Hi sisters ..... after a week of emotional rollercoaster (on top of the exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition), this unforgettable reunion with Yong Joon and his kazoku has finally closed its curtain. It was very trying for me as I started this past week physically exhausted from my Toronto home visit and jetlag, mentally burnt out with the uncertainty of many personal issues. Not exactly the right kind of mood to prepare for 'a dream date with the prince', you would say? Nevertheless, I remind myself of Yong Joon's motto 'Ichigo Ichie', that I tried to draw strength from within and cherish the moment – as there may never be another time like this one!
Way before the month of the Events, I have diligently jotted down the arrival, departure and activities of different overseas sisters. Hehe, not because I was any important host calling the shots or anything, but just so I could make myself available in case anyone needed a local person around. The BIG week started off reuniting with my Toronto sisters Ivy and Gosijo, and a rendezvous with the Chinese Baidu sisters in their hotel. Even with my jetlag and heavy heart, the smiles and warmth of these lovely sisters have rejuvenated my sagging spirit. From that moment on, my heart had officially stepped into the mode of ‘2 days with Yong Joon ssi’.
In the morning of 29th, the kind kiyomi san extended her hospitality to some overseas fans in joining her ‘April Snow and Now’ circle for a pre-event lunch gathering at the Tokyo Dome Hotel. By now, I am quite familiar with the friendly faces of the ‘AS & Now’ sisters. They always greet me with such warmth and cheerfulness, I only wish my Japanese were proficient enough to converse freely with them. It’s a delight to see princess bb again after my Singapore trip, and met her unnis from Korea and Singapore. Happiness seemed to have filled up my stomach, all I remembered was drinking, chatting and more drinking. BIG mistake! Every sensible BYJ fan knows that one has to stuff one’s tummy with good food and leave the bladder empty before an event, and obviously I am not in the 'sensible' category.
Umichan led us on a short dance to cheer for Yong Joon and we all toasted to the success of his 2 events. Meanwhile, Yong Joon ssi and Choi Ji Woo were holding their press conference in Odaiba...
Since the Winter Sonata Anime Event didn’t start until 6pm that evening, we had ample time to explore the event venue. By now, we have gathered up more sisters, mariko, olivia, moichan. The hotel lobby was packed with weary fans dragging their overnight luggage waiting to check in. Cafés and restaurants filled with fan friends eagerly anticipating their meeting with Yonsama. Needless to say, the ladies washrooms always turn out to be the most popular. Looking at this hustle bustle scene, I couldn't help but be grateful to cloudnine for our wonderful stay in Osaka last year.
This time however, we did not have to line up for 3 hours to buy BYJ souvenirs. Event goods were readily available for purchase as these sales booths were located throughout the Dome. This one is located inside the hotel :
Nikkan Sports on that day w/ life- size Yonsama pictures
The surrounding bookstores had Yonsama’s magazines displayed right at the front. I bought my copy of the ‘Journey to the Beauty of Korea’ too.
Even street vendors were around attracting lots of onlookers
Outside the Dome, banners from many fan clubs could be seen
More booths for event goods
Our arms were quite tired carrying lots of souvenirs and gifts and the rain started to come down. Since the Dome opened at 4pm to the fans, we decided to go in and get ourselves settled ......
to be continued......