, so we decided to go in search of food instead for more shrines. After we had dinner, a few of us had ninja crepes. They were black crepes and mine had black sesame and custard in it. It was quite good.

Day 3 - By the last day of the trip, we were so tired from walking but we still had more to do. We walked a lot to get to a bunch of different smaller shrines. (Greta and I may have complained a lot about being tired.) This first shrine was Seimei Shrine, dedicated to Abe no Seimei. I thought it was a cool little shrine. The thing that made my day was finding an ema signed by D'espairs Ray among all the celebrity signed ema the shrine had on display. (I miss you D'espa. Come back!) Then, we walked to Kenkun Shrine, which is dedicated to the warlord himself, Oda Nobunaga. We had to do a little bit of climbing to get to this shrine. It was actually a pretty little shrine. The last shrine of the trip was Hirano, which was quite lovely. There were many cherry blossoms there too, which made it extra pretty. After Hirano, we went back to Lilith's dorm to pick up our bags and then to the station to catch our shinkansen back to Tokyo.

All in all, the trip was quite nice, but very tiring. The trains aren't as convenient in Kyoto so it requires a lot of riding the bus (which kind of sucks) or walking. I was actually pretty happy to go home because by the end of the trip I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation. Kyoto is beautiful, but I prefer Tokyo. Coming back to Tokyo is a bit like coming home.
rinlin: (GazettE)
On Sunday, my two week concert extravaganza came to an end with GazettE's tour final (and 11th anniversary) at Saitama Super Arena! It was the perfect way to end everything, saving the best for last.

040

仲間と笑う輝く僕がいる~ )

That concert was the best possible way to end this round of lives. I really couldn't have asked for a better show. I tweeted this the night of the concert and I'll say it again here. I'm pretty sure that going to GazettE concerts is the closest I get to a religious experience. Happy 11th Anniversary to my favorite boys! I'm so glad I could be there this time. <3
rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
Just got home from te first show of Miyavi's Ahead of the Light tour! I'll write a short entry about it now because I have a GazettE live tomorrow.

Pass the supersonic, everything's gone behind me )

It felt like the live ended to soon, even though it went on for almost two hours. I wished that there would've been enough time for Miyavi to come back for a second encore. Despite that, it was still a great evening! Myv lives are always fantastic.

Now to get some rest before tomorrow's GazettE live! I'm almost at the end of my two week concert extravaganza.
rinlin: (Tieria)
On Sunday night, I went to my first Mejibray live! It was fucking fantastic! This is gonna be a long entry, so buckle your seat belts.

Eins zwei drei vier )

I loved Mejibray before this live, but the band definitely has my heart now. The live was good enough that it's catapulted them up near the top on my list of favorite bands. (It's also probably cemented Tsuzuku as my favorite member of the band.) I definitely want to get tickets to at least one of their shows during their next tour. It's also my goal to be closer to the stage next time. Gotta buy from e+plus so I can get A tickets instead of B tickets!
rinlin: (Omi & Miko)

Going to write a quick entry about tonight's exist+trace show! I want to pound this out before I go to the Mejibray live tomorrow!

To the new world... )

I feel like I didn't write about nearly as much this time, but it kind of hard to write about new songs when you don't know their names and you've only heard them once. I really do hope they announce a release date for new mini album soon! I'd love to have the chance to hear the songs again. Until next time though!

rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
Now to write about Tuesday night's Buck-Tick concert!


After work, I took the train to Akasaka to meet up with Aki. She was a little late because of work, but thankfully the doors didn't open until 6 PM. Our ticket numbers were higher anyways, so we reached Akasaka Blitz shortly after they called our numbers to enter.


夢見て 夢見ている宇宙~ )


I'm glad that I decided to see Buck-Tick again! I still don't feel very familiar with a lot of their songs because they just have so damn many of them, but the lives are fun nonetheless. I'd definitely go to another one.

Going to rest up tonight because this weekend I'm seeing both exist+trace and Mejibray! I definitely can't wait!
rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
Last weekend was fun! Leslie, Anna, Lilith and I went to Disney Sea to celebrate Leslie's birthday. Japan is the only place that has a Disney Sea park, so it was cool to get the chance to go to a Disney Park that I hadn't experienced yet. The park was divided into a number of worlds that included Disney worlds, like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, as well as real life places like 1920s New York and renaissance Italy. I think one of the coolest things about the park was the giant volcano in the middle, which actually erupted fire every so often. We didn't get to go on all of the rides, but we did go on some fun ones like Journey to the Center of the Earth (which was inside the volcano) and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'd definitely like to go back again when the weather's nicer to check out some of the rides we missed.

