Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 11

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Haneda International Airport, Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China

Friday, May 03 2024 (Day 11)

Dear Diary, today I spent a lot of times in physical lines and on train lines. And that was all I did all day.

Today was the 3rd and final convention that I had planned for the Japan leg of my trip, Touhou Reitaisai 21. This is a sister event of the Touhou Autumn Reitaisai event that I visited a couple of years ago during my first trip to Japan, except this is the “original” one, held in Spring. I have a modicum of nostalgia for the event since I had attended that other one basically on the second full day that I had ever been in Japan, but I’m still no expert at all in the Touhou franchise, nor am I good enough in the Japanese language that most things don’t fly over my head, I just casually like the franchise in general.

The event went from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, but I knew that there was a ticket pickup segment that took place a little before that, even though I had already bought my ticket online and got a QR code for it beforehand. (This online ticket purchase was open all the way until when the event started, as I checked while I was standing in line there and sales were still open — but they also just outright sold tickets in person as well, though I believe those were a little pricier.)

I arrived at Tokyo Big Sight Station, and as I expected, Google Maps wasn’t needed as I just followed the flow of the crowd:

The famous inverted pyramids of the Tokyo Big Sight building soon came into view. This is a scene that is very familiar to me, not only due to having visited it twice now, but also because Comiket (an event I hope to visit someday) is held here as well, and basically any anime that showcases a group of students making doujin works and selling it at Comiket, or an otaku character visiting Comiket, will also often showcase this building. It’s an iconic shot.

This random embedded weapon in the ground next to it isn’t as iconic for some reason though.

The last time I was here, the line of people going to pick up their tickets ran alongside the actual long line of people queueing for the front door at the same time, and this caused a bunch of confusion. There was no such confusion this time — people coming from the direction of the train station were immediately guided into a long snakey line to the ticket pickup section. I arrived at 10:15 am, and this line moved fairly quickly.

The pickup tables were actually set slightly inside the convention hall, but we could not enter from there. Just pick up our tickets. We were then directed back out and around the halls (the event spanned 3 side by side halls with their separation walls removed) and outside.

This was the main queue, the huge throng of people waiting for door opening, tens of thousands strong. Eesh. Everyone was organized in order of when they arrived though, in lines of four. At this point it was 10:45 am, and the general populace was probably being let in, but the earliest people queueing up were on the other side of the human ocean so I couldn’t see them moving along. That or people with an advance ticket were being let in first.

Either way, my part of the line started moving along at 11:15 am, an hour after I first arrived at the station, and we were finally in the convention center at 11:20 am.

The hall was packed shoulder to shoulder from nearly end to end. It was ridiculous. I had four CDs to buy for Mart here, and I swam through the humans to get to the tables. Thankfully none of the groups he wanted CDs from had a particularly long line, yet, though I think in hindsight this was because there were some tables that were particularly overloaded, like the Shanghai Alice table (the original makers of the Touhou games), and people needed to go there first or things would be sold out. It still took a while to get to the tables and get said CDs though.

I did recognize a lot of the circle names by that point though, both from previous Reitaisai as well as (in many cases) M3 events. After that, I searched around a bit and found the one shop that I was here for, the Gift store that sold Touhou fumo plushies:

At this point, it was 11:51 am, and I looked for the back of the queue, which apparently stretched outside the convention hall altogether.. and kept on stretching onwards:

It was a long line that doubled back upon itself twice, and it moved very slowly. I joined the back of the line as it slowly snaked forwards, although I noticed an hour later that by this point, the “back of the line” (where the guy was holding the sign in the picture below) was still actually really close to where I was, and not many people had joined up after I did.

This showed that nearly everyone who was here for the plushie came here early and queued up as soon as they could, and not simply joined the queue after arriving at Tokyo Big Sight *only* 15 minutes before the event start and then wandering around the halls for half an hour after getting in. It also did cross my mind that at that point, I could have just left to do other things if I wanted, and come back once the queue was shorter, as by the time our part of the outdoor queue reached the front, there was basically no more outdoor queue component left behind us.

