First Trip to Japan, 2019

I haven’t been mentioning this at all on social media whatsoever (other than some picture snippets), but I went to Japan for the first time for 2 weeks in June. I had an amazing time, so I thought I’d share some of the experiences I had there during the 11 days or so I was there as an anniversary post as mentioned earlier, so let’s get into it!

First off, as a preface, unfortunately, I ended up not being able to go to Osaka or Kyoto, the usual first trip reccommendations since me & my sis (who was with me on the trip) had a couple of events to go to and didn’t want to pay for the train passes to go there, so this is just a Tokyo Trip! Maybe I’ll go to Kansai someday and there will be another report! We still had a lot of fun, so here are a couple of my highlights! (not in chronological order, but I will probably mention what day of the trip I went to that place!)

Tales of Festival 2019

Tales of the Festival is the yearly seiyuu event held for the Tales of series. It’s not the most well-known game franchise, but it’s got it’s name out there and I do like a few titles from the franchise. My sis & I had been watching the released footage for the events since a few years ago, and wanted to take the chance to experience one live, picking the 2nd day since it consisted of mostly titles we’ve played or interacted with in a way, eg. through the anime for Abyss. As many may know since it isn’t unique knowledge anymore, we had to grab the tickets through l-tike which recently started having you confirm your phone number before getting an account to apply for tickets for events in Japan. We managed to snag some S seat tickets through Bridge.jpn’s ticket purchase service, in which the staff communicating with me for the purchase of the tickets was so nice and replied fast too!

After getting the tickets though, next was the event. Okay, I really underestimated event crowds/queues for merch in Japan but from this experience, I’ve learnt my lesson. The event venue was crowded with shit tons of people who were, as expected, queuing for merchandise. This was real bad because we literally had no idea which queue was for what since there was the event goods /and/ kotobukiya shop. Since we reached the venue after lunch around 1-2pm or so, we dodged the merch and went to queue for the food, which thankfully, was much shorter than the other queues. Good thing the event was on the 3rd day of the trip, in which we were already well-rested and ready to queue. At the same time, we were pretty used to the heat living in 28-30 degree weather all around the year. Sadly the among the foods available, only the Mapo Curry bread was available once we were at the front of the line (which was oof cuz we wanted the Ludger Calzones but it was sold out while we were /in queue/). That said we managed to snag the bread and 2 of Edna’s Palmiers after about 40mins of queue in the sun, and both were hella good! Special credit goes to the Yuri Uchiwa I bought for the event for fanning ourselves while waiting. For the goods, we ended up deciding to do whatever purchases we had after the event ended, and we were at least able to snag the Tales Mapo Curry mix.

The Lloyd & Zelos cutouts at the event

Okay, finally on to a mini report of the event. The event had a Skit section + Talk session, followed by a concert by Bonnie Pink for the ToV theme song. Unsurprisingly, the skit was based off ToV and the secret guest was the voice for Duke. Not the most exciting for my sis, but extremely exciting for me cuz ToV’s my favourite among the bunch. Everything happened really fast so it’s really all in my head but I can’t pull it out to explain. The skit’s plot was basically the ToV cast being tasked to guard an art gallery, while the rest of the cast is just sightseeing in the area. They then realise the winning art piece for the art competition, being displayed at the gallery was stolen and the gallery goes into lockdown mode causing the cast having to deal with a bunch of traps meant to stop the perpetrator. The thief ends up to be Duke, in which the ToV cast battles along with the other characters until he backs off.

A few highlights would be mainly on how Raven + Zelos did their usual thing of trying to flirt with the prettiest lady in the group, which was unfortunately Lailah this time so it was really hilarious with her cold responses. Shitaya-san, who voiced Lailah for the anime in place of the late Matsuki Miyu, was really cute and was laughing at lot when reacting to Takemoto-san & Onosaka-san messing with her. Side note, it was also hilarious on how KimuRyo was trying to “protect” her from the ojisan seiyuus and got pushed to the ground lmao. The cast of ToG (minus Ueda-san?), ToS, ToV (I believe it was Torisan I think) character ended up doing this relay dance thing which was apparently meant to activate a switch. In fact, there was an option to decide whether Asbel or Lloyd was going to dance, and the entire hall changed was a landslide for Asbel because clearly, everyone wants to see Sakurai dance. But it ended up having everyone in the scene do it anyway so it was hilarious. For the ending of the skit where the character will yell their Ougi/HiOugi names, they put special attention for Yuri and told the audience to change their penlights to purple to give him power so he could activate his HiOugi, which was a nice touch for the inner screaming Yuri fangirl within me.

