Archive for Winter Vacation 2016

일본에 오락실들 이에요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , , , , on February 23, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: Arcades in Japan.

The vast majority of my vacation in Japan was spent in arcades. They’re open until 2 or 3 AM and are fantastic. Filled to the brim with games that you’d only watch Youtube videos about.

And crane games. Tons of crane games. Now crane games are big here in Korea too. Maybe more popular here than in Japan, since in Japan the first floor (and maybe the second in the case of Taito Station) would be dedicated to crane games, and the subsequent floors would have actual videogames. Here in Korea, the vast majority of arcades (오락실) are just crane games.

(Don’t ask me about the slimes from Dragon Warrior either. They’re everywhere too. I don’t know what Japan’s national creature is, but if I had to guess, I’d shoot for “slime.”)

Nintendo has a strong presence too. (For completely obvious reasons.) I didn’t know there was an arcade machine for Luigi’s Mansion, but I’m glad there is. Especially with the life-sized ghost vacuums. (Fun fact: Luigi’s Mansion is the last Mario game I’ve played to completion.) Above that we have every 80s kid’s wet dream: a racing game joint-produced by Nintendo and SEGA using (advanced) Power Pad technology. It might’ve taken 30 years, but finally there’s a game that not complete crap for it!

Speaking of Nintendo, tons and tons of Pokemon. Since I’ve already outed myself as ignoring Nintendo after Luigi’s Mansion, I have no knowledge of Pokemon besides the obvious pop culture connections. I mean, I guess if Dragon Warrior is still running strong in Japan, then there’s no reason Pokemon (a younger franchise) wouldn’t also still be running strong.



도쿄에 초밥을 먹었어요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , on January 26, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: I ate sushi in Tokyo.

One thing that was a must during my Winter Vacation in Tokyo was sushi. I mean, alongside ramen, sushi is Japan in America. Given my history of doing no research prior to any vacation, I naturally didn’t search out any amazing Tokyo sushi restaurants. Hell, sushi was on the bottom of the list of things to do, not being mentioned until our last day.

Then, when wandering around some town within sight of Mt. Fuki, we stumbled across the place.


Now Uobei is a chain restaurant in Tokyo that specializes in sushi. So I have no clue whether they’re the Japanese equivalent to McDonald’s or not. But then again, I’m about as far from a foodie as you can get, so it really didn’t matter. I mean, what’s could be a more authentic sushi experience than a chain restaurant? If you want to experience how the majority of America lives, you would go to a McDonald’s.

Authenticity concerns aside, the sushi tasted great to this outsider. Though, to be fair, the atmosphere most certainly played a role in that. The restaurant was sent up with tracks to each table so that when you ordered your sushi (via the table’s tablet), a little car would come down along the track delivering the food. Who wouldn’t love that?

As for the food itself, what can I say? I’ve already stated that I’m not a foodie. I’m a Type-I diabetic – I eat things to live. If I could get away with not eating, I’d do it. My diet consists of apples, bananas, broccoli, and lots of corn. Oh yeah, and tons of peanuts. (I’m certain the stock price of Japan’s 7-11 branch skyrocketed while I was there; mainly due to me buying peanuts all the damn time.)

So everything tasted great. As it should, since I was eating sushi in Japan. That fact alone would elevate anything.


죄 송 합니다

Posted in Off-Season Reviews, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , on January 1, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: I’m sorry.

Sorry for the lack of updates over the past week. As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Japan for my Christmas vacation, and this is the first time I’ve sat in my chair in my apartment in over a week. Needless to say, I’m exhausted even if I spent nearly two days of this trip in transit.

A lot was bought, a lot was experienced, and a lot (more) was photographed, and that’ll all be showing up in the weeks to come. For now, a teaser as well as what I’m looking at when I see my bed.

제 머리가 아파요

Posted in Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , on December 22, 2016 by shenanitim

Translation: I have a headache.

Winter vacation starts tomorrow. I’m headed off to Japan for nearly a week of wandering around, with no real plans besides “look at cool stuff.” This is essentially how all my vacations start – a plane ticket to somewhere I’ve never been, and don’t really want to go, besides some general idea of “I haven’t seen that. Let’s go there!”


I had one mission for this trip: see (or stay at) the Book and Bed Hostel. That’s right, I’m going to (another) foreign nation to see a book store full of (more) books that I (still) can’t understand. And I’m paying to do it!

Despite my English and Math SAT scores being nearly identical, I’m really doubling down on this whole “I’m an English major” thing.

Just like every trip I’ve ever taken, not only have I done minimal planning setting it up, but I’ve also restrained from doing any actual packing either. I’m literally 23 hours away from leaving, and I’ve yet to pull my luggage out of storage. I’ll most likely be waking up at 4AM tomorrow just to throw random clothes into a bag. I’ll be gone 8 days, I need 16 pairs of socks! 

This would be scary if it wasn’t so predictable.

Pretty much the only precaution I’ve taken this year is storing my flight itinerary somewhere I can find it. No joke – last year when I went to LA I arrived at the airport with a bag and a vague recollection that I had a ticket. No clue who the airlines was, or anything like that. I’m hoping to avoid that this year.

Also adding to this stress-induced headache is the little fact that I became a real adult this year. I officially hired an accountant!

Not that I make enough money to need an accountant, but mainly so I can be sure someone is navigating Korea’s tax system on my behalf. I paid the man last night though, so essentially this factor has been laid to rest.

Next year I’m just going to follow my 한극어 선상님의 advice and book a Korean sightseeing (한국 구경하고 있다)  tour aboard a train. Just veg out in front of a window for a week; watching the (snow covered) Korean countryside pass me by.