Mittwoch, 9. Januar 2019

Photoshooting in a Ryokan in "Hasetsu" - "Yuri On Ice" Pilgrim

This summer we decided not only to visit Karatsu, but also to take some pictures in the Yukata Version of Yuri and Yurio in an tradtiiaonal Ryokan near to Karatsu Castle.

I wrote about my trip in Karatsu >>here<<
I also reported about my first photo shooting experience in a Ryokan >>here<<
 The Ryokan we booked is called Yoyokaku.
The Ryokan is located a few meters away from the famous jogging course bridge of Yuri and the Castle. Sadly it takes about 2 Km to the station. Normally a distance you can walk, but not during the tremendous heat of 38 degrees and 90% humidity. ^^” Japanese summer can kill you….

We did not only chose this Ryokan, because of the location but also because of the beautiful interior and really good reviews.
Another important point were the Yukata´s they offer. They are exactly the same type of Yukata´s Yuri and Yuiro are wearing in the Yukata Collab button collection! (Yes, I am a nerd, shame on me!!)

As I mentioned before, Cosplaying in public is not very well received in Japan. Hotels are no exception. Even in the own private room!
Before booking the Ryokan I contacted them (in Japanese) and asked kindly for a permission to take pictures. They not only agreed kindly but also offered us to take pictures in their most beautiful room and lobby. We were really happy about it.


The Ryokan was not booked out and there were only a few customers. I am not sure if they always allow guests to take pictures or only do if their house is not full. So be sure always to ask beforehand if you are allowed to take pictures!

We also could take some very beautiful pictures in their garden and enjoyed later an full course meal with garden view.
Also the Onsen was amazing and we enjoyed the small pottery exhibition with some tea and coffee. The breakfast in the dining hall was very tasty and the staff member took really really good care of us. She even took her time for some small talk (in Japanese, they tried but weren´t that fluent in English).


They also helped us with sightseeing spots and gave us some advices. It was great to stroll around in Yukata at the bridge and castle. If you can spare the money and want to enjoy yourself (and drown in “Yuri On Ice” feels) I can really recommend this Ryokan. We really enjoyed ourselves!


Pictures by Meermiau or Shiroku
Yuri by Shiroku/ Yurio by Chiko-chan


Informations:
Name: Yoyokaku
Type: Ryokan (traditional guest house)
Price range: 11.880 yen ~ 43.200 yen per room and night (might include breakfast/ dinner)
Webside: http://www.yoyokaku.com/
Adress: 2 Chome-4-40 Higashikaratsu, Karatsu, Saga Prefecture 847-0017, Japan

Montag, 7. Januar 2019

Real life Hasetsu an Yurio On Ice Pilgrim


The real life version of Yuri Katsuki´s hometown „Hasetsu" is called Karatsu. A beautiful small town located near to Fukouka in the Saga region of Japan.
The Anime "Yuri On Ice" became popular all over the world. With the rising popularity, also Karatsu became more and more popular among foreign tourist.

As a huge fan of "Yuri On Ice" I took the chance to visit "Hasetsu" and explored together with friends Yuri´s hometown.
Many of you might know, that Cosplaying in public is not well received in Japan. As a foreigner you might get the "baka gaijin" (stupid foreigner) bonus, but in general if you appear in Cosplay at an event they might refuse to let you enter until you put off your costume.
Karatsu is different. With the "Saga on Ice" campaign they encourage Cosplayers to take pictures in the real life spots of "Hasetsu" and to explore this city while cosplaying.
The residents were very friendly, supportive and obviously used to "Yuri On Ice" cosplayers.


Fukouka Airport:
We decided to go by Airplane to Fukuoka, because this is how Yuri Katsuki arrived in Japan in the first episode.
We were too tired so we didn´t took any pictures.
We took the Kuukou Line to Karatsu, like Yuri did. The Kuukou line connects the Airport directly with Karatsu. It takes you about an hour to reach Yuri´s home.
When you are lucky you will be able to ride the new type of train, which also Yuri took.


Karatsu Station:
Karatsu Station is the spot were Yuri got fetched up by his family.
When we arrived, we also looked up the tourist information, were you could get free English "Yuri On Ice" sightseeing maps.
We also found tons of merchandise.
At the North exit of Karatsu you can also find the infamouse octopus statue, where Yurio took a Selfie.
Sadly the original is not an octopus but an lion.


