Dan In Japan: Day 7

Finally a day with not much to do. I had a pretty packed evening to look forward to, but an empty day and a hotel with a 1 ‘o clock checkout meant I was going to take the morning to recover from the double header of Disneysea and Ghibli. Once I’d crawled out of bed it was time to see what Shibuya looked like in the light of day.

Not much different it turns out! I figured I’d go back and visit my old mate Godzilla again who was still patiently sitting on top of the Toho cinema. Disappointingly you have to be staying at the adjacent Gracery hotel or eat at a pretty expensive restaurant to actually go onto the roof to get up close and personal with him. Maybe I’ll see how much money I have by the end of the trip!

The other place on my list of things to see was the robot restaurant. Essentially a dinner show with robots. I’m of 2 minds whether to visit properly, 1 because it’s 5000 yen (about £30) for an hour show and 2 because it’s in a pretty seedy area. I actually came down this street last night wanting to get a photo but I was continually harassed by guys wanting to take me to their club where there were “nice girls”. It’s the only time I’ve not felt entirely safe so far, so needless to say I couldn’t get a photo, but take my word for it, the building looks great when it’s all lit up

Today’s lie-in and all the walking around I’d been doing meant I was starting to get a little hungry, so I started to hunt for some food. The one good thing about Shinjuku station is that there are a LOT of restaurants, so I figured it would be the ideal place to find something. Hopefully something a little bit more Japanese than Hooters last night! Well at least that was the plan, until I came across Lotteria, a kind of fast food joint, but selling everything from burgers to sponge cake. Now I normally wouldn’t have shown any interest in this place, but a poster outside caught my eye…

For 4 days only, Lotteria special edition 10 patty burger! Oh my. It wasn’t until I looked at the price (1450 yen) that I realised that my eyes and stomach were bigger than my wallet! But what’s this? A 5 patty version for 750 yen? Perfect! Now I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best burgers I’ve had in a while, DEFINITELY one of the best I’ve had at a fast food restaurant. Part of me is now disappointed that by the time I post thisthe 4 days have passed and I can’t sample the 10 patty monstrosity:( Never mind.

At this point I’d pretty much seen everything I needed to see in Shinjuku, so it was time to head to Roppongi as I’d been invited to visit YouTube Space Tokyo! Ok, when I say invited, I applied to go to a taping of a show and I got an ‘invite’ back:) So I tackled the labyrinth that is Shinjuku station and made my way to Roppongi.

I had a couple of hours to kill before the show so I had a bit of a wander around the area to see what I could see. I found a lovely temple where there was a traditional Japanese wedding going on and then had a look around Roppongi Hills and came across a museum dedicated to the TV station TV Asahi. Oh and I found a Lego shop. That stuff is everywhere.

Then came the night’s real attraction. 6 ‘o clock rolled around and I headed to the lobby of the Mori building to join several dozen other people in being greeted by the staff of YouTube Space Tokyo! It may seem a bit sad but I have 2 ambitions- to get enough subscribers on YouTube to get a framed play button (it doesn’t have to be gold, I’m not picky!) and the other is to get to use YouTube space. Now for the play button you need hundreds of thousands of subscribers, to use YouTube Space you need 50,000. Granted we’re a long way off both, but it may happen one day! In the mean time, at least I can now say I’ve actually been!

The event I was there to see was a fan-meet/recording for a YouTube channel called Eat Your Kimchi, a channel run by a Canadian couple called Simon and Martina. They originally ran the channel from South Korea and featured videos about Korean life, food, music and all the weird and wonderful things they found while living there. Around 6 weeks ago they moved to Tokyo, where they’re pretty much doing the same thing, but now from a completely fresh perspective as they try to work their way through Japanese life. One thing that’s changed is that they’ve launched a weekly half hour show called ‘Eat Your Sushi’. This is what I was there to see.

Usually filmed in private at a different studio, they decided to try something out by inviting an audience to YouTube Space. Fortunately for me they decided to do it while I was in town! While YouTube Space in general looked awesome, their set looked amazing, and they’d lay out a buffet for us all including sake Kit-Kats and cupcakes with their faces (and their pets!) on! Plus during the recording of the show they announced they’d been to Yodabashi to buy everyone in the audience capsule toys as a thank you! Their generosity knows no bounds!

After a while of just enjoying being there (and eating ALL OF THE KIT-KATS) Simon and Martina came out and put on the show. They had a Q&A (where they answered my question:) and then hung around for about an hour and a half talking to everyone and taking photos! Fortunately I was pretty close to the front of the queue so didn’t have to wait long, but ended up staying another 45 minutes talking to a lovely fellow fan about Tokyo and a few other things. I won’t go on too much so as to not inflate her ego if she reads this (haha) but that was one of the many highlights of the night, and not just because it had been a good week since I’d had a conversation with anyone in English!

Once the event was drawing to a close, I grabbed my capsule toy gift (I got a Gudetama:) and another Kit-Kat for the road and headed home. And that was my night. The episode is due to go up next Monday (14th of March) so, once I’ve made sure there are no shots of me looking like an idiot, I’ll share it on the our Twitter and Facebook.

Tomorrow I have another day of fan-boying out I’m afraid (in fact, tomorrow and Monday BOTH involve a LOT of this!) so I’ll apologise now if the coming days don’t sound as exciting as my day at Disneysea, but to me they’re actually way better! All will be revealed shortly.

See you!

Dan

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