Arising early seems the thing to do here in Japan. I'm guessing that between the time changes and the full days we keep getting exhausted by 10 and wake at 7 as a result. Still it has been very nice to wake early and look out across Yokohma bay from our hotel window. This is a lovely hotel and we have a great view of the harbor including some bridges, a windmill, a floating resturant, the harbor side of the convention center, some tugboats, a Japan Coast Guard ship and, looking to the side, the city of Yokahama with the mouth of the river just to the other side of the convention center.
emilytheslayer and I went to go to the French Pastry place, Pompadour, we'd fond the previous day, but at 8:15 it was not yet open. Fortunately, we ran into another con attendee who told us o an even better pastry shop, Vie de France the next mall over. We walked there and got some wonderful pastries, including one I like to call The emilytheslayer. It was a pastry with hash-browns, ketchup and cheese.
After this, I returned to the room while emilytheslayer went to the first of her panels featuring Amano Yoshitaka. I logged into CoH for awhile and got to astonish, then chat with head58 and aliwings for a bit. At around 11, I went to the dealer’s room and found some Japanese SF that had been translated into English. There’s also a series of 4 books of Japanese Cthulhu stories, I only got the first one and will be letting hagbardc & Steph know if they’re any good.
At noon I went to "The Books ate My House." head58 seemed to think this'd have tips on shelving and storage and such. It was mostly tales of the troubles people have had with the size of their book collections and tips on where to get more books cheaply! We also talked about where to find great bookstores in Japan, Wales, the USA and so on. Towards the end of the panel two men said a friend of theirs had died and they were trying to dispose of his book collection of well over 6,000 books. They'd catalogued them all and if we gave them our names and email addresses, they’d send us the books for the cost of shipping. I gave them mine.
As it was now 1:00 (this being one of the few short panels) I went to meet emilytheslayer as her second panel with Amano Yoshitaka would be getting out at around 2. There was a Japanese Xylophonist in the hall, which was pretty neat and there was a play going on in the room next to the one emilytheslayer was in. Blood-curdling screams repeatedly issued from the room, but fortunately they were inaudible in emilytheslayer's room as that would likely have interfered with the artists drawing therein.
The 2 hour panel blocks are supposed to be 90 minutes of panel with 30 minutes in between. emilytheslayer's ran all the way until 2, but as a bonus she got pictures of notduck with each of the artists and a drawing from Amano. As it was around 2:10 by the time she’d gotten her pictures, we decided to give the 2:00 panels a miss and go get lunch. We went to the Gyu Don resturant Yoshinoya near the other con hotel (The Breezebay) and the 7-11. It was great! emilytheslayer loved it too. We each had lunch for only 780 yen for the two of us.
We headed to the main exhibition hall so emilytheslayer and I could vote in the selection of the 2009 Worldcon location. The choice was between Kansas City and Montreal. We both voted for Montreal and get to find out who won on Sunday. Next year is in Denver and we'd like to go to that. I’m hoping we can convince many people to go along as I think it’d be a fun trip.
We headed to the dealer room after that. It was very small this year with barely a dozen tables, most of them with exclusively Japanese items. There was a booth giving away shirt and coolie hats for a game that was coming out. There was an artist's booth with his sculptures of dragons or scantily clad women. The sculptures were quite good, but the dragon ones seemed much better as they showed some imagination. The scariest booth was one that was attended by several anime characters. These were 4 or 5 people in costumes that made them look like anime girls. What made them scary was the full-head masks that looked almost like balloons covering their heads with the big eyes and small mouths. There was even a catgirl complete with paw gloves and boots.
After escaping this table, we stopped at a table selling Miyazaki DvDs. The woman behind the counter spoke English so we chatted with her for awhile and she showed us several of his DvDs with several bonus disks. They were kind of expensive, but really cool so we bought 2 of them: Howl's Movig Castle and Legends of Earthsea. The latter is unlikely to be released in the states any time soon, which is a big reason we bought it. The women behind the counter seemed stunned that we bought both and showered us with extras. There was a sign saying we got one of the 5 patches on display with each purchase. When we noticed this, the lead woman said "You get everything!" and proceeded to give us all 5 patches, a lucky cat charm, a figure of the dog from Howl's Moving Castle perched atop a glass ball, a bonus DVD and the last dragon figurine they had saying they'd been saving it for an extra good customer. We Win!
We headed back to the room to drop off our latest acquisitions and went to get goot seats for the Hugos. We arrived a little early and wandered through the Japanese fanzine displays, buying a few postcards of giant cats destroying cities. We thought them appropriate for some of our friends.
We then headed to the Hugos, getting seats just 6 rows back from the stage, at center stage. Unfortunately, this coup was dampened by two very annoying men sitting to either side of us. They just wouldn't stop talking about any damn thing that came into their heads, even inserting themselves into the conversation when I thought I'd made it obvious by my posture and lowered voice that I was only talking to emilytheslayer. The one on my side then proceeded to fall asleep through nearly every speech, waking up only to clap. The one on emilytheslayer's side wouldn't stop giving her bad advice and commenting at every joke made in the presentation to show he’d gotten it. After they were over, the one on my side wouldn't get up and the one on emilytheslayer's side squatted in front of his seat looking for who knows what, fussing with all his crap and cameras and such as though he'd lost something. He stood up to look over the seats and we took that opportunity to escape, pushing by him and stepping over his camera.
Despite the efforts of these two, the Hugos were still loads of fun. It began with an epic battle of Ultraman fighting a monster to protect another little monster. Not on a movie, this was live action with people in costumes on the stage in front of us. It continued to 4 Ultramen fighting 5 monsters. This was all narrated in Japanese, which we couldn’t understand, but it was still cool.
Then the Hugos started and though they had problems with the mikes, they had great fun presenting and the ceremony was quite amusing. Sadly, most of the winners weren't there to receive their awards, but the acceptors were decent speakers. The one person that was there didn't have a speech. There may have been more than one who was there to get the award, but if so I don’t remember them.
After the Hugos, we went back to the convenience store in the mall to get parfaits (which were delicious) and continued back to our room for relaxation and dessert.