For the talk show, it consisted of the reveal of the most voted lines in within the franchise, and of course Yuri won this one with the “choice” line. Torisan did it live too, which was breathtaking, but before the reveal, he was asked to say which line he think would win and he yelled “ESTELLE!!!!!!” real hard instead was hilarious. They also had a drawing game corner where Onosaka-san would sing a song with the instructions on how to draw the various mascot characters, and the rest would try and keep up with him to see who drew the most accurately. The characters being drawn was the Normin & Viva-kun, but it was a huge mess because most of the seiyuus couldn’t keep up and something else was drawn, in which the whole hall erupted in laughter. This was especially so for the Viva-kun one, because most of the seiyuus doing this one were male and it was basically Onosaka-san tsukkomi-ing all their works. After the talk show corner, there was the live by Bonnie Pink, and a news corner. Day 2 had more Japan-targetted info like collabs that were happening & future events like the ToG Anniversary Party & information for the ToV stage play, in which I decided to get out of the hall to take pics of the event art standees before the crowds came and would make it harder. The event ended with the cast saying their goodbyes, and the usual “Viva Tales of” call before leaving.

All in all, this was an amazing first event for me. While I usually prefer concerts to seiyuu events because it requires lesser translation in my head on what is going on, this event itself was breathtaking for me as a tales fan & as someone who’s been following this event for a while. I’m really happy we got to be there live, and while the distance from the stage was huge and could barely see whats going on on the stage, it was good enough with the monitors all over. Thankfully for this event, they didn’t do any ID checks which was very fortunate, a lot of major seiyuu/idol events have this and I was quite relieved we could enter without a hitch, cuz I was worried it would take a while for the staff to check us cuz the name printed on the ticket was in english. This probably won’t be the case for other events or maybe in the future, but for this one, there was no ID checks. I had a fun time at this event, and it’s definitely an unforgettable experience, and the merch like the Uchiwa and Bandana I bought to bring to the event would be good memories of it.

Utapri Movie, and also many other Utapri Things

The Utapri Maji Love Kingdom Movie premiered the day we landed, so we were right in time to see the Movie Greeting (with all 18 seiyuus!) for the release of the movie on Day 2 of the trip. My sister didn’t come along with me for this one since we were exhausted from the red-eye the day we arrived, so I went by myself. I had pretty much given up on snagging the tickets for the live location at Pacifico Yokohama, so I opted to see a live viewing instead. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t lucky draw based and I had to fast finger the cinema website to even snag tickets, along with the fact I wasn’t event sure if I could use my credit card to make any payments.  I ended up not being able to catch any of the screenings in Yokohama where I was staying at at the time, but I fortunately grabbed a ticket for a screening in Kawasaki (basically the next town over which was pretty close by), and off I was to the event! Thankfully the ticket collection was pretty easy too, so I had no problems.

To be short, the live viewing of the seiyuu greeting was amazing. Except during the thing I had this “holy shit it’s happening” feeling the whole time since I was still tired from the day before but I got through the whole greeting. The cast gave their commetns about the movie, encouraging everyone to watch it at least 3-4 times, which I agree, I would have gone more if I had the time. They also played this short game where the seiyuus had to fill in the blanks to a paragraph, which created heaps of ridiculous paragraps which let the cinema erupt in laughter. The movie screening itself was a non-cheer one, which was a blessing on my part since I hadn’t bought myself any lightsticks at that point. The day was rainy too, which caused my itabag to sit through the weather unfortnately, and me & my sis walked to about 2 other cinemas to find the limited edition phamplet for the movie, and fortunately finding at one of the branches. Sadly at most of the cinemas I went the movie penlights were sold out so that was pretty sad for me.

