Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Day In Japan(town)

Peace PagodaI've been in San Fran over a week now, and I still haven't done a lot of exploring, mostly because I've been busy with work, but partly because I've been a pussy about getting lost or not understanding the city yet. (Which is dumb because you can't understand a city unless you go out into it, right?) So today I decided I'd finally head to Japantown. I gotta say, it felt so safe and warm under the covers this morning that I almost didn't go, but I am very glad I did. Wandering around and shopping in Japantown was some of the most fun I've had in ages, and it kept me smiling the rest of the day.

After snapping some selfies with the Peace Pagoda, I went to the East Mall and headed into Daiso (where everything is $1.50 unless marked otherwise). It was heaven. Everything I've ever purchased online from Japan was already in that store. They had cosmetics, kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies, phone charms, random electronics, toys, food, office supplies, everything. EVERYTHING. Even things to make your boobs bigger. I'm trying my best not to buy a lot of things until I know whether or not I'm staying in San Fran and have a more permanent apartment, but I ended up buying a couple knickknacks and some food.

From there, I went to Ichiban Kan, which was a little pricier, but they had nearly all the Japanese cosmetics and skincare products I use and usually have to order online. I treated myself to a snail face mask, a grape drink, and some Green Tea KitKats. (I'll probably do a video next weekend about the things I bought in Japantown, so I'm not spending a lot of time on it here.)

Candy Candy Candy Candy Yummy
As Kyary would say, "So candy love."
Then, I headed to the West Mall, and this is where things get a little hazy. There were CDs and DVDs and books and magazines and restaurants and tons of small trinket stores and I wanted to go into them all. I spent an excessive amount of time perusing the music section at a bookstore trying to locate my favorite J-pop and K-pop artists. (I should mention they also have some Korean stores and items even though it's called Japantown.)

KPP!!!!
KPP taking over my life.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was just about everywhere I looked (which was awesome), but I also uncovered some Namie Amuro, SNSD, Crystal Kay, Big Bang, and Super Junior. But the whole time I was really keeping an eye out for Perfume merchandise. And that's when I saw it. The limited edition Blu-ray of Perfume's "Perfume Clips" music video collection. I let out a squeal that I assumed only dogs could hear. Except in reality everyone in the store probably heard it and was staring. But I didn't care.

PERFUME CLIPS LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY. I almost cried
I know it's hard not to be distracted by my amazing nails, but JUST LOOK AT IT.

Of course, it was $84, so I didn't get it. (Also I don't have a Blu-ray player, although I honestly would've purchased it just to stare at the box.) But for a moment I got to hold something in my hands I never thought I would. And I swear a light shone down on me from the heavens and the spirit of Nocchi entered my body and my legs felt long and amazing and my life had meaning. (I hope someone understands that.)

YAOI
I was tempted.
What else? There was more manga than I've ever seen in my life, and an exceptionally big yaoi section, which I took a photo of but didn't linger in because I was too embarrassed. The video store had some of my favorite South Korean movies and some anime I like, but I didn't linger in there too long either because it was pretty crowded. The restaurants looked amazing, but I didn't really want to be a party of one, so I just got some frozen yoghurt for the walk back to the bus.

Bridge view
I took this photo while ascending to heaven after my journey was over.
(But really I was just on a bridge.)
I probably would've climbed inside the Peace Pagoda and lived there if I thought I could get away with it. (That probably would've been offensive somehow, too.) But I eventually found myself overstimulated and decided to call it a day. I wish I'd gone into Pika Pika (a purikura shop), however I have a feeling I'll be going back to Japantown soon.

Oh, I took a bunch of photos and if you want to see all of them, I made a Flickr album of them.

-joe