Gon and Killua

Semi- friends only

Welcome to my journal! Entries which are about Japan/travel, or fandom stuff only, like cosplay, convention reports or random thoughts about anime, manga, games, are public, but personal entries are friends-locked. Not really because I have anything to hide, but more because I think people who come here for the fandom stuff aren't interested in reading about my boring life. X'D

I don't really have a friending policy or anything like that, because "friends don't need qualifications!"  =D  But if we've never really talked before and you want to be my friend, please comment here or send me a message saying who you are and why you're interested. Then I'll very likely add you back. ^-^

>Please enable private messages in your settings if you would like a reply!

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=> For seeing some of my cosplay, you can go to my Cosplay.com account.
=> For my old Hunter x Hunter drama cd and lyric translations, please refer to my translations masterpost.
(Please note that I'm currently not available for translation requests)
=> For my Natsume Yuujinchou travel reports, please check out my travel report masterpost

ブログは英語ですけど日本語もOKなのでお気軽に連絡くださいー 
誰でもコメント出来るようになっています ^o^

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Gon - WTF

(no subject)

Yesterday I moved... kind of! I'm back at my old place again now to use the internet there, but most of my furniture is at the new place =D It wasn't entirely without trouble, though...

By monday, the moving company still hadn't let me known at what time they would come on Wednesday, so I had to call them to ask... But I only got a vague answer like "in the moring" and they said they'd call me again on Tuesday, the day beforehand, with the exact time. It's really hard to coordinate things with all people involved if they don't give any details... Even when they did call on Tuesday, the time frame they gave was "between 11 and 13", which is still pretty rough ^^; I was grateful to have some time in the morning before 11 to pack the last of my things though, like my plants which I'd still kept outside until the last moment. It had rained on Tuesday, and I didn't want to pack them into a cardboard box while wet, so I had to do it in the morning >< I also moved ALL my cardboard boxes that were stacked in my entryhall and put them in my room, because I wasn't sure in which order the movers needed to load things into the truck... With all the boxes in the entryhall (along with my bicycle), nothing else could have left the room

The first truck showed up at my place at 11:40, and it only took them about 15 minutes to load everything, since I'd packed it pretty well and organized my room in a way that they could grab anything in any order. For some reason the guys seemed super rushed though, as if they were working under a strict time limit... I heard rumors that Japamese movers are supposed to be super polite and careful with your things, cover everything in blankets and bubble wrap, etc... But they just rushed everything out the door and into the truck without doing any of that, bumping things into the doorframes and everywhere >____>  My nice black table now has a very noticable scrach on the surface that definitely wasn't there before.

The second truck was supposed to arrive at my friend's place at the same time, pack the stuff there at the same time, and go on to my new place first. Then the first truck was supposed to drop by my friend's place on the way to pick up any things that hadn't fit into the other one... Or so was my well-thought out plan ^^; But the second truck didn't end up arriving until 12:40 or so, so the first truck ended up arriving at my friend's place first. ^^; There wasn't too much space to load any stuff into it anymore, so they said they would leave for the new place pretty soon, and I should go on ahead because if they had to wait in front of a locked door, I would have to pay an extra fee... They never told me about that, the person on the phone had said that the trucks would just wait at the new place until I arrived with the keys (after I had asked if I could ride in one of the trucks or if I had to take a train - it was the latter, fine,  but they didn't say anything about additional fees if taking the train takes longer than it takes to drive...)
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Roku

And the pile grows...


