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Tulipfields around Sakura City

Every year at the beginning of march the tulip season starts in japan. In Sakura City (Chiba prefecture) you can find a huge field full of different tulips from around the world. In the middle of the field is a beautiful windmill from the Netherlands which has a small museum inside. If you going at the end of march to the fields, you might be lucky to see most of the tulips fully bloomed. But every tulip is different and has different blooming time.  I love to walk around the fields and see the big variety of flowers. Also for around 500 Yen you can collect 10 tulips from the fields and bring them back to home. The good thing about tulips is that they come back every year again. For your entertainment you can listen to a school choir or dress up in a typical Netherlands dress with wood shoes. Also you can have lunch at the nearby restaurant and food stands.I visit that place every year because I like the nice atmosphere of the fields in the countryside and it gives me a little feeling of being back to Europe.

Packing Truths I Wish I'd Known Before Moving To Japan

Don't pack it. All the things you think that you need, you don't. This is me packing for Japan. Every. Single. Time. Don't be this way, learn my lessons. I know, I know. You're feeling all the feels about your stuff. You need all the things. You don't know what you'll be able to buy here in Japan, let alone if products will suit you or if clothes will fit you. I'll let you in on a little secret:People live in Japan, if not happily at least successfully, every day. Every thing that you need for your new life in Japan is already here. Why not take the opportunity to embrace the Japanese lifestyle wholeheartedly? Let go of worldly possessions from your old life and start fresh when you arrive. In saying that, there are a few comfort items you may choose to pack...I've travelled between my home country and Japan quite a few times in the past several years. I always over pack. Always. Without fail. I am THE foreigner lugging the biggest suitcase (recently I discovered I was allowed to take two bags and OMGosh...) around the airport. However, over time, my packing priorities have changed. At first, I filled my suitcase with a whole new wardrobe. Why did I do that? Well there is this persistent rumour that foreigners can't buy clothes in Japan. So I packed everything plus doubles of my essentials. Brand new work outfits, gym clothes, party dresses, underwear, pajamas... Guess what? The shopping is better in Japan. Yes, sizing is different, things don't always fit perfectly and you'll need to shop around, but I need to do that in my home country anyway. What space was left in my suitcase I filled with toiletries; toothpaste, makeup, face wash, deodorant, moisturiser, sunscreen, etc. Do you know how much those things weigh? A lot! Know something else? You can buy them all online! Websites like iHerb, Amazon JP, and StrawberryNet are just a few that supply toiletries. That's if you can't buy your favourite brands here in Japan anyway. Better yet, you may discover new ones you love more. Don't go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. You can buy clothes here, obviously, Japan is not a land of naked people. If you wear larger sizes, check out international stores like H&M or shop online at ASOS. Clothes bought in country will suit the climate and for Australians, clothes are so much cheaper here!!! Do pack a couple of loved items or unique pieces to comfort you when you're homesick.You might be wondering, what, if anything, do I pack these days? Here is a my basic list. For my husband (who lives off nothing and believes that even putting butter on your toast with peanut butter is extravagant): ToothpasteJocksSocksDeodorantThe end.According to him...For my baby:Teething gelPain reliefFood sachetsEnglish toys and booksOnly bring these items for immediate use. You can order more from iHerb and Amazon JP, but it saves you needing to tackle the local baby store and drug store amidst settling into a new country.For myself:Pretty shoes (my feet are 28cm, but I buy men's joggers here because they're cheaper and really nice)Briefs (by choice for my comfort, you can buy briefs here, yes in large sizes too)One of each key beauty product; face wash, deodorant, foundation, shampoo and conditioner for curly hair (again, buy more from iHerb or settle in to your new country and try their products, my favourite face wash and foundation are now from Japan) Birth control (yes, you can get it here, but it takes up minimal space in your luggage and is one less immediate hurdle to tackle in Japanese)Cooking supplies! These are my new favourite essential. Pack items that are light, small, and go far; spices, gravy, marinades, powdered soup mixes, rubs, sauces, jelly crystals, etc. If you've got luggage allowance, throw in a couple of plain cake mixed too, cake is awesome in Japan, but not as awesome as people will think you are if you can produce a homemade batch of perfectly risen cupcakes. Snacks. You think you'll share them, but you won't. That 1kg box of Cadbury Favourites you packed to share around the office? I give it a week before you've convinced yourself that your Japanese friends and colleagues are happy with the touristy pens you gave them and that what they don't know they're missing won't hurt them. Go on, slip into your pajamas and eat your treats. That's it.According to me anyway. Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow my blog to hear more from my whitty, informative self. { Ashes }P.S. If you have any packing tips or favourite items be sure to leave a comment below this article. Better yet, note down anything you regret packing. Obviously for me it was clothes. Why on earth did I think I needed so many clothes...

