I spent some time walking around from the hostel to Asakusa station. One of the things that I liked about the hostel I stayed is that I was able to see the Senso-ji shrine and pass trough the Nakamise dori ( a street full of souvenirs shops that goes straight to the Senso-ji shrine) in my way to the station. There was already a lot of preparations and activity for the Sumida fireworks festival that make me think on spending the whole day in Asakusa or going somewhere else and then go back…
At the end I went to Ueno, just a few stops from Asakusa station. I just mainly walked around Ueno Park. I think there was going to be an event at night but of course I would miss the fireworks for that… one of the thing that call my attention there was the Lotus pond in the Shinobazu Pond, it was full of lotuses covering the entire surface of the water, it didn’t look like a pond at all. I wonder if that has a meaning. I walked all around this park and went to see the several shrines that were there. One of my fav was the Benzaiten shrine that was in the middle of the Shinobazu pond. In one of the many shrines I saw, I made upset an obachan because I wasn’t supposed to take picture inside of the shrine, I don’t know what I was thinking that I didn’t saw the big sign “no pictures”. I don’t even saw the old woman trying to tell me no to take pictures, only after I put my camera down. I later notice her in the picture, too… I have some fun reading the Emas ( prayer boards left hanging up at the shrines, where the kami (gods) receive them) that people wrote. One of them that really caught my attention was one that says ”help me find my true self without hurting the ones I love” that kinda brought me back memories of my first years of high school.
After walking all around Ueno Park I went to have a walk in the streets of Ueno but I ended up in Akihabara. I wanted to explore more Ueno but after being walking and checking some stores in the Chou-dori (street) it just kept pulling me down till I got to Akiba ( the electric town ). I have to say that when I was younger and I was big fan of anime and video games. Akihabara must have been one of the cool places I would have liked to see so badly at that time, but now it didn’t caught too much my attention, except for the cosplay girls. I started to love anime when I was about 11 years old when the anime series Saint Seiya started to have a huge success in Mexico for the several years that lasted ( well, OVAs are still coming out ). It was not the typical cartoon so I became so obsessed with that series. I didn’t miss any episode and I actually taped all the episodes and rewatch them many times. It was because of this series and the many other popular anime that I started to like drawing, too… so thanks to anime and the Nintendo video games I used to play, is that now I’m so crazy about Japan as also introduced me to Japanese music, movies, doramas ( Japanese dramas of usually about 11 ep. ) and all that Japanese pop culture. The first Japanese drama I saw and that it totally got me hooked was Densha Otoko. It was about a typical Japanese geek (otaku) obsessed with anime and computer games that always hangs out in Akihabara, he intervened when a drunk man was harassing a woman ( Ito Misaki ) on a train and he ultimately begins dating her. It was so dam funny, it made laugh so much. After seeing that drama, I just wanted to see more and more J-doramas and J-movies up till now I can’t stop watching them. They are so good!. Walking around Akihabara it reminded me a lot of this drama…. Here again I made a girl dressed like maid upset because I took her picture. She gave me the big X with her hands and a kind of angry face… I thought they like their picture taken, but oh well, I was wrong. I just apologized to her and keep walking. After that, I actually ask for permission to some other girls in cosplay I came across or I just shoot it from the hip as I really don’t like posed pictures… BTW, I didn’t have the chance to go to one of those maid cafes where waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters. That would have been great, or MOE as the Otaku says, LOL.
I just mainly went to Akihabara to buy a lens as I was thinking too much if I should buy the cheap 50mm 1.8 or not for this trip in Chicago but at the end I run out of time and I didn’t order it. I looked in some camera stores in Akihabara but the price didn’t convince me. It was more expensive than in America. I thought prices for electronics were cheaper in Japan especially in Akihabara but it wasn’t. I should have looked also in other small stores, too… I really needed a cheap wider and low light lens for the fireworks of that night, at the end I just went to Yodobashi Camera and buy it from there. After testing the lens just outside the store, I totally regret buying it. I should have saved some more money and buy a wider one the 30 1.4 or the 50 1.4. The quality of the pictures is great but the lens wasn’t as wide as I thought, besides it is too slow to focus and too noisy that I can’t even do hip shots with it. This is the only day I used it. Well, I met I nice guy at the Shibuya crossing the next day and I lend it to him, so he could take some pictures of people there at night with me. I have to admit that he took some nice pictures with it but I still prefer my 85mm instead.