Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Japan Trip Day 3: Odaiba, The Art of Gundam exhibition

You can judge me as crazy because I don't think noone in the right mind will want to wake up at 530am in the morning during their holiday in a foreign land just to do laundry. That was what I did this morning. Lol.. The washing machine had no English instructions and I just randomly pressed the buttons. I had a little hiccup with the dryer which did not seem to work initially. I was quite pissed with the hotel as the staff told me that they could not do anything to the machine and asked me to go nearby hotel to use their dryer. What the heck?? There is a typhoon going on here and you expect me to carry a bundle of wet laundry across the road? Jeez.. I tried a bit of force and bang the machine and thank goodness, it worked. My friend told me that I could borrow iron and ironing board as mentioned in the website. I called the front counter who had no idea what I was talking about. I came down and I realised my England was too powerful. I should say "ai-Ren" instead of "ai-en". I was wrong not to emphasize the R.

We had breakfast at our room and my friend helped to buy some food from 711. The food was amazing and it made me realise that I was more into those 711 food than the restaurant food. Lol.. I guess there are a lot of Japanese food in Singapore (ramen, sushi, tempura, curry) which are pretty authentic already that I don't find the ones in Japan that special anymore. But those prepacked food at konbinis are amazing as they feel fresh and new. They don't feel or taste prepacked at all.

It was still raining when we left so I decided to get a Japanese umbrella although I had my blue umbrella. After the trip to Kyoto yesterday, I realised my blue umbrella is too small and it looks ugly in pictures. Those are the main reasons, not the rain. Lol.

We went to Odaiba and I really could not keep track how many different train systems Japan has. The train from Shimbashi to Odaiba is definitely not a JR. The Rainbow Bridge is impressive and it really reminds me of the San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The view of along the way is also amazing. The rain sort of stopped as we walked from to DiverCity. I wanted to take pictures but decided to take on our way back since I was way to excited to see the life size Gundam.

Taking photo with the Gundam turned out to be a bad experience as it just confirmed that something really fucked up with my camera setting. All the images were washed out. I knew that my camera should perform excellently under well lit conditions and it never produced these rubbish washed out images. Bleah.. It was not raining but was very windy. I liked this kind of weather. Furthermore, there were very few tourists so I was able to take photos with Gundam without strangers at the back.
We then went up to Gundam Front Tokyo on the top floor. I would say it was too dark to be able to take good pictures with 1:1 Strike Freedom Bust or any other props available. Dome-G seems amazing on the paper but I think nothing special when watching the show inside. Staring at the ceiling while watching the short video only made my neck tired. My favourite is the Character Photo Spot which allows to me to take pictures next to a digital projection of my favourite Gundam characters. There were not so many people so I was thick skinned enough to hog 1 spot. Sadly, the photo taking experience was frustrating. When captured in the camera, sometimes the digital projection appeared as black screen, uneven screen tones, blinking images, etc. To spare my friend from the agony of taking those photos, I had to settle with only 5 Gundam Wing pilots and Relena only :(
Sadly Kira is only a piece of cardboard :(
Character Photo Spot
Never ever say "I am not going to buy anything" again! I said that yesterday and I ended up shopping at Kyoto. Today it happened again. Ouch.. I was pretty confident that I would return empty handed as there is no new Gundam models that I am aiming for. Well, I did not get Gundam models but I ended up with several artbooks about Gundam Front Tokyo and a 400-page artbook which was released for 30th Anniversary of Gundam. FYI, this year is Gundam's 35th Anniversary. Yep, I am late for 5 years. One great thing about the shop is that they have sample/display for each book to browse through. Sadly, the artbook that I bought was placed in a glass case haha... I asked the shopkeeper if the artbook is full of coloured pictures. He said yes although I was doubtful if he understood my question but I decided to take the risk. The book is very heavy and I estimate the weight to be at least 5kg.

It was raining heavily when we were done so we decided to eat lunch here while waiting for the storm to pass. The rain stopped temporarily to allow us to walk back to the train station without opening umbrella. But with me carrying the damn bloody book, my wish of taking photos on the way back simply evaporated. Sadly, with only a little bit more to reach the station, the storm came back. It was very quick and by the time I opened my umbrella, I was already drenched. Bleah.. My mood began to go downhill with my aching arms and drenched shoes.

The journey to the Art of Gundam Exhibition at Roppongi was really frustrating. Finding coin locker was surprisingly so difficult when we wanted it the most. When we found one, only 100 yen coins are accepted and we happened to run out of coins as well! What a luck! Finding the place was also a nightmare because we went to a wrong art center at the start and it started to rain heavily midway again.

I did not really enjoy the exhibition as it is mostly devoted to the original Mobile Suit Gundam instead of all the various Gundam series. Not of a fan of the art style from decades ago but I take my hat off to the creators. I know cartoon/animation was done in the past and yet I still find it amazing to see how many sets of drawings just to create one explosion scene with simply lines and shadings to show the burst of lights etc. However, I think the opening special theatre is genius as it allows us to experience what it feels to be on the deck of the main battleship while doing atmospheric descent, including enemy attack and RX-78 being launched to protect the ship. I definitely enjoyed it better than the Dome-G in the morning.
The only photo I took at the Exhibition
Since the special edition Wing Gundam model sold during this exhibition was already sold out, I had nothing to buy. I was wrong... again... My friend showed me a folder with Gundam Wing pictures. Obviously I bought it. I also bought some postcards. I actually bought 2 sets for those with Gundam Wing pictures.

I decided that I had enough for the day and the weather was also not getting any better. My friend still went to Akiba so I asked for his help to get me a memory card reader to transfer my photos. Meanwhile I decided to try the food at a cafe near the hotel. The green tea latte was rubbish as there was too much milk that I could not taste the green tea at all. The chicken avocado sandwich was pretty good. On my way back, I decided to buy more food from 7-11: spaghetti, wasabi-flavoured tortilla chips, and avocado cheese potato chips.

Back at the hotel, I realised that the typhoon was really bad and some areas even had flooding. No wonder I received whatsapp messages asking if I was affected by the flood. Initially I was like "huh? what is going on?". Seeing how bad the weather today is, we made the correct decision to delay our Hakone and Disneyland trips. I can't imagine how suck it will be if it is raining like this at Disneyland especially. According the forecast, today was the peak of the typhoon and the weather should improve in the next few days. We shall see...

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