Living In Japan Makes You Fluent In Japanese

What would I have like to have known before I arrived in Japan? Well...There’s this crazy idea floating around – kind of like when you step in dog poop and the smell lingers with you all day… It’s that nasty. The idea is that living in Japan magically gives you fluency in Japanese. Sorry to burst your bubble (how is it in there with the rainbows and unicorns?), but no, it doesn’t. Shall I lecture you about why?No expectations. Japanese people don’t expect you to speak Japanese. In fact, sometimes they are disappointed when you do! So, gestures and single words are enough to survive in daily life. Why study more? A quick look at my weekday routine; walk to the station, catch the train (buy my ticket at a machine), stop at the convenience store on the walk to work, teach all day in English, converse all day in English with my colleagues (as per the schools request to maintain an 'all English' teacher), walk to the station, catch the train (buy my ticket on the train because it's a small stop with no machine), stop by the supermarket on my walk home, arrive home to my fellow foreign husband with whom I speak English. Now not everyone will live like this, but how many times do I get to use Japanese in a day? I say good morning to my local convenience store staff and comment on the weather, buy my return train ticket from the conductor on the train, and say good evening and again comment on the weather to the supermarket staff. That's it. Each of these conversations can be avoided or completed with minimal Japanese. I have to really push myself to use Japanese even though I live in Japan. How do I learn anything? I spend my weekend with Japanese friends and talk as much as possible to them.  But... On to my next issue...Japanese people can speak English. Whether or not they ‘do’ is another story. But with the people who do want to talk to you, you may have to fight a battle of languages and wills to see which language emerges victorious. Basically, you have 30 seconds to wow them with your Japanese before they decide their English ability is higher and switch the conversation to English. Thus ensues your capitulation into the comfort of speaking English, or an awkward exchange between their English contribution and your stubborn insistence on using Japanese. Good luck…Active listening takes work! Yes, you are surrounded by Japanese all day but it is too easy to tune it out. You actually have to train your brain to recognise Japanese speech as words, until you do that it is no more than background noise like birds or cars driving past.Comfort of fellow foreigners. Because let’s face it, no one will understand your complaints, your humour, and oh boy your sarcasm like your foreign friends will. Try not to fall into the trap of the security and familiarity they offer. Put yourself out there and make some Japanese friends.So if living in Japan doesn’t make me fluent in Japanese, then why in the world am I trying so hard to get there? Because living in Japan provides you with the best opportunity to become fluent. It is up to you to use that opportunity. Just like any other tool, if you don’t pick it up and use it, it won’t do anything for you by itself. Unfortunately this particular tool doesn’t come with a user manual.If your goal in moving to Japan is to achieve fluency in Japanese, you may need to consider making a plan to get yourself actively learning and using Japanese. Here are a few strategies I find have helped me:SHADOWING:This method of study involves listening and repeating Japanese phrases after a recording. Whether it is single vocabulary words, basic greetings, or longer phrases and conversations, repeating after a recording of a native speaker can help increase your speaking speed, improve your listening skills, and also help you pick up on the nuances in tone and accent. You can begin shadowing before you come to Japan to be as prepared as possible to begin speaking when you arrive. I have used the 'Let's Speak Japanese' series and love it!TV:Don't underestimate the power of repetition. When you arrive in Japan, get a TV. There is a fee for owning a TV but aside from entertainment think of it as an investment in your studies too. Every day, listen to the same morning show and the same evening news program. You might surprise yourself with how soon you begin to understand greetings, the weather, locations, and other daily life vocabulary. Not to mention, you'll have conversation topics in common with your colleagues or students because you'll be watching the same TV shows they do.LABELS:Really. Label your house. Label your bathroom products, label your handbag contents, label your pantry contents, label everything. Before you come to Japan learn to read some basic products and items and it will make your daily life so much easier. Don't worry. there will be plenty of vocabulary words remaining for you to master when you get here.Overall, you will have more exposure to Japanese being IN Japan than outside of it. But I think many people arrive with lofty expectations and are disappointed. How hard I'd need to push to live in Japanese is something I wish I'd known before I came to Japan.{ Ashes }

