Senpai, your theme is the best holy shit. Where did you get it??

ahhh there should be a theme credit on my page shit hang on


this person is fucking RAD best themes on tumblr imo i really really recommend it

the background i stole from a pixel masterpost because i’m real cool

is anyone interested in hearing more about the game centers i visit? e.g. descriptions via text post and things?

Hello friends, old and new.  I was hoping I would update this blog more, but it turns out I’m a horribly lazy piece of shit! Who knew? (Psst I did, I knew.)  I’ll try to keep the format where my pictures of Game Centers are their own posts, by and large, because let’s face it, I know what you people are here for.  Recently, classes have started, and I’m kind of a massive otaku and I struggle with social anxiety.

This is going to be a long, whiny post, so you might wanna opt out now.

A little bit of backstory.  Approximately 9 of you know me, and I never really intended this blog to be seen by anyone but those people.  I wanted this to be a place my friends could come to check up on my while I was in Japan, and to see some pictures of my adventures, that sort of thing.  People that know me know that I’m unreasonably obsessed with arcade games, and they knew one of my major goals in Japan was to take lots and lots of pictures of Game centers.

The other thing most of my close friends know about me is that I suffer from an ever so special-snowflake syndrome called social phobia. Wikipedia, being the eternal bringer of knowledge describes this as “intense fear in social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life.” (Er, it’s social anxiety, but many people think it’s just different shades of the same thing)  Social phobia, specifically refers to an intense fear of being embarrassed.

This is kind of hard to explain to normal people.  The reaction I usually get is “oh, well everyone’s kind of like that.”  And it’s true.  Anxiety helps us function, it has ever since prehistory, but allow me to elaborate a little bit.  In the states, dealing with social phobia has impacted the way I act tremendously.  Most of my available energy is spent mitigating and obsessing over every interaction I have with someone, wondering if it left me looking weird, or strange, and honestly makes me look more socially awkward than I am.  If you’ve had a conversation with me, and especially if I don’t know you very well, you’ve seen the effects of it in some form.  Recently, I discovered that when I’m put into situations that are really high stress for me, I suffer from a random stutter and selective mutism.  Frequently there were times where I would try to one person in particular, and I would literally be unable to voice anything to them.

You can imagine how well this translates to a country where I barely speak the language, and know that my hobby is by and large social taboo, and the people are known for being pretty racist.

It doesn’t go well.

So, the theme of the week has been, “people are exceedingly nice to me, and I’m terrible about thanking them”  I’ve been trying to visit clubs and stuff, and it just hasn’t been going well.  I keep trying to talk about stuff I like, and I just can’t find the words, and I talk to fast, and then I get nervous and I can’t focus on anything anyone is saying, and so 90% of my conversations are just stammered apologies and the only word I have to describe how I feel is impotent.  It feels fucking terrible being illiterate and unable to communicate in any way.  I feel like such an ass in every conversation I’ve had lately.

Despite all of this, every person I know seems to go out of their way to talk and be nice to me.  This is the sort of thing I know I need to focus on, but in the end, I just feel like I’m burdening them unnecessarily.

This has been my biggest struggle, and it’s made me want to give it up.  It’s definitely made me act like a hiki, especially around the other dorm students, but I guess it’s just one more thing to overcome.


Thank you so much!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much yet, I’m still wrapping up orientation.  If there’s anything you’d like me to try or take pictures of, let me know!

Update! (4/9)

Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been bad about updating! Orientation has been insanely busy lately, and so it’s been hard to post much, but I have pictures this time! So hopefully that will make up for things.

Orientation has been interesting.  My moderate to tiny grasp on the Japanese language, coupled with the fact that social anxiety causes me to freak out when I think people think I’m dumb means that these weeks have been trying at times, but even still, I have persevered.  Recently, I went to Akihabara and Shinjuku with Mike and Mike, and it was an incredible experience.

One of the things that happens, especially when you’re involved with studying the japanese major is that certain things will happen.  One of which is that your older friends will go to Japan, and you will hear certain things from them, and it’s impossible to explain them in real human terms.  A good example of this is the trains.  You can see pictures of a packed line at rush hour, and you can read me, writing now, that it is incredible, but you will, without fail, still get on a train at 6PM and say “holy shit, there a ton of people on this thing.”  That entire weekend felt like that.  Things that fell into the catagory of incomprehensible until experienced moments include:

  • Shinjuku’s insanely busy train station.
  • The beauty of sakura in full bloom
  • The moment in which, when you go to have a completely mundane and simple conversation (in my case, to order a meal) and you completely forget Japanese.
  • Akihabara, the whole town.

The last point in particular is something I want to mention.  Akihabara, for those potentially not in the know, is called “the electric city” and originally existed exclusively to purvey electronics and their parts.  But with engineering and computing goods come STEM majors, and after, the rest of us nerds kind of file in.

I used the phrase “eternal anime convention” to describe the “pedestrian paradise” (a series of streets closed to cars during the day) part of Akiba, but that’s not quite right.  Another person, not quite as initiated in the realm of disgusting otaku as others said. “Akiba has a weird atmosphere that permeates the entirety of it… it’s creepy.”  That’s probably closer to the truth.  If you’re not the person to dabble in that sort of thing, Akiba is gross, sort of alive in a manner you’re not quite certain of, all you know is that it makes you uncomfortable.  For those aware of current airing anime, and are the type of person that don’t mind encountering doujin, Akiba’s pulsating mass welcomes you with open tentacles.

That got kind of weird.

Akihabara is really fun guys though, honest.

Picture time!

Evangelion Ad, Akihabara

A sign I found with a group of fellow exchange students in Fuchinobe.  I laughed pretty hard at this, and it’s a bit of an in-joke with everyone now.

The Machida train station at night!

More photos coming in their own post.  Stay tuned.

Update! 4/1 (Morning)

I touched down in Narita last night, and I’ve taken no pictures because it’s kind of been a whirlwind since I got here.

The only thing of note I have done so far is that I went to a konbini for dinner, holy shit they are cheap and delicious and just like.

Everyone who has been to Japan will tell you they are amazing

You will never understand how great they are until you’re there.

plus they sell filtered lucky strikes i am in heaven right now you don’t even know

boy not smoking sure went well