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willeke4439
01 January 2013 @ 01:14 pm
Welcome to my journal! Entries which are about fandom stuff only, like cosplay, convention reports or random thoughts about anime, manga, games, and Japan stuff 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. ^-^

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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 doing these anymore, and I'm also not available for any other translation requests. Sorry!)

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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willeke4439
15 December 2018 @ 01:22 pm
Yesterday I took a day off work to participate in the Akatsuki no Yona Happy Hungry Bunch shoot I got invited to a while ago! The location was so awesome! Seitenkyuu is a Taoist temple in Saitama Prefecture, but apparently it's way more famous for its many appearances in movies and TV dramas rather than religious worship ^^; Anybody can make a reservation to shoot there just by sending them an e-mail or calling, as long as you pay the fee (2500 yen per person) and follow the rules. Only two groups can reserve on any given day though - each group gets their own private changing room (with a door that can be locked, and air conditioning/heating =D ) , so availability might be an issue on weekends. This was a Friday though, so we were the only ones there, aside from some random tourists/visitors to the temple who gave us funny looks xD



I wasn't sure what kind of "setting" we were going to shoot though, 'cause it probably looks the most like HIryuu castle out of any locations in the series, but there aren't really any moments that all the characters are gathered there. ^^;  So were we going to pretend that Yona had become queen and we're all living happily at the castle? xD  In the end I'm still not sure what the theme was supposed to be, but I'm sure the photos will turn out cool in any case!

It was so windy though! It really reminded me of when I cosplayed Kija during golden week this year, except the wind was icy cold this time ^^;;; Why is it always either extremely windy or extremely hot when I wear this particular cosplay!? xD  At least the wind didn't ruin the wig completely this time... Though it was really hard to keep it out of my face, despite all the wax and hairspray  and pins I'd put in it. ^^;

The main photographer said he'd send his pictures within a week or two, so for now I'll just post some of the random pictures that I and some of the other cosplayers took of the proceedings in the meanwhile...

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Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
willeke4439
15 December 2018 @ 12:54 pm
It seems as if winter has finally started... It's always so strange how it'll feel like (Dutch) summer until December 10th or so, and then suddenly it'll get really cold and feel like winter, having totally skipped autumn. I haven't used my heater yet because I'm cheap and stubborn like that, but recently my room has been around 13 degrees whenever I get up in the mornings or get home after work... But then again, the first thing I do after getting up or getting home is turn on my stove to cook food, and/or have a hot shower, so those things are still 'naturally' heating up my room enough to deal with the cold for the 2 hours or so I'm home and awake before and after work.

II remember that last year around this season, all I was eating was nabe, but somehow this year I'm having an inexplicable craving for ramen...




One time after hiking I got spicy tantanmen at a place in Hon-Atsugi that a friend showed me before -  Ippuudo! (It's a chain that exists in Tokyo too, but not near any places that I regularly visit) This time I learned that apparently you can choose the spiciness of your soups there. It was already nice and spicy without changing anything, but I wanna try a spicier next time

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Current Mood: fullfull
 
 
willeke4439
13 December 2018 @ 08:15 am
I've been exploring walk options around the new office, and there's just so many that I can't settle on one fixed route for a walk - they're either too long or too short. >w< The imperial palace has lots of different gardens, though the Kitanomaru one is kinda small for a long walk but the East Gardens are kinda far, and closed on Mondays and Fridays, so on Monday I checked out Yasukuni shrine instead. I remember I've been there once when there was some kind of Okinawan festival going on, and maybe I passed through it while walking to Tokyo Dome City or something, but I never really explored the grounds before.