Easy Yaki Onigiri Recipe { 焼きおにぎり }

焼きおにぎりYaki onigiri are something I always order at Japanese pubs! Grilled coated in soy sauce, served hot with a dab of melting butter, yaki onigiri are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and a pleasure to eat. So overpriced in pubs, but nothing compares to the smoky flavours the onigiri picks up from meat or fish previously cooked on the same grill. Mmm…Recently I received glorious news from a teacher at work – you can freeze yaki onigiri! Say whaaaat??? Not that I ever have leftovers on the rare occasion I make yaki onigiri, but today the craving struck me and I headed straight home after work to make a double batch!In case you are wondering, onigiri are those little triangle shaped rice balls, a super popular lunch and convenience food in Japan. ‘Yaki’ means ‘grilled’. So yaki onigiri translates as ‘grilled rice balls’. In my opinion, all the best foods in Japan have the word ‘yaki’ in them; yakitori, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, teriyaki, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, yakiniku…Yaki onigiri are super simple, once your rice is cooked, you can whip up some yaki onigiri in ten minutes! Below I’ve shared a recipe for making basic yaki onigiri, and instructions for freezing and reheating your yaki onigiri. Go on, give it a go.YAKI ONIGIRIEasy Yaki OnigiriINGREDIENTS* Cooked sushi rice or short grain rice* Soy sauceOptional:* Oil or butter for grilling* Butter for serving* Salt for plain onigiriMETHODCook your rice as per instructions.Shape into onigiri triangles. It is optional whether you salt your hands or not as you will be putting soy sauce on your onigiri later.Heat the grill to medium temperature, lightly grease with butter or oil if you like, and place your onigiri on top. Let them grill for several minutes on one side. Don’t move them. If you’re worried about the heat grill them on low for longer.Turn your onigiri over and grill the other side for several minutes. Again, let them rest, don’t check constantly and move them.Baste one side of your onigiri with soy sauce. Don’t drown them!Grill the onigiri again, basted side down. Repeat steps 5 and 7 with the other side of the onigiri. If you prefer a strong soy flavour to your onigiri, continue to baste and grill each side until it is as you like it.Serve your yaki onigiri hot off the grill with a dab of butter.TIPSGrilling your onigiri after you cook meat or fish in a pan adds an absolutely amazing flavour! If you think of it, next time you cook meat freeze some drippings and use it to grease the grill when you make your onigiri. You can use other sauces instead of soy sauce. Soy sauce is most common, but yaki onigiri would be delicious made with any smokey, salty sauces. I’ve heard that yaki onigiri came about as a way to enliven day old rice balls that had gone slightly stale and crunchy. Don’t hesitate to grill any onigiri, regardless of the filling, and turn them into yaki onigiri. No need to put a dab of butter on onigiri that you plan to freeze. You can add it when you reheat them to eat.How to freeze yaki onigiri:After cooking your yaki onigiri and while they are still warm, wrap each individual onigiri tightly in cling wrap.Place the wrapped onigiri in a zip lock bag or seal-able container. Freeze.How to reheat yaki onigiri:Reheating your onigiri is easy. Simply microwave until warmed through. Most microwaves have a warming setting. Do leave each onigiri in the plastic wrap while you reheat them otherwise they will dry out.Whatever you do, don’t leave your onigiri to thaw! Whether you plan to eat your onigiri immediately or later the same day, you need to reheat them in the microwave from frozen. Microwaving them preserves the texture of your onigiri. If you let them defrost, the outside will be crunchy, and not because you grilled them, and the inside will be mush. You can thaw your onigiri in the microwave, pop them in your lunch box and eat them later in the day for lunch at work.  I’ve always been impressed by the busy teachers who stay at work until 9pm yet still have cute and delicious looking onigiri in their lunch each day. Lies all lies! Apparently the secret is making a whole batch of onigiri on the weekend and freezing them to microwave each morning and pack in bentos for lunch. They look so moist and lovely, I’d never have guessed. The secret is out and now we can all enjoy yaki onigiri whenever the craving strikes! Cheers also to making lunch more convenient, and fooling everyone into thinking we’ve totally got our lives organised.Happy grilling!{ Ashes }P.S. Make yaki onigiri for your food cautious friends when they visit you in Japan. I've yet to have anyone decline or not finish their homemade yaki onigiri!

