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

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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

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Gon and Killua

Ueno park and National Museum

When I got up yesterday morning the weather forecast still seemed pretty blah (cold, windy, chance of slight rain) and I couldn't think of any trail wanted to go badly enough to brave those conditions (and risk not seeing anything at the top), and I was afraid that going on a cycling trip outside the city in that weather would only remind me of the Dutch weather in a not-so-good way... And most other day trip ideas on my list also made me go like "That would be so much nicer to do in sunny weather, so let's save it for another time..."

So I decided to stay in the city and cycle to Ueno instead, because I don't remember the last time I visited the park there since my company moved offices, and... I found one thing on my places-to-go list that would be perfect even in rainy weather - the Tokyo National Museum! For some reason I've been inside the Natural History Museum in Ueno at least 2 or 3 times, but never made it into the National Museum... I'm not sure why - maybe because the people I was with every time were more interested in nature/science than art? I'd added it to my list after reading that you can see Mikazuki Munechika there - the real sword!

The museum is reservations-only due to the corona virus, so you had to reserve a ticket for a specific timeslot. I got one at 9:30, and left a bit early to make sure I wouldn't be late, also because I wasn't sure how long it would take to find a proper place to park my bike...  (Ueno has surprisingly little official bicycle parking considering it's... a park. ) But I ended up arriving about 25 minutes too early for my timeslot, so I wandered around the park for a bit first. I haven't been in the Toshogu area that often except the odd time there was a festival (and I went there to buy food at the stalls for my lunch break) so it was nice to see it this empty early in the morning.

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(no subject)

Another rainy weekend, this time with nothing in particular to do... I'd planned a hike in Miura today with some friends, but everyone cancelled because of the rain, and it was really chilly too so I didn't feel like going by myself... Then tomorrow I was going to to go Hakone with two other friends, "if it doesn't rain", and while it looks like the rain may let up early tomorrow morning, neither of them have replied to me and it's already 9PM, so I guess we're not going. ^^; Guess I'll come up with something else for myself again, since I'd feel bad about carrying out plans that I made with others by myself in case they still want to go another day... Hmm...

Today I didn't leave the house all day and made food, basically... I have a nice big loaf of bread now :3

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Gon and Killua

Random walk in Urayasu

On Sunday morning it was cloudy and windy as heck, but at least it wasn't raining, so I decided to go for a walk near the hotel I was staying at in Urayasu. There didn't really seem to be any places of interest unless I took the train for a couple of stations (Kasai Rinkai Kouen and the Gyotoku bird sanctuary seemed kinda interesting) but in the end I was too lazy and didn't want to wander away too far and risk missing the show... So I just walked around some areas that appeared green on Google Maps to see what was there, and dropped by a convenience store on the way back - the only place in the whole area that accepted the "Go To Travel" coupons I'd received - to buy some lunch, snacks, and breakfast for the next day (1000 yen of conbini food is quite a lot, I should've taken a picture xD)

Some nondescript "park" along the train tracks... It seems nice for cycling to the station though, there seemed to be a big bicycle parking lot at Shin-Urayasu station, so a lot of people must use ut.

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It's over T_T

You know that deflated feeling after something fun you've been looking forward to for months - like a convention or a show - is finally over? That's what's hitting me really hard right now. It also doesn't help that it's going to be raining for at least another week, so I don't feel inspired to plan something new (like a hike) either, even though the best hiking season is supposed to be starting soon (if the rain ever lets up...) and there's a long weekend in November too...

Anyway, I'm really glad that Soga managed to finish its run successfully, despite missing 4 shows at the beginning of the Tokyo run! I got my refund for the ticket today (although I wondered if not refunding it would be a way to support the franchise...? Or if it would only be a bother not to do the proper procedure...?)

