First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in America!
Nikko was a really nice trip. On the first day, we went to Toshogu Shrine. This is a shrine dedicated to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Me and my Japanese history loving self sliently geeked out about this. The design of this shrine was quite different from all of the other shrines and temples I've seen in Japan. It was much more colorful and ornamental. Most of the time Japanese shrines and temples tend to be much more simple in their designs. Toshogu was super pretty and I really enjoyed seeing it. While we were there, we climbed the stairs to see Ieyasu's grave. We also saw the famous carvings of the Three Monkeys doing the "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" pose and the Sleeping Cat. After Toshogu, the bus drove up some super curvy mountain roads to get to Kegon Waterfall. It was nice, but I was pretty cold. The weather in Nagano was colder then it had been in Tokyo. That night, I roomed with Rebecca, Nancy, and Kayleigh. After a bit of talking with Rebecca and Nancy, I went to sleep. On the second day of the trip we went for a nice hike through the woods. It was cold outside, but I piled on a few layers so I would be warmer. The scenery was so beautiful, with all the leaves changing color and the waterfalls. We spotted an adorable kitten rolling around in the bushes at the end of our hike and attempted to play with it. Then it was lunchtime. We grilled our own pork and veggies on a stone slab. It was yummy. After lunch, it was time for wood carving. We carved pre-outlined designs into wooden plates. It was pretty difficult. My dragon design ended up looking kind of rough, but not too bad in the end. That was the last part of the trip. Then it was time for the bus ride home, which I attempted to spend sleeping. The trip was good, but would have been even more fun if the rest of Kotobuki-gumi was there to spend it with.
On Monday, meepalicious and I went to Shinjuku to go to the Volks store. (For those of you who are unaware, Volks is a company that makes beautiful ball-jointed dolls.) Leslie brought her new doll Camui with her. It was really nice to finally get to go to a Volks store. The dolls were lovely. I think I unintentionally fell in love with the F-16 mold. The display F-16 was so pretty! I think he's definitely going down as next on my current dolly wishlist. Leslie bought some clothes for her boys and I bought a pair of purple eyes for my dolly Brynn. After that, we shopped in the Studio Alta. I got a cool shirt that has some little chains attached to it. Leslie and I then went and had some delicious ramen for dinner.
Tuesday was our Anime and Manga class's field trip to Akihabara. It was nothing new though because I've been to Akihabara before. I did however pick up a copy of the gorgeous Pandora Hearts artbook. It's so lovely! It might be one of the prettiest artbooks I've ever bought. Definitely worth the money. Greta also had super awesome luck finding stuff she wanted, like her Neuro and Harlock figures. It was so cute. After our "research", Leslie, Greta, Lauren and I went and grabbed dinner at a tiny little noodle shop.
Today, I had a fast food approximation of Thanksgiving food. There is no turkey in Japan, so we went to KFC and got fried chicken and french fries (because there were no mashed potatoes). Later in the day we got McDonald's apple pies. Nowhere near as good as Thanksgiving dinner, but it was the best we could do. Leslie and I took Kirsten to Otome Road in Ikebukuro because she had yet to go. I bought moar Gundam doujin. I should not be allowed to buy doujinshi ever again. In my defense though, I spent under 1,000 yen (around $10) on four doujin. We also tried to go get delicious pastries (aka man cake) at the Swallowtail White Rose Cafe (the one that's not the butler cafe you have to make reservations for a month in advance). Upon arriving at the cafe we discovered that the only had adorable maid girls working there, not the hot butlers that are normally found at Swallowtail. We decided to pass on the cake then because it was a bit expensive and there were no butlers to serve it. Maid girls aren't bad, but a little disappointing when you're expecting butlers in suits.
Now, I'm in Leslie's room and we're listening to Christmas music. It is officially Christmas season (even if it doesn't feel like it yet).