Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 6

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

Sunday, Apr 28 2024 (Day 6)

I woke up with a bit of a headache today. That, coupled with the fact that this is a tiring Day 2 of back to back convention days, and that I came out of it carrying a lot of heavy CDs, and also the fact that this is my last evening in this Jujo Shopping Street lodging in Tokyo before I jet off to Osaka at noon tomorrow, meant that I did not spend as much time outdoors as I have on previous days. It was pretty much a rest and relax day.

The day started with me trying to see if I could salvage a playdate with Ran as she had also come to Tokyo for some sort of event with friends from the 27th to the 29th and we were curious if we could make a meetup work before she left back to Nagoya and I left to Osaka. Due to her work commitments and timing though, the answer was no. We made promises to meet up next time, at some unknown point in the future, instead.

I had not had convenience store food yet so far this trip, and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t end up late at the event due to stopping off somewhere for breakfast, so I had pillaged the 7-Eleven store the evening before and bought this for breakfast this morning:

French Toast with Egg and Fermented Butter. It tasted fine! I’m not sure how fermented butter can be or how it really differs from normal butter, but it was nice enough and somewhat fluffy, and the toast was less toast and more bread with a slightly thickened crust, which is also a good thing in my book.

The main event I was going to today was M3, an event that I had previously been to a year and a half ago. It runs twice a year, and that one was the 50th edition of the event, so this one was the 53rd. It was held in the exact same location as the last time, Tokyo Ryutsu Center, and everything from the monorail to the queues to the convention center rooms (and the physical exhaustion after some time) was all very familiar. I liked this familiarity though. It somehow made me feel validated that I could build upon my first trip here to make my subsequent trips easier, as I knew all the pitfalls and etiquette around the event.

I was here on behalf of Mart again, and had a nice shopping list of CDs to buy for him from various tables spread out amongst the two halls. Some CDs were rarer or lower stock than others, some were from short queues whereas others were from longer queues of more popular artists/circles, some were actual CDs whereas others were download cards with QR codes on them, some were of unknown price because the creator left that bit of info off the social media post that they made to promote their disc, and there was even one set of three CDs from three different circles that would grant a collaborative postcard once a buyer showed proof of purchase for all three CDs — there were all kinds of little nuances to the shopping, and I loved it all.

I love the experience of shopping for other people, especially when it’s not my money, hah. I mean, it was, but Mart would reimburse me later on after we also collaborated a shopping list for the Reitaisai convention later this month, and then figured out shipping as well, so it wasn’t reeeeally my money barring some sort of weird disaster that leads to me not getting paid. There are apparently people that do this for profit — brokers and proxy buyers that take lists of people’s desired CDs and buy and ship them to the person for a commission, but I’m not sure I could actually do that sort of thing on an ongoing basis, and I would never charge a fee for friends that I knew anyway. The fun of shopping and perhaps sniping deals is good enough.

The event started at 10:30 am, and I arrived a little bit prior to that and got in line in the queue of people that needed door tickets. This line moved slower than I remembered, but passed without any incident whatsoever.

The faint green sign in the background below here was a volunteer lady holding up a sign indicating the back of the row of people queueing up for tickets.

I also remember this guy below with the yellow foam stick from last time, even though I didn’t take a picture of him (or the person in the equivalent role) back then.

I didn’t remember this though — an English version of a poster! There was barely any English at all in the place when I was last here, I thought, so maybe they’re finally modernizing. I actually saw a decent number of obvious foreigners here this year — they were far outnumbered by locals, but I barely recall seeing any at all the last time I was here.

Once we got our event booklet and wristband from the foyer of the second convention hall, we were off to the races. The event was spread out across two buildings, the first and second convention hall, so there were two different entry points into the event halls that one needed to hold up one’s wristband when entering. The tables in the first building were spread out over a large single floor, whereas the tables in the second building were spread across two floors, with the bottom and top floor halls in the second building together adding up to be around the same floor size as the singe hall in the first building. All the circles (groups) were assigned a letter and a number, and were sorted into one of the three halls by their letter. The halls were immense and packed with visitors and I like this sort of atmosphere so much.