The show on Sunday night was the very last one, so there were a lot of cameras in the theater! Apparently it was being streamed live to cinemas and online too, and during the break I saw that the word "camerawork" was trending on twitter in reference to Soga... =O Even though I was watching it live right there in the theater, I got really curious about it xD Apparently they did something cool with a camera on the ceiling in the scene where the brothers died, filming from straight above? So I guess the amount of angles they could use had increased with the amount of cameras (there were some cameras on moving 'arms' too that were 'floating' around above the audience), but a ceiling cam is a new one... I hope it'll be on the DVD! >w<

I also noticed there was a group of shady looking guys wearing sunglasses and hoodies who scuttled out of the room as soon as the lights came back on, probably other actors? Tamura Shin (Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki ) confirmed he was there at least! I wonder who else... >w<

Seeing the show for a second time allowed me to notice new things I hadn't noticed after just once. For example, the storyteller definitely changed their delivery on some lines, so it wasn't just coincidence.Higekiri and Hizamaru got so good at expressing the characters' growth at different ages through their voices and movements, and they put a lot more emotion into the songs! Especially in the songs where they were crying - in the original run, it was still a fairly by-the-books performance, but maybe they felt more free this time to intentionally "mess up" some of the singing in order to express more emotion. (We already have a "standard" version of the songs on the previous CD, after all) ”Sudachi no Mai" (the farewell song) was also super powerful ;_;

- During the concert part there was an ad-lib segment that was apparently different every single day - Higekiri challenges Hizamaru to try and act out another role cause he's "so good at acting" and Hizamaru can't refuse because he's so touched that his brother finally says his name. xD Apparently they already went through all other touken danshi (at least the ones that appear in the musicals) in all previous performances. It was Kane-san when I saw it on Saturday, but Sunday evening there was no one else left, so everyone had speculated they would do an impression of each other, and that's exactly what they did... It was so cute >w<

...I wonder what they would've done in the 4 shows that were cancelled though... Does that mean that some characters would've been done twice, or did they have something else in mind?

There are definitely two new songs in the concert! I think the titles got announced by now, along with the CD, but I'm glad I wasn't just going crazy. They were really cool and fast-paced, but not super catchy (I can't recall the melodies or lyrics anymore...)

By the end of the show my penlight battery started dying and it wouldn't display yellow anymore (it turned into a dark orange instead which stood out really badly), so I could only cheer for Hizamaru from that point on, because green still worked fine... Luckily Higekiri had already had his solo song by that pont, or that would've been awkward, lol

It was really comfortable being able to walk back to the hotel after the show and go straight to bed, rather than having to get on a crowded train for over an hour. This time I was only one prefecture away from Tokyo, but it made me realize that it might be fun to get a ticket for a show at another major city some time (like Sendai, or Hiroshima, or Fukuoka, or Osaka...), and go on a sightseeing trip along the way! (once the show schedules aren't so uncertain anymore, at least...)


I've also been listening to the Utaawase CD and it made me want some konpeitou really badly, lol. So I bought it! Maybe it'll give me some new energy...
Kija - love


 I finally successfully saw a musical for the first time... since Tenimyu in February I think? Other than Utaawase on one of the first days of the year I hadn't seen anything else yet this year, despite having won or bought tickets for quite a few things T_T I still need to get my refunds for Bakumatsu Tenroden and the first Soga performance that got cancelled, but maybe they'll start taking care of that after all shows of this run have finished...

Thankfully the typhoon veered off towards the south, so I didn't have any trouble getting to Chiba, although it's still nice being at a hotel within walking distance of the venue, so nothing can go wrong getting there.  Because everything close to Disneyland is ridiculously expensive, the only affordable business hotel is about 20 minutes away, but that's still pretty good! (yes, I was planning on walking 20 minutes through the typhoon if it had been bad enough to cancel the trains but not the show...) Check-in was pretty early, at 14:00, and I still managed to arrive too early for that, so I ended up doing karaoke for about an hour in a tiny cheap karaoke box inside of Shin Urayasu station (Yes, they have karaoke inside the station building =O  )

At 5PM I made my way over to the venue~

I was here once before for the Natsume Yuujinchou sound theater, good memories :3  The place was pretty huge, but because they were only using less than half of the seats, it wasn't crowded at all =O I'm not sure how effective the coronavirus measures they were taking really are, but they did make a pretty big deal out of them, like "Look, we're takign countermeasures!!!"  You had to walk over some sort of disinfecting mat at the entrance, disinfect your hands, take your temperature, and you had to tear off your own ticket stub and deposit it in the box, rather than the staff doing that. They also weren't handing out any flyers - the only thing you got handed was a big unwieldy plastic "face shield".