Eventually, we reached the front of the outdoor queue and got ushered to the indoor queue, which was a lot shorter. We were given a piece of paper to mark out which fumo plushies we wanted, but by this time nearly everything was sold out:

A couple of the 6,000 yen plushies (plushies number 1, 2, and 6, offscreen to the left in the picture above) were not sold out though, so I went for one of them, but it was 1:52 pm at this point and this was very disappointing to see after a two hour queue in the sun, as the ones that I was aiming for for the catalog had already found better owners. Also, unlike my Autumn Reitaisai experience two years ago, this time they did not hold up signs showing which ones were out of stock while we were in line, rather one guy went up and down the line yelling that this or that number was gone, though it was hard to tell if he was saying that those numbers were gone, or that everything between those numbers were gone, or in a couple of cases whether only those numbers were *left*.

As I had also come somewhat late to the Autumn Reitaisai queue and that one had only involved an indoor line, I hadn’t expected this one to be that long or that slow or the stock to be that low. And the worst thing was that this wasn’t the only 1-2 hour+ line in the the convention, it was definitely not the longest queue (though it was up there), and it would have been physically impossible for one person to go to, say, both the Gift line and the Shanghai Alice line, unless they got an advance entry ticket and arrived here early to beat the lines. Or split up the queues and orders between groups of friends. It was very interesting to see and experience though, and good to learn for next time, as I doubt that this will be my last Reitaisai experience ever. I still came out with a plushie of a character named Parsee anyway, although she broke my budget for the event so I didn’t get anything else besides the official catalog and an official event song download card for myself. Not a single CD.

I did pick up a couple of other free clear files that were being given away at a booth dedicated to Touhou Mystia’s Izakaya though, a game that Kynji had previously gifted to me and that I’ve played some of.

They didn’t have any soundtrack CDs or anything on sale though, which was a pity.

The one good thing about waiting outside for two hours was that by the time I was freed up again to wander the halls, the crowds and germs had thinned considerably. I walked around for about an hour, looking at things but not buying anything else (except the official song download card – I had thankfully already bought the catalogue book on my way *in* though, as it was sold out by the time I hit the table again.) Also, the cosplay area, predominantly consisting of guy fans who had brought their own camera gear along and were taking pictures of girl fans wearing Touhou costumes, was still very much packed.

Still packed, but there was actually space to move around without touching people now for the most part.

I then headed home at around 3:10 pm or so, noting with slight amusement that people who had bought or acquired stuff from the erotic section of the event (which had its own fairly large section of a hall, but was only about 1/15 or so of the overall event space) had to somehow bring them home via trains.

Godspeed my friend. My loot at the end looked like this:

With the CDs in the middle being Mart‘s and everything else being mine. I bought a box and some tape from a convenience store on the way home too, to store all his CDs in and send it to him one of these days. He also transferred a bunch of money for the CDs and shipping to my bank account already, slightly over $400 CAD all in all, so that was super nice of him.

The rest of the day was me bored of being in line and wanting to stretch my wings, but not go too far afield as I had a concert to attend with Quintopia on the next day, so I took the train back and stopped at the Sakura-shimmachi Station next to my actual Yoga station, basically the same place that I had walked to yesterday, and then walked around and home from there. I tried to practice mindfulness along the way, and so took pictures of interesting things. Like these weird third set of train tracks that stopped in the middle of a platform at (I think) Toyosu Station:

This tree:

House:

Trapped trees and sunset:

Some shallow water fountains that looked nice but were sealed off:

A see-through piano:

Some nice fire motifs:

And things like that. Also, when I got home, I finally found the washing machine in the unit, which was apparently outside on the balcony:

The guide had kind of implied that it was outside the front door in some sort of shared place, but it wasn’t. There was a shallow layer of water inside of it though, which was terrible, and I had to run an empty laundry cycle before I could use it for my actual clothes. The guide also said to hang dry my clothes outside after that, but I hung them indoors from the curtain rod instead and that worked just fine since they got a good amount of air from the wall heater/air-con machine from there.

Early in the day, I also booked my trip out from Taiwan to Hong Kong on May 13, with a plan to then take the train from there to Guangzhou where Kel was, just in time for her birthday. I haven’t actually booked my accommodations in Taiwan (Taipei) though, which I really have to do tonight or tomorrow since I’ll be there in two days!

There were no food pictures today because breakfast was the chocolate croissant from the previous day, dinner was some oden soup and various groceries from the nearby supermarket in a pot on top of a rusty and very lousy stove, and lunch was skipped due to being at a very expensive convention event.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 10

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 12

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