Japan trip 2019

wherein I announce my intention to play hookey again and run off to see cherry blossoms.

This is a bit early but I thought it a good idea to announce in advance that I will run off to the Enoshima – Kamakura region again this year, from mid-March, through the third week in April. I need to barbecue meat on a beach and only a beach on Sagami Bay will do.

That is if I can manage some nagging health issues. I have approximately a month to heal up; I need to get some exercise in as well so that I don’t end up sprained and lame as I have recently been wont to do. When I get there, I will immerse myself in my riajuu life. That barbecue. It folds up into its nice little canvas carrying case. I blame Yuru Camp/ Laid Back Camping anime. You can buy the little compressed charcoal bricks at Y100 stores.

Niku Niku. Eat meat! Meat is all you need!”

Also; cut down on pop culture consumption, eat good food, go for long hikes in the hills, get the inflatable kayak back in service, de-rust my trusty one-speed granny bike, all while spending quality time with my sweetie.

Kite flying! Art exhibitions! Touristy stuff!

If by chance you know of any fun academic conferences or need me to go on for 90 minutes on any of the theory wanks in this blog for your university class, drop a note in the comment section (mention if you want it private and I’ll keep it so). I might even post a few updates and pictures here and/or on my Twitter feed. They will be boring and have nothing to do with manga or anime.

I am so sick of winter. Bleh!

There is a secluded hilltop mini-park overlooking my sweetie’s town with cheery trees — including some monstrously huge, old ones that tower over the grove. We eat onigiri and share sakura chocolate there every year.

This year too.

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Here I go again

Blog will go on mostly-hiatus for March, early April.

Bend to my will, oh giant iron fish and take us safely through the big wetness!

It’s official. I have tickets, and insurance and maple syrup.

Off to Japan I go for March (and a tiny bit of April). To avoid steerage, I had to cough up a good deal more cash than last year, plus the passage there is going to be a nasty 30 hours of automobiles, planes and trains (also known as I Remember Narita. I get Haneda on the way back). Also, I have never done the Toronto – Calgary detour before; Twitter informs me that it is traditional that the co-pilot must intone this spell over the PA: “Bend to my will metal sky bird and take us to the big blueness!” and all the passengers must chant “Sky bird! Sky bird!” to convince the plane to take off.

Do not Google Gimli Glider.

There will be plum blossoms, then cherry blossoms, hills around Kamakura to hike with my friend, my trusty one-speed granny bike and yummy food. I might even make it to a few manga/ anime related events in and around the greater Tokyo-Yokohama area in March. If I am really lucky there might even be something nifty and academic-ish vaguely to do with some of the themes I grind away on in this blog.

I am available for lectures, symposia, panels and any other events that will let me over-enthuse about stuff that I only have the most passing knowledge about, until the mods cut my mike.

I will again set up a data sim for one of my cheap android phones so I can post twitter pix (and use Google Maps so that I don’t get completely lost) As always I recommend Asahi Net [https://asahi-net.jp/en/] who will get me a data and SMS sim for a month and a few days for around $40. I can set it all up in advance and have the sim waiting at my friend’s place. Nice thing about Asahi Net is that if I go over my cap, I still get data, unlimited data in fact – just slowwwwwww….

I don’t really otaku out on these trips; I might pick up a Book-Off used copy of the 3rd volume of Spotted Flower but I have never doujin‘d out and I don’t see myself starting. After all, what good is it as a cultural thang unless it is already ubiquitous across the global inter-tubes. This also keeps me out of trouble with customs on the way back.

Vape juice with nicotine in it is impossible to get in Japan; that will be a problem but I hear they are ok with up to 120 ml brought in by shaky outlanders who are sweating through their third month off ciggies and gradually tapering down the amount of brain candy they are putting in their glycerine steam. Recently I have again been able to string two concepts together and type them out for this blog, although I miss the focus that chain-smoking brought to my previous writings. I understand the shaking eventually subsides.

Maple syrup. It seems to be the only thing one can bring as a gift that is not already available cheaper in Japan (and that comes in a bottle, unless you want to give 400-strength ibuprofen to the folks who invite you over for dinner). Don’t bother with booze, even duty-free: whatever you bring is cheaper at the local supermarket. Japan does alcohol.

My sis turned me on to kayaking. Maybe I can rent a kayak and paddle around Enoshima. With a kayak, you can sit on your ass if you mess up your ankles hiking the hill trails.

I got sick of snow.

LATER:

shinkai 1.jpg

Way Kewl! This tries to turn your pix into Makoto Shinkai -ish photo-illustrations:
https://everfilter.me

shinkai kayak.jpgKayaking – I do this now!

Stop me before I Everfilter everything!

STILL LATER:

I stashed 40lbs of inflatable Kayak-ish boatery in my luggage and have been paddling around the bay and on a few rivers around Kamakura and Yokohama.

Lookie at all the sakura blossoms!

DSC01853-ANIMATION

The boat is this: https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Explorer-2-Person-Inflatable-Aluminum/dp/B00A7EXF4C

Recommended!

Go do a fanfiction survey

I might be a bit late on this but it is still interesting. The folks at Fansplaining [http://fansplaining.com/] posted a Twitter invite to participate in a short survey on Fanfiction. Off I went and filled it out. You should too.

Fansplaining‏ @fansplaining Mar 20
More
It’s time for a new Fansplaining survey—this one on the definition of “fanfic”!
Go, take, and share widely! https://t.co/eWcSLmKsfF

See also the call on their main site: http://fansplaining.com/post/158797773333/take-the-fansplaining-definitions-survey

Ok, I spoiled a question. Wait, I got that pic on Twitter, so it’s only a second-hand spoil. Or something… Personally, I had a lot of NO IDEA WHATEVER replies but that’s part of the exercise, right?

In other news:

I am two thirds though my Japan visit and so far it has been more of a decompress time than a run-around-and-buy-experience-things visit. Only 2 more Genshiken volumes left on my hunt list, a ten-day cold shared with she-who-up-with-me… a sprained ankle and some light bicycle trips. The weather has turned cool and wet – sakura blossoms will be delayed a few days. The steampunk fair is still interesting but the door is expensive.

Of course the food is insanely great here, even the cheap stuff that I get chided for indulging in, the air is clean along the Sagami Bay shores and Japan remains wonderful.

I promise I will come up with something to TLDR essay post on sooner of later.

Meanwhile, have a sunset.