It didn't come with instructions of how to put it on though ^^;;; It didn't have any straps, so it was really hard to figure out. But apparently you had to thread the loops of your mask through holes in the plastic and then balance it on your nose somehow. I'd already heard that they make your glasses fog up, so I'd worn contacts instead, but having just come out of the rain and being slightly hot and sweaty from walking 20 minutes, and my mask being damp from the rain and humidity, the face shield itself fogged up so bad I couldn't even see where I was walking >___> I almost fell down the stairs in the theater trying to find my seat (and reading the row/seat numbers was entirely impossible, so in the end I had to take it off again for a bit to find my seat ^^;;;) With the amount of fiddling (and touching your mask...) you had to do to put the thing on, and adjusting it whenever it fogged up, I'm really not sure if it was good for anything... The lamps inside the theater also reflected onto the plastic, so at first I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to see anything... But once they turned the lights off, it wasn't all that bad (minus the smears from where I'd tried to wipe the plastic shield...)

As for seating, there was one empty seat between each person in my area, but closer to the stage there seemed to be 2 empty seats between everyone... That made the 5th row ticket I had for the first show all the more rare TT_TT

The show itself had some adjustments too, but they were made so seamlessly that you wouldn't be able to tell unless you'd seen (and clearly remembered) the previous run. The most notable ones were that the mom and dad didn't put their hands on the brothers' shoulders during the family song and stood a bit further away, and during the finale the brothers didn't die in each other's arms but were lying on the ground reaching out for each other (which made it even more sad... ^^;;;;;; ) And in the beginning and ending where the stage hands move the brothers' actors as if they were puppets, they acted like they were puppets on strings instead of touching them directly. It actually looked really cool =O  Everyone was also wearing some sort of plastic mouth shields but I could barely see them from the 18th row, except when the light reflected on them at a specific angle. And I think the villain guy wore some kind of red scarf over his mouth (like a bandit) during the close-quarter battle scenes that looked like it was part of his costume, and his lackeys wore face coverings matching their costumes as well (I guess they're ninjas now?)  That's really smart! =O "

The Soga Monogatari part was pretty much the same in terms of songs and lines - the only song that was different was the one when the two young brothers are playing, it had some different lyrics for some reason?  ( I guess the part about holding hands is taboo now? =P ) And the part where the younger brother is training at the temple had some fun improvisation. The singing and acting and dancing was so good though! I didn't think it was possible for them to get even better, but they did <3 <3 <3

The live concert part had some different songs though! Both Hizamaru and Higekiri did a solo song, though they weren't specifically songs written for them. The first two songs or so were ones they also had in the old show, so I wasn't expecting it to be that different, but then I almost lost it when Hizamaru started bursting out "Amore Amore~!" (Kashuu Kiyomitsu's song, Jounetsu no Symphonia)  while dressed like a Spanish matador. Well, kinda? A matador with black leather pants which looked fantastic on him! (At least he wasn't wearing a frilly dress...) And he totally nailed the song... >w<  Higekiri got a ballad, "Endless Night", which was also a stunning performance *-*  They also did "EOEOA" and I'm still not sure what that's supposed to mean, but it was cute :3 And I think there were also one or two entirely new songs!? I'm not sure, but I hadn't heard them anywhere before, at least. I wonder if there'll be a CD! I hope so!

"Kemono" was just as high-energy as before, although their outfits seemed a bit 'incomplete' because they were still wearing what they wore for their solo songs, just with the kimono-style tops over it (which was a bit of a mismatch with Higekiri's leather pants, but sure... )  But they were still in various states of undress by the end of it! *nosebleeds*  (and by that I mean one bare shoulder, but y'know...)  It was over way too soon!

In hindsight I probably didn't need to have panic-bought an extra ticket for Saturday as 'insurance' in case the Sunday show got cancelled by the typhoon (because it didn't) but now I'm kinda glad I have another ticket so I can go and see it again today =D And it's Senshuuraku too! I'm sure it's gonna be great!

