Sunday, November 11, 2007

Free Information Desk

Note: Parental guide is advisable as the material below contains sexual implicitly. You don't have to understand Japanese for this entry. I am very sure that you will understand it naturally.
This is さっぽろ観光案内所 (Sapporo Kankou Annaijo), which translates it into Sapporo Tourist Information Desk.
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As for this one, it looks quiet similar to the one above. In fact, it is far better. It is known as 無料案内所 (Muryou Annaijo), which literally means Free Information Desk.
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Now, have you spot the common thing between both if them? Yes, the word 案内所 (Annaijo).
So, what is the fuss about that term? Well, to those of you who are in Japan, you should be able to guess what I am trying to point out here. But for the rest out there, I am sure you will still sound blur. So, read on.
I was in Susukino at Sapporo during my Hokkaido trip a couple of months ago, when I saw this catchy signboard.
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Kabukicho is a playground for non-children. It is actually an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo. I have gone to Shinjuku once so far, but I have not paid a visit to Kabukicho yet. But Kabukicho in Susukino?
My initial impression of Susukino was that it is only an entertainment area, and nothing more than that. The word entertainment here I mean is like pachinko slots shops, bowling alley, and restaurants. The thought of having a red-light district in Susukino did not came to my mind at all. Seriously.
But this is Japan. How can you ever fail to find these spots, especially in a big cities, right? So, we set off and tried locating for them. It didn't take too long for us to finally come across this.
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These spots are not located along just one stretch of street only. In fact, they are scattered everywhere. Almost every turn of the streets we took, they were just on our left and right.
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Fancy a medical check-up at this Health Tower?
We would never come acrose so many of them, if we were not on our mission that night. Earlier that evening, we caught a glimpse of one shop, which were displaying uncensored models. Even those I saw so far in Tokyo and Kyoto were not like that. We went to have our dinner first as we thought it will be more interesting to take a closer look at them at night.
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"Moisture on the heart and body. Streams of new student enrolments"
After our dinner, we tried locating it again, but to no avail. We looked at every street and every turn but it seemed that we just could not locate it. It was really frustrating, I tell you.
In the end, we settled with taking photo on something else. It wasn't easy to simply take a shot on them. I got to act like those ang moh tourist trying to capture the night scene of Susukino.
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Was that guy in the middle posing for me?
Yes, I took a picture of some ducks papa chickens in Susukino.
Moral of the Entry:
When you are enquiring for some place when you are travelling in Japan, instead of asking where is the 案内所 (Annaijo), it is better to take the trouble to add the word 観光 (Kankou) and ask for 観光案内所 (Kankou Annaijo). You will never want them to lead you to the 無料案内所 (Muryou Annaijo) - Free Information Desk.
Or perhaps you really wanted to be there in the first place?

2 comments:

ns29 said...

I remembered that sensei told us bout this when we were at ppktj...
The difference between free annai and 'without free' annai...

Those ppl didnt look like papa leh...
I thought they are only who pay visit to those free annai places...

calvin said...

@ ns29:
i know i'm not that good when it comes to recalling something. do you mind if you reveal the name of sensei who told us about this annai thing.

i could be wrong here, but i guess these people are the one who guide interested customers, and not those who pay a visit to those free annai spots. i call them papa chicken coz it's common to call these people as bapa (papa) ayam, no?