The Utapri-themed menu they had at the Coco Ichibanya!

The Utapri x Coco Ichibanya collab campaign was also happening while I was in Japan, but unfortunately most of the stores I visited had the campaign magnets sold out by the time I was there! Thankfully though, they still had the cute menu with the princes reccommending the toppings to add to your curry. I’ve eaten the franchise’s curry in Singapore many times, and honestly, it exactly the same, nothing much different other than having SG more options for the Omelet Curry, and the fact that Japan offers a sweet option in their curry which is unheard of with Sgreans because we love our spicy food.

Quartet Night @ Tokyo Dome City! They were at the Ferris Wheel boarding area!

We also went to the Utapri x Tokyo Dome City Attractions Amusement park collab on Day 7 of our trip, where they had some collab attractions going on. It’s not the greatest attraction collab since they just stuck decals on their rides to make it “collab”, but the Big O had the most “limited” ride with the special messages from the princes as if they were riding the ferris wheel with you, and thanking you for coming to the amusement park. The park also had a stamp rally where you had to go around the park to find the stamp stations to stamp in the booklet, and at the end you could get a full card set of all the guys. The staff would also lead you into a completion room wtih a poster for the movie for you to take photos, and an area showing all the album covers of past singles, and there would be an AR app for you to scan them to see the performances from the anime playing on your phone. It as a nice touch but nothing too interesting for me. The staff were really helpful though when I was hella confused about the AR app!

The park was hella empty since it was a Thursday. There were some Utapri fans at the park too though, carrying their prince cats around the park trying to get a good shot of them at the part. The park also had cutouts of each unit hanging around at different parts of the part, and of course I had to snag pictures of all of them. Nothing too shameless, of course. Overall, I felt it was just a nice time walking around park and seeing how this one felt like. Unforunately, for the special messages on the ferris wheel, I only managed to listen to all of Shining Agency’s idols and missed out on Heavens, since we were kind of in a rush so we couldn’t hop on the ferris wheel a second time. We also skipped out on the food since we were holding out for Disneyland and the fact that the food looked uh dangerously not great. The strange blue dressing on the Quartet Night Hotdog was not convincing enough for me to buy one. Overall, it was a nice time for an Utapri fan, but I wouldn’t go there I was trying to enjoy the theme park cuz it came off a little plain to me.

On Day 10 of my trip, which was essentially my last night in Japan, I decided to watch the Utapri movie one more time since an encore song was announced and I had to catch it before leaving Japan. It was a “late night” showing at 8.50pm – which is honestly not late to me because screenings here can start as late as 11pm so it came off a bit strange, but hey, the ticket was cheaper! This time, I went for a cheer screening where you could call and yell things in the cinema as according to the song call book. I really didn’t look over the call book before this showing so I was a tad confused while watching, but I managed by following the girls around me who had lightsticks. Since I had gotten my own lightstick I used it here too – and I found it a whole lot more fun then just sitting and watching! I also luckily managed to get the Reiji coaster as the movie tokuten, and had a good 1hr+ of fun! I really hope the distribution companies here can bring the movie here so everyone here can watch it, and I can experience that moment again.

