Japan 2016 (Day 1): AirBNB at Komae + 9nine CD Release at HMV + J-World Tokyo + Haikyuu!! Stage Play Re-run

J-World Tokyo Haikyuu!!

I named my blog MNL to 東京 ♡ with a wishful thinking that I’ll be able to blog about my Japan adventures someday, and here I am. We booked a flight via Jetstar and decided to stay in Japan for six days. We went to six different prefectures and had the time of our life.

Accommodation: Our AirBNB at Komae

We booked our accommodation via AirBNB and luckily, we found a pretty decent room for ¥2,000 per night (minimum of 3 days). Having our own toilet and shower is important (most AirBNB have them shared), so it was a good deal for us.

Our host speaks good English and we didn’t have difficulties communicating before we arrived. He picked us up at the station and toured us around the area. Komae is a quiet, residential neighborhood and our room is only 10 minutes away from the station.

If you’re looking for a traditional room (with tatami mats, sliding doors, and all), I highly recommend this AirBNB. The futon has an electric blanket, so you won’t feel cold at night. There are towels, extra blankets, a water heater (cup noodle life ww), a hairdryer, a mini refrigerator, a sink with mugs and utensils underneath—basically, everything you’ll need. There’s Wi-Fi, but no TV and kitchen.

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We can see Mt. Fuji from the rooftop, but the weather forecast during the day we took this shot says that it’s going to rain. It was kinda gloomy, but still a nice view. OTL

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HMV Esola Ikebukuro for 9nine’s CD Release Event

We went straight to Ikebukuro after we’ve settled down to meet Itaru-san, Tokyo Girls Update‘s co-chief editor. We met online during 9nine’s first F9GBP episode and since then, he’s been helping us with all 9nine-related updates.

Actually, he also helped us get to the venue when we got lost. Would you believe that the first set of photos I took since arriving in Japan goes something like “Help. We’re lost. I’m here at this place.” www

It was a good timing that during our visit there’s an event involving my favorite idols. Basically, when you buy a CD, your chosen member will hand it to you personally. I bought a lot for me and my friends, but since we don’t have much time, the staff allowed me to talk to Hiroro (Murata Hirona) longer.

She was surprised when I told her I’m from overseas. With the help of Itaru-san, I was also able to tell her that I’m that person from F9GBP and Narikiri 9nine. I felt so embarrassed that my mind went blank. I wasn’t prepared for this, after all. wwww

J-World Tokyo at Sunshine City, Ikebukuro

Next agenda is J-World Tokyo where we had our lunch and played some mini games. We were lucky that one of their attractions this time is Haikyuu!! I ordered the TsukkiYama curry and Oikawa cider. I also bought iced tea with a free tumbler. We got more freebies from the food we ordered, such as postcards and stickers.

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I found the Haikyuu!! vending machine with the “Gomen ne, Tsukki.” can. If you look closely, the brand is hinaTORY, which is a pun for SUNTORY (a Japanese brewing and distilling company). And you know, the “Hina” from Hinata’s name means sun lol. I wish this was legit, though. I would’ve tried them all.

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There are standees where you can compare with their height, as well. Yes, I’m wearing a Sugawara shirt from Haikyuu!! Store. EDIT: I found out that Ino Hiroki (Suga’s stage play actor) has the same shirt. ww

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This attraction is until July 10th, so if you’re in Japan, don’t miss this out. J-World is on the third floor of Sunshine City at Ikebukuro.

Hyper Projection Engeki “Haikyuu!!” Stage Play

After J-World Tokyo, our next agenda is still Haikyuu!! related. This is the reason I went to Japan this spring even if we won’t be able to see the cherry blossoms. OTL

AiiA TheaterHyper Projection Engeki Haikyuu!! goods

I don’t need the subtitle glasses, but we tried it anyways to see how it works. When you wear the glasses, there’s a box that floats in front of you. The subtitles are in the upper-most part of the box and are in sync with what the actors are saying. The English was good, but since there are words/phrases that don’t translate exactly to English, there are sentences that don’t match. The device has three buttons where you turn it on/off, change the font size, and change the subtitles (English or Chinese).

About the stage play, I know what to expect since it’s a re-run but they’ve improvised a lot (read: became dorkier lol) that it feels different from the first. Some of the obvious changes they did were:

  • The Aoba Josai entrance didn’t have Oikawa (Asuma Kousuke). The members did the usual routine, while Oikawa had his own entrance afterwards (same as the first run). He even picked a fight with one of the members. ww
  • Kindaichi (Sakamoto Kouta)’s famous line to Hinata (Suga Kenta) during the practice match “He takes anything that’ll keep him from winning and dumps it.” is funnier in this run. He does a circular arm motion, while standing behind Hinata.
  • Takeda-sensei (Uchida Shige) is now holding a video cam. When he points it to himself, his face is shown on the screen like a livefeed. He’s doing courtside reports with Suga (Ino Hiroki) and Yamaguchi (Miura Kairi), which was really cute.
  • The net now displays text, like the name of the members, thanks to the projector behind.
  • After the practice match, when Kindaichi said he felt defeated after Kageyama (Kimura Tatsunari) said “we” instead of “me,” Kunimi (Shoutarou Arisawa) didn’t slap Kindaichi’s arm anymore. That was supposed to be this duo’s highlight during that scene. OTL
  • The “Iwa-chan, wait for meeee~” scene didn’t happen, as well. Huhuhu. I was waiting for that. When Oikawa made his exit, he did his usual flying kisses and walked to the second aisle this time. I was like, “THAT’S ITTTT?!?” when Hanamaki (Kanai Sonde), Matsukawa (Shirakashi Judai), and Iwaizumi (Kohatsu Allen) didn’t come out.
  • During that Sakanoshita scene when everybody was depressed about Asahi (Tomimori Justin) not coming back, Coach Ukai (Hayashi Tsuyoshi) was thinking of ways to cheer them up. One of them was doing push-ups with one hand. When he got tired, he said to the team to notice his efforts. ww

These are only some of the changes I noticed. I could’ve missed some of them because my eyes are everywhere. Everybody has their own dork business that I can’t concentrate on who’s talking.

Coincidentally, May 7th (the second to the last day) is Kanai Sonde (Hanamaki)’s birthday. At the end, instead of Suga Kenta doing the remarks, he looked at everyone in a clockwise direction and stopped at Kanai. Everybody in the cast laughed before he went to the middle. His speech was mostly about thanking everyone for supporting the stage play and his character, and that he’ll also do his best as a stage actor from now on.

When the audience was clapping their hands, Kanai and Kawahara Kazuma (Ennoshita) did a signal and said “ready–” (meaning to get ready for the Ennoshita clap). After doing it, Kanai said “yosh” with an arm gesture like it was an achievement for him to do it. SO ADORABLE.

It’s only our first day and many things have happened. Kinda overwhelming tbh. My friend and I call this day as Haikyuu!! trash day with a side event of meeting idols lol. It’s a good start indeed.

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