For now I'm just relaxing at the hotel, maybe I'll go for a walk and find somewhere to spend my 1000-yen "go to travel" coupon...

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I ended up reserving a hotel in Shin-Urayasu for Saturday night AND Sunday night, so that at least I won't have to deal with trains on the day of the Toumyu show >w< Apparently the line to Maihama is prone to going down at the slightest bit of wind or rain because it runs right along the coast, so better safe than sorry? Of course the whole corona situation is terrible, but one of the nice side effects is that business hotels are only 2000~3000 yen per night right now, so it's not that much of a hurdle to do something like this, which I otherwise probably wouldn't even have considered if it were double the price. The cancellation fee is only 20% up to the day beforehand, so if there's announcement today before midnight that the weekend shows will be cancelled, I should be able to cancel the hotel again too pretty painlessly. IF there's not going to be a show, I'd still rather be at home during a typhoon, so I can keep an eye on things (like if my room isn't flooding or my bike isn't getting blown away... xD) Last night my door appearently leaked quite a bit and all the masks and hats I have hanging on a hook on the inside of my door had gotten wet D= But at least I noticed it this morning, so I'll be able to dry them before I have to go out tomorrow.

The forecasts don't seem to agree on how bad the typhoon is actually going to be, so maybe the organizers don't know whether or not to cancel the shows, either... Predictions range from 6mm of rain per hour (not that bad) to 30mm (holy crap...), and the range for wind speeds is just as wide... But it seems like the estimates are slowly veering towards the "not that bad" range, and this morning I saw it's been determined that the typhoon itself isn't very likely to make landfall. So maybe it's okay to get my hopes up at least a little, and start thinking about what I'm going to do all day on Sunday if I'm "stuck" at the hotel all day before the show? If it's possible to go out, maybe there's some nice restaurants in the area I could go to for lunch :3 Since it's been raining for most of this week, I haven't eaten out a single time... I could really go for some piping hot ramen right now >w<

I found I had some pictures of ramen (among other things) from the past few weeks that I hadn't gotten off my phone yet, so let's look at them to stimulate my appetite, haha...

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Gon - WTF

Stop the rain~

Apparently it will be raining from this afternoon until Sunday non-stop, if the current forecasts are to be believed...! Apparently it's due to a typhoon approaching, but the last time they said that there would be potentially bad typhoon, I barely noticed it (and rode my bike for an hour to the dentist and back...) and it affected absolutely nothing... Normally I wouldn't care much, but this weekend I really hope it will be nothing again, because it's my last chance to see Toumyu for a long time T_T I still have my ticket for the last show, which is on Sunday the 11th, but as of now that seems to be exactly when the typhoon is going to hit D=  Usually they don't cancel shows until it gets REALLY bad (like, a direct hit) but it would just be my luck if the THIRD show I had tickets to over the span of less than a month got cancelled as well. Maybe I should just give up on buying tickets to begin with... (or buy a last-minute ticket for Saturday too and hope that at least ONE of them isn't cancelled, because the worst of a typhoon rarely lasts as long as 24 hours...? Hmmmm... =\ )

The temperature is going to drop ridiculously as well, like 14 degrees tomorrow!? It's been a comfortable 24~25 for the past couple of weeks, and it was really sunny this morning when I biked to the physiotherapist and back too, but I might need to get out some long-sleeved shirts and long pants soon... I already bought ingredients to make nabe (hotpot) for dinner tomorrow, too! I had it for the first time a couple of days ago, even though it wasn't quite that cold yet.