King of Prism Collab Cafe @Honpo Cafe

My sis became a huge fan of the Kinpri series after I screened the movies with her, so this cafe was a must go for us. Surprisingly, it was easy to get a reservation for the cafe and we got one right after lunch for Day 7 of our trip in Akihabara. This was the first time for me at a cafe, so I was slightly nervous but it went ok! The cafe space was really small, and fit only about 20 ladies or so? The cafe space was decorated with mini cutouts of the characters pasted on the wall, as well as the large ones displayed, as well as Kinpri music playing in the background & the last Rose Party concert playing on the TV. The tables were also decorated with the characters too, and for some unfortunate/fortunate reason we were seated at a 4 seater table even though I reserved for 2. Probably because they had no space to split the tables I guess, but not good for sales I suppose. We had a light lunch so we ordered a drink and a dessert each, which were all visuall appealing but a tad expensive, which I understand its a norm for collab cafes. We could choose between bromides and coasters, so we went with half-half. The desserts were great, with the pafe being a cider flavour ice cream and the roll cake your usual chifon cake (a tad sugary for me though), but the drinks were honestly not too great. Shin’s drink had a very nice effect when you mixed the red + blue together, but it tasted a lot like liquid cotton candy and wasn’t good. Louis’ drink was banana syrup + milk but probably due to me mixing it poorly at the start I couldn’t get much banana taste out of it, and my hit or miss lactose intolerance wasn’t having any of it. Fortunately, I got through the drink filling only full but no bowel trouble.

The cafe also had merch for sale, that we could write down how much we wanted to order before leaving the cafe. There were ladies going full ham on the blinds with like 10-15 of each which is honestly, scary as hell for me since I barely bomb that much on blinds, but we did get a few blinds to bring back, and mostly got the characters we liked! I’m just a bit bitter I misplaced the Leo coaster I got because he was so cute ;w; There were ladies who brought their whole collection to trade, and there were some who were also looking around quite option to find someone to trade off, but unfortunately, we striked the not so popular ones for both the coasters and bromides so we couldn’t get a trade. It was an interesting first collab cafe experience for me and the only one for this trip, but I would love to try going for some again, especially if it’s for something I like even more!

Sonic Birthday Party @Joypolis

This wasn’t much, but It felt it had to be placed in with the rest of the “events” because it ws pretty…eventful I guess? My sis is a pretty big Sonic the Hedgehog fan, so am I but I’m terribly bad at the game. This was kind of one of the reasons why we decided to go in June, mainly for this event since it’s said that the indoor amusement park brings out all the off-season Sonic Plushies during his birthday event to the claw machines. Which was very true because we ended up grabbing out a normal Sonic & white christmas Sonic. It was a Sunday though, and fearing the crowds we ended up dropping buying the attractions pass and just going in with a plain entry, since you could charge it up the off chance we wanted to ride something, but we ended up not doing anything so. The amusement park was pretty small, which honestly wasn’t surprising, but I kind of expected it to be larger somehow xD.  There was a meet and greet with the birthday version sonic, who was really cute and the staff inside was pretty good with posing too. They first had a session where fans could take pictures of sonic, then a meet and greet with him where the joypolis employees would take pictures of you with the mascot for free of charge. I tried to get my sis to join this line, and she didn’t listen until they cut off the line and we couldn’t get in orz.

We also got the chlli dog set which was surprisingly tasty with the blue cider drink which were both pretty good. Lastly, they were streaming the birthday set list video live at the event space so there was a crowd of people just listening to the music there. Eventually, the producer of the music (Ohtani Tomoya) in the Sonic series came out to greet everyone, and they were providing a meet and greet with the producers where the staff helped to take pictures too!! Ohtani’s line was pretty long so we left when suddenly realised Senoue Jun was at the scene too and I lost my shit. (yeahhhh im a really big fan of the edgy period songs i apologise) My sis managed to get a picture with him and it was a great. Honestly didn’t do much there other thank shopping and seeing some big names but holy shit, it was very worth it because you can barely meet game producers close up at local cons without paying like, at least $20 to get in, so it was amazing for us.

Miscellanous Cafes & Food

Our Drinks! Left is Takao’s Drink and Right is Sadaharu’s Drink!

A few other minor themed food places I went to would be Square Enix Artnia, Namja Town, as well as the Collab drinks at Joysound. Didn’t really think any of these required a long ass paragraph, so a quick runthrough of the stuff I ate. Namja Town on Day 5 of our trip was a very inpromptu thing since we didn’t know that all the sunshine city shops mostly closed at 8pm so the mall was really quiet and Namja Town was one of the few things which was open. Shops are usually open till around 10 in SG so we were pretty unfamiliar with such early closing hours, so we ended up going to Namja Town since there was a free entry after 7pm campaign. The Utapri collab was over by then, but the Kurobas collab just started so decided to try out the collab drink for my favourite dude there. My sis also got a Gintama drink as it was still running, and both were pretty tasty. Pretty sure there would be much more going on before 8, but it was a cute theme park and probably worth going if I ever come during a collab period I really care about.

