Friday, 19 March 2010

Things I plan to see in Tokyo

3 weeks to go 3 weeks to gooooo!! 21 little days and I will be on that plane to the other side of the world!

I'll take some time to post about what I actually want to see in Japan so you guys have an idea about what to expect from this blog in the future. I know I'll want to pack everything into the first week but I'm gonna try and spread them out over the course of my year. Just to try and keep things interesting.

1) Tsukiji fish market. THE LARGEST FISH MARKET IN THE WORLD! They handle more that 400 different types of sea food! Now thats amazing!! Anyone who knows me knows I love food. And I love sea food! To be surrounded by 2000 metric tonnes of the stuff is going to be heaven for me. I'm sure I'm gonna see some really weird shit there (lots of fish guts ick) but OMG this has to be experienced, just so I can sit there and say "Hey, I've eaten the freshest sushi you can get"

Oh ho ho come to me fishies Om nomnommm...I bet this place stinks of niceness.

2) Sensoji aka Asakusa Kannon temple. The oldest temple in Tokyo, built for the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon in 645 (fuck thats a long time ago....I mean....FUCK) ...seriously LOOK at this place

Old Japanese architecture is mind-blowing. The details, the shape of the roofs, the COLOURS. I just love them. It's a shame more of the old buildings haven't survived the earthquakes and bombs of the last few centuries, they're so beautifully crafted and inspirational. If you woke up in one of these wouldn't you feel like royalty? Maybe one day when I'm super rich I'll have me one of these to live in!
Unfortunately there are some renovations going on this year so I won't be able to visit the actual main temple until November Y_Y BOO but I still want to see the market street outside and eat some agemanju :D

3) Dancehall clubs. Japanese dancehall is the hot music trend in Tokyo right now and I wanna be there to experience the asian take on Jamaican music. I hear the 'Dancehall Queens' get pretty crazy on the dancefloor. Maybe I can pick up some moves :P

4) FUJI-SAN. Obviously. I'm gonna be such a tourist but watching the sunrise from one of the most beautiful mountains (ok volcanos!) in the world just seems like something I should do before I die.

If anyone has any more suggestions for places (obviously I will be going to the normal places like 109, Tokyo Tower, DisneyLand and Hello Kitty Land) please leave me a comment.

The funds for this trip are slowly coming together. I sense it's going to be a mad rush at the end of the month to get as much money as possible by selling everything I own. Well not everything, if the worst happens and I have to come home I'd want SOME stuff to come back my bed.
Over the last few weeks I have been concentrating on work which has proved to be a bit of a bust as it's actually effecting my health now. Unfortunately I tend to be overly sensitive to most emotional situations, basically I find it difficult to just "let things go" so working with a guy I'm heartbroken over has literally given me a broken heart. I've been suffering from shortness of breath, dizziness, insomnia, chest pains, and tingling sensations in my left arm for nearly 2 months now (post break-up) so I went to the doctor to have it checked out (as I don't fancy dealing with it while abroad), she did and EKG and found I have an irregular heart beat. All this is being caused by stress and anxiety which is causing me to pump out too much adrenaline. So I really do have to chill the fuck out or I'll have to be put on beta blockers....which I really don't fancy. Even if they sort my heart out my head would still be a mess and I REALLY don't want to end up on any kind of medication for that. Space is what I need, living my dream and exploring this beautiful world.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Review post : Capsule and cosmeticROBOT

As I really don't have anything super exciting to tell about (Except that CARLY GOT HER VISA!! Congrats babe!) I'll do a review post.
Japanese music is such a passion of mine, my true love is electro and house music and there have been more and more J-electro groups popping up over the last year or so and this makes for a very happy Gaby! Japanese electro-pop has a style that is very very rarely heard in the west, same bouncy electro beats but with typically very cutesy Japanese voices over the top. I ADORE this combination of computer and kawaii. It breaks out of that "anime disco" soundtrack feel and becomes something you can really imagine dancing to in a Tokyo club (not that I know what that feels like yet!)

One of the superstars of this genre is, of course, Capsule. From their first single in 2001 they have evolved from more of a chilled sound into something very danceable and club-y.