Koyomachi (shopping district):
Of course we also visited the shopping district Koyomachi.

We went there very early in order not to disturb anyone during our shooting.
It was amazing, the shopping street played the "Yuri On Ice" OST non stop.
 
We also found next to merchandise and the tiger shirt, which Yurio discovered during his visit. The shop owner gave us a "Yuri On Ice" fan and flyers. She was super friendly and told us to take more pictures. XD


Tsubomi Snack Bar:
Tsubomi Snack Bar, is the bar where Victor was looking for Yuri and where he met Minako.
It was closed during daytime, so we didn´t went inside.


Hasetsu Castle:
The Castle is obviously one of the main spots to visit.
We visited Yuris jogging course. The stairs and the bench at the castle.
Also the spot where he talked to Victor.
And the most important place: The selfie spot of victor.
You could find photo spot signs with information’s about the location and the scenes of the Anime.
Karatsu did some promotion campaigns with the castle. You could find lot´s of merchandise in the shop and the characters all over the castle.

I loved it! (We also loved the aircon and free wifi ^_-).

The bridge:
Also one of Yuris jogging course: The bridge.
With an wonderful view to the ocean and the castle.
Especially during the night, the castle looked so beautiful.


Yu-Topia:
Yuri´s home and hot spring resort in Karatsu. We visited Yuri´s home and got some original Katsudon!
They even had the TV, where the family gathered together to watch the ice skating competitions.
They also offered a photo spot area with lot of "Yuri On Ice" characters.
Their merchandise booth were full of "Yuri On Ice" special edition stuff.
I really loved it there. Luckily it was pretty empty and were allowed to take some pictures. We got also asked by some Japanese fans for a selfie. You could meet "Yuri On Ice" fans in every corner, silently fangirling (BTW we were the only foreigners there).
Sadly we didn´t had time to visit the hot spring.


Makkachin´s vet:
We visited Makkachin´s vet and saw a lot of cute cats and dogs. Their window was full of "Yuri On Ice" merchandise and Makkachin´s.

Udon store:
During the Anime the ice rink showed some advertisement for an Udon store in "Hasetsu".
Apparently this Udon store really exists and had a small collaboration with the Anime.
We visited the store, found the poster and the exact spot of the poster.
We tried to get the same seats but it was super crowded. The food was really amazing!

Fukouka (Yatai Stores):
After our stay in Karatsu we moved to Fukuoka and spent there a few days.
The ending of "Yuri On Ice" showed some famous spots of Fukuoka, like the Yatai stores or this unique tower.


Conclusion:
We really really loved this place. If you are a huge fan of "Yuri On Ice" I would really recommend to visit this town at least once in your life. The people are really welcoming and helpful and you can also meet a lot of fans there. Doing this photoshooting was one of my dreams and it was way better than expected.
We also could took some pictures in the Ryokan which provides the Yukata´s of the collaboration edition (I will write a blog about it later).
You could say it was one of my highlights during this travel!


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to write me a message ^_-


Pictures by Meermiau or Shiroku
Yurio by Chiko Chan
Yuri by Shiroku




Map of the "Yuri On Ice" sightseeing spots in Karatsu
 


Donnerstag, 3. Januar 2019

New Photobook: Fate/Grand Collection

After the success of my first photobook "Anniversary collection - Best of 10 years" I decided to produce my new photobook "Fate/ Grand Collection".
This book features 10 different female characters (servants) from the Type/Moon series "Fate" (mainly Fate/Grand Order) on 36 full color pages.

The Photobook will be available (latest) at the 1rst February.
But you can preorder your example now >>> Here <<<



The preordered photobooks will be shipped as soon as I get them from the printing company.
The first 25 preorders will get a Free magnetbutton of my Saber Nero Cosplay.
(This merchandise is limited to 25 pieces and not available for sale).

