The purpose of this trip to San Francisco Japantown wasn’t because I wanted to visit Japantown personally. I had plans to meet up with some study abroad friends I made during my 2014 trip. When discussing where we should go, I suggested visiting SF Japantown and then staying a night over at my place. That seemed to work with everyone so that’s what we did.
First, to introduce my friends on this trip. Starting from left, we have Corvus Corone, Lettuce, and then me. On a side note, Lettuce does some video game translations on his blog and Youtube channel.
The day started with me meeting up with Corvus, who came down to the Bay Area from Sacramento. Together we headed towards SF Japantown where we will meet Lettuce. On the way, we chatted about my experiences in China. We actually got to Japantown ahead of Lettuce, so we sat in the plaza chatting until Lettuce arrived. It has been a year and a half since the last time I saw Lettuce, so it was great that we could meet up and hang out.
Now that everyone is here, the first thing we did was eat lunch at Izumiya. As you can see above, they still had the Christmas decorations up. It has been a while since I came here but now they have a new employee with a happy and energetic attitude, which was refreshing to see. As we ate, I continued to talk about my expriences in China such as driving and street crossing, attitude of meeting relatives, smoking culture I completely forgot to take a photo of our food until we all finished eating. I had an oyako-don while Lettuce had a gyuu-don and Corvus had a bentou tray of assorted stuff.
After eating, we headed into Kinokuniya. At the back of the top floor, I flipped through some JLPT workbooks while Lettuce and Corvus looked for magazines. I can probably pass N2. N1 is a maybe. After a moment, Corvus asked “where are the cool things?” and so we went downstairs for the manga floor.
The usual corner of miscellaneous anime goods by the stairs now have a banner with Animate’s logo there. Funny thing is that when I visited the Animate store in Kyoto, they had a sign outside saying that photos are allowed. But I know that Kinokuniya doesn’t allow photos. So… ???
Anyways, we walked over to the wall of magazines/artbooks and looked around. There were artbooks of PSO2 and Halo 5. Of course expensive as always, but the PSO2 one had an open store copy, so I browsed through it. I remember we briefly chatting about Tony Taka’s artbook too. After looking at the artbooks, we went over to the shelves of Japanese manga, trash talking about the localized stuff as we went by them. Corvus looked around for a series called Log Horizon, but Kinokuniya did not have volume 1, nor the volume 1 of any other series he looked for… I thought that I didn’t have anything to buy, but I realized that I was missing the newest volume of Shinmai Maou no Testament.
Here are all of our loots from Kinokuniya. My only loot is vol. 6 of Shinmai Maou no Testament. The other two manga and Madoka clear file belongs to Corvus, while the two magazines belong to Lettuce.
corvus grabbed a madoka clear file and feels shamed over it.
I showed the, how daunting Kyoukai Senjou no horizon is
linokuniya had a volume 8 part 2, and it was twice at thick as the next thickest book.
After we were done at Kinokuniya, we strolled through the rest of the mall, poking fun at stuff here and there. I didn’t take any pictures, so you will have to make do with another photo of us. When we got to the shop with a bunch of weapons, Corvus gave us some insight into the quality of the blades and katana replicas. most of them were bad. next door had fake nendoroids. they used to have real ones.
In return, I showed him how to sheath a katana without poking around to get the blade in. I also talked about Gundams and model kits when we got to the shop next door. We went into Daiso too, but it was crowded as usual, so we left pretty quickly.
I think this photo looks quite nice. I took it along the way to the bus stop. Having went through all the interesting shops and took a decent amount of group photos, we left around 4:40 pm.
Our next destination was my place, where Corvus and Lettuce will sleep over for a night. The timing of the buses were perfect and we got back quickly without any time wasted. We dropped our stuff off at my place and then ate at Subway for dinner.
While the living conditions of the rest of the house is questionable, I am glad that my room is actually comfy and adequately equipped to receive guests. Corvus was feeling cold so I gave him a big blanket to wrap himself in. For that entire night, we marathoned the entire campaign of Halo 5, since neither of them will get an Xbox One any time soon. I think we finished at 3 or 4 am. We briefly talked about their thoughts on the game and then went to sleep.
The next morning, as tempted as I was to sleep in, we didn’t have that much time left, so I woke up Lettuce and showed him some of my manga. He enjoyed the bonus chapter in a volume of Zombitch ha Bitch ni Fukumaremasuka. After Corvus got up, we still had some time, so I showed them an episode of Gundam Unicorn while eating pizza for lunch. It would be nice to get more friends interested in Gundam, so I hope they had a good first impression. After the episode, it was time for the both of them to go and part ways. I had a lot of fun meeting up with them and hanging out. I hope that they had fun too.