Tomorrow the moving company is coming to pick up the majority of my stuff, so I pretty much finished packing everything that they need to bring... Though it was really hard deciding what I want to keep ^^; There are so many things that I use daily, but the more stuff I keep here, the more I'll have to carry over myself later... I thought I might keep a pan and some basic cooking stuff so I won't have to eat convenience store food or takeout every day next week, but I realized that even "basic cooking stuff" is more than what fits in my small suitcase ^^;

So I just ended up keeping one pan that I plan to throw out with the unburnable trash later (so I won't have to bring it) so that I can at least boil water on my stove for tea or instant noodles. It's also going to be fun (not...) seeing how sore I'm going to be after removing my memory foam pad from underneath my futon, and having to sit on the floor - not even a carpet or tatami - with just a little table to work for... thankfully only 4 days, because there's some national holidays next week, but still... ^^;

I'm actually not all too happy about the holidays beause work is still super busy, and the deadlines don't change if you have a holiday. And I also had to take a day off for moving because moving companies are ridiculously expensive on the weekend and that would be a waste... So I've been trying to make up for it, but that means working about an hour overtime most days and not being able to take any decent lunch breaks (so technically 2 hours overtime x_x ) The only "lunch breaks" I've had recently were all to go out for errands related to my move, while actual lunch is just a sandwich at my desk ^^;

For example, last week I tried to change my address at the bank, but apparently in order to do the procedure online, you need to request a password to be sent to your new address via physical mail to prove that it's really your address. (which takes up to 10 business days apparently...) Yet, in order to receive the password at your new address, you need to change your address first... Hmm =/

So I went to do it in person instead, since I remember doing it that way last time when they didn't have internet banking yet... But apparently "in person" means "sit down by yourself in a little booth with a computer in it at the bank office, and input the address change yourself"... One might think it's for "security reasons", but I didn't even have to show ID or anything, so why not let people just do it from their computer at home?? Technically you could change anybody's information as long as you know their name and account info. ^^;

Thankfully the procedure at the post office was a bit easier, just fill out a form with your new address... But I still had to walk there to do it in person, and handwrite the address hoping that they can read my chicken scratch. ^^; Sometimes I wish Japan wasn't so allergic to doing things online/conveniently/efficiently...
Kija - love

I got my keys~

 This morning I went to the realtor to pick up the keys for my new place~ It was kinda awkward since I was carrying so much stuff, but it seemed like a waste to just pick up the keys and not do anything else. I was done at the realtor in less than 10 minutes anyways, and thankfully they reassured me (again) that I am getting my partial refund of the agency fees in a couple of days and apologized for the trouble. I'm glad I won't have to deal with them anymore though, any procedures from now on will go through the management company (or the gas/water/electricity/internet company, depending on what it's about)



I'm kinda impressed I managed to carry all this stuff by train (3 transfers too...) without damaging anything... except maybe my arms, haha. The suitcase has my gas stove, curtains, and a step ladder, and then I also brought 3 lamps that I was planning to install (hence the stap ladder, haha). I managed to catch a bus from the station to my new place thankfully, so I didn't have to carry everything 15 minutes uphill (or 20 minutes, since I'd have to take the long way to avoid any stairs...). Yes, I was fully planning on walking... until I noticed that the bus, which I'd dismissed as an option because it only comes once every hour, would come in only about 10 minutes after I arrived at the station, so I decided to wait for that. My arms are probably glad for that, haha


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anime-me

(no subject)

I haven't posted a lot because I don't really have much to talk about right now, other than moving prep. I'm still figuring out the logistics of some things, but I'm slowly getting there... I gave away a couple more things that I won't need at my new place, so now the only big thing I'm left with is my fridge... Apparently it costs about 8000 yen to recycle or dispose of it via the proper channels O_O; You could buy a whole new fridge with that kind of money! (or at least a second-hand one ^^;;) So I really hope I can find somebody who wants it for free, at least...

Other than that I've packed one box every night, so I'm left with only some stuff that I'm still using. Because the internet line won't be installed at my new place until the 24th, but the moving company will come on the 15th (because the stuff I'm getting from my friends' place needs to go soon), I'll have to live at my old place without any of my furniture or large things for nearly 10 days though ^^; But I realized that the solution as to how to deal with that is actually quite simple! I just spent 11 days in Hitoyoshi last month with only one small suitcase worth of stuff, and that was perfectly doable... so I think I will just pack the same things again as if I'm going on a trip like that, except KEEP that suitcase (and a futon and small table that fit in my large suitcase) at my current place while the moving company takes everything else =P



Perfect!

