rose_of_pain: (iri chie)
[personal profile] rose_of_pain
Day 8 - Tokyo: Tokyo Takarazuka Theater (Last Day)

I had a 2nd-hand S-Seki seat for Lost Glory that day so I didn't have to worry about getting up super early this time around. Got to the theater around 10am and was surprised how large the crowd for irimachi was already, considering I thought I was getting there too early since the shows were all later afternoon/evening shows. I never quite understood the times for iri lol. Chibi had intended to meet up today to do iri before she went to work but sadly she forgot she had mail that was coming that day and ended up missing it. I was also worried Ei might miss iri but then I saw her in her fanclub after a while. I couldn't say hi though because Chie's fanclub mass was too big to really get over there and I didn't want to lose my spot. XD This time I decided to stay more towards where the other fans were standing, closer to the Chanter Mall entrance. I ended up between two obachans in the line-up, first row behind the fanclub once again, so had a great view. The two ladies were really cute too and one was showing her previous iri photos, which were really good and she made the comment "Good Timing!" to me. XD I found it cute whenever they would try to use the little English they knew with me. lol

This time I managed to see irimachi in its entirety and got photos of almost every Hoshigumi member I know which was pretty damn exciting. ^.^ Some of them I wasn't sure on, due to being across the street and them wearing sunglasses and hats, didn't really help but I just took photos of everyone and a few people online helped me identify everyone. It helps that a lot of the fans post their photos up on twitter so we basically went by what the various siennes were wearing each day in other iri photos to identify everyone. lol I think there was even more people than on Monday which was surprising considering Monday was a holiday and all. But the fanclubs had more people too. So not sure why. Considering it was the middle of the week and during work/school hours. Chie's fanclub had to make 3 rows to get everyone in, when it was only 2 the previous time I did this. Chie was back to her silly beanie hat and casual clothes this time around but I was prepared with my phone this time and got a lot more photos and closer shots. ^.^

Like this one *_*

While the Chie fans began to disperse and we were all the usual giggling mass of girls, I then noticed excitement on the other end and realized Tom was coming in. I had completely missed Tom the previous time as she had come in early when I was still not sure how iri worked, etc. So I rushed over and just barely managed to catch a few shots of her, which is pretty hard to do since she usually just waves and walks right in.

lol This looks like such a stalker photo though XD

Yurika was actually the last to show up and I almost forgot about her but did run back over in time to get more shots of her than I did when my phone freaked out on Mon. After that I kinda stopped paying attention so not sure if anyone else came in or not but since I already got pretty much everyone, I was satisfied and made my way over to find Ei since her fanclub was dispersing too. We also met up with one of Jessica's friends, who was in Yurika's fanclub so we once again had a mini geeky foreign chat. There was another girl with Jessica who spoke some English so she talked with us too though we had to kinda go back and forth with the languages at times. They then parted ways and Ei and I waited for Chibi though Ei was a little worried about time since she didn't have a ticket yet for the show today and would be needing to go back to the theater once her fanclub booth was up to get one. So we decided to start walking towards Chibi's station and somehow Chibi managed to walk right past us without even noticing. XD So we had to go back and get her. She moved fast though lol. Then we realized we all had nooo idea where we should go eat. Despite being the visitor, the two of them were even more indecisive and unsure of where things were than even I was. XD But we eventually settled on just a cafe where I got a sandwich thingy. Chibi had to go to work so we said goodbye to her and sadly this was the last time I'd be seeing her before I left since she didn't get off work til like 9pm and I didn't really want to stay up too late considering how early I needed to get up to get to the airport and all.

Turns out Ei couldn't get her ticket until RIGHT before the curtain time so I decided to go ahead in since it made me nervous waiting that long, especially since I was in the middle of my row and didn't want to have to crawl over people to get to my seat...which I kinda ended up having to do anyways because I'm clumsy like that. ^^;; But I did see Ei come in behind me with a ticket and saw she wasn't too far back from me. Man, I guess it really does benefit of being in the fanclubs.

My S-Seki seat, so much more spacious and closer than the B-Seki I had before XD

I decided not to get the binoculars so I would force myself to actually pay attention to more than just Chie this time and try to follow the story itself. And I did at least catch more of the plot and things going on but my eyes still pretty much gravitated over to Chie lol. It was really nice being so close though! Not quite as close as I was for Elisabeth though and part of me wishes I had spent the extra money for one of the SS-Seki seats that were on sale just for the chance of possibly getting to high-five Chie during the parts she came down front. *sigh* Oh well, I'm just happy to have seen her at all. I got a little emotional during the finale though, realizing it was the end and I wasn't ready for it to end since this would be my last time ever seeing Chie and Nene on the Takarazuka stage. I really wish I could go back for their final show but I really shouldn't spend that money and I know it'd be even harder to get tickets for that.