Frozen Fantasy at Tokyo Disneyland

As many things are seasonal changing in Japan, also Tokyo Disney Resort has changing events all over the year. At the moment the special event “Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” is hold at Tokyo Disneyland. I visited there on February 11th and want to give you a small impression what is so special right now.  According to the name “Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” this event is themed to the famous Disney movie Frozen and you can find a unique parade, decorations, food and more of it. Notice, the event is only held from January 13 to March 17 this year. 1) Frozen Forever – the highlight of this year’s event. At nighttime a projection lights up Cinderella Castle with famous scenes out of the movie telling a story about Anna and Elsa. Music is played and snow will fall down while even fireworks are shown in the air. 2) Frozen Fantasy Parade – Disneyland is well known for its parades and certainly there is a special parade while this event. See Anna, Elsa and their friends driving through the park on big floats and enjoy the atmosphere. 3) Anna and Elsa’s Winter Greeting – a show for only children. The villagers of Arendelle will teach them a dance and later Anna, Elsa and Olaf join them to perform the famous song “Let it go” together. 4) Food and merchandise – Japan is famous for themed-food and for sure there have to be some themed food at this event. A special buffet is offered for ¥ 3,090 which is quite expensive. But don’t worry there are some other cheaper food sets and snack available inside the different restaurants all over Disneyland. And don’t forget to take a look into the merchandise shops – many new goods of Frozen characters have been released for this event. 5) Decoration – all over the park you can find decoration referring to Frozen. Find Olaf smelling on flowers or little snowmen playing around. Keep your eyes open! If you are a fan of Frozen you should definitely try to go there and be a child for one day (^_~) Ready for a photo spam? Here we go!