Granted, a ryokan does have some more amenities compared to an unfurnished room, but... there's always the convenience store and the bathhouse, I guess! And I'll probably spend a weekend at my new place after the moving company brings my furniture and boxes there, so it's not even a full 10 days >w<

I keep looking at the area around my new place on Google Maps, because it looks like there are so many exciting places to explore. I thought I'd hiked in the area a lot, but if you start looking outside of the main hiking trails, there's a lot of shrines, temples, waterfalls, mountain passes, farms/orchards, parks, old tunnels, kofun-era tombs, and other historical landmarks, etc that I never knew about! (I almost included "hot springs" but I'm pretty confident that I do actually know about all the hot springs already =P ) For the first couple of months (if not a whole year xD) I could probably enjoy myself just walking and cycling around the area every weekend without ever getting on a train.. >w<
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Aozu

Ow >w<

 My back hurts... and my arms hurt ^^; This weekend was more moving prep - on Saturday I packed some more boxes, and now that I've given my shoe rack away to somebody who needed it, I have some space to stack the boxes out of the way in my little entry hall, so now it looks like this...



It's kind of amazing how perfectly that fits underneath my shelf. I kinda have to take down the shelf and assess the damage on the walls, but then I won't have anywhere to put my suitcases, so I think I'll wait with that until just before the moving company comes next week. I thought I wouldn't have THIS many boxes, but it seems like I have more stuff than I thought I did ^^; My room always looked pretty tidy and empty, but it seems like I was just good at storing my things in an unobtrusive way so that it never looked like much. And there's the fact I already picked up a bunch of things (about 3~4 boxes worth of kitchen stuff, clothes, sewing stuff, and Tenimyu DVD's, haha) from my friend, to help her get organized before she moves too... I've been very careful with ONLY picking the stuff that I will actually use, but then it's still a lot ^^;
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anime-me

Gas stove chronicles

In Japan there are two types of gas service you can get - There's an explanation here 'cause I'm too lazy to explain, but you need a different stove depending on which type your apartment has. Or you can just get an electric stove and avoid the hassle ^^; But I thought it'd be nice to get the typical Japanese stove with two burners and a fish grill so I can cook more than one thing at once and eat fish more often - especially if it will fit my new kitchen exactly (There is no electrical outlet on the side where the stove goes, so if I got an electric one I'd have to mess around with extension cords )

Anyway, when looking for the apartment I didn't really care about the type of stove in particular as long as I can cook, but when I went to view the apartment I really liked the look of, I was told in no unclear terms that it only had propane gas service, and that I would need to buy a stove suitable for LP gas. I confirmed this at least three times:

1) When I went to see the house, the realtor staff showed me the large LP gas tanks on the side of the building



2) When I asked about the most attractive aspects of the neighborhood I was interested in, I remember the realtor explaining, "There are a lot of newly-built homes that use city gas in the area - though this particular apartment has propane gas, but in general it's popular for city gas because it's cheaper..."

3) I received a paper with basic info about the apartment that clearly said it had LP ("propane / プロパン") gas



When I went to sign the contract last week Friday, I was told that my gas provider would be a company called "Hadano gas" (even though I'm just across the border in Isehara, haha) but no other mention was made of the type of gas, and I also didn't ask because I already had triple confirmation that it was LP... I see now that the tanks I took a photo of have "Marui gas" on them, which is a different company, so maybe that was a red flag that I should have asked about... But there was already too much to think about, so I didn't remember the name at the time of signing >_> (Though in Japan it's not uncommon for the contract to be with one company while the actual service is provided though another company, so it's not THAT strange... Like, my internet contract is with Plala but the cable will be installed by NTT...)