Their latest album "Player" has been on constant repeat since I got it a few days ago. For some reason I was taken off guard by some of the tracks, while some of them are so perfectly "Capsule". I think the mix of this album is fantastic it shows they still experimenting with their style while keeping some tracks totally recognizable if you've heard any album previous.
I'll talk briefly about the tracks I really really enjoyed.
"Player" The title track for the album, WOW This feels like proper UK dance with a proper British MC (note: I don't actually know who the MC is but ME LIKEY) with a hard and dark back beat. Something to add to my dj list for sure. If I heard this in a club I would be dancing like a

"I wish You" is a beautiful, clear track. I feel like I could just float away listening to this. I massive fan of that backwards sounding backing melody with the piano. Gorgeous.
"The Music" sounds like a slightly more commercial TECHPARA tack, which is great for someone like me who isn't a fan of ALL para music and doesn't para on a regular basis. This is something I can listen to easily and imagine myself doing some freestyle!

"I was Wrong" Wonderful lyrics, again something I could float away listening to. This track reminds me of Daft Punk's sound...maybe from the Homework album.

"Hello" Pure Capsule. Nuff said.

"Love and Lies" So summer-y and dancey. I feel like this song is trying to merge the different styles of this album. Great Capsule sound for the most part but they bring in a female MC towards the end! Some people are saying it sounds like Lady Sovereign but it's clearly not! Especially considering she said "It's the return of the best and my name is Roxanne"...get a clue!

I hear this album is #31 in the American chart for electro. It's fantastic to know that Capsule are appealing to a wider audience and hopefully there will be more J-electro groups forming. I've been reading some mixed reviews of this album, alot of people really don't seem to like it at all which I can understand, it is a very mixed album, some of the tracks are so so different to what we're used to hearing from a Japanese group...especially since some of the tracks have English MCing but I think if you're open minded this album is TOTALLY worth it. Like I say it's been on repeat ever since I got it!

Now my next review is of a new generation of "Perfume", named cosmeticROBOT. Heavily influenced by the pre-named trio, I believe this is their forth single (I haven't heard anything by this group before) , entitled "デジタル・LOVE" or "Digital Love". The title track is sweet but I find nothing really stood out for me...I wouldn't have a reason to replay it. However I like the second track "JUICY ~Give me kiss so JUICY~ (Miz Remix)" alot more. Bouncier and more fun this sounds more like something I could boogie to. Of course it's impossible NOT to compare them to Perfume and all I can say is "yeah...they're good" I definitely don't dislike this single and I can't dismiss them for sounding like Perfume coz as I say I love this style of bubblegum dance music and the more I can get the better. So yeah, this is worth a download, but obviously download Perfume first!
Also a quick note on their name...seriously?! I've heard Perfume songs have been used for cosmetic adverts, and obviously their voices are robotised....I dunno maybe I'm just reading too much into it but it seems so contrived.

30 days to go!

Thursday, 4 March 2010


In this OH so stunning photo where I have literally just fallen out of bed I have my newly acquired JAPANESE VISA!!!!


A complete surprise to me as I hadn't had a phone call to let me know I'd been approved like Carly did.

They toyed with my heart!!

Oh cruel but beautiful Japanese Embassy, I thank you so much for the opportunity to visit your mad mad country!
After all that hassle in the office with my tickets and itinerary it was all worth it to make sure they had what they needed so I wouldn't have to be faxing stuff backwards and forwards all week.
There's only one little hang up I have....the visa is valid from March 10 to March 11....I'm getting scammed out of a whole month! I told them I was going in April, you'd think they'd make it valid from April!!

Not that I'm complaining..!
So that the last step on my way to becoming an expat! The feeling of relief that this brings is amazing, like a huge weight has been lifted. The thought that I only have 36 days left fills me with such joy, like the nearer my trip gets the further all the shit I've gone through over the last 6 months gets. It's so confidence building to know that I'm embarking on a great adventure, leaving my old life behind, leaving all the nonsense behind and using the pain to become stronger and make it into something positive!

All that's left is to pack, to finish my last few weeks of work and to make any extra money by clearing out my room.
HAPPY DAYS this is getting scarily real now lol