Turns out that one quiet corner has a beautiful garden hidden away! Even though in front of the shrine it was bustling with tourists and whatnot, there was almost nobody here, maybe because you have to walk around the main hall to see it. (I only tried going there because I saw a pond on google maps and got curious what it was ^^;) Maybe it really is "secret", like the English translation on the signposts proudly proclaims... But then again, if it were, they wouldn't put down any signs pointing towards it, lol,

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Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
 
 
willeke4439
11 December 2018 @ 09:45 pm
After climbing Oyama on Saturday I went to a friend's cosplay karaoke party near Yokohama on Sunday :3 I'm glad I skipped out on the post-hiking drinking party, because I barely had enough time to get my cosplay out from the box, confirm that all the pieces were complete, steam it to take out the worst wrinkles (in my bathroom while taking a hot shower myself xD) , iron it, and hope it'd be completely dry the next morning. Though I did wear the same kimono as Natsume... I think last year for halloween? ...it still has been in storage for a long time, so the inner red kimono top was wrinkled especially badly ><   It's not like we were going to do any serious photoshoots (anything but, lol), but I at least wanted to be able to layer all the parts comfortably without them scrunching up anywhere.




Yay~ I feel like I need a new wig for Yukina if I'm going to wear her again though - maybe if that Hiei/Kurama/Yukina meetup ever happens - the bangs have frayed so badly that they're almost too short.
(It's the exact same color as Okou's wig, but too bad the texture and style is too different to make one wig work for both ><  )

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Current Mood: sillysilly
 
 
 
willeke4439
09 December 2018 @ 09:37 am
I've long lost track of how many times I've been to Oyama right now xD But some people I met at a networking event earlier this year said they wanted to try hiking for the first time, so I ended up taking some of them. Because Oyama has a cable car, it's the only kind of place that people like that are willing to go. ^^; In the end we didn't ride it, but we also didn't quite finish the original route that I'd planned... It was only supposed to be a 4-hour route, and since we left at 10AM I was expecting to be at the onsen at 2PM, but when it was nearly 3 and we were only at Afuri Shrine with still about an hour and a half to go (according to the map) I figured it'd be safer to go down the shrine stairs instead, and take the bus and train to Tsurumaki Onsen, instead of of trying to make it to the onsen near Hinata Yakushi. (Even though I'd been wanting to revisit that one really badly >< )  And these are the same people who say they want to do the walk from Yabitsu to Tonodake with me next spring... xD They'd better do some training before then ^^;;;)



We "climbed" from the Yabitsu Pass bus stop, so only after a short walk we already had a great view towards Enoshima.


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Current Mood: coldcold
 
 
willeke4439
05 December 2018 @ 10:13 pm
The park near my new office is nice! We're right across the street from the entrance to Kitanomaru park near the Budokan, haha. If there are any concerts there I want to go to, it'll be so easy to go. It's also fun to walk by there just to see what's going on; apparently there's been a series of Nogizaka46 concerts this week xD

I have to figure out a walking route that takes exactly 45 minutes though - Monday I didn't dare to wander too far, but I got back way too early because of that. Then Tuesday I tried going further but didn't get anywhere because of the traffic restrictions around the imperial palace this week.

Apparently there's a certain area only open to the general public one or two weeks a year, and because apparently EVERYONE wants to go and see that at the same time on a weekday afternoon (don't these people have anything better to do!?) the pedestrian areas are made one-way traffic, and the "entrance" was on the other side of the garden 3km away... So I found myself at the "exit" in front of a sign saying no entry, so I went back into the Kitanomaru area to take photos there and roll around on the grassy field. That's something I couldn't really do in Ueno, there aren't really any lawns there, and where there are, it's either not allowed to go on them, or they've been turned into a pool of mud by all the tourists. The autumn leaves were really pretty though, and I remember it being really nice around here in sakura season as well. It's also quieter than Ueno park, and much less tourists.




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Current Mood: goodgood
 
 
willeke4439
03 December 2018 @ 08:24 am
Despite everything I managed to go to the mountains four consecutive weeks now - five if everything goes well next week, haha! I've had to avoid routes that involved too much climbing, but finding lower-difficulty routes have led me to exploring some really cool new places!