Then last Monday evening I went to pick up a second-hand LP gas stove that somebody had posted in the Tokyo Sayonara Sales group on Facebook (a group where foreign residents sell furniture when they're moving out of Tokyo), a bargain at only 5000 yen, since they're over 20,000 yen new. I don't need a brand new one since I don't know for how long I'll use it, but it was in great condition, so that's good enough for me.



The person I bought it from lived a 15-minute walk away from their station, so I carried the heavy thing in my suitcase and woke up all sore the next day ^^;

On Tuesday morning I called the gas company to contact them about the date I want to start using the gas service, and they asked me if I already had a stove (they can install it for you when they come to turn on the gas), and I answered that yes, I'd gotten a LP gas stove, like the realtor had told me to. But then the staff on the phone was like "Oh, but that building only has city gas"... Uh, what??

So I called the realtor again to confirm, and at first I asked them "You told me that the apartment I'm taking has LP gas, is that right?" to which they answered "Yes, yes, that's right." Then I told them that I had just called the gas company they had told me to call, and that I was told this apartment was toshi-gas. Then the realtor guy must have grabbed the contract and looked, and then he was like "Oh, yes, it indeed has toshi-gas. It says so here on the contract"... Um?  When I reminded him of the three points above that all confirmed it would be LP gas, he was like "Well, the landlord could have changed the service very recently, so maybe the old gas tanks hadn't been removed yet (but he didn't even seem sure either...)

The realtor is supposed to go through all the important points in the contract with the client before signing, and they did that, but nowhere was there a mention that the type of gas had changed from what I was told (and what was printed in the documents I was given) earlier... It may have been written somewhere in the tiny print of the contract, but it has about 20 pages, so there's no way you can read it all in detail in the time they give you to go over it before the signing (then I would've been there all day - that's why they do the verbal overview of the most important points  ^^;;)  I can't even check if it's actually written there because they didn't give me a copy of the contract after I signed it, they said they would send it in the mail later...

So I asked the realtor if they could refund me part of their "agency fee", because obviously they can't do their jobs properly... But the guy who'd been in charge of my case insisted that since it was written correctly as in the contract (even though they'd told me it was LP through other channels 4 times, including on the phone just then when they answered!!) they couldn't do anything >__>

When I told my Japanese friend about all this, she agreed that it was ridiculous, and that Japanese customers would surely file a complaint about being treated like this. But since the realtor I'd been dealing with didn't seem open to discussion, she helped me e-mail the main office of that realtor company to complain about the bad service at the local Isehara branch office. A day later I got a phone call from someone at the main office, who asked about the details again, and was a lot more willing to listen than the branch office guy. He agreed that the explanation had been lacking and apologized for the branch office providing false information, then offered to refund me for the price of the wrong gas stove that I'd already bought.

Now, since I bought that stove second-hand from an individual seller with cash, I don't have a receipt for it, so I wasn't actually expecting them to refund the exact price. That's why in my complaint I had requested a partial refund of the agency service fees, because it's the service that was lacking - the stove issue isn't even the only issue I had with them. Besides that, they also...

1) Didn't tell me in time that the guarantor fees were more expensive than they had told me in the quote that I had initially agreed to. It became 3000 yen more expensive because I was put on the "foreigner plan" automatically, but they didn't email me about that until the day before I was due to sign... I emailed them back immediately to request if I could just use their regular plan, because I don't require any translation or interpretation services (which I assume is what makes their "foreigner plan" more pricey? I sure hope they don't just make it expensive just for the heck of it because "foreigner" without offering any additional services...) But they didn't reply to my email, and the next day I had to go to the realtor office to sign the contract, so there wasn't any time to make any changes or request a different guarantor company. That would have to go through the landlord again, which would delay the process, but I had already given notice for my current apartment at this point, so if I delayed the move I would end up homeless ^^;

2) Gave me a wrong phone number for the Isehara Waterworks Bureau - unlike when I moved into my current apartment, this realtor doesn't arrange electricity, gas, and water for you (obviously, or else they would know the type of gas???), so they gave me a list of phone numbers that I needed to call myself in order to begin using service. But the phone number they gave me for water connected to some kind of internal office, not the customer service line, where I got yelled at by an angry old man who thought I was prank-calling them ^^;;;;; Seriously, why are the agency fees even so expensive if they don't even arrange these things for you!?

