This year, golden week was a little split. The first holiday was a monday, but then the next two days, tuesday and wednesday, were working days! so I headed down to Tokyo on Thursday.
I finally figured out the trick to make the bus ride shorter…get off at the first stop. XD Once in Tokyo, the bus stops in three places, and I usually got off at the last one. But this time the first stop was closer to where I wanted to be on the last day, so I got off there. The ride was almost an hour shorter.
Thursday I had no one to meet, so I thought it was better to head straight to the hostel so that I wouldn’t have to carry my luggage. But the bus had arrived at 1, and I got to the hostel around 2…and check in wasn’t till 3. It seemed silly to go somewhere else, so I went across the street to Ministop (convenient store) for ice cream and to snap a pic of the hostel.
When I checked in, I found that my bed was on the 5th floor…and there was no elevator. The stairs were super narrow too! You don’t notice so much going up because you don’t put your whole foot on the step going up. But going down again I definitely noticed! Each set of stairs was a different color. Oh, and as for the bunk? I got top bunk…and it was so tall that I couldn’t see the top when standing on the ground. ?
After checking in, I headed to Akihabara, which was only a 15 minute walk from the hostel. There’s a Volks store in Akihabara, and I needed to go there. No, really. Currently Volks is having a promotion for VIP members, that if ypu can visit any of 14 stores, each visit gets you one point, which can then be used in their December promotion this year. So I needed that stamp. The fact that I also found a new outfit and wig for Ilya was pure coincidence. ?
Friday, I met up with Yumi at 7:30 in the morning. We were going to take a bus tour of Mt. Fuji! We weren’t actually going to climb it, just get really close and learn some stuff about it. We talked in a mix of English and Japanese, though what I noticed sometimes was that she’d start in Japanese, but I would answer in English. She wanted to know how everyone was doing, of course, and I showed her the picture from December with almost everyone in it. But Mom had been the one taking the picture, and the most recent picture I had of her was from when she visited last summer. Mom had said she was disappointed that she hadn’t had a chance to see Yumi then, and Yumi expressed the same.
The bus tour first went to a visitor’s center type place with information about Mt. Fuji. We only got to spend 40 minutes there.
Then we headed to the next place, a festival…and got stuck in traffic. For like two hours. But we did make it to the festival, which had lots of flowers and was very pretty.We got two hours in this place.
There was supposed to be a third stop, but because of the traffic, we didn’t have time. So around 5:30 we left the festival and were told that we should be back to our starting point around 7:30. Come 9 pm, we made an unsceduled rest area stop, and in the end, didn’t make it back till 11. According to the tour guide, the other tour bus had only managed to make it to one of the three stops and we had beaten them back!
Saturday I met my friend Keenan at the Rainbow Pride Festival. He was meeting a friend there, but it was the only day that we could work out to meet up. The festival was interesting, and I took pictures.
Sunday was my no plans day. So I decided to run by Yokohama to get the stamp from that Volks store. And then, one of my online dollie friends was free to meet up! We met up at a second hand doll shop. What was bad there was that I found a wicked cheap msd size doll…she looked so pitiful and in need of rescue that I couldn’t resist. I’m going to have to put a lot of work in to make presentable!
Alyssa and I also walked around a little, and ate dinner together,which was nice. (The dolls enjoyed some food too!)
Monday, the final day. Golden Week was over by now, but I had taken a vacation day because there were a couple of places that I wanted to go that weren’t open during the days off. First, I had made an appointment at the American Embassy for 8:45. My passport was good till next year, but I decided that it was safer to renew now, while I both had the money and was thinking about it.
I ended up at the embassy at 8:30. Before that, I had already checked out of the hostel and dropped my bags off in a coin locker at the bus stop where I’d be taking the bus back. Anyway, at the embassy there were two security gates to go through, not one!
But either I had hit the right timing, or it helped that I had all the neccessary paperwork and photos ready because I was out of the embassy and walking down the street by 8:50.
Thhe second place I had wanted to go was a foll store called Culture Japan. I had been watching their company since years ago, when they only had two dolls. Now there are about 15. But why I’d wanted to go to the store instead of ordering online was that they have a workshop where you get to put together the doll yourself!
So I did that. ?
I also spent waaay too much money on clothes for her, but I had decided in advance that, with the money my grandmother left me, I would use some towards this doll and her clothes, and then some towards the upcoming shakken (car inspection). Anything left after that was for saving.
After making the doll, I was waiting for another doll friend to text me that we could meet up. While I was waiting, I took pictures around the store. They’re planning on making biiiig dolls! I hate to think what they’ll cost though…
And just as I was finished taking pictures and getting ready to leave, Danny Choo came out to say hi!! Danny Choo is the person who created Culture Japan and Smart Doll in the first place, so I was a little impressed that I actually got to talk to him. And take a selfie with my camera. Because it’s a camera though, first attempt didn’t work. XD
Then met up with Lorelei. We got lunch, but didn’t actually do much else because my feet were killing me. One of my shoes had decided to cut the back of my ankle, and on top of that, there was only one of the five days I was in Tokyo that I had gotten less than 15,000 steps for the day. Saturday had actually been 24,000!