December 7, 2009

8-bit bars in Tokyo

Japan has a lot of theme bars: starting with maid cafes going to cat cafes (where you can play with real cats). But very interesting is the cafe theme based on 8-bit retro video games where you can actually play these games. They are all in Shinjuku and if you want to check them out, here they are:
  1. 8-Bit Cafe: Q Building 5F, Shinjuku 3-8-9, Shinjuku-ku, tel. 03 2258 0407, closed Tuesdays, table charge ¥500
  2. Bar Plastic Model: Kabukicho 1-1-10-1, Shinjuku-ku, tel. 03 5273 8441, 8pm-late, table charge ¥700 per person
  3. Muteki Mario: Shinjuku 3-11-1, Shinjuku-ku, tel. 03 3354 2139, table charge ¥500 per person
While maybe not exactly an 8-bit bar, it's worth checking out the 16 shots. Their excellent library of videogame music alone is worth having a beer there.

16 Shots: Shinjuku 2-3-8, Shinjuku-ku, tel. 03-6379-4335, closed Sunday, table charge ¥500 per person

December 6, 2009

Back from Japan November 2009 trip

I'm back from my November trip to Tokyo. This time I only visited Tokyo and spent some more time to meet people and visit places like Shibuya, Akihabara etc... But also did two short trips outside Tokyo: Takao-san and Kamakura.

I'm a little too busy with some other exams and organizing some events to sort all my pictures. But I will try to do so by Xmas. I already booked my next trip to Japan. Of course to see the Hanami again. So 25 March till the 17th of April I will be touring Japan.

In the meanwhile, I'll try to make some interesting posts about the things I learned in the meanwhile.

Edit: Above a picture of the stuff I brought back from Japan.

Renaming the blog and the use of Japanese honorifics

I have decided to rename the blog from Benii-San to Benii's Journal. I didn't do it on purpose but you shouldn't refer to yourself with 'San'. Which is quite cocky and maybe a little impolite.

"~ san (~さん)" is a title of respect added to a name. And you shouldn't use it to refer to yourself. There is also "~ kun" and "~ chan", so when do you use these? It's quite important to know the difference because they indicate different levels of politeness.

Have a look on to find out. There are even more suffixes like senpai (先輩). If you want a more detailed list, have a look at this page about Japanese honorifics.

October 28, 2009

5 Tips when you travel to Tokyo for the first time

Spotted these 5 tips on that were not too bad. I'm leaving for Tokyo in a few days and might post a few tips of my own!!!

October 13, 2009

Flea Markets in Japan

A great tip from Steve Nagata:
Flea Markets are becoming quite popular in Japan. In Akihabara, the Mottainai Flea market takes place about once a month outside the UDX building near Akiba station.
Here you can find anything from used clothing to Gun-pura to old computers to figures. Sometimes the prices are kind of high, but usually things are reasonable.
I found more information on this website:
Charity MOTTAINAI fleamarkets, a part of the MOTTAINAI Campaign which is set into motion by Prof. Wangari Maathai who is an environmentalist and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, focuse on recycling. Bring your old clothes, books, DVDs or videos which you no longer want, or used frying oil to MOTTAINAI station at the fleamarket site, they will recycle them!
The major sightseeing spot Akihabara has MOTTAINAI Flea market during"Golden Week"* holidays. Apprx 100 venders. Enjoy the market as well as shopping in the electronics quarter. *Consecutive holidays for nearly 10 days from the end of the Apr to the beginning of May.
Might be interesting to visit!

October 12, 2009

53 ways to explore Tokyo on foot

While preparing our trip to Tokyo, I found this resource.

I'm sure I'll try one or two of these routes if the weather is not too bad (or cold).

(Photo under creative commons from jamesjustin's photostream)

October 11, 2009

Japan Spring 2009

Wauw, I'm a bit ashamed of not putting any updates on this blog. This is going to change!

First of all, I finally managed to put all my pictures online of the trip. I put some descriptions in the titels but no details yet. Have a look at the 564 photos I uploaded. I hope to publish more detailed stories about our journey.

So I passed my first year of にほんご and I started my second year. In three weeks, I will be revisiting Tokyo and this time explore this city for a full 10 days!! So expect more news and pictures!!!

March 15, 2009

Picking up where I left off.

It's been 14 September since my last blogpost. I underestimated some projects among other my Japanese class. So this meant I neglected this blog for far too long. What happened?

I struggled through until my midterm exams of January. I wanted to pick up the slack during the xmas period but the flu sabotaged those plans. Luckily after cramming for 2 weekends, I still managed to get a 70% on the exams.

I'm still trying to reserve some time on a weekly basis to study Japanese but it isn't always easy. The good news is that my trip to Japan is in 2 weeks!!! And I will use this blog to keep a travel diary. We will start off in Tokyo and the surrounding area (for example Nikko) and then move on to Osaka. From there we will visit Kyoto and Nara etc....

I'm really excited about my first trip to Japan. Since we will spend some considerable time on planes and trains, I will use the time to study some of my Japanese.

So finally, this blog will finally get some updates.

(Photo under creative commons from zawtowers' photostream)