So the refund I'm requesting isn't as much because of the price of the "wrong" stove that I bought, but more about the general lack of service and the trouble and stress I went through to get everything arranged x_x Thankfully the staff of the main office seemed to understand that, and said they could give the partial refund without any receipts. I've yet to receive it though, so I'll have to see what they say when I actually go and pick up the keys. Hopefully after that I'll be done dealing with this realtor for good! (And hopefully the actual management company that my new landlord uses is better...)

Anyway, I was able to sell the "wrong" stove again to a different person for the same price of 5000 yen, via that same buy/sell group on Facebook... And then I bought a new one - or rather, second hand one - that I'd seen listed on jmty.jp (a Japanese equivalent of craigslist) - for only a little bit more money (6600 yen).



The person selling it was the owner of a recycle shop getting rid of old stock for cheap, so they packed it all nicely for me... ;_; I might end up asking that shop to recycle my old fridge before I move (I'm getting a bigger one from my friend), so I'm actually glad that I found out about them! So I guess at least something good came out of all this!! Though I did have to walk 15 minutes there and back though. I'm almost becoming an expert at lugging heavy stoves around Tokyo in my poor suitcase, lol

So in the end I only spent 1600 yen more than I was planning to, and if the realtor company really refunds me the 10,000 yen that I requested (out of the 56,000 yen fee... Maybe I should have asked for more...), then I'll have made a little profit xD Not that it makes much of a difference when the cost of the whole move (including all fees and the cost of the moving company) is over 300,000 yen, but still... It's the thought that counts, I suppose!

...And just as I was writing this post, the realtor main office called me again to offer if they could buy the "wrong" stove from me to make things right ^^;;;; But that's a bit late, isn't it? I'm getting the keys and moving in next weekend (and my appointment with the gas company is also next saturday), so it only makes sense that I would want to have the right kind of stove before then, and that I have already exchanged it myself by now, no thanks to them >____> So I reiterated my main issue isn't the price of the stove, but that I want to be refunded for the lack of service and for the trouble...  Ugh... ^^; Well, I'll see...

Edit: The realtor in question is "You-me Life, Isehara Branch Office" (ユーミーライフ伊勢原店) by the way! Avoid at all cost!!!
Dream pair - sleepy

(no subject)

Apparently the new Tenipuri movie is coming out tomorrow O_O I vaguely knew it was a thing, but since it's been delayed for so long I wasn't expecting it to actually come out any time soon ^^; Not that I care about the terrible CG, but apparently they're having a butai aisatsu event with ALL the actors who've played Ryoma in the past... That would've been awesome to see, so if not for my move I probably would have tried to apply for a ticket... But it's on the day I have to pick up the keys to my new place... =( (And not just pick up the keys, but I'm also planning to go there and measure everything so I can plan how to arrange my furniture, and to install the light fixtures, so I'll be away for most of the day)

For a moment it looked they were at least doing an online "live viewing" of the event, but upon closer inspection it seems like it's only being "streamed" to movie theaters, so you'd still have to go there in person... =( That really sucks! If at least they did online streaming I would've definitely bought a ticket so I could watch the archived video later ;_; Maybe I'll still try to catch the actual movie in theaters at a later date though, out of morbid curiosity.