On Day 6 of the trip we dropped by the Square Enix Artnia cafe located right under the game company’s HQ since there was the Kuroshitsuji Collab going + the merch at the cafe. Honestly, the place was much more of a merch store as mentioned by a lot of people who reviewed the place, and had very little seats. It was a weekday, so we got seats very easily. We really wanted to try the pancakes & mains there though, and they were /hella/ good. We fortunately also got to try the sea salt ice cream they were selling for the KH collab, since it apparently was now part of the main menu! That was extremely good too as it was yoghurt & ice cream, so it was asweet, salty and slightly tangy at the same time, it was delicious! Talking about it makes me want to eat it again. We actually also did some karaoke at joysound that day (mainly for the kinpri drinks), and fortunately they still had the yuugen romantica ones running so I jumped on that immediately! I got Hifumi’s drink (as they ran out of the hot drinks for Hanawo & Merry) while my sis got the Shin + Louis drink. Tasty, but I do notice Japan has a huge trend for using a lot of syrup in their drinks.


We did Disneyland on Day 8 of our trip for a full day, being big on all things Disney in general this was a must go. My experience there was mainly, lines. As well as lessons learnt about actually trying to get up early so that we could actually snag fastpass tickets for rides we wanted to take, goddamnit. The lines were honestly??? ok but the popluar ones could go up to 50 minutes which wasn’t great for our legs, but good for that GBF grinding time since I was doing all that Revenant weapon grinding while waiting in the damn lines. We managed to get on about 60% of the rides? Due to a late start and longer lines, as well as a few attractions being closed for refurbishments unfortunately, but I do hope to go back again to clear out everything! I was also dragged onto a coaster, Big Thunder Mountain to be exact despite my fears of getting on one, but somehow that just made me more uh, hyped so note to self to take one when I first get into the damn park.

Lunch at Queen of Hearts Dining Hall!

Food wise, it was mostly good. We only had one meal at the park which was lunch, since we decided to only grab dinner after we returned to the hotel so we snacked a lot to keep ourselves full, which wasn’t too bad of an idea since there were a good amount of food trucks selling random savoury foods I couldn’t resist. The pizza spring roll I got was particularly memorable because of the packing, and of course the taste of tomato sauce and cheese. We had lunch at the Queen of Hearts Dining Hall which had a pretty small selection of dishes, so we just went with the fish and beef. The food was ok, but my sis did say the beef was a tad dry. The desserts however, were delicious and that, we wiped out really fast. I also did notice the unbirthday cake was seemingly popular with the couples when it seemed like a cake for at least 3….maybe it’s time to try it next time.

The Merch Damage

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to show a good flatlay of everything I bought due to me packing it all up already, but here are some of the places I did shopping at and what I bought in text form. First of, the otome games I snagged there. This isn’t much, but enough to lengthen my backlog further until the next trip. Both BinaryStar and Shinobi Koi Utsutsu were games I were eyeing since a long while ago, and I finally managed to grab them at Surugaya to add to my backlog! Marginal#4 just happened to be at the Surugaya at Ikebukuro for 900 yen so I ended up caving because of how cheap it was. Heard it wasn’t good, but maybe I’ll get some fun out of it since I’m a little more familar with the series.

Merch wise, a good portion of my merch was purchased from 2nd hand stores, since they usually stock old event items, esp for Utapri. Managed to grab a whole lot of Utapri crap, esp the QN Live Evolution Merchandise I was so desperately trying to find. Live Future was a little harder to get, but I surprisingly was able to snag the acrylic stand for Ranmaru! Also lucked out with the wristlight as well, while I was unable to check if it was working at the store, it fortunately worked and I could use it for the Utapri Cheer screening. Just a little bitter that I should have snagged the Reiji wristlight along with Ranmaru orz. Most of the Utapri merch was found through digging through various branches of Surugaya and Lashinbang. K-books had Utapri merch, but it was on the much more expensive side as they jacked up the prices from retail price so I found it not worth at all. However, they did have a lot of Rejet-related stuff so I snagged a couple of Yuuroma’s Hanawo gacha items on my last day before leaving Japan, and they were all below retail price so I was ok with it.