I bought some Yuzu Shichimi in Kaneya after climbing Mt. Nokogiri, and it was delicious with nabe! (and the ashitaba noodles I'd bought on Oshima)

I also found my favorite type of Rayu chili oil at the ferry port near Mt. Nokogiri - chili oil with garlic! I didn't know it, but apparently it is produced in Chiba! I'd bought it at a local supermarket once (but I didn't remember which one) and had been looking for it ever since, but with no luck... So I got two bottles now, haha

Here's some other recent food pics~

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Fuji cosplay

Lake Miyagase walk~

Yesterday, after changing plans twice, I went for a nice walk near Lake Miyagase. I was going to go to Hakone Daiyuzan with two friends first, but then the one who lives nearby that cancelled, so we decided to leave that for another day... So my other friend and I were thinking of doing another of the "Miura Jungle" hikes that we hadn't done yet, but then she got sick and cancelled too... And I'd feel bad carrying out plans without the people who initially suggested them, so now we're saving that for another day too. xD I already had my bag packed and I was up and dressed at 6 in the morning though, so I still wanted to go *somewhere* since that's what I was prepared for... So I just got on the train towards Kanagawa without knowing where I was going yet, and figured out my destination from my hiking map and booklet while I was on the train.

Besides the overnight hikes, there was only ONE route in the Tanzawa area guidebook that I hadn't walked yet (The Minamiyama ridge near Miyagase), the reason why I hadn't tried it being that the route itself is only 2 hours and 40 minutes long... But it did look really pretty, and using the map I was able to find a way to extend it a little, into a nice 5-hour walk, by adding some of the Kanto Fureai Trail in the area to the end of it.


I took a bus from Hashimoto station and ended up... somewhere on a parking lot near the lake. There were a lot of motorcyclists, and some people setting up tables and stalls preparing for what looked like some kind of local market. It only opened at 9AM though, and I was there at 8:30, so I didn't stick around long enough to find out what kind of event it was.

It turns out I forgot my camera, so I had to take all pictures with my phone... I'm not sure how that happened, because my camera is usually in my bag at all times, but I must have taken it out in the morning when organizing my bag to put some heavier stuff on the bottom, and then forgot to put my camera back on top D=  The pics turned out pretty crappy, so I had to edit them all for brightness/contrast and colors, but after editing they're not too bad? I had to increase the contrast and saturation by about 120% to get them to look remotely like my usual pictures, though ^^; That just proves how much work my camera usually does for me, I guess.

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Natsume Yuujinchou radio~

In the movie announcement video stream on Niconico Douga a few weeks ago, they announced that the "Aki no Shou" radio program would be coming back! Well, it's called "Ayakashi no Shou" now, but for some reason it's always "Aki no Shou" in my mind, especially since they always seem to be broadcast in autumn, this time being no exception.The video stream had a lot of issues with server overcrowding so I wasn't able to watch it until a day later, but at least the radio website seems to be working properly, so I got to listen in real-time just now! Or as "real-time" as it can get, since it sounds like they recorded the show a couple of weeks ago. (Horie Kazuma mentioned he only found out about the new announcement the day beforehand, haha.)

The only new news was who the seiyuu for Mitsumi will be - I don't really know the person, but it seems to be a veteran seiyuu so I'm sure she'll do a great job! They didn't mention who will be playing Misuzu in his human form, so I'd assume it will be his usual seiyuu, perhaps changing his voice a bit to sound more... human? I'm actually a bit sad that I already know who the "mysterious visitor" is from the manga, because it would've been cool to try and guess it based on the voice >w< I decided that I wont re-read the chapters before the movie screening though, so hopefully there'll at least be some surprises, because it's been a while since I first read them. (though I'll probably want to read them again immediately afterwards, haha - I might have only read these particular volumes once...)

I'm still wondering what the "limited screening" means though... They mentioned a concrete release date of January 16th, but does "limited" mean that it will ONLY screen on that one day? Or that it will screen for a week or so after that (and just that they won't add any more screenings based on popularity like they usually do?) Hmm... I didn't get the pre-presale(?) ticket because I didn't need another canvas bag that I'll probably never use, but maybe I should at least buy the regular pre-sale ticket, so they don't run out before I can get one... I hope they'll at least sell them online, and not just at the cinemas themselves, like the website seems to be implying now... >w<  (though I guess Futako-Tamagawa is only a 20-minute bike ride away)

Anyway, it was great to hear Inoue and Horie's voices again >w< I made a recording of the show just so I can listen to it again on my mp3 player later (and in case they eventually delete the archives from the website...)