naukhel: (嵐: nice)
[personal profile] naukhel

...Mainly because I never wrote about when Aes and I went to Sapporo, and last night we went to Tokyo Dome. I'm not going to wax lyrical about the concert, more like jot down the experiences. :)

So, a couple of weeks ago, Aes and I flew to Hokkaido! It was the first time for both of us, though honestly we didn't get much time to do anything tourist-y. We arrived to this beautiful vista:

Beautiful it would have been, I suppose, had it not been raining cats and dogs.

The rain was a major problem for us, because it not only stopped us from going out and exploring too much, but it ruined our shoes and turned Saturday into a hunt for new ones. All's well that ends well, however!

Quite unintentionally, we dressed as twins for the occasion.


The first night we visited a restaurant with some amazing cuisine. I, of course, took photos of almost everything before I ate it. This is what Japan does to me. :( Every time I do it in front of Japanese friends or colleagues (or, actually, in front of most anyone who's lived here long enough) I get accused of being too Japanese for my own good. 8D But all the food looks so amazing!!

This was delicious! We were brought slices of beef tongue with garnish, and cooked it ourselves on that heated rock. It looked amazing, it was amazing to cook, and it tasted delicious as well. ;w; Extreme happiness.

Only slightly off-putting to our lovely meal was this fish-head next to me that was left by another customer. It stared at me for the entire night. O__________O

During our quest to find new shoes, we found a lovely soba restaurant! The prices were really good for the amount of food we got. It was my first time trying zaru-soba, actually, and the vegetable tempura was delicious.

Upon discovering that one cup of instant coffee in the hotel was ¥300, I bought a pack of five from the convenience store - for less than ¥300, I might add. It came in cute cups!

We also discovered the cutest cake shop. It was really small, and sold mostly teeny-tiny single person-sized cakes, but oh my god it was awesome! I bought a sweet potato cake and a little bag of crystallised orange peel that had been dipped in dark chocolate. *o* Here's Aes modeling one of the rare cheese cakes. 8D

The concert itself was great. Our seats weren't bad: we were sitting in stand, around about the middle, with a good view of all the stages. There's advantages and disadvantages to being in stand: on the one hand, you don't often get to see anyone up close unless you're really lucky, like I was the first time I saw Arashi in Yokohama. But on the plus side, you get to see the whole overview. Because the seats in stand are tiered, nothing obstructs your view, and you're far enough back that you can see what's going on in any area at a given time.

This was the view from our seats. It was a good position, I was happy with it! I like being able to sit this far back at least once per tour, because you do get a good sense of what the concert looks like overall.

After the concert, unfortunately, getting home became a nightmare. What was a ten-minute walk from the train station to Sapporo Dome became an hour just to make it to the ticket gates. I thought that it had been bad at Kokuritsu the first time they performed, when a huge thunderstorm drove everyone into the station in a bodily crush, but this was actually worse. There was just no movement in any direction for a large part of the trip.

After about forty minutes we became rather fed up with the situation. 8D But we made it home. Eventually. Though the concert finished at around 9pm, we didn't get back to our hotel until 2am - with a 6am start the next day. Suffice to say we slept as much as we could on the journey back.

And now Tokyo Dome!

Our seats were fantastic. That's the main point to make, here. We were around 20 feet from the main stage, and four seats across from the center walkway. I've been this close to center stage before, but never up in the first block in front of the main stage. It was the kind of close where you can not only make out every detail, but you literally can't avoid making eye contact. Being in the corner between center stage and the center walkway like that, you get a chance to see everyone up close at least once. Where we sat we had a lot of Aiba time, though everyone came past in due course. Not to mention that they flew right over our heads in the opening, and the moving stage felt as though it was within arm's reach.

Center walkway hi!

Main stage hi!

It was amazing to see the concert from here, too, of course. When I'm sitting further back, I rarely have the same kind of stunned shock as I did at the beginning of this show. It was just all SO CLOSE that I forgot what I was supposed to do and simply stood there in a kind of daze. Every time someone came past with their eyes on the crowd, part of me hoped that we wouldn't make eye contact because I'd completely forget how to respond. Unfortunately, foreigners are a little easier to spot in a sea of Asian faces, and when Ohno and I had a staring match I only spasmodically remembered to wave. 8D (Let's not mention Jun. The man frightens me when he's close enough to get down and punch me in the face. Robin will totally understand what I mean.)

Being at the front as we were, we often found ourselves watching performances from behind. 8D This also meant that the MC and final comments were viewed from behind, granting a unique perspective on what was going through the other member's heads when each one was talking - we were close enough to lip-read when they were mouthing words to one another. We were facing Matsujun head-on when he got undressed during the MC - something I am convinced he only does to provoke everyone. Luckily Leader stepped up and interposed himself between Jun and the camera XD;

I think that's really it. I can't say anything else about it other than that it was amazing and I enjoyed it immensely. It was my first time at Tokyo Dome, as well! The trees outside are amazingly beautiful at this time of year.

It was a great way to end the year, as I will be going back to the UK on Monday to spend Christmas with my family. :)
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