I also did some shopping at the official stores too, like Animate, Rejet Shop, Otomate Store, Tokyu Hands (the Ikebukuro one had a Kinpri collab going on, and sold Itabags as well!), and probably many more. Whatever I got at Rejet shop was mostly given to a friend, since I was buying Toneri’s CD for her, I tried the Yuuroma Kuji and ended up winning the Toneri cushion as well!!! Animate had a few random items there, but with the GBF madness going on with me I got some Paa-san & Aniue items :^) There was honestly nothing much I can say about Animates other than the fact that it stocked your usual items you can find online, and that I went very often to make several purchases like the QN Live Bluray and many other things. Otomate Store had a good selection of all their series, and it took me a damn long while to pick what I wanted cuz there was so much! In fact, they were selling the collab accessories for CxM which made me stand there for a good while deciding if it was worth the money. In the end, I kind of just didn’t get them and went along with 2 acrylics of Shirashi and Impey. Which was fortunate, because I would be spending a shit ton at the Surugaya in the same building.

We also went to (mostly) Sega Arcades to search for the GBF plushies, and finally found one machine which stocked the plushies at Ikebukuro, and only had a few belial left. We also hit the one in Yokohama chinatown to try out and practise at the machines for the Sonics my sister was going to grab at Joypolis later in the trip. We ended up getting a Sayo figure for a friend, but that was a struggle and we often had to get the staff to help us orz. For the one at Ikebukuro, after some struggle we could pull out the Belial, but I do notice that the smaller plushes are a tad tough to pull out. The Sonic ones ended up being the easiest to get because it was clear where to push the plush out, so we could snag 2 so easily. The Ikebukuro Sega Arcarde was actually where the collab cafe would usually run, but there was nothing going on there. However they did have the mini Ichiban Cafe on upstairs selling the Tales of series Drink set, so it was a nice little drink break? we could get while resting. Basically they were selling those for about 200 yen for an acrylic stand + a drink, which was nice when I needed a drink for my Utapri movie session so that was good.


Hydrangeas at Meigetsuin Temple

I really had a great time in escapism for my first time to Japan! This was also the first time I planned a trip for myself, so it was a tough experience but I learnt a lot. I did write an itinerary for the entire trip roughly planning what we’re going to do each day, but we ended up canning our plan to explore Kawagoe because it was lightly raining on the day. We did go to Kamakura to sightsee, but I found nothing much to write about it other than the hydrangeasand tamples so I left it out of this report. We also missed a few stops like the lashinbang in Yokohama to search for more merch, but I was clearly tired the day we explored Yokohama so I’m okay with missing that one. I also noticed how Akiba felt a little bit more pricer due to the place being marketed to foreigners for a centre for games and anime, so it felt slightly awkward to shop there and merch there was strangely jacked up. Maybe I’ll explore more in the future, but I’m not really interested in going there again, probably to raid the second hand stores more in detail but not much.

One thing I did learn was to plan less, so we felt like we had more freedom to choose what we wanted to do once we were there instead of rushing a lot. I did wish we could have sightsee-d a little more, but the city trip was nice and it’s good for a 2nd trip for furtger otaku related reasons. I really do hope to go back again to go for more collab cafes and more merch shopping, so off I go to do more saving. I would also like to see more sights and go to another seiyuu event/concert as well! Overall, I really had an amazing time exploring with my sister, eating a lot of food and getting away from the stress at the moment, and I would love to go back, maybe this time during a different season.

2 thoughts on “First Trip to Japan, 2019

  1. Mari

    Is Yuri your fav Tales of Series chara too!?
    I love him ❤
    I want to plan a trip to Japan with my friends one day.
    You bought Binary Star 😮


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