This week I finished up teaching my last classes of the semester at work. There's still about a month of school left for the kids, but after finals I pretty much don't have much to do until the new school year actually starts. Finals start this week, so by the end of the week I'll have all of the grading to do. It's kind of a pain, but at least it's something to do as opposed to having nothing constructive to do (which is going to happen a lot over the next month or so).

I went to Kuki yesterday to meet up with Elly and a couple of the other Saitama JETs to celebrate Elly's birthday. We went to a show at Kuki's tiny planetarium and hung out and Elly's place. Her husband cooked dinner for us and Elly had made a delicious vanilla orange fondant cake for dessert. It was nice to see some of the other JETs. I don't live close to many of them, so I don't often hang out with them. I couldn't help feeling slightly out of place in the group though, just because it's clear that they all hang out with each other more than I do. Not that it matters that much though. I have my own friends group that I always hang out with and I'm quite comfortable with. I wouldn't change that.

I opted to stay home today to save a bit of money and take the opportunity to relax a bit. I've got a bunch of stuff to do coming up over these next two weeks, most notably the five concerts that I'll be going to! That'll be a new record for me (for most concerts in the shortest period of time). It starts on Tuesday night when I'm going to go see Buck-Tick with Aki. Then, this next weekend I'll be seeing exist+trace and Mejibray. April's even going to the exist+trace show, too! The weekend after that I'll be seeing my bbs Miyavi and GazettE again. I'm quite excited about all of it! I just want it to come faster! My next entries are probably mostly going to be concert reports, so be on the lookout for that.
rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
Eventually, I'll post another entry about what I've been up to that isn't concert related. Today is not that day.

“Everything’s gonna be 最高”って! )

Seeing LM.C again was a lot of fun! Their shows are always so positive and full of energy that it's impossible not to enjoy yourself. Those boys are adorable and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them again! Aki and I mentioned the possibility of going to the tour final later this year, which I'd love to do.

I've got an exist+trace live coming up on Wednesday, which will be the end of my "four lives in four weeks" schedule. Can't wait! After that, I promise to start updating about other things again.
rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
On Wednesday night, [livejournal.com profile] stellawind and I went to Miyavi's show at Shibuya O-East!

Here we go, blow the night away~ )

I definitely had a lot of excess energy after the live. Miyavi is so good at getting the crowd pumped up. He's just the most precious and I adore him. Definitely want to get tickets for his next tour!
rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
So I had a bit of an early birthday celebration yesterday, starting with Miyavi's mini live at Tower Records and ending with dinner with my friends at Sweets Paradise!

Samurai Sessions )

So that was definitely the best (slightly early) birthday present ever. I'm lucky that I got the chance to go! And now I can't wait to see Miyavi again at his show in Shibuya later this month!
rinlin: (Tieria)
I've been slacking on my updates recently. I realized that I never posted about going to Tokyo Disneyland. Kiri, Leslie, and I had Starlight Passes, which were good from 3 PM until the park closed. First we bought ridiculous, matching Stitch hats because they were cute and we were cold. We didn't go on a lot of rides because the lines were really long, but we did ride Pirates of the Caribbean and the teacups. And both times in line, Kiri managed to make friends with adorable Japanese children through the magic of janken (aka rock paper scissors). After the rides, we found a good spot to watch the Electrical Parade. It was the holiday version of the parade and it was really pretty. After that we watched the fireworks at the castle. The display wasn't as impressive as Disney World, but at the end of it they turned on a snow machine so that snow was lightly falling in front of the castle. That definitely made it a bit more magical. It was a fun time! I'm looking forward to checking out Tokyo Disney Sea in the future.

Disneyland~ )

The same weekend, I also got an iPhone! I'd been thinking for a while about how convenient it would be to have one and my parents offered to pay for the cost of the phone itself as a Christmas present. So I headed over to the Softbank store to update my phone. My phone bill will be more expensive, but I definitely think it'll be worth it. I can easily do a lot of really handy things with my new phone, like look up directions and translate Japanese. I think my favorite app has to be LINE though! With it, I can send free messages to anyone else who has the app on their phone. I got V and DJ to download the app too, so now I can text them again! (I'm glad because it's let me keep up with poor DJ while he's been in the hospital this week. Thankfully, he's doing fine now.) 

