We’re sitting in the hotel’s cafe, watching the last of typhoon Phanfone pass by. It’s been quite windy with lots of rain since yesterday, but we’ve been in no danger here in Tokyo. They took down the awnings over the outdoor seating part of the cafe as a concession to the storm, but otherwise it’s business as usual here in the Land of the Rising Sun.
I’ve gotten no work done on the new book, despite my best intentions. I feel kind of guilty about it, but mostly I’m trying to see this time as “filling the well” – taking in everything so it can swirl in my head and become stories down the road. I did decide that I’m not going to write it in first person, though. First person can be powerful in the right hands, but it doesn’t suit my storytelling style and I was really struggling with my voice, which is otherwise pretty well established. So as I move forward, it’ll be back in 3rd omniscient. It’s hard to write here because I’m one of those silence and solitude people, and there is neither here. But I’ll have a very full well of experience when it’s time to sit back down with the story!
In the meantime, we’re filling our days with Japan. We’ve done some shopping – wardrobe enhancements at uniqlo and the Gap – got a cute peacoat at the latter for a better price than I would have in the US, given the current exchange rate. Got some work pants and fantastic sweaters at uniqlo – their jeans don’t go up to my size, so no luck there.
Matt discovered the crane game arcades and he’s addicted – to the point where he’s going after toys even when he doesn’t know who the characters are. We’re going to have to buy a bigger suitcase than I expected to check on out homebound flight to get all the toys home. I got a plush of Grell Sutcliffe from Kuroshitsuji, and I bought a plush of Edward Elric for only ¥300 – it needs a little repair work on some of the details, but that’s easy to do, and what a bargain!!
We went to Akihabara, land of anime EVERYWHERE, and Matt was like a kid in a candy store. We went to a maid cafe (Maidreamin) while we were there – no English, so I had no idea what they were saying except that they called me “princess” and Matt “master.” They also made us do magic to make our food – we got the dessert set menu – more delicious. There was a charge just to get in, and the food was very expensive for what it was – $10 small ice cream sundae anyone? – but it was a fun experience nonetheless.
I also discovered photo booths. Photo booths in Japan are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the states. You have the option for just makeup or for makeup and fashion, and many allow you to borrow outfits for the fashion option. I went with just makeup since I’m not small enough for standard Japanese sizes. The booth takes a bunch of your pictures and makes your eyes huge, like anime eyes. Then you can edit the photos with control over things like skintone, makeup, lighting, and you can draw or put little stamps on the pictures. Then you print them out just like a regular photo booth. It’s nuts, and addictive fun.
It’s now just after 1 p.m. local time, and the rain is pretty much done. Time to figure out what we’re doing today! We haven’t actually had sushi yet…that has to happen soon.