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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Anime Route in Tottori

Tottori is more than just Sand dunes!

Happy Monday everyone, hope this entry might help you kill some time (and blues) at work :-P

Everyone would have guessed by now that I grew up as a geek (and still am) because of my Cosplay history lol, can't say no to manga and anime since I was 5-6 years old (?) And I still recall sailormoon airing on local TV (was it RTM? Pardon my mom brain lol) That's almost 2 solid whole decades I've been loyal to Japan haha! Though I hardly have time to catch up with the latest animes but occasionally I still do read manga on my phone whenever I'm bored, it's a good way to kill time and I don't have to wear earphones lol.

I can bet that almost everyone that has interests in Japan started off with anime/manga/games! Don't lie and it's nothing to be ashamed of because if it weren't for those you probably won't have known or traveled to Japan before. So give yourself a big pat on the back for making these childhood dreams a reality today.

Not too far off from Okayama, there is a particular prefecture in Japan that pays tribute to some of the biggest and most influential anime of all time, for the younger generation you all would be familiar with Detective Conan and as for the older generation Gegege no Kitaro! Let's see how many of you reading this post fall into either category, let me know in the comment box below lol. I'm familiar with both because back in high school I stumbled upon the live action movie of Gegege no Kitaro which lead me to the anime series meanwhile my younger sister is an avid fan of Detective conan. She collects the manga series and even buys the dvd for her collection, but that was 6-8 years ago and who knew she was still nuts about it (sorry your older sister is terrible because don't bother to keep in touch lol) when I posted in my insta stories on my visit to Gosho Aoyama Manga factory in Tottori prefecture.

For this who don't know Gosho Aoyama is the creator of the Detective Conan series and the reason why you can find Conan merchandise, designs and statues all over Tottori it's because this is the birthplace of Aoyama-san (and Conan)!

If you are a huge fan of either series then you MUST VISIT these few places I'll be listing down below. Most people might have heard of Tottori because of its beautiful natural sand dunes but little is known that nearby cities provide ample of side activities and photography opportunities as well, so if you are a geek like me you'll definitely mark down this route!

Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory & Conan JR station

Located about 20 mins walk from JR YURA station also known as Conan station, don't leave the station too soon as you would want to explore around it first before the Manga factory!

"Conan station"

Adding all the limited edition Conan stamps to my collection

There are posters of Detective Conan series even on the staircase, large statue of Conan himself outside the station. And if you are into collecting memorabilia stamps like me make sure to head to the station's information counter. You wouldn't want to miss out on those exclusive Conan designed stamps, it's really unique because you are not gonna find them again in other areas lol.

Did i nail Conan's signature pose?

At the Manga Factory itself it's like walking into Professor Agasa's lab as there are devices used by Conan in the series such as the bow tie voice changer, booster scooter, etc and you can test them out too!

All over you can find Aoyama-san 's life work as a manga artist, how he first came about having interest in art at a very young age and every year in January he will visit the factory too, would be great to meet him in person one day haha hope that will come true!

With Prof. Agasa's car!

The factory's entrance ticket, don't lose it because you can use it to get a photo with 3D Conan/ Kid. 

There is a quiz section, complete it to get a limited edition card!

The cosplay outfit worn by Aoyama-san

Who else here likes KID like me?

A replica of Aoyama-san's work table, you can sit on his chair to take a photo too!

There is an official merchandise shop next to the exhibition hall once you finish the tour, and I have to be honest with this shop. It has so many Conan merch that it's difficult for Conan fans like myself to decide on what to buy because deep down we wish we can bring home the entire shop but wallet wise says "dream on bro" lol.

Conan Washi tapes

Mizuki Shigeru Road/ street & Museum

This this the road where yoakai (s) (- not sure what's the plural for it lol) come out to have fun once the sun sets during the day they are disguised as statues posing along the road for tourists. Kidding lol, if only that was real I'll totally pack my bags and move to this area because I rather be friends with them than humans haha!

Youkai is actually the term for a Japanese ghost/ demon.

The train station outside of Mizuki Shigeru road

The man who gave a face and name to all the Japanese ghosts that we know today, his iconic drawing style and flare for the supernatural world will never be forgotten despite his passing back in 2015. Today this street (feels like a small town cut off from the outside world) celebrates his memory and works.

