I woke up around 7:30 AM to get ready so I could catch my Shinkansen by 10:03. Unfortunately I missed the train, but I was able to catch the next one that left around 10:30, so it wasn't a big deal. By the Hikari shinkansen, which I took to Osaka it takes about 3 hours, but if you take the Nozomi train it only takes around 2 hours or so...The Nozomi train is much newer and faster than the other Shinkansen lines that go to the Kansai area.
Speaking of the Shinkansen, I always love riding them because you get to see the beautiful country side of Japan.
The mountains are always so breath taking to me!!
I got to Osaka around 1:30 or so and was absolutely in a culture shock!! Everything was the opposite of Tokyo! In Tokyo, when going up the escalators you're supposed to stand on the left hand side, but in Osaka everyone stood on the right. I didn't notice this at first and all these people were trying to get around me up the steps. I was pretty embarrassed...
Also, all the station exit signs, train, bus, shinkansen, and even air port signs were BLUE! In Tokyo all the signs are color coded so its easy to find which train or subway you need to take, but here it took some getting used to. Even the tick booths were completely different.
As for the people, I kept getting stared at a lot. Even if I am a foreigner, in Tokyo nobody particularly minds or pays attention, but in Osaka all heads were turned and looking at me. It made me feel slightly self-conscious. For once I truly felt foreign.
Anyway, Zeal Link was quite easy to find, thanks to a friend I made back in January when she was visiting Tokyo from Osaka. She gave me PERFECT directions so there was no problem at all!! Thanks!
Once at Zeal Link, I was a little worried about straying too far, so I mostly stayed in the mall the store was located and got something to eat. I did get a chance to visit a huge Apple store right around the corner as well. It was quite impressive!
As for Zeal Link, look how huge and impressive it is in Osaka!
I was really surprised by what a large store it was. The one in Shibuya was pretty tiny...
Long story short, the time finally comes around when we need to prepare for the event. Everyone was called outside of the shop where we lined up somewhat according to number. I was number 86, so I had to wait a little while, but all the waiting was completely worth it!!
Mana and Seth were so friendly at the Osaka event and communicating with all the fans so much more. Seth would start conversations with everyone and Mana got to spend much more time with everyone than in Shibuya. It made for a really nice time.
As soon as it was my turn, I went up to Seth and he kept saying "Arigatou" so I said the same in return. Then he wanted to ask me if I listened to the CD but stopped in mid sentence and started stuttering and smiling at me. He wasn't sure if I understood Japanese or not, so I responded by telling him it was ok to speak Japanese! He got really excited and kept talking to me for a little while from then on. I thought it was really funny.
Next was Mana, who shook hands with me for a long time and smiled!! This time he was wearing all black EGA and his hair wasn't poofed up as much as it usually is, which kind of surprised me. However, I really liked the change a lot!! It looks wonderful on him!
The atmosphere in Osaka with Mana and Seth was so much more relaxed and friendly that I feel like this experience exceeded that of the one in Shibuya. In a way its a shame; I wish the fans in Tokyo could have experienced this... Although I think it was just perfect for the Osaka event since people in Osaka really don't get to see Mana as much as we do in Tokyo.
I talked to her mother a little who said she made the outfit herself! I wish I cold have gotten a picture of the mother as well, but I was a little shy of asking. Would it have been weird?
I also talked to the little girl somewhat, but she was very shy. aahh, She was way too cute!
After wards, I explored the area a little bit, had dinner, and came back to Tokyo.
Aside from having my poster stolen, the event itself was really nice. It was so much more enjoyable than the one in Shibuya and Mana and Seth were sooo much fun to see this time!