Most of the tables I bought CDs for Mart from were short this year — he said that he had wanted a couple of CDs from the longer lines as well but didn’t want to subject me to a super long line like last time again, so he engaged one of those brokers for those, I believe. That’s nice of him, and I was done in two hours thanks to that. I would have happily joined a big line or two for him though.

Or so I say — the mind was willing but the flesh was probably weak, as after those couple of hours and a bagful of CDs later, both my wallet and my back started to ache. I did still manage to stand in a line that was divided into a part 1 and part 2 though, and even got to hold up and photograph the “end of the line” sign for both parts of the line.

That line was not strenuous in the end though, it was about 10-12 people long, split between two lines, and barely took five minutes to get through the entire thing.

I mentioned earlier that there was a set of three CDs being sold at three different tables that would each give a proof of purchase card, and a set of three cards could be redeemed for a collaborative postcard. I didn’t get to keep the set of three proof of purchase cards, which were from the circles named LYRICFLASK, クラリムステラ, and Endorfin., but they looked like this respectively:

And the ending postcard looked like this:

That one was requested and paid for by Mart so it will be on its way to him once we also do Reitaisai (with a significantly shorter list of CDs) and figure out shipping.

I also did visit the sample CD room again once I ran out of CDs to buy, and again I borrowed a CD player for about an hour or so until it ran abruptly out of battery and wouldn’t run anymore.

One thing I had tried to do this time around was to avoid the CD preview room, and instead walk around and use my phone to scan the Youtube/Bandcamp crossfade videos that some circles posted on their table using QR codes, and listen to a preview of their CDs that way instead. This would have worked well in practice if the Internet connection was not absolutely garbage in that building. I was using an iVideo portable wireless router, which generally has been working fairly well around Tokyo although it has a couple charging and range issues that I am not fond of. It basically completely stopped working in these exhibition halls except in small spurts though, which was weird because it worked perfectly fine in the Niconico Chokaigi convention on the previous day. I have no idea if this would have worked better on an actual SIM card or not, but this did foil my plans and sent me back to the room after a while.

The other option would have been to use the headphones that some of the booths provided to preview their music right then and there in front of them, but that also comes with the pressure of either buying the CD or coming up with a way in Japanese to say no thank you politely, and I didn’t like either of those options.

Anyway, after the CD room, I walked around the halls one more time before leaving. I did see the table of the Pumpkingdom group, the ones who sold me a faulty, blank CD and then never responded to my email. I didn’t go and confront them though.

There were tons of people still outside and either walking back and forth between the two halls, or taking a break between excursions into either hall too, and even a small number of people that were still arriving and lining up for tickets. For perspective, the event opened at 10:30 am and ran until 3:30 pm, and it was already 2 pm by then. The overall crowd density at the event had thinned a little, but not by a whole bunch.

I had had enough by that point though, so I hopped on a monorail train and rode it to Hamamatsucho Station, where a train transfer to the awfully convenient Keihin-Tohoku Line took me directly back home to Higashi-Jujo Station.

As this was my last evening in the Jujo Shopping Street/Shoutengai area and I was tired out, I decided to have both lunch and dinner in the area as there were still a good number of cheap stores I hadn’t tried yet. Lunch was Katayaki Soba at a shop called Hidakaya Jujo:

And dinner was Shanghai Yakisoba at a somewhat seedy second-storey shop called Ryu Tora.

I had picked the dinner meal because it vaguely looked like Hokkien Mee, which is my favourite dish but is nearly impossible to properly find outside of Singapore (and surrounding countries). This one was different, though not too far off, but the wasabi that it came with made for a really interesting take on the dish nonetheless. I then spent the rest of the evening resting, writing, and listening to the sound of the crazily barking Goma and heavy footfalls all over the house.

At the end of the day, while wrapping up and cataloguing the day’s activities and separating the pile of CDs, I took a picture of the CDs that I bought for Mart:

And then one of the CDs that I just bought for myself. A much smaller stack comparatively:

But even that alone cost a hot 4,500 yen. You can just imagine how much Mart‘s stash cost, and then extrapolate that into how many CDs (probably in the hundreds of thousands) changed hands at M3 and how much money was moved in the event!

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 5

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 7

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