Counting the cost of surfing in Japan

One of the worst things about being a surfer in Japan, or any nation for that matter, are those days when there's no surf. Even worse than this are those days when close study of swell, wind, and weather charts tells you that they'll be no surf of a Saturday morning so you wake up late. But then you flip on the webcam out of curiosity only to find that there is, in fact, surf! It sounds petty (and it is) but it's enough to make a surfer weep.  So it is this Saturday morning that I find myself making matters worse by doing a bit of surf kit itinerary check and reflecting on how much it costs to go surfing in Japan.The timing isn't completely arbitrary. Last month I picked up a new wetsuit to get me through Japan's winter surf. After a session last weekend during which I could no longer feel the tips of my fingers and a case of 'ice cream' head that made it a bit tricky to focus, I promptly went out and bought gloves and a hood/cap. I was hoping to give them a run out today. Anyway, I'll add this to some of the other surfing bells and whistles that make up my surfing in Japan kit and wince at how much all of this has cost me. Starting from the top ... Wetsuit cap/hood I picked this up from a Murasaki Sports in Shin-Ochanomizu. They seemed to be having a 20%-off sale on a lot of their surf clobber (maybe a January sales thing). This is a 'large' size cap/hood from TABIE REVO (no idea). It's 3mm and has an extended neck that can tuck into the wetsuit. I felt like a complete plonker trying it on but it slipped on like a favorite sock and certainly feels warm. It's a little tight on the jaw but hopfully that'll prevent the teeth from chattering. Cost: 3,680 yen (with tax) Gloves Same store, same brand. 'Large' size. Black with a rather loud purple lining. These are 3mm. I recon I've got pretty winter resistant hands. I never wear gloves in day-to-day-life so I'm confident that I won't need to step up to 5 mm. Cost: 3,440 yen (with tax) *Surfing in Japan hack: I got 2,000 yen off the above due to points aquired from the purchase of the wetsuit below. Wetsuit I picked this up in December from a store called The Suns, again in Shin-Ochanomizu. The Suns has some sort of relationship with Murasaki Sports and they'll give you a point card that you can use in both. I'm not one for shopping around, it bores me stupid. I went in, said I had a budget of around 50,000 yen and was looking for something that could keep me surfing in January, maybe February, and then back again in March, in the central/north Chiba breaks. The kind worker picked out this Super Freak by O'NEILL. It's 5 mm on the legs and body. 3 mm on the arms. I love it! It's really easy to paddle in, gives me at least an hour of super warmth before things start to get a little chilly, and is nice and easy to slip on. The same can't be said about getting it off at the end though. Also, at 3 mm, the arms aren't the warmest. Still, I'm really happy with it. Cost: around 52,000 yen (with tax) Booties I don't know why we have to call them 'booties' instead of just 'boots'. Mixed feelings about these booties from Feel. I've had them for a few years now though. They start off warm but they don't half let a lot of water in. I can feel them weighing me down at the back end of a session. They're a nightmare to take off once you get back to the car. I have to 'peel' in stages which is the last thing you want to be doing when your freezing to death. Cost: It was a long time ago, but I think around 5,000 yen The stick I got this from a large secondhand store near the beach in Chiba (not one of the 'OFF' chain). It's a 6,2; a great all-round board for this part of Japan. It cost 15,000 yen. I've not idea how old it is but it works like a dream. Along with my smartphone (depressing, but yes), laptop, and electric blanket, it's one of my most valued possessions. The picture was taken in Bali (but I wish Chiba looked like that). Cost: 15,000 yen Leash The old one snapped last month. Just old age as, luckily, the waves that day were little tiddlers. I got this leash/leg rope from a local store here in Urayasu, Chiba. It's by CREATURES OF LEISURE. It's a 'standard' thickness and 2 m in length. I like the 'quick release' pully thing and the bright blue color. Cost: 5,000 yen Board bag A trip to Bali on an LCC airline forced me into buying a new, more streamline, board bag. I detailed that in a post here. The bag is from TRANSPORTER. It's light and slim and can only handle one board. I got it from The Suns. Cost: 7,000 yen Kit bag This was a gift, and I love it. It's got a water proof and insulated lining. The showers at my regular surf spot are cold so I can fill up some bottles with hot water and in this thing they'll still be nice and warm when I'm out after a session. Cost: It was a gift so rude to ask. Anyway, this is years old now but I found similar items online for around 5,000 yen Trinkets Key holder - can't remember and given the above costs, negligible Hot gel - 2,000 yen Board wax - 280 yen I've started so I might as well carry on with this cost of surfing in Japan business. Travel costs I'm about a 45 min drive from my regular break. I use one toll road/highway which costs me 880 yen (with an ETC card) one way. I'm not exactly sure but the buzzy little 'k car' Daihatsu that I drive requires about 4,000 yen to fill the tank with gas and I can squeeze four beach trips out of that. Parking is 500 yen (at the beach). While a lot of my Japanese surfer counterparts are lighting up pre-surf cigarettes I'm trying to give this spindly frame of mine all the help in the water it can get. Every morning before setting out I buy two packs of energy gel (weider ENERGY IN), a 4-stick pack of Calorie Mate, and packet of biscuits, all from the local Family Mart. This comes in at around 600 yen. On the way back I make a stop at a highway service station to ditch the rubbish and down a can of vending machine coffee (130 yen - it's a highway service stop after all). The cost of surfing in Japan: Budget summary Kit Wetsuit cap/hood  3,680 yenGloves3,440 yenWetsuit52,000 yenBooties5,000 yenThe stick15,000 yenBoard bag7,000 yenLeash5,000 yenKit bag5,000 yenTrinkets3,000 yen (est)Point card discount- 2,000 yenTotal: 97,120 yenTravel ...Highway tolls1,760 yenGas1,000 yenParking500 yenSnacks and coffee730 yenTotal: 3,990 yenOver the course of year, maybe I average four surfs a month and two bars of wax (summer / winter) Total: 191,520 yen Absent from this list are ... a very old, and thinner, wetsuit: 30,000 yen board shorts (they're redundant right now and are packed away somewhere): 7,000 yen the first board I bought in Japan (which I no longer use): 30,000 yen a car (not necessarily an essential for surfing in Japan, but this is more than likely going to be the case): not saying - this will make my eyes water I had though that doing this cost of surfing itinerary check was going to make me puke but the totals are actually not as high as I feared. Don't get me wrong, I could be buying a couple of flight tickets home to see the family with this, and around 4,000 yen for a surf session seems high. However, one could easily drink 4,000 yen away weekly in weekend drinks (which I rarely do). No, for me, surfing in Japan is emphatically worth it. In fact, I'm not sure I could put a real price on it. Well, no, I probably have a limit but I'm not sure where that is and given that work prevents me from surfing on weekdays, I'm unlikely to find it right now. Anyway, I hope this has helped any prospective surfers in Japan get an idea of how much it costs and what kind of surf gear you can get over here with what kind of money. More of my surfing in Japan stuff ... An Introduction To Surfing In JapanThe Best Surf Shops in Tokyo

