vaneea no sekai

Tackling Gintama at Snail Speed

I am the marathon type of manga reader. I prefer reading completed manga or picking up new titles which already have plenty of scanlated chapters. Unless I am very curious about the story development, I usually wait until there are a couple of chapters released to start reading again. Then I focus on finishing the manga or all the available chapters before I read any other. This is not the case with Gintama. I describe my reading style as slow and distracted.

Obviously, I do enjoy reading this tale of silly, easy going, airhead silver curly haired samurai, whose dream is to have a straight hair. If not I would not have been so persistent in reading it. The manga is jammed pack with gags, parodies and puns. Despite accusation of being a copycat and unoriginal because of them, it does have a story of its own and its characters are also very well developed. Hideaki Sorachi had exposed me to as many variety of plots and settings a mangaka can do in one title; amongst others: a video game face off, a naval siege, robotic coup de tat and my favorite, servitude in a haunted ryokan.

Vaneea’s Desk – January

New year, new calendar, new agenda. Check what I got to start off the year.

Vaneea's Desk - January

I picked up a 2011 pop-up calendar in Takashimaya, Shinjuku during our honeymoon. I spotted it on the second day of our trip, but had some doubts. After looking around all over, I came back and grab one. I couldn’t find anything cuter. Of course, it only marked Japanese holidays, but I written in Indonesian ones. In the front left, you can see my pink agenda. My husband found it in O|O| (Marui) Shinjuku. He bought a blue one for himself. I will post detailed pictures on it one of these days.

Although not 2011 related, I also have knick knacks I got from Japan in my previous trips. My pen holder is a miniature milk glass bottle which was the packaging of Botejyu Farm’s mango pudding. The stuffed gray bunny is a portable speaker we got from OIOI Shinjuku; it doesn’t work well. Both of these we got during our pre-wedding trip. I got the tiny ceramic bunny to the right of my pen holder in Asakusa, in 2003, I believe. If you are curious, in the background of my desk, on the white rack, you can see three cat shaped toys. We got those in a designer toy store in Shinjuku; will also be posted soon.

I hope everybody is having a great start of the year!

Hime Went to Nakano Broadway

Hello minna! Ohisashiburi desu.

I officially returned to my country two days ago. I can’t believe that I am not in Japan anymore. Just about two weeks ago, me and James were so excited as we hurried to pass through immigration, hopped on the train, left our luggage at our hotel (checked in was not until 2PM) and went straight to Nakano Broadway, another otaku heaven in Tokyo aside from Akihabara.

In front of Nakano Broadway

Getting to Nakano Broadway was quite easy. From Shinjuku We took JR Chuo Line Rapid to Nakano Station (not to be confused with Higashi Nakano). From there we followed the map that I had printed up from One up‘s website; pictured below:

If you decide to use this map, please ignore where that pointy end of the cloud bubble is indicating; Nakano Broadway, along with ‘One up’ is located on the green rectangle on the map.

We went through Nakano dori on the way to Nakano Broadway. It was after 11AM, and the sun was shinning brightly.

Kawaii Alert: Shinjuku Marui

Finding kawaii (cute) things to buy is one of my goals every time I visit Japan. It is the haven of all things pretty and cute. If you are looking for creative, unique and out of the box merchandise, Japan is the place to go.

Marui O|O|

I found Shinjuku Marui by chance; on the way back to the hotel from Shinjuku Park. It was nothing but a little shopping paradise. My sister and I went crazy, but we restrained ourselves and not buy too many stuff. In fact, it was our photographer Ivan and my fiance James who spent the most!

Because we were pressed for time, we only explored the first floor. I found out recently that Shinjuku Marui is actually made of 6 buildings, carrying a variety of items. I am not sure which one I visited, but you can use the picture above for reference.

Gotemba Premium Outlet, Gotenba City, Japan


Tucked in the outskirt of Gotenba City, at the base of Mount Fuji, near Hakone, Gotemba Premium Outlet is the largest, most popular outlet mall in Japan. Shoppers can find world’s 150 both Japanese and World’s brands at a discounted price.

My friend recommended me to go there last year, but I didn’t have a chance to go during my previous September trip. My mom and I were quite curious. We found out on their website that there is a Bottega Veneta store and decided that I should pick up a bag for her (and maybe myself as well).

On the first day, my sister, my fiance and I arrived in Tokyo in the morning but couldn’t check into the hotel until 3 PM. I decided that it would be a great time to go, since we had already lost half a day commuting to the hotel to drop off our luggage. That way circumstances had limited our time and we wouldn’t spend the whole day shopping there.

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