Dotonbori hotel, WTF Japan?

I usually walk to places which are withing walking distance, and this makes for some random sightseeing, since I live near the city center.

So, on the first time I went to Mandarake, I passed by this thing, and to tell the truth, I don’t even know how to describe it. So see for yourself.

 

I don’t really know how these guys are comfortable hanging around the huge heads. These things are just creepy.

I don’t really know who those four faces are, but the hotel’s website provides this explanation.

From the left, “ Asian, African, Arabian, Western”. They were created with a desire to welcome guests from all over the world to our hotel. We think head carvings on the pillars undoubtedly leave a strong impression. Please take a look at the back of pillars, too! You will see the different buttocks for each.

Wait… WHAT? Now I have to go and look at their backs…. or not.

 

Advertisements

Mandarake, a weird otaku heaven

A place like Mandarake (まんだらけ= mandaraké) isn’t really for everyone, and depending on your interests, it could be very interesting or insanely boring. To begin Mandarake is a chain of shops that specializes in used anime, manga and game goods. They also have an area for cosplay costumes (Not used) and they are one of those shops known for its retro merchandise (but of course the hardcore gamers of the internet argue that it’s not that good at it.) but for a regular person like me, their collection of retro games and consoles sent me on a trip down memory lane.

There are two Mandarake shops in Osaka, but I have only been to this one in Shinsaibashi (Since I haven’t been to Umeda yet). The only thing I hate about this shop is that the isles are so narrow they can’t even fit two normal people (which is also the case with Donki)

(I know that it is lame to include apologies in blog posts, but taking photos isn’t allowed in shops so some of the photos are blurry)

Rows are rows of manga, for two floors, one of them dedicated to female audience… if you know what I mean.

Used games for every console, and I found stuff as recent as Pokemon X and Y. The prices vary according to the condition of the product though.

When I said every consoles, I meant EVERY consoles

Retro games need retro figures, there were many of these, ranging from Doraemon to Gundam and everything in between

This is the buy back counter, people bring their old stuff around, but I don’t know how it exactly works for things other than game consoles (because I only asked about those)

Okay, there is also a cosplay floor, but I couldn’t take pictures, because they had a sale on some stuff on the same floor (I fancied one of the Kotetsu figures from Tiger & Bunny) so it was crowded (also the phone ate some photos up).

Another thing is that there are many salespeople are in cosplay especially on the cosplay and Female Audience floor.

 

 

 

 

MUCC mini concert

How do you promote the final live of your tour? By making a mini free live for everyone to see your act. At least that’s what MUCC thought, when they decided to throw a free mini concert in Shinsaibashi. It still beats me why a band as old as MUCC, that many people know and love need to do this, maybe to gather new fans.

I like MUCC, and when I found out about this concert, I decided to go check it out. It wasn’t so far away, and the weather was good so I took a walk to the alleged triangle park.

Yes, it’s a small space, but it was packed, I could only take this pic when people have cleared out.

That panel that says MUCC rose like a curtain to reveal the band inside the first floor.

Now, The concert was so short, it only had four songs, I learned later that the police had stopped the show, because the crowd was threatening to security (Triangle park is so tight), so I don’t know how long it was intended to be. (I admit that I didn’t expect the MUCC fan base which is mostly girls my age or older to be this hardcore, complete with jumping, headbanging and a mosh pit in the back)

This is as good as I could get with the phone camera, but I really enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to go to the concert they were promoting, I was going to, until Kiyoharu decided that his concert was going to be on the same week, but that is a story for another day.

Here is MUCC’s latest single “World’s End” which is also the opening to the anime “Meganebu!

Boiled Tofu, the Arashiyama specialty

I am not really familiar with tofu, I only read so much about it as a vegetarian substitute to meat in some recipes, and the sweet wrapping of inarizushi (a type of sushi that consists of sushi rice in a thin sweet fried tofu bag, and is one of my favorites).

But in Arashiyama, they have a specialty called (湯豆腐 = yudofu, Literally hot water tofu) which is a variety of boiled tofu with dipping soy and dashi sauce.

Tofu in steaming hot water on the right, sauce on the left.

Although bland in taste, the tofu was soft and warm (and so compelling to add cute :3 faces to)

The sauce gives the tofu flavor

Here is the final product, itadakimasu~

 

 

 

 

The owl bringer of good luck

In Egypt an owl is anything but a symbol of good luck, and though I admit that owls are so cute, I never expected them to be bringers of luck of any kind.

I japan it’s a bit different, Owls are a good luck charm (I already knew that before I came to Japan from my Japanese teacher who loves owls and used to keep one as a pet.)

So when I saw those owl good luck charms in Arashiyama, I wasn’t really surprised, but since I like cute things (you probably noticed by now) I decided to share them with you.

So many colors

Those ones were even cuter (With bonus frog ones)

Extras: Glass frog lucky charms

 

 

Yakiniku (Japanese Barbeque)

First of all, depending on where you come from this may not be a strange restaurant, there might be something like it with another name (Well, at least my classmates from Taiwan and Thailand, said it was common in their countries. The wise Wikipedia guy says they are available in the States as well)

It was my first time visiting that restaurant, where you grill your own meat, to me it kind of defeated the purpose of going to a restaurant, but it seems everyone enjoyed it. This particular restaurant had you pay by the hour (it was probably an all you can eat type).

Cooking their own meat.

Seasoned meat and vegetables.

Grilled meat and veggies, with various sauces (here, soy only)

 

 

 

 

Up and away we go…

The trip to Mt. Hiei (Hieizan) had us use more than one means of transport, but the one i found most interesting was the aerial tramway (called a “ropeway” in Japanese). I had only seen them in movies and they have only been the subject of unfortunate accidents, so I wasn’t really looking forward to riding it, but the trip proved me wrong.

A little taste of flying.

It’s a long way back home, but it was really worth it.