Now, I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm planning to meet with my friends to do a little bit of early birthday celebrating. I'll also have an awesome unexpected birthday present in the form of a Miyavi event at Tower Records Shibuya! When I bought MYV's new CD, I entered a drawing to win a ticket for the event. I'd kind of forgotten about it, assuming that I didn't get a ticket, but when I came home from work yesterday I found it in the mail! I'm super excited to see MYV up close!
rinlin: (Family)
Today was the start of a three day weekend here in Japan. I had the day off because today is Labor Thanksgiving Day (which is a bit different and not nearly as exciting as American Thanksgiving). Kiri also decided to come up to Tokyo for the three day weekend! I got to spend most of the day running around Tokyo with her. We went to Hamamatsucho, Monzen-Nakacho (to visit the shrine where Kiri used to work), Harajuku, and then ended the day in Ikebukuro. 

In Ikebukuro we met up with [livejournal.com profile] meepalicious, [livejournal.com profile] corvae_regina, [livejournal.com profile] honooko, Greta, and [livejournal.com profile] lotos79 for a slightly belated Thanksgiving dinner. I invited [livejournal.com profile] lotos79 to come with us, even though she's not American, because she's been spending a lot of time traveling Japan by herself and was getting a bit lonely. I hope that she enjoyed herself!

Our group had decided that shabu shabu would be a delicious dinner, since turkey isn't easy to get in Japan. It was definitely a good choice. We had delicious, all you can eat shabu shabu in a nice semi-private room (because we had such a big group). The whole time we kept making jokes about traditional Thanksgiving. We also did the cheesy, but classic tradition of going around the table and saying what we were all thankful for. Even though it was a holiday away from home, I wasn't lonely because I was able to spend it with such great friends.

Of course, I'm always thankful for my friends and family, but this year I'm especially thankful for my good friends in Japan. When you're living such a long way from home these kinds of friends become your family. I love my Japan family. Japan wouldn't be nearly as much fun without them. 

Tomorrow is Tokyo Disneyland with Leslie and Kiri! I've never been to Tokyo Disneyland before, so I'm excited!


rinlin: (Omi & Miko)
I'm finally feeling normal again, which worked out well since I went to exist+trace's concert on Sunday night! This was the final live of their "Be My Virgin" tour and it was held at Shibuya WWW.

Honey, I'm waiting for you~ )
rinlin: (GazettE)
I saw GazettE on Tuesday night! They were fantastic as usual!

Dance, dance, until you die~ )

Sadly, the live ended and it was time to go home. I probably overdid it more than I should have for having a cold, but I don't even care. It was worth it. I'm glad that I finally got to hear the new songs live. DIVISON's really grown on me a lot since I first listened to it. I put it my GFC request for the tour final in March, so hopefully I'll get to see the show again!
rinlin: (Omi & Miko)
Happy Halloween, darlings!

I really do miss celebrating a proper Halloween with all the costumes, candy, and parties. Japan celebrates on a small scale, but it's not the same. Plans to go to actual Halloween parties this year were thwarted by slight colds and work schedules.

I did do a little bit of Halloween celebrating on Saturday with my friends though. I met up in Shinjuku with Kaille, Leslie, and Anna. We'd decided to dress-up a bit for some early Halloween fun. I didn't have a proper costume, but I wore my h.NAOTO Dark Red Rum shirt, which I think quite fit the Halloween festivities. (I knew I'd eventually find the right occasion to wear it!) Kaille, Leslie, and I decided to do purikura in our outfits.

Trick or Treat~ )

After that, we went back to Leslie and Anna's new apartment for a little housewarming party. Greta and Erica arrived after they were finished with work. Leslie and Anne made stirfry for dinner and then we ate a bunch of imported candy and junk food. It was fun! I wish that we could've hung out for a bit longer, but a few people had work the next day.