I found thgis one by by checking out one of the other "Free Pass" tickets that Odakyu offers, the Miyagase Lake Area hiking pass. It seems similar to the Oyama/Tanzawa free pass except that it covers a different area nearby. I couldn't find an exact description of which buses it covers exactly (I found it now though... ^^;) , but it should at least cover those between Hon-Atsugi station and Miyagase dam. I ended up using bus lines 厚01 and 厚02 and had no problems with it. There's even an onsen you can visit using this pass, so it's pretty much another perfect spot for day trips! I'm not sure why I never looked into this pass before =O

The route I picked was Kyougatake > Bukkasan > Takatoriyama, which pretty much covers the "highest" mountains in the area I think? It was one of the routes described in the booklet that comes with the Tanzawa/Oyama area hiking map, so minimal research is required. All I did was look up the bus times, and the operation times of the Miyagase Dam elevator - until 17:15 - I'd need to use at the end of the route.

It was a bit hard to find the right bus from Hon-Atsugi station because there were many, but somehow I managed it in the 5 minutes transfer time that I had. There was one super crowded bus that had "Miyagase" as its destination so I almost got on that one, but luckily I noticed in time that the number was different, and remembered that I should take one with "Hanbara" as its destination.



At Hanzouboumae bus stop~ In total it only took about an hour and a half to get there, which felt really short 'cause I've mostly been visiting places at least two hours away recently.

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Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
 
 
willeke4439
01 December 2018 @ 08:18 am
On Thursday morning I finally had some time to go to the doctor about my foot, but as is common with Japanese doctors I came out feeling like "Well, that was pointless..."

I had to go to a different clinic than before (and pay the first-timer fee) as well, because the one near my house randomly happened to be closed - no notice on their website or anything, just a piece of paper taped to their door when I got there, saying "sorry, closed today" =_=; Good thing I didn't take the day off work JUST to go to the doctor, or else I would've been even more peeved ^^; So I looked up another one nearby, though I ended up walking more than I planned to because of that. They were nice though, not too crowded at least, so I didn't have to wait too long...

But in the end the doctor talked to me for all of three minutes, and barely even looked at my foot, before prescribing some "painkillers" (Celecoxib? Not sure how that's any different from ibuprofen?) and saying "it'll get better if you rest"... Well duh! What do you think I've been doing for the past month! I'm here because it ISN'T better yet even after I quit jogging for over a month! He said it would take about two weeks, though, which... I guess sounds about right if it's supposed to take six weeks from when the injury first occurred, but still... I was hoping they might give me something to put on my foot directly like shippu or a cream, or maybe some Chinese medicine along with western ones (they usually do give both, so I was surprised they didn't...) , or show me the proper way of taping it to prevent discomfort, or show me if there are any exercises I could (or shouldn't) do to promote healing. But when I specifically asked about those, they were like "Nah, it's fine, just come back if it doesn't heal in about two weeks". Uh thanks, I guess? =.=

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I also got my new Japanese ATM card in the mail the other day, and it worked! That's... very nice and not something to be taken for granted, as my Dutch bank (ING) proved... Coincidentally they also sent me a new ATM card around the same time (they actually arrived within days of each other ) because apparently my old one is expiring in March next year. That's so far ahead I hadn't even considered that they might send it already now... ^^; Anyway, I tried using that new card at the ATM to test it, but it didn't work, neither at the 7/11 or the post office. After trying at several ATMS with both my new and old card (the old one did work up until a few weeks ago at least!) I had no luck, all of them saying that my cards were "invalid"...

I figured that maybe the new card had broken in transit and the old one might have been cancelled because they sent me a new one, but when I logged into my internet banking I found out that wasn't the case... Apparently they now automatically disable international usage of your ATM card, even if you initially turned it on... And even if you turn it on, you can only enable it for a year at a time, after which it will be disabled again and you have to re-enable it again to be able to use your card outside of Europe. So if you don't note down the end date of your card's worldwide validity you might end up randomly not being able to use it when you need it. I even messaged customer service on facebook to ask if there wasn't a way to have unlimited international usage anymore, but they said they got rid of that option recently (without notice???) due to "security concerns". What a pain in the ass >__> I'm glad I'm not reliant on just one bank, at least.

