Kinky in Kinki

I didn’t intend to start yesterday looking for places one could get their kicks, but it’s weird how circumstances can throw you that way. Who knows, if I had the money maybe (and the company of a nice girl) I would have gone that extra step and had a little fun … maybe I should have.

It started out innocently enough, me waking up at four in the morning due to a very early night’s sleep, like today, and deciding before going into University I’ll shop around to see what shops had the Kanji in Context texbook that we needed for the Leeds exam. I left the dorm at around 9 o’clock under the daft expectation that shops opened around that time or 9:30. When I hit the first bookshop at about 9:15 and saw the sign saying it opened at 10, I quickly realised I should have dropped my daft misconceptions and tried to get a bit more sleep before venturing out into the cold.

It was at this point I thought about taking a little walk around some of the areas of Umeda that I’d not yet previously seen, and stop at a cafe or somewhere for some food as I was pretty hungry. Reason for hunger was I’d only had two pieces of toast for breakfast, the rest of the food included mayonnaise so rather than take a plate and throw two thirds away I just thought “sod it” and stuck with the bread.

Whilst walking I passed a number of hostess bars that would normally be enticing people to go in and spend money whilst gawking at the respectable staff members, however this was early in the morning so the only thing they seemed to be enticing were the men carrying drinks boxes to and from vans out the front. Still, mental note made where these were and since one of my friends was looking to visit a gay bar I made a mental note of where the one and only “boys bar” was … thankfully I quickly forgot this after telling her.

After passing a few other bookstores that were yet to be open I soon found myself in what can only be described as Love Hotel Avenue. Having read a little about these establishments in the Manga Sutra I was (and still am) somewhats intrigued about their insides. Apparently as well as a bed where the obvious happens, there’re usually games consoles, karaoke, and a selection of other fun things incase you don’t actually feel like getting your kicks. From the outside the hotels genuinely look like nice places one might want to stop. The main way you could tell that these were hotels of the romance variety was in their pricing structures that were on their walls. For example one hotel’s prices were “Rest: 3,300 yen; Stop 4,400 yen”.

After shops had started opening and I had all but failed at finding my textbooks at any stores (for some reason they loved stocking Kanji in Context Workbook 2 … but I needed Workbook 1), I popped into a manga shop located just off a highstreet. This wasn’t your basic manga shop however, this was a doujinshi shop. If you don’t know what doujinshi is, I recommend you don’t type it into google when you’re at work, school, on your nan’s PC … you get the gist. While it was true that the vast majority of customers in the shop were male, there were female customers too, something I had the pleasure of telling one of my friends who insisted only men would go into that kind of place. Looking around I wasn’t really surprised to see so many pictures of women (and the occasional man) dripping with this, that or the other, or preview videos showing clips of how they came to be covered in this, that or the other, but I was mainly surprised at the prices. I’m not sure if their priced on volume or ‘quality’ but some ranged from incredibly cheap (I’m talking the price of The Beano in the 90s) to the incredibly expensive (the entire Minna No Nihongo workbooks we needed for Leeds last year).

For the record I bought nothing.

I went into Uni and managed to buy my textbook from the university bookshop, which is a relief as everytime I’ve been in they didn’t have it in stock and this was the last copy of workbook 1. I sat in the Ajisai room speaking with a few Japanese friends and set about working on the website for the new Lotaku manga. Want a sneak peak? Click here. I didn’t have lessons that day, they start today, but I wanted to try to get back in my routing of using about 2 and a half hours a day to travel to uni. Plus as I’ve said in many previous entries, Uni seems to be the only place I can freely speak Japanese.

One final thing before I go. If you go onto YouTube looking for the animatic to my Please animation, you’ll find it’s not there. It’s been removed by YouTube for copyright reasons which although I’m a bit dissapointed about it (seeing as there are copyrighted clips which are way more popular on there that haven’t been ‘caught’ yet), I fully accept it’s removal. I’ll probably whack it on Metacafe or the like some other day.