Mizuki Shigeru, a cutout replica the legend himself in his work space 

If you walk along this street you can actually spot all the youkai that was featured in Gegege no Kitaro series and there is a booklet you can get from the local stores which is actually a little treasure hunt activity. Try to collect all the youkai stamps following a specific route, I gave up after like 15 stamps lol and it's best to start early!

Medama Oyaji, this lil eyeball fella is Kitaro's dad

Everything in this little town Is inspired by the series, elements of it can be seen on the buildings, shops, food and even ATM machines has a short ghost clip playing waiting to spook unsuspecting victims, I mean guests lol. I myself was spooked by it because I really wasn't expecting a high pitch wail out of nowhere. Sneaky indeed.

Got to shake hands with the mischievous Nezumi Otoko! 

Think this became our signature pose liao, take photos of our shoes & portholes lol

Can you believe this is actually toilet paper roll!! I feel so wasted to wipe my butt with this sia lol but it makes an interesting reading material in the toilet while doing big business.

Even toilet signs has the characters on it!
Can you guess who?

Look at that barber shop, decorated according to the roads's theme

 Even buns here are shaped like the characters

"Youkai Oden" is also available lol

Custard filled hot cakes shaped like the characters, quite yummy!

Chanwon's phone our model of this picture lol

Look out for these stands, they allow tourists to take photos without anyone helping them! Just set your timer on and it's ready to snap.
Seriously thoughtful of them to come out with something like this because where else in this world can you get a public camera/phone monopod lol. Japan's hospitality at it's very best.

Kitaro came out to play and he is posing with Conan's signature pose too lol

We are all so excited that we managed to catch him, we literally ran across the road just to get a photo with Kitaro lol.

During certain hours of the day (usually towards evening) you can spot real life Gegege no Kitaro characters roaming around taking photos with humans tourists, we managed to get one with Neko musume outside the museum and Kitaro before we left. Super lucky to bump into them :D

Neko Musume hanging outside of Mizuki Shigeru Museum

I heard that during Halloween the whole town would be lighted up and decorated for the occasion along with a special parade appearance of Gegege no Kitaro characters! So want to come back for this next time, and I should stay over night because one day is definitely not enough to explore the entire area.

Inside the Mizuki Shigeru museum you can catch the entire youkai collection

This particular youkai feeds on the dead skin found in our bathwater and its name is Akaname

There are large 3D murals inside the museum you can take photos with too

Must Try Foods!

While you are in Tottori, don't forget to eat their famous local dish which consists of 12 flavored omochi served with nabe. This food is the heart (and stomach) of Tottori locals, guaranteed to make you feel all warm & fuzzy especially during cold seasons.

From Sakaiminato to Kurayoshi city takes about an hour's drive

The reason why it has 12 flavors (including blueberry, it's more for the Natural colouring) it is meant to symbolize the 12 layers of kimono historically worn! Yea our current modern kimono hardly breaks a sweat compared to back then lol.

My silly camera blurred out my mochi!😒

We had ours at Seisuian, highly recommend this unique dish because not everyday you get to eat colorful mochi in nabe!

Address: 1-876 Sakaemachi, Kurayoshi-shi, Tottori. Mochi shabu dishes from ¥1,080. 
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m (lunch) 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m (dinner)

So cheap for one large crab!! It's less than RM70, in Malaysia sure easily cost RM200+ liao

And here is a cool fun fact I learned from this trip, everyone knows Tottori for their large crabs and seafood as they are located near the sea however did you know that the local government has a ban on crab consumption during certain seasons to prevent them from being over caught just to keep up with demands? Now you know lol, so respect your crabs yo~

We are talking about giant crabs caught from the sea and not farmed ones!

I brought back some Kani miso, it's also very cheap!

In Tottori their Ramen's broth is made from cow & Fish, it's apparently their "signature" style.
Normal ramen would usually use pork for their broth and lighter ones would use chicken. This is my first time seeing cow & fish ramen lol, regretted not getting these two!

This round is a short entry, but don't worry because there is more to share about Tottori as it's a new prefecture i've recently unlocked on my #47prefecturemission and i'm excited to share more details about the cities i've visited within Tottori, like places i've stayed at and things i've done, etc.
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Now i'm off again for another work trip but this time i'll be going around KANSAI, so excited because Mie prefecture is one of it and i've never been there before. Will be updating daily on my Instagram stories, do follow if you have not - @Arisa_chow

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Yours Truly,

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