I left my little apartment in Tokyo (actually Kanagawa) on Tuesday for good. It was a decent apartment for the price but I don't think I'd stay there again because I hated the location. More specifically, I hated being on the Odakyu line. I hated that train line. It seemed much more aggressive than other lines in Tokyo and got so crowded.
I flew Peach airlines to Sapporo. They board the planes starting with window seat passengers and their companions. Why don't all airlines do that? It's so sensible.
I spent most of Wednesday trawling Sapporo for somewhere to work. It seemed to be impossibly hard to find a cafe with power outlets here. I ended up finding somewhere fantastic.
Thursday, I went to Maruyama zoo to see the polar bear. I didn't get to see it because it's giving birth. Actually the entire bear area was shut. Maruyama Zoo is vile anyway. DO NOT GO TO MARUYAMA ZOO. I've been to so many fantastic zoos while travelling that I'd forgotten how awful they can sometimes be. Animals in tiny little enclosures. The stupid thing is that there is all this space that is just grass you can't walk on. Get rid of it and make bigger enclosures for the animals. I wish I hadn't paid to go there.
After the zoo, I went to a temple and got to see squirrels running around in the wild. That was the second time I've seen squirrels. The first time was at Prague Castle. I love those little guys.
Friday, I went to see Arashi at Sapporo. I found out my friend was staying at the same apartment building as me so we went together. In Nagoya, both nights I sat on the left side of the stage but in Sapporo I had tickets for the right side in different sections.
Saturday night, concert again and I wasn't feeling it as much. I had a decent seat but I just wasn't 100% enthused. Then Sunday night, my third night at Sapporo Dome, I had an arena seat and all the love came back.
I did have a horrible moment before the concert started. I'd gotten my ticket from a reseller. There are always messages sent out saying that you'll be asked to show ID to prove you don't have a resold ticket but it never happens. I sat down in my seat, trying to touch my penlight on (the battery had gone flat -- it only lasts 4 concerts apparently). Then one of the staff came over and asked if I had a ticket. I nearly pooped myself.
It turned out I'd sat myself in section H6 instead of H3. Oops.
Just to explain the penlight -- all the penlights for the concert are WiFi controlled. There is a dot on the back of your seat and you "touch on" to the dot. Then, magic!
When I moved and tried my penlight again, getting a bunch of people and staff involved, one of the nice ladies beside me gave me some batteries (she'd brought spares).
So that was my week. Three nights of Japonism concert and a little work. Today, I have to work my guts out to get up to schedule and get my latest novel ready for launch.
Oh the other thing I did this weekend was piss-fart around because the heater in my apartment didn't work. I thought I was just being ditzy about the settings but the repairmen came to look at it and it was fucked. The whole unit needed replacing. Yah! Three nights in Sapporo with insufficient heating (it did work but would shut off after 10-15 mins). They came back to replace it on Saturday then a guy from the landlord's company came around to check it out and was so shocked to meet an Australian Arashi fan. He ended up giving my friend and I a lift to Sapporo dome. It's only a 20-30 min walk but that saved our legs.
Tomorrow I head to Osaka. Only one Arashi concert in Osaka since the tickets are so expensive there. I am going to try for a last minute ticket for one of the other nights to see if the prices drop dramatically though. I am looking forward to the warm Kansai weather.