Leaving the theater was incredibly hard. The "sayonara" song they play as you exited really got to me. I kept being all "nooo stop saying that to me because it really is goodbye for me T_T"

I took a moment to stop at the top of the staircase and take everything in one more time, forcing myself to say goodbye.

Found Ei pretty easily once I left the theater. Helps that she's pretty tall. XD We decided to go get dinner, especially since Ei hadn't really eaten anything before and I was more than happy to spend some more time with her since I hadn't put any thought into what I'd do once the show was over. Took us forever to decide where once again lol though ended up at the Italian place we were considering as one possible option earlier for lunch. I got a salmon pizza which ended up being a lot better than I thought it'd be lol. Poor Ei took a bit to find something since, as she warned, for some reason Japan thinks everything Italian should have bacon in it. Which is so weird. XD So I think she ended up getting a pizza too. We chatted for a pretty long time and totally lost tack of the time. By the time we paid for it, it was late and Ei figured that QR would be closed by now (we had wanted to make another visit to the theater one) but I did point out that since there was a 6pm show, they might be opened later. Sure enough they were still open and it was pretty empty too since the evening show was just starting so everyone was going into the theater itself. Did a little bit of final shopping and then headed out.

I got pretty emotional as we were walking out, mentioning how I wasn't ready to leave so Ei suggested we go find a sweets place and offered to spend more time with me even though she had originally planned to head back home hours ago. I really appreciated it cause even though it meant not being able to go back to Akihabara or anything I had thought to do, I really didn't want to be alone quite yet. We went to the bottom floor of a department-type store that was nothing but various sweets and drinks places. I ended up getting a crepe and Ei got a smoothie and then we sat and chatted for a few hours. Mostly about life and zuka. It makes me a little sad that I have to be all the way across the world from friends like Ei and Chibi but I also know I'd be miserable if I tried living there. Mainly because I know teaching is not for me and that's pretty much the job you have to start with if you're a foreigner over there.

I ended up not going back to the hotel until after 8pm but I also knew if I waited around for Chibi, I'd have a hard time getting up the next morning since I still had to pack everything up and such. And sure enough it took me a long time just to motivate myself to do the packing since I kinda had my stuff all over the place at this point and I had to figure out how to best pack it to get it all to fit and not put too much weigh in my suitcase. So I put most of the heavy stuff in my backpack since it'd be my carry-on. I'd also like to note that the entire time I was in Japan, I had nice and sunny weather (though sometimes a bit hot for me) and then as I'm coming back to my hotel, feeling a bit melancholy, it finally started to rain. lol Reflected my emotions a bit so I thought it was kinda funny in a way.

Day 9: Tokyo -> Washington DC

Got up early and reluctantly got ready to leave. While I do sorta wish I had stayed longer, at the same time I feel like that would have made it even harder to leave at the end? lol And I did kinda get to do everything I had set out to do except explore a few areas more.

My little water bottle collection. XD The hotel had this thing where you can chose to do the "eco friendly" room service and I decided to do that periodically. They said on it you get a free mineral water bottle for doing it. I thought it meant one. Nope. They gave me one every day, even the days I asked for my towels to be changed. I only managed to drink like one and a half? lol So left the un-opened ones out, hoping maybe they could re-use them since I didn't even touch them.

I had originally planned to just take the trains to the airport but as I had a lot to carry, I tried looking up to see if there were any airport shuttles closer than the one I had looked up. Sure enough turned out there was one at the bigger hotel in the area I was at. I wasn't sure if you could use it if you didn't stay at their hotel though so made sure to get up early and go over there to see. I definitely could use it but the 6:45am bus was apparently full via prior reservation, which surprised me since I didn't see anyone waiting around for it but then later found out the shuttle goes to several different locations so it was probably people at the other places. So I signed up for the 7:15 one instead which I figured would still give me plenty of time to get to the airport. Only downside was that I had quite a bit of time before the bus would be coming so I decided to go up to this little nice sitting area for a bit as there was nothing to do since nothing was opened yet. Went to a combini to get "breakfast" (onigiri and juice lol) and sat there for a bit.

