Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 5 - 11.25.08

Oops, I forgot to post these two pictures. We took these on the way to the Okayama Castle. You can see it on the horizon. 

Pastries from the local convenience store. Oh man, the convenience stores there are awesome. You can actually get EVERYTHING there, and their food is actually better than Japanese food I have had here in the states, with the exception of a few places in San Francisco. 

This one had egg salad and ham inside.

Sausage and potatoes on some bread. 


Lunch at the train station. This was actually on our last day, but oh well. I had the best katsudon I have ever eaten in my life. This isn't a picture of my katsudon.

We ended up taking it pretty easy that day. We walked around the city, went to a few different shopping centers, music stores, and some bookstores. 

I bought the Final Fantasy XII Soundtrack, the Metal Gear Solid 4 Soundtrack, and issue 6 and 7 of Yotsuba&!. They only had up to issue 5 in the states, so I was really happy that they had the new ones there.

Another day comes to a close :(


Day 4 - 11.24.08

Well, the event is over. It was really interesting seeing the differences in a Magic Grand Prix in Japan as opposed to one in America. I had a great time. Everyone was so polite and excited to be there. I hope everyone had a good time.

This was our first day to go sightseeing, and of course it was raining. We decided to visit the Okayama Castle, also known as Crow Castle due to its black color. We took a trolley part of the way, and then walked the rest. I ended up putting a 500 yen coin in the trolley coin slot (the actual price was 100 yen, but I only had a 500 in my pocket), which didn't take it because we were all putting our money in the wrong place. Yay for a 600 yen trolley ride!

Unfortunately the castle was destroyed in World War II, but was rebuilt in 1966. These stones were part of the original foundation.

Walking up to the castle. 

Some original materials used in the castle.

They put these on top of the castle to ward off evil spirits. 

Samurai armor, with authentic battle damage!!!

A picture of one of the rooms that was believed to be haunted.

More armor, woo!

Part of the original wall that survived the bombing.

This is the outer wall that was rebuilt using the same materials and techniques as the original. If you notice, they did not use mortar in the construction of their walls. These huge blocks of stone are held together by gravity. The small spaces between the stones are stuffed with smaller stones. You can see the huge key stones on the corner of the wall.

One of the gates. Most of the time these huge gates remained closed. Smaller doors to either side were used instead. 

MMMmmm, teppanyaki place.

This was the best example of Japlish that I could find. This was on the front of an arcade. Cat and Brian were taking pictures of this in the rain and people that walked by kept trying to figure out what was so cool about this ad. If they only knew its true awesomeness.

The end of another awesome day in Japan. Tomorrow we leave for America, it will be a sad day indeed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 3 - 11.23.08

The last day of the show, and let me tell you, I was pretty tired. The first day I started getting double vision and blurry vision while I was drawing. My vision wasn't as bad the second day, but it still wasn't great. My wrist started to hurt though. 

Anyway, another sunrise from the hotel window. 

Actually, I think we took these pictures from the hotel lobby back on the first day of the show, but oh well. The Granvia Hotel is really nice. We went up to the 19th floor to see their super fancy restaurants...a coke was $7, and I saw some plates for about $150. I am not sure if those plates were for one person or for more.

To the left you can see the train station. 

This was taken in front of the Convex Convention Center. 

Not sure what this building is, but it looks neat!

Looking across the street from the convention center.

The roof of the front part of the convention center.

Magic, that way!

This is the front of the convention center where the shuttles dropped off Magic players.

Steps leading up to the convention center.

Gah, Cat keeps taking secret pictures of me.

Ah, me in front of my booth again. Cat made me stand there :P

Opening the booth for the last time. The morning was a bit slow, but that's because people were busy playing.

I look a little tired.

Yay! Dinner time! Ron took us to this awesome place. Once again the food was awesome. The whole time I was in Japan I never once had something I didn't like. 

We had our own little enclosed booth. The great thing about restaurants in Japan is that each booth has a doorbell type thing that you ring in order to tell the waiter/waitress that you need something. Genius I tell you. 

Mmm, fresh sushi. 

Ugh, I am really starting to dread going home. Japan is so awesome. The people there are great. I have never seen a more polite, considerate, and well mannered society. Being around those types of people was great for my blood pressure. I didn't see a single piece of trash anywhere in the city. Okayama has the feel of a modern city, but yet is sleepy with not a lot of tourists. You can walk 20 minutes down the road and see a 400 year old castle. It is amazing. 

Okayama at night. Sooooo pretty.

And it is 4:45am and I am still up...again. Work Monday is going to be SO fun.

Oh yeah, to be continued on Day 4.

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