Thanks to the photographers who made this photobook possible:
• Infinitedreams Photography (incl. edit) https://facebook.com/infinitedreams.de/
• Meermiau https://twitter.com/meermiau
• aeroflydesign https://www.facebook.com/aeroflydesign/
• Happy Berry Photography (incl. edit) https://www.facebook.com/HappyBerryPhotography/
• DLG http://elvenmaid.org
• Dieselsvideos https://twitter.com/dieselsvideos
• Vien Nguyen https://www.instagram.com/vn_nendography/
~Photobook produced, designed and pictures edited by Shiroku


Thanks for your support. :)

Dienstag, 4. September 2018

Pokémon Cafe in Nihonbashi Tokyo ~ A short guide


This year a new and permanent Pokémon Cafe opened in Nihonbashi (Tokyo) in the Takashiyama east Building (5th Floor).
Pokémon already hosted several pop up cafes(limited time) in the last years. But due to conflicting time schedules I never had the chance to visit one.

The Pokémon Cafe in Nihonbashi was opened this year with a new Pokémon center, which is directly next to the café.
If you want to get a place in the café, you have to reserve online beforehand or hope to get a free seat of someone who canceled or didn’t showed up last minute.

The reservation can be made online:
You can reserve 31 days in advance. The slots are open at 6 pm (Japanese time).
If you are a bigger group I would recommend you to book early. You can cancel the table for free a day before till 10 pm (by phone!).
They have A-C seats and D seats. D Seats are the seats at the counter (long table in the middle). If you are alone you have to choose a D Seat, if you are a group from 2-4 persons, you can choose any other seat.
For more than 4 people you have to reserve 2 tables.
A Seats are directly at the window and B and C seats are located in the inner seating area.
We booked some A seats to get a better view of the whole café.

D Seats

B and C Seats
Entrance

When you arrive at the entrance of the café, there are 2 lines.
1 for the people who have reserved (you just line up there 10-15 minutes before your reserved slot) and another line for people who try to get a free spot without reservation.

Starting from a certain time you can get a slot for a certain time of the same day. You might line up at 3 pm for a slot at 5 pm.

It is really inconvenient and the café is super popular so I really would recommend to reserve.

We just lined up and a staff member got us to our seats (you just have to tell them your reservation name).


You have 90 min time and can order everything through an iPad.

The iPad provides an English version of the menu, so it is pretty easy even for foreigners to order tasty Pokémon stuff.
You are allowed to run around and take pictures freely, which is pretty uncommon for theme cafes in Japan.
The ordering pad
The Coasters
For a certain amount of orders you can win coasters. The Staff walks from table to table and you just choose you favorite Pikachu. Randomly you will get a certain coaster.


The food is real Instagram material and super cute and beautiful. Nearly a waste to eat it.
They have dessert, main dishes, drinks and you also can order exclusive souvenirs from the Café.
The price range is approximately between 500 to 3.000 yen. Compared to normal restaurant pries the café is a bit above average, the food taste ok but I think we are aware that you are paying for the feeling and the satisfaction of your nerdy needs. J
With the food you can also order the plate or the cup for an extra 1.000 Yen. But no worries, they will get you a new and clean one at the check out.





At every slot Pikachu will come over for a small dance and photo session. The mascot will dance for you and visit every table for a short picture and "meet and greet". It was super super cute.
After finishing you just go to the cashier and the exit and pay. They also hand you the plates or cups, in case you ordered some.


At the opposite of the cashier you can buy more souvenirs, which are only available at this Pokémon café.


My opinion:


I really loved this experience and if you are a Pokémon fan this is definitely a must go if you might visit Tokyo. The staff is accustomed to foreigners, which makes the visit for English speaking visitors pretty easy.
Unlike to other cafes you are allowed to make pictures, which I really appreciated. I really loved how the food looks and loved Pikachu’s small visit (it was really damn cute…).
The food is a bit pricy and not the tastiest but still the atmosphere and experience was amazing.
If you are tight on budget just go there for a drink (btw 1 order per person is required) and enjoy the atmosphere.

Informations:

Name:
Pokemon Café

Address:
〒103-0027 Tokyo, Chūō, Nihonbashi, 2 Chome−11−2; Takashiyama east bld. 5F
Access:
JR Tokyo Station (Yaesu north exit 5 min walk)/ Nipponbashi Station (Exit B2 4 min walk
Opening hours:
10:30 am - 22:00 pm (last order food 21 pm)
Price range:
Drinks from ~ 800 Yen (cheaper with food)
Food from ~ 1.500 Yen
Dessert from ~ 1.100 Yen