Most of the people on the shuttle were also foreigners, including two kinda loud Chinese girls and an British-Indian couple who came from a taxi and had like 5 huuuge suitcases with them. O_o; There were a number of sick people on the bus all sneezing and not doing the best at not sharing their germs, which made me worried I'd catch something considering I had managed to be perfectly healthy the entire trip. But I never did so thank god for that.

On the trip to the airport, I finally saw Tokyo Tower, which is actually the first time I've ever seen it. Somehow managed to not see it the first time I came to Tokyo either. lol

Got to the airport fine and customs, etc took a lot less time than I expected. I guess my weight was fine since nothing was said, considering I was honestly worried I might be close to the weight limit. They didn't weigh my carry-on which is good as I'm positive that was over that limit they listed on the site for ANA. XD The Narita airport was kinda fun to explore though, even though I of course could only do it for so long before my luggage started weighing me down. I took a quick stop at the gift shops to look for something stupid and cheap to give to my nieces since my parents had requested I bring something for them. x_x Which was rather annoying as I had absolutely no idea what to get them since they're kids and ehhh I have no idea. lol Ended up just getting them some cute candy in bento boxes. Also finally found those green tea kit kats everyone raves about. lol Never saw them in any of the combinis but I find them in the airport. Go figure. So bought a big bag of those.

I saw a mini food court while coming in but figured it was too early for lunch and I'd get free food on the plane so I should wait but I decided to go back because hell, I hadn't had many actual Japanese meals the whole time I'd been there and these menus were all in English. So I said screw it, I'm getting actual ramen because it'd be a crime to leave Japan without actually having had any.

My ramen at 9am XD It was a type I hadn't had before too though I forget what region it said it was from. It was delicious though even if I'm not a big fan of that style of egg.

It was kinda funny as the whole terminal I was in consisted mainly of just foreign business men and then there's me in my geeky t-shirt and jeans. XD lol The plane itself was nice and spacious, so I definitely see what people meant when they said Japanese airlines are better than American ones. The food was a lot better too. Though there wasn't as many movie choices but that mattered not to me as I spent most of the time sleeping anyways or looking through some of my zuka books I had put it my bag specifically to look at on the plane. I was next to this cute little old Vietnamese lady who didn't speak a word of English or Japanese for that matter it seems (I was still on automatic to say "Excuse Me" etc in Japanese at this point lol but took me a while to realize she probably didn't understand me in either language oh well XD). She was so cute and sweet though. She insisted I have half of her orange she had brought with her and kept trying to give me any of the food she didn't finish. So I ended up being quite stuffed as a result. lol Since I felt rude turning her down as she was very insistent. I made sure to give her a deep head bow when I left (since she had to wait in her seat for the attendees to get her since she had a wheelchair to wait for) so hoping that got across that I felt she was very pleasant to spend the loooong plane ride with.

I had just figured it would take me forever to get through American customs since last time I went, it took us like over an hour to do that in Dallas and thus we ended up missing our connecting flight, so I had told my parents that they might be waiting for a bit. Instead it turns out it didn't take me long at all, though it felt long-ish to me since we had a few problematic people in front of me who didn't know any English and the poor security guy was trying to find a translator. But my actual time through security took like the least of anyone. XD Helps when you have barely anything with you except my heavy backpack of DVDs and books, lol. The customs lady did seem surprised I had spent so much money on it since it didn't seem like a lot to her for the price I wrote down. lmao But she understood when I told her it was just all kinda expensive. *sigh* Expensive hobby is expensive.

Despite all of this and the delay we had in take-off, I actually beat my parents to the waiting area. I was a little worried when I didn't see them there but turns out they were still trying to get into the parking lot at the time. I was also surprised how awake I was at this point but figured all that sleeping helped. Until I got home and my body completely crashed. XD lol Work the next day was hard too. Took me a few days to get back to adjust even though I had no problem adjusting to Japan time. Though I think part of it may have just been mere exhaustion considering how active I was.

But like I said, I'm so glad I went and had seriously the best time of my life! Its been over a month since I came back and I'm still having slight post-trip-depression as I really do miss it. I want to go back already but I doubt I'll be able to any time soon. I have real life I need to figure out first. I promised myself I would make that my main priority once I came back. I went with the thought in mind this might be my only time seeing Takarazuka but I already know I have to go back and definitely see them again even if the troupes are radically different by then. I just hope it doesn't take me another 8 years this time. lol



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