Rachel in Tokyo

This is a blog about an American law school student studying in Tokyo for the semester.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Kristina and I headed to Odaibo to Tokyo Big Sight where the annual Tokyo Anime convention was being held! Over 100,000 people showed up to this event. It was a blast! Last year, my friend, JOEL turned me on to Anime. I wondered what all the fuss was about when I went to see my friend Krystle and noticed literally 100's of Anime dvd/videos that filled up the living room! Joel, Krystle's roommate, has been an Anime lover for years and was kind enough to talk me through some of it last year before I came to Tokyo. I came to this convention, basically, to scope out the costumes and souveniers so I could bring home some cool stuff to my friends! Well, I succeeded in finding the goods! Joel: you won't believe some of the prizes I found! I'm sending Jared a care package with your name written all over it!!!

Well, if lawschool doesn't work out for me, maybe I'll put on one of these costumes! These girls were having too much fun!

Kristina was hamming it up all day long.

Actually, she is just really nice when I feel like taking zillions of pictures. She poses for me on demand.

Kristina calls this the "CREEPY PANDA!" I think she had nightmares about this guy!

2 of my new Anime boyfriends.

Here are some of the famous voices of Anime. They were all over the convention. I would have tried to get some autographs, but I had no clue who any of these people were. The voices were hysterical, though! One old lady, I think she was 115, was sitting around a group of people reading her famous Anime voice: that of a little girl.

Puff the magic dragon...

oooo scary!

oooo scariER!

Little girl blue.

After Anime, we went for conveyer-sushi.

Jeremy met up with us and had very interesting comments on Anime.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Saturday night in Meguro

Here are some friends that Joe and I met on Saturday night at a pub in Meguro, 3 stations away from Azabu-Juban, where I live in Tokyo.

Shin, on my left, is the tallest Japanese man I've seen yet in Tokyo! He was almost 7 feet tall! He tells me that he is a retired Japanese basketball player. I got his autograph, just in case he was telling the truth! Shin's name means "tall" in Japanese. So I called him Tall all night. I called his friend Mickey, to go along with the shirt he was wearing. They thought it was funny. We played darts. And I beat Joe "again." He gets so mad at me when I hit the bullseye! On my right is Joe's sensei: Tomoko. I know a lot of women here named Tomoko! Depending on the Kanji, it can mean "friend" in Japanese. Joe is on my far right.

Here is Joe and Tomoko, before we played darts. We went to a conveyer-belt sushi restaurant with Kristina and Jeremy.


When we got off of the pirate ship, we landed in the quaint town of Hakone, at the bottom of the mountain we had been traveling up all day. Denise and I posed in front of a red archway before we got on the bus to go to the castle.

Here we are: Tomoko, Denise and me, at the sulfer springs. They boil eggs here in the hotsprings. However, the sulfer content is so high that the eggs come out BLACK! They are a popular treat for tourists. I had a bite myself. It tasted very similar to a hard boiled egg. Go figure!

The skilift.

Japanese girls we traveled with on the skilift. They screached whenever it looked like we were very high above the ground, which was basically the entire time. Next time I'll bring earplugs!

Tomoko and Tiffany.

Waterfall near Hakone noodle shop.

This is the PIRATE SHIP we took to get across the bay to Hakone!

Kristina and me in front of the pirate ship, ready to disembark.

The "bow" of the pirate ship. I'm not up on my pirateship terminology. Is this the hull?

Open Air Museum

On Sunday, March 26th, we went to the Hakone OPEN AIR ART MUSEUM. It was quite a treat. There are many Picassos at the museum, both indoor and outdoor. This was my first experience at an open air museum. It is on top of a mountain and is as breathtaking as the scenery around it. On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji. Of course, as luck would have it, it was not a clear day. But we enjoyed the trip nevertheless! Especially since Charles was there to give us the ultimate tour! Tamoko and Yurio were there to help Charles give us one of the best days we've had here yet!

My friend Joe thinks that I am the epitome of Americans. I have never thought of myself as a stereotype before, but when I got down on the ground to be a copycat of the sculpture beside me, he just thought my crossing over the "do not cross this line" sign was too much! He walked away pretending he did not know me. Of course, the "do not cross this line" was in Japanese, so poor me, I did not understand the Kanji!!!! Everyone walking by thought it was funny. No security guards came running after me. I think the picture speaks for itself! Of course, once I got on the train, my friend Chris said he would have photographed the top of the building in the background to make it look like the statue had jumped off. That would have probably made a better picture. Please use your imagination.

This was another piece of art. On the outside, it's a big tower. Charles, however, knew the secret passage to the inside tower. We walked in to the second floor. After I took the picture, I decided that was good enough for me, I did not feel that I had to walk all the way up. My friend Aaron, pictured below in front of PICASSO, complained that he regretted climbing to the top as he was already feeling the affects by 2:30 that afternoon.

Henry Moore sculptures numbered in the double-digits. They were quite impressive!

Dancing man on a hand.

Aaron and Tomoko (our law-school concierge) in front of the indoor Picasso exhibit. Although Picasso was outdoor as well!

Group Power!

This is a very famous Picasso sculpture entitled: MISS BLACK POWER. I loved it! I just don't know why her head is so small? Any art historians out there? Modern art specialists? Interpretive art?

These rotated all around. It was a moving exhibit, although you can't tell much from this picture.

World's largest pendulum.

This man looks cold!

I made a new friend on this trip to Hakone! Denise! She is a Ph.D. here from Philadelphia. She is here for 5 weeks to teach an MBA class. I plan to take her to a few cool places here in Tokyo!

I thought this picture was cool. There is a pathway that goes behind these 4 statues on the other side of the hill, but if you look at the 4 statues from this angle, it looks like they're coming toward you from the other side!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

St. Patrick's Day in Harajuku

So many of you sent me emails on my "Harajuku Goth" post, that I decided to have more fun in Harajuku on St. Patrick's Day!

Believe it or not, even though these girls are dressed to kill in really great costumes, they are actually painfully shy! They don't "mind" having their picture taken, however, you can tell that they do have to overcome some kind of shyness within to do it!

The bunny suit is a favorite in Harajuku. Everytime I go, there is someone wearing a bunny suit.

This guy was sitting by himself, but you could tell it was by choice. He was probably waiting for 2 or 3 hotties to join him after the parade.

These girls were fun. Dan took these pictures of me with the other Harajuku kids,

but then he wanted to get a picture with these girls too. He's a little weird sometimes, as you can see in the picture. You don't have to fake the smile, Dan!

Dan's friend teaches school in the States. She sent him this toy that the kids made. He takes it with him all around the world and takes pictures with it. He then emails the pictures back to his friend and she shows her students where in the world the doll is at the moment.

Here are some famous dogs that were in the parade. This is before the parade started. The owner of the dogs had them "chillin'" taking pictures in the sun with their sunglasses on. It was quite a sight! Most dog owners here in Tokyo dress their dogs in appearal everyday. Some even wear shoes!

Marching band

These girls were a little cold marching in the parade.

The tallest Japanese person I've ever seen!

Unicycle (background)