Now, I'm going to continue burrowing under blankets. Over the past week or two it's definitely cooled off. The weather isn't bad during the day, but it's been getting a bit chilly at night. Since my apartment (and every other building in Japan) is poorly insulated, this means that I've been piling blankets on my bed and layering my pajamas. I'm not going to start using the heat until it gets colder though because it's so expensive. ヘ( ̄  ̄;ヘ)
rinlin: (GD&TOP)

I had a day off on Tuesday to make up for working at the school festival on Saturday. It ended up working out perfectly because on Tuesday night I went to 2NE1's New Evolution concert at Yokohama Arena! It was an awesome show~

Can't nobody hold us down! )

It was definitely worth going to the concert. I'm really happy that we were able to have good seats, too. I only wish that Kaille and I had been able to find someone to take our original tickets to the show. I want to share the 2NE1 love!
rinlin: (Omi & Miko)
Today was fun! I went to a Sixh. event at the Ikebukuro Parco. Since Miko (from exist+trace) has been doing modeling for Sixh., she made an in-store appearance with IBI (Sixh's designer)!

I figured it would be a good day to wear my Sixh. dress (that I bought the last time I was at the Harajuku Closet Child), so after getting ready I headed out to meet Leslie in Ikebukuro. We had pasta for lunch, then headed over to the Parco.

If you made a purchase of more than 5,000 yen, you got to get your picture taken with Miko and IBI. Reguardless of the event, I love buying clothes from Sixh., so this was a good opportunity for me. I ended up getting a long purple dress/shirt with fun pink designs on it. Then, I waited in line for my turn to meet Miko and IBI. At first I was fine, but then I started getting a bit nervous and Leslie told me that my hand was shaking. Oops. I'm not quite sure why I got that nervous because I've met Miko twice before and I've seen IBI a few times, even though I hadn't actually talked with him. I'm going to blame it on meeting pretty people and being nervous about conversing with them in Japanese.

When it was my turn, I went up and greeted Miko and IBI. IBI noticed right away that I was wearing one of his designs and he thanked me for liking his clothes. We posed and took the picture, then I got a minute to talk to them while the polaroid developed and they signed it. I remember telling them that I was a little nervous and we laughed about it. I told Miko that I love exist+trace and often go to their concerts. She asked if I was coming to the November concert and seemed pleased when I told her that I was. I don't think she remembered that we've met before (even though she remembered at the exist+trace signing that she'd seen me before) because of my new haircut. I'm not really surprised though because I have Japanese friends who almost didn't recognize me with my hair this short. Miko then asked where I was from and I told her and mentioned that I was currently living in Japan. IBI told me my Japanese was good, but I did the polite thing and denied it while thanking him. He then told me "Japanese only" in English, meaning that he only speaks Japanese lol. After they finished signing the photo, they thanked me for coming and it was time for me to go. It was a fun experience!

Photographic evidence~ )

After that, Leslie and I met up with Kaille and [livejournal.com profile] waxrose, one of her friends from LJ who'd recently moved to Japan. It was fun to meet someone new and I think we all had a good time chatting! We had desserts at Saizeriya, looked at doujinshi, and aimlessly browsed Sunshine City. It was a nice way to end the day.

I'm relaxing now with the window open. It rained tonight for the first time in weeks, which means it's actually cool enough for it to be comfortable without the A/C on. I'm sure it won't last because there should be about another month of summer heat, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.
rinlin: (GazettE)
So GazettE's new CD, DIVISION, came out on Wednesday! I met up with Greta after work and went over to buy the 3 disk (2 CDs & 1 DVD) limited edition at Tower Records. The packaging and photos in the album book are gorgeous. Of course, I listened to the album as soon as I got home! (And I'm listening to it as I type this~)

There's a pretty noticable difference between both disks of the album. The first disk is called Fragment [Vein]. The songs on this disk remind me of somewhat of "Shiver" and "Pledge" (from their previous album TOXIC), which are quite good songs, but have never been among my personal favorite GazettE songs. I felt the same way about some of the songs on this disk. I love "歪" though and "ヘドロ" has really grown on me. "余韻" has a gorgeous dark sound, too. 

Disk 2 is called Fragment [Artery]. It definitely has more heavy, driving songs on it (which are what I generally tend to favor). It also has some electro sounds mixed in. This disk has my personal favorite song from this album, "Gabriel on the Gallows" on it. I love the chorus and it's got a great heavy sound! My other favorite song on this disk is probably "Dripping Insanity". It's got this dark sound that I find really appealing. I wasn't quite expecting it, but once I got used to the electro sounds, I really started to like "Derangement" too.

Both disks are bookended by instumental intro and outro tracks. I think that they're a nice touch and really add to the feel of the album. I really like the end tracks for both disks. "Diplosomia" starts off very quiet and haunting sounding, then BAM- electro sounds! As for "Melt", I really love the beat.

