Sam has already posted
about our trip to Japan, so I thought I'd skip all the stories and just show you my haul:
follow the link to see an annotated version.
I started off with just one program, then developed a serious problem. They weren't expensive, so it wouldn't be that bad, except books are HEAVY and we still had to fly home. I ended up putting almost all the books and magazines in the Dream Boys tote bag and taking it on the plane as carry on. Every time I had to go through security I wondered what it looked like to them - Can they see the inside of the books, or do they just think I'm super studious and carrying my textbooks around with me??
Finding that lamdash pamphlet was one of those moments where it felt like Kame was somewhere behind the scenes orchestrating the best outcome for us... it was our last day before we had to fly home and we'd been walking around trying to find duty free cosmetics. We ended up in the basement of the Shinjuku Yodobashi because it had promised "beauty products" but all we got were hairdryers and electric toothbrushes. So we were standing there feeling kind of angry and talking about what to do next, and then I turned my head and half naked Kame was staring at me from a cardboard cut out. It was kind of a beautiful moment. Sam took an instax photo with him and then kept sticking it in random places and waiting for me to notice it. At one point she put it on the wall of the elevator and had to yank it down quickly when a staff member got into the lift.
I always buy a heap of doujinshi and then feel sort of deflated when I can't actually understand any of it - it's like in my brain I'll take them home and suddenly magically be able to speak Japanese. It can be really enjoyable reading them and trying to figure out wtf is going on. I lucked out this time and got one where Jin, for some reason, is a bear that looks exactly like Gloomy Bear, and he turns into a human so he and Kame can have sex, and then they have a baby that has little bear ears. And at some point he's trying to get Kame to have more sex with him and he accidentally scratches him with his gloomy claws. Then he goes away and angsts a bit. Meanwhile Kame collapses from exhaustion (???). Then they're a happy family again. The end.
In another I thought it was a straightforward DJ about Kame missing Jin while he was in LA. Then I got halfway through it and realised that it's an AU where Kame is Jin's fan who is distraught about the hiatus (the first hiatus). I realised this because halfway through there is another Kame who is at the press conference upon Jin's return. Fan Kame watches real Jin/Kame on tv. Then he talks a lot to Fan Nakamaru. Then it ends. Pretty illustrations though. At least it didn't turn into hardcore porn.
It was my first time going to the Johnny's Store and even though people had tried to tell me how crazy it was I didn't believe them. You have to go get a ticket from a Johnny's staff member outside the station in Harajuku, and it has a time on it. That time is when you can come back and queue. So you might have to wait an hour before you can even join the queue. Then you stand in queue and lol at all the white people who walk past and look really confused about why there is a random queue of girls but no sign of what they are queueing for. Then another Johnny's staff member leads you through the backstreets, trying to usher you into a more orderly line as you walk. Then you walk into the shop and it is basically just a cramped room covered in shop photos, clusters of girls with pens and paper furiously scribbling down numbers. I didn't think I would have a problem resisting shop photos but once you're in there you get kind of swept up in the moment and inevitably buy more than you intend to. I wouldn't have been able to stop but Sam suddenly took control and was like, "NO. STOP. STOP. WE HAVE TO STOP."
I still managed to spend about $30 though. There are some photos of a handful under the cut - I bought more but I thought I'd just give you the general gist. ( shop photos... )( photo dump... they will all seem like shitty counterfeit knock offs of sam's superior product. )