Tokyo Memories – Day 1: Ikebukuro From Above

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

Today’s post also includes the day we arrived, and then gets into our first full day in Tokyo!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day .5 December 13th, 2019 (arrival day)

We’ve finally arrived in Tokyo for the trip we’ve (okay, mostly me) been planning and prepping and dreaming all year. We had an overnight layover in Edmonton last night, then were up bright and early to head to Vancouver and finally Narita Airport.

Goodbye Canada!

As I write this we are riding the Narita Express train, which will whisk us to Ikebukuro where we will be staying (convenient if you have lots of luggage and want to avoid the busy train stations).

For this trip we’ve decided to stay in Tokyo rather than making additional trips around Japan. Our last trip in 2017 was AMAZING, and we had the time of our lives visiting onsen in Gunma and Kinosaki, exploring Kyoto, and so on

BUT

this trip we want to focus on the many, many things to do, see, and eat in Tokyo. ❤

We’re staying at the Sunshine Prince Hotel. Tonight we checked into our hotel and then pretty much fell into bed after a quick shower. zzzZZZzzzZZZ

This fancy butler dude was there to greet us upon our arrival at Sunshine Prince…

Day 1, December 14th, 2019

We started off our day with some konbini sandwiches and snacks, then headed out to do some shopping and exploring. It’s very busy in Ikebukuro today! The Pokemon centre was overwhelmingly packed full of people.

The shoes I packed have already destroyed my feet >.< and it’s much warmer here than we were expecting, our hotel room is very stuffy. But hey, we’re in Tokyo, I really can’t complain!

I don’t know if I have jet-lag or what, but I feel sort of weird today, like I’m in a state of depersonalization? I guess I can’t believe I’m finally here again. ❤

I got to visit a Rilakkuma store today, and WOW it was amazing. I spent a lot ^-^’ but I guess I was saving up for a long time so it’s ok, right? o.o’ The best thing I got was a big plush Rilakkuma and Friends xmas tree: it’s pink and beautiful and has little plush characters and xmas ornaments all over. So, in a way we have our own little xmas tree in our hotel room with us 🙂

Tonight we finished off our day by visiting the Sunshine 60 Observatory on the 60th floor of Sunshine City. We could see out to the night cityscape and played with some optical illusions and trick mirrors. I also tried out a VR experience where I got into a large cannon and it felt like I was being shot out.

Afterwards we had sushi on the 59th floor, and it was so fresh and delicious -_- mmmm. I complimented the sushi chefs (“oishiikatta!”) and they were very thankful. And then I was thankful because one of them came running after me as we were leaving and caught me at the elevator– I had left my phone on the table! >.<

Now we are tired, sore, and well-fed, and so ready for bed.

Check out day 2, Feeling Fancy in Harajuku, here !

Packing for Cosplaying at Cons: 15 Things To Bring

In a couple days I will be heading to Edmonton Comic Expo with my hubby! I’ll be cosplaying as Krul Tepes, and also presenting my panel There’s a Graphic Novel for Everyone (Yes, Even You!)

I’ve been packing everything up slowly but surely, and thought it would be fun to share some of my must-haves that I always bring to cons.

So, besides the obvious things to pack if you are traveling for a con (toiletries, your phone, your cosplay) here are some things that I always pack:

  1. Portable Steamer

I am such a big fan of steamers- they are so much easier and quicker for getting out wrinkles in everyday clothes or costumes than using an iron (which I have a tendency to accidentally burn my clothes with!!!)

The first con I ever went to, I hauled my gigantic stand-up steamer into the hotel room, and it was a pain in the butt, but I’ve since discovered portable steamers, and my life has never been the same. I bring this thing everywhere I travel!

2. Garment Bag

I bought this garment bag for one of my tap dance costumes, and it’s awesome for safely transporting my cosplay- I especially love the pockets in the front for storing little accessories and undergarments.

3. SFX bag

If you are doing a cosplay that involves any sort of blood, spirit gum, latex, etc. it’s good to have a separate bag for those. I always wrap up liquids because somehow they always manage to leak.

4. OH NOES pouch

My Mom bought this little pouch for me for my wedding, and it’s amazing. It has little mini versions of a bunch of items you might need in a pinch: breath drops, safety pins, deodorant, lip chap, floss, even itty-bitty containers of hairspray and clear nail polish!

A lot of cons have Cosplay Rescue/Repair booths now which may provide some similar items if you need a quick and simple fix or freshen up with your cosplay.

5. Bits and Pieces

Just to be on the safe side, I bring some extra scraps of material that match the ones I used for my cosplay- I haven’t had to use any yet, but I imagine I will be so glad I packed them if someday I get a sleeve caught on something, or bend over and hear a terrifying ripping sound!!!

6. Makeup Bag

I usually create a makeup bag specifically for the character I am portraying- it will include my basic everyday items (bb cream, powder, etc) as well as some more unique cosplay makeup like flesh colored lipstick, red eyeliner, and any other uncommon types needed for the look.

7. Hair and Wig Bag

Wigs are frustrating things, especially long ones. I’ve learned to wrap my wigs up gently, folding the hair strands into the bag. I also include detangler, a metal brush (metal won’t make your wig staticy) and gels and creams for styling, as well as wig caps, bobby pins, and other hair management stuff.

8. Tripod and Camera Accessories

Whether you are using your phone or a dedicated camera, it’s a good idea to bring a tripod, and maybe even a selfie stick- you might want to get pictures with groups who are cosplaying the same series as you, or you might find a really awesome photo location that makes you want to prop your camera up for the perfect shot.

9. Portable Charger

Portable chargers can be really useful if you will be relying on your phone for communication, transportation, information, or other ations. When I am traveling I often rely on google maps a lot to help me navigate, so I make sure to have a backup battery with me.

10. Catch-all bag

I’ve learned that, no matter how comprehensively I pack my travel bags, I like to have a giant bag to put all the smaller bags in- this is also useful if you are really busy and have to scramble to pack everything before checking out of your hotel at the end of your trip- just chuck everything into the bag and deal with it later! Winners stores as well as Ikea sell giant bags at the checkout counters that are pretty durable.

11. Shopping Bag

I always pack an extra bag to put any purchases in while i’m at the con- sometimes if you’re lucky you might get a nice bag when you check in to the con, but often bags are hard to come by and you might end up with lots of little bags from various vendors- it’s much easier to have a larger, sturdy bag to carry your goodies around in.

12. Water

A lot of cons have started offering free water from coolers, or maybe they have fountains, but some only have bottled water for sale, which is usually overpriced.

13. Ca$h Money $$$$$

While some vendors will likely have debit on demand, many will rely on cash at most cons. Right now I only have a partially ripped $20 and a few coins, but I’ll likely stop at my bank before leaving so I have cash on hand when I arrive and don’t get dinged with service fees at an ATM.

14. Business(?) Cards

Ok so these aren’t really business cards, but just cards with my social media handles on them. I usually run into a few like-minded people and it’s handy to have a card for sharing info to stay in touch!

15. Snacks

Sometimes at cons you get stuck waiting in a line for something for quite a while, or you are so active running around that you forget to take a break and eat something. In such cases, it’s very helpful to have a granola bar or some kind of snack to hold you over until you can get some proper food into your belly!

That’s all I can think of at the moment- did I miss anything? Happy con time!