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Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
willeke4439
28 November 2018 @ 08:10 am
Last Sunday I went for a walk on my own in Hakone, and it was awesome =D It really is nice when you can pick your own starting time and route and avoid the crowds. (and not have to wait for people who are late)  The hiking trails on the actual volcano are still closed, so I looked at the map to see if there were any trails that would allow me to make Hakone Yumoto station both my starting point and ending point so I wouldn't have to line up for any cable cars, buses, etc on the way... There were a couple of options, but only one really good one that would take me up to Lake Ashi and back, so that's what I did!




I took the Yusaka Trail - one of the prettiest trails in Autumn I've seen so far -  up to Mt. Sengen, then walked to the lake, and then took the old Tokaido trail back to Hakone Yumoto station, about 20km in total. It was mostly just a long course in terms of distance, but there wasn't much actual climbing, so it was relatively easy for my sore foot... or so I thought. ^^;


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Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
 
 
 
willeke4439
26 November 2018 @ 09:13 pm
After last week Sunday I went to see the Akatsuki no Yona stage play two more times, once on Thursday after work, and then on Saturday afternoon after doing some cosplay sewing in the morning.

This time I remembered to take a picture of the special piece of artwork by Kusanagi-sensei to commemorate the play. It's a bit interesting that she chose to draw Yona hugging Hak instead of the other way around, considering which part of the story the play covers, but it was an amazing piece to see up close! (pictures were allowed, but it just doesn't convey how pretty it was >w< )

On Thursday I had a really good seat (5th row) so I could finally see everybody's faces properly. Maybe it would've been nicer if I'd gotten the good seat for my last show, but I was happy to take what I could get! Apparently not all shows were sold out from pre-sales though, because at every show you could still buy "repeater tickets" for next shows, and looking back I could see that not all seats were filled, and they weren't even using the balcony seats (maybe only for Senshuuraku? I didn't get to go to that one though.

Anyway, as for impressions... Hak stumbled on his lines again ^^; He messed up at least one line in all the three shows I saw, apparently he really is more of a singer than an actor (Why didn't they make this a musical then? The girl playing Yona is from some idol group as well, so I'm sure they could've done it! ) His acting and expressions were really good, but I just don't think his speaking voice really works for the character.

Kija, on the other hand, though! In the first show I saw I thought he was a bit shouty, but maybe that was just nervousness, because he spoke a lot more clearly on the next shows I saw. He actually started sounding a lot like the voice actor from the anime =O He did an amazing job to improve so much in the course of just two weeks.

Jae-ha though... ;_; His acting was fantastic, but all the jumping really seemed to be wearing the actor out, and he fell down on the last show O_O During the second I saw, I already noticed that his jumps and flips were a little lower and more restricted than on the first show, so I was worried that the actor was getting tired having to do all those stunts every single day. But then on Saturday he actually fell down during one of them, where he kicked one of the Awa officials while doing a backflip. He covered it up nicely by doing a somersault on the floor after he fell, but because I remembered what it was supposed to look like in the previous shows, I could still tell. I hope he's okay...

Shin-ah seemed to be getting bored by not having that many lines, so every show he started doing more funny stuff in the background while others were talking. Like when Kija was feeling ill and sitting down, he would go over to him and massage his shoulders, and during the pirate's feast he'd make Ao "drink" his sake and then pull the cup away from her, then make Ao creep up to the cup again, etc... I'm also pretty sure it was the actor himself doing the Pukyuu sounds, I could see his mouth moving from my 5th row seat xD
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Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
willeke4439
22 November 2018 @ 08:49 am
On Sunday before going to the Yona stage play I actually managed to work on my cosplay for about 2 or 3 hours. I didn't make that much progress visually though, because I spent about half the time doing the invisible zipper down the front... for some reason it didn't end up straight, so I re-did one of the sides and now it's a LITTLE straighter... maybe? It's hard to tell when I haven't really ironed it yet.