Overall, DIVISION is a good, solid album. For whatever reason, I didn't fall head over heels in love with it right away like I did with DIM, or TOXIC though. It's taken a few more listens, but I'm finally starting to fall in love with it. I'm excited to see the band perform the new songs during the tour this fall. I'm sure that (if I haven't already) I'll fall even more in love with this album when I see GazettE perform it live!
rinlin: (Omi & Miko)
It's time for yet another exist+trace live report! This Sunday was Vanguard Night Vol.2 for fan club members~

イグ祭り )

This live was a lot of fun! I could tell that the band had played a lot of harder sounding songs this time because I was more sore after this concert than the last one. It's definitely good to let loose once in a while! I'll be looking forward to the next exist+trace live as usual. (I believe tickets for it go on sale this weekend.) I want to follow these girls all the way to Budokan. <3 I hope that they can make their dream of playing there come true some day!
rinlin: (Family)
Today was my first day back at work after six days in a row off. Each teacher at my school gets 4 days of summer vacation to use when they wish, so I decided to use mine to take time off during Obon (since there's hardly anyone at the school during Obon). I was off of work from Friday through Wednesday. I spent a little bit of time relaxing and did some fun things, too.

I got up early on Friday morning and met up with Leslie to go to Comiket! This was our second time at Comiket, so we had a better idea of how things were laid out this time and we were able to see a lot more. It would've been even nicer if they'd actually had the air conditioning on in the convention center though. I only bought a handful of doujinshi this time (2 Tiger and Bunny, 1 Sengoku Basara, & 1 Sailor Moon) though we looked around for a while. We only spent a little bit of time walking around the cosplay area because it was so damn hot outside. I give props to the cosplayers who were willing to stand around in that heat. I didn't want to try and cosplay in this weather, but I'd like to finally cosplay at winter Comiket later this year. After Comiket, Leslie and I walked over to Diver City so that we could see the giant Gundam they have on display outside. It was pretty cool and realistic looking. (I'm operating under the theory that it's actually a working Gundam just in case Japan is ever attacked by North Korea.) I ended my day by having dinner with Kaille because I hadn't seen her since my vacation!

On Sunday, Leslie and I went to the Rainbow Matsuri in Nichome. It was a pretty small scale matsuri (since Nichome isn't really that big), but it was still fun. I ended up running into Mihanh and Yuki, who I hadn't seen since January! I didn't even know that they were going to be there (I didn't even know that Yuki was currently visiting Tokyo). Yuki's friend Oriane was with them too and we ended up spending the rest of the evening catching up. Leslie came with us for a little while, but she didn't stay out for long because she had work the next day. The rest of us went bar hopping. We started at Kinswomyn, then went to Goldfinger, grabbed dinner, and ended the night at Adezakura. It was a good time! I don't see very much of them since Elise hasn't been around, and I missed the fun nights we used to have in Nichome.

Anna and I did our usual curry on Monday. After trying several other Indian restaurants, we've concluded that our favorite restaurant has the best curry. We went back to my place and did absolutely nothing because we were so hot and full of good food. That's okay though because we had a nice time being lazy and chatting about fandom related things.

Tuesday was aquarium day! Anna, Greta, and I went to the Sunshine Aquarium. It was a nice aquarium, even if it was slightly smaller than I was expecting. I would've enjoyed it even more if it hadn't been as crowded with small children pushing their way in-front of me to see the exhibits though. My favorite part of the aquarium was the small tunnel you could walk under that was filled with jellyfish. They're so cool to watch.

I spent part of yesterday afternoon bumming around Tokyo. I went to Shin Okubo with the goal of possibly buying another concert DVD and ended up getting G-Dragon's Shine A Light concert. I also ate a yummy waffle at Coffee Prince. After that I went to Shibuya, where I was going to meet up with my friends. I was there early, so I killed some time by browsing the cute new clothes at 109. Then I met Kaille, Leslie, and Greta so that we could see The Avengers. It was finally released in Japan this week! I actually saw it on the place ride back to Japan, but it was a bit hard to hear at times, so I ended up seeing it again. I thought it was a good movie the first time, but I liked it even more the second time! And now I have a huge new fandom to explore for fic, so I'm happy.

One more day of work, then it's the weekend! I have plans to hang out with Eri and Kaille, and then on Sunday I'm going to exist+trace's fan club concert! It should be a fun weekend. ^_^

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