Tokyo Comic Con 2016: Cosplay and kit in images

Tokyo Comic Con 2016 wrapped up today after it's weekend residence at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall, Chiba.  This year was the first Tokyo Comic Con, the brain child of  Tokyo Comic Convention Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Munegumi, who spotted a need to quench the thirst for American comic books and Hollywood produced movies amongst Japanese readers and enthusiasts.  Stars at Tokyo Comic Con included a 93-year-old Stan Lee, the man who helped bring into our live's comic book legends like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, X-Men ... a staggering list, basically.  Jeremy Renner (the dude from Hurt Locker) was also floating around somewhere, presumably on the back of his character Hawkeye in the Avengers movies.  Those who like their sci-fi of a older vintage would have enjoyed the prospect of meeting Lance Henriksen who played the android Bishop in Aliens.When you hear or read the noun phrase 'comic con', those in the relative know will likely think of the San Diego Comic-Con (with a hyphen).  By all accounts, Tokyo Comic Con cannot compare its Californian counter part in size or scale, nor is it as big, noisy, and sexy as the Tokyo Game Show.  But it's still a lot of fun.The first Tokyo Comic Con laid out it's stall early doors; as soon as you entered the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, and KITT from Knight Rider lay in wait, and you knew that American productions were ruling the roost at this convention.  The Stan Lee influence was best reflected in the number of Spider-Man cosplayers  wandering among the booths.  Batman, The Joker, and Stormtroopers (along with other Star Wars characters), were also well represented by the delightfully bonkers cosplayers in attendance on the Sunday.A lot of the booths at Tokyo Comic Con displayed/sold models of super hero mainstays.  Some of the detail that goes into these things is staggering.  As are some of the prices they were selling for (this blogger didn't see much money changing hands other than at the official Tokyo Comic Con souvenir area).  But whilst most models seemed to be aimed at collectors, there were plenty of 'cute' versions of Spider-Man et al going for far more accessible prices.  There were a couple of spaces at Tokyo Comic Con for cosplayers to pose and for regular visitors to take photos.  It probably doesn't need to be said, but the visitors with the best photography kit were the otaku, and they weren't really interested in the dudes dressed as Spider-Man.  At the other end of the scale, plenty of giddy tourists were bouncing off the walls in the their attempts to take a selfie with the maddest/cutest cosplayers they could latch onto.   Video game, and soon-to-be movie, Assassin's Creed had a pretty big presence at Tokyo Comic Con, as did Japanese staple Biohazard (Resident Evil to everyone else).  Star Wars fans also had plenty to get their teeth into, including the chance to mess around with some lightsabers, debate about whether or not to pick a very smart looking 'coffee table' book, and ogle models/figures that basically most of us can't justify buying.  This blogger enjoyed the chance at Tokyo Comic Con to check out props and replicas from movies which included some bit and bobs from the Alien and Predator stories.As the for the sex-sells (or sex-increases-the-chance-that-you'll-go-home-with-our-flyers) ethos that you can find at, say, the Tokyo Game Show or any exhibit that involves cars/motorbikes, well it was at Tokyo Comic Con, too, just less of it.  With all the fantastic cosplayers wandering around, it seemed a bit pointless and boring anyway.  Enough of the words and on to the pictures.  Here are images taken by me of cosplayers and kit at Tokyo Comic Con 2016.Toys, props, originals, and replicasIron Man outside the Hot Toys boothGodzilla seems to have a goofy grin from this angle.T-800 (Terminator) gets a change of look with the lights.DeLorean (Back to the Future)KITT (Knight Rider)CooProps use the original moulds to recreate props from classic movies like Predator and the Alien franchise.  Some of the models/figures from Prime Studio 1 drew a lot of attention from both fans and regular visitors.  The attention to detail is quite frankly jaw dropping. The Pop collection of toys from Funko do a sterling job of blending 'cool' and 'cute'.Tokyo Comic Con CosplayAs I said earlier, there were two 'cosplay' zones at Tokyo Comic Con, as well as cosplayers walking between booths, contests, and special events/photo session organized by exhibitors.  There had been a bit of furore online about a decision by organizers to prevent males dressing up as females for the purposes of cosplay at this convention.  I can't remember what became of this bizarre decision, but I don't recall seeing any 'crossdressing' cosplayers (on the male side) which might have been to the detriment of the spectacle.  I don't know.Data storage device producer drobo organized a cosplay session on the Sunday.There were plenty of Star Wars cosplayers to spot Tokyo Comic Con.This blogger arrived at Tokyo Comic Con early afternoon on the Sunday.  Given the swarms of people pouring out of Kaihimmakuhari Station I had that sinking feeling that getting into the convention was going to be a major hassle.  It wasn't, and it wasn't that crowded around the booths either.  I got my 'ticket on the day' within about 5 mins (2,000 yen) and after security had a cursory look inside my bag, I was in amongst the action.  There's a bit a food court in there, and when you exit you get a stamp on the hand that'll let you back in again.  Website (Japanese): http://tokyocomiccon.jp/ 

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