It's still really hard to get the zipper to go in properly, though >< I doubt I'll get it much better than this though, so I did end up closing the yellow parts on the sides so I can't adjust much anymore unless I redo everything

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Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
willeke4439
Sunday afternoon I went to the new Akayona stage play for the first time. It was the 5th show of the run already, so it's almost half-over already... But I'll be going again on Thursday and then next Saturday, and after seeing it for the first time I'm glad I splurged a little on so many tickets xD



I can't believe they tried to cram all 24 episodes of the anime into one play though O_O I was already slightly worried when I heard they'd be doing the Awa arc, since it has already been adapted in many forms (and Zeno barely appears in it, even though they cast a new actor for him ^^;) but when the play started, it started with Yona's 16th birthday party... So I was like, wait, you're starting THERE!? =O


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Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
willeke4439
18 November 2018 @ 09:28 pm
It's been exactly 4 weeks since my foot first started hurting... and I'm not sure if it's getting better or not. ^^; It's supposed to take 6 weeks of "rest" except that I'm not sure if the past few weeks count as "rest". I've stopped jogging for all that time, because that's the only thing that really hurts (I affirmed that it still does when I had to run for a train the other day ^^;) but biking doesn't hurt at all, nor does walking normally, at least up to 10.000 steps or so...  So I've been trying to do everything else as normal, because else I'm bound to get sick (catch a cold or otherwise get out of shape) But I'm not sure if I can walk normally because my foot is actually getting better, or if it's because I've adjusted the way I place my foot on the ground so that there's less pressure on the sore part... When I do walk more than 10.000 steps, it's my ankle that eventually starts hurting due to putting my foot down differently than usual. And when I put my foot down too hard, like when stepping down a high step of stairs too fast, it still hurts too ><

Anyway, I was going to try resting again this weekend, but I failed... again. xD I mean, it's just such a waste not to go out anywhere when the weather is so nice and it's the middle of autumn foliage season!! But I already went for a walk at my local park last week, so yesterday I decided to take a walk of about the same length (about 5~7km / 10.000 steps) in a different place. I actually only decided it on Friday night when I saw that the weather forecast had changed, and instead of rain it was going to be sunny all day ^o^

So what I did was check out Koboyama Park, a little mountain / park near Hadano station. I've almost passed through it on my way to Takatoriyama and Oyama before, but since I tend to walk longer routes I've never done the short 5km trail that just goes from Tsurumaki-onsen Station to Hadano Station, and never actually saw the "summit" of Koboyama itself, even though all signs in the area seem to be pointing to it... So it must be famous for something! And the train fare is only about 600 yen one-way, so cheap compared to that Hakone trip last week! =D




Tsurumaki Onsen station...  Not that many people getting off the train here at 7:30 AM... Yes, I started that early, even though my planned route was only about 2 hours long. The plan was to check out a large onsen facility in Hadano that I'd also seen signs and posters for before but never actually visited, and spend the rest of the day resting and relaxing there. Judging by the somewhat high price (about 1800 yen) and information on the website it seemed similar to Raku-Spa; the kind of facility where you can easily spend a whole day trying out the different baths and saunas, hang out in the relaxation area and read manga, and have lunch or snacks at a restaurant.


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Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
 
 
willeke4439
13 November 2018 @ 08:41 am
Yeah... Hakone. xD It's one of THE most famous tourist spots that can be visited within a day from Tokyo, and it comes up in almost every single "day trip recomendations" thread on Japan travel forums, so I'd always been avoiding it because my image of it is that it's very, very crowded and involves standing in line a lot... and that was pretty much spot-on. Granted, we did go on a Sunday, so I'm sure it's not quite as bad on weekdays, but still... It was such a typically Japanese "sightseeing" experience... I feel like many people here only visit places in order to take some pictures, then move on to the next place, take more pictures, etc... rather than really taking the time to experience a place and having a proper look around. xD

The standard Hakone tour involves around 5 or 6 different modes of transportation, and if you want to see the whole area within a day like most people do, you'll mostly be spending your time switching from one transportation mode to the other, only taking in the scenery from behind the windows in a flash before lining up for the next ride. ^^;  It was kinda fun doing it with a group of friends because then you have somebody to chat to while standing in lines, but I don't think I'd ever visit the area in this by myself, at least not on a Sunday and if I do, I'd much rather walk instead of taking the ropeways! xD

So if any tourists visiting Japan and asking me for tips ask me "How is Hakone?" from now on, I'll know how to answer xD



It's like this, pretty much... ^^;;;

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Current Mood: rushedrushed