I haven't really watched much of anime this season, I'm only still watching Fumetsu no Anata e because it's still ongoing. I didn't expect it to be longer than one season based on the premise, so I was surprised to find a new episode after I thought it "ended" with no real conclusion. I'm still a few episodes behind, but it's really fascinating! The most interesting thing is probably that I've never see any show like it (what genre/demographic is it, even??) so it's really original! I like how you never know which characters are going to die (and characters actually do die - no "main character armor" except for the immortal guy obviously =P)

I've also watched some of Bokutachi no Remake since my company is in the production committee - I did some translation for the English ending credits, but besides that I've only ever heard the title in passing in meetings and didn't know much about the content until I watched it. I don't know how accurately it actually depicts life in art school, but it's cool having a show about university students rather than high school students - the things they accomplish come across a lot more realistic that way. The main character seems a bit too "perfect" considering how much of a failure he seemed to be in his "past" life, but I guess that's kind of the point - he learned from his mistakes and realized how to do thing better this time! It still doesn't seem plausible that all the girls magically fall in love with him, but I guess that's anime for you... =P
anime-me

(no subject)

 I'm still arranging stuff for my move every day this week, but I'm too tired to complain about all the issues I've had with that right now, so I'm gonna look at some photos of yummy food I had over the past few weeks instead :3

When I went to Isehara to view apartments with a friend who's a local in the area, she showed me to this amazing restaurant afterwards, and I think I have a new favorite restaurant in Isehara already =D



Their main specialty is tonkatsu, so I got that the first time... The serving sizes were so big! O__O Yet the prices were similar to any cheap teishoku place, around 600~900 yen depending on what you order exactly.


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Gon - WTF

(no subject)

Yesterday I went to the realtor to sign the lease for my new apartment! So it's now officially official! =D I also got a call back from my internet company saying that they confirmed the type of internet contract I'll need to get (that wasn't 3 weeks for the confirmation... it was barely even one!) so I was able to schedule an appointment to get that sorted out! I still have to figure out the exact logistics though, because the earliest appointment date they had available was on a Friday afternoon, which would mean that the contract at my old apartment runs until the Thursday beforehand... So I won't be able to use the internet anywhere on Friday morning (and I have to be physically present at the new apartment for the construction to take place in the afternoon), so it's looking like I'll need to take that day off too - in addition to the day I already need to take off when the moving company is going to move my large furniture. Schedule-wise I can't afford to take even a single day off work until the end of November, so I might have to work on some saturdays to make up for that, if my company is flexible enough to allow that at least... Otherwise I'll need to work even harder on the other days to make up for it, because the deadlines don't change when you take a day off... =.=

Then yesterday afternoon I spent about 3 hours making more than 10 phone calls to try and arrange for my water, electricity, and gas contracts to be cancelled at my current place and make new ones for my new place... You'd think that would be 6 phone calls at most - or less because electricity will be provided by the same company, but since this is Japan, everything has to be as hard as possible... It'd be like

1) Call the customer service number listed on the invoices and/or company's website
2) Wait half an hour until it's your turn
3) Be told that for the specific procedure you want to do, you need to call a different number that wasn't listed anywhere on the website
4) Call that number
5) Get an automated message saying that these procedures now have to be done online (but via a different website than the company's own website), no option to talk to a human operator
6) Go to that website, try filling in the form
7) Get rejected because your name can only be less than 10 characters, but when it's automatically cut off it doesn't match the name on your contract so "this contract cannot be found" even if you have the customer number and all other info correct
8) Call that website's customer service line
9) Get told that they can't manually alter the electricity company's contracts, and you have to call the company itself
10) Call the first number again (customer service) wait again, and explain your situation and the process you've gone through
11) Now they can suddenly do the procedure within less than a minute - Success!

So why didn't they just do the damned procedure manually to begin with? Who knows ^^; Then rinse, repeat this process 6 times!  Though I only managed to do 5 - I still need to arrange for the new gas contract because their customer support service was closed on weekends...) I'm kinda scared of getting my phone bill next month... And My throat was really sore by the end of the day! I have no idea how people manage to work in call centers and stay sane (maybe because they don't actually do anything and just try to refer all the callers elsewhere...)




Then today I managed to pack some stuff that I won't need for the time being, like these Nyankos!
I filled a box with books, but it would be too heavy if I filled it only with books, so I put some plushies on top to fill the space :3