A Day in Tokyo 2
Let’s continue this humble travel log with some more pictures from Tokyo, day 2. I spent most of this second day in the holy land of Akihabara : anime characters on every building’s facade, stores full of mangas, huge arcade centers, gorgeous ladies dressed up as maid all along the streets… This is definitely the heart of Japanese pop culture.
Actually, this day I met up with comrade @ken_works who took me and my friends around AKIBA and showed us his favorite places. Definitely had a great time, discovering the best places to enjoy Japanese pop culture. But in the end I was so absorbed by our discussions or the lovely maids all over the place that I did not take as many pictures as I wanted ^^;
Anyway, thanks again for the tour Ken!
Oh and don’t miss his article on figure.fm. There are even some pics of me ~tehee ^^;
But first, the beginning.
I needed to start the day by charging my batteries with a wonderful チョコクロワッサン (choco croissant) ordered at nearby Starbucks Coffee in Shinagawa station.
It seems that in Japan, it is impossible to find a simple croissant. It has to be filled with something. At least chocolate is ok. Not too fond of the ones with cheese…
Just by looking at the metro ads, you know you have arrived in Akihabara. Even if I was somehow prepared to this, it is really impressive to see lovely 2D girls everywhere. Another world.
View from the station. Taito station spotted. Hard to miss actually.
Once out of the station, here is what I first saw. *shock*
Had a quick look at the menu, but didn’t saw anything that look particularly from France. Or maybe the various toasted ham and cheese sandwich, which is called "croque-monsieur"?
Gundam Café. Didn’t have the chance to go in, as there was a huge queue. Seems popular!
But we ate in a lovely maid café instead ^^
Once with Ken, we started the visit with Kotobukiya store and showroom inside Radio Kaikan building, where tones of figures and kits are displayed.
Here are some chibi Patlabor mechas. So cute!
I realize I was so absorbed by all those figures and other beautiful things I forgot to take pictures ^^;;
Just took few snaps of what I am not really used to, like those awesome Star Wars figures. Love the C-3PO and R2-D2 set.
Pre-order forms. There are stuff like this in every figure / goodies store! Walls of ordering tickets.
Some impressive statues from other universes, like Iron Man, Hellboy, Predator, Alien, Batman…
In this bulding lives also the Kaiyoko and Volks stores, with an amazing war plane showroom and some showcases full of gorgeous Dollfies. But unfortunately it was not possible to take pictures T_T
At least, I got an excuse for this time.
Time to get out and visit another place. I like how you can bump into anime related stuff wherever you look at.
And here is a typical view from a manga/doujinshi shop. Stacks of mangas and novels everywhere. There are so many lovely and appealing covers I can’t understand how people make there choice.
Now I think about it, this is kind of a chance not to have such a huge selection in France ^^;;
Stacks of health care material spotted as well.
Back in the street, and just saw this black itasha. I thought I would see more of them, but that was the only one of the day.
That’s not really what bikers look like in my hometown. Flip-flops and no helmet, and this wasn’t the only on I saw like this. Is the law more flexible in Japan regarding the road safety or something?
What I really love in Tokyo is that even in Akihabara, you can find a street where on one side ends on an old traditional house…
… and on the other side, opens to top modern buildings.
This mix of generations is wonderful.
About to enter this Mandarake store. Here you can find a lot of valuable goods, since there are second-hand shops for figures and mangas. A true Ali Baba’s cave. I saw a bunch of limited nendoroids and figmas released during previous WonderFes, and for a quite reasonable price.
mmmhh suggestive ad with 2D girls. What’s up with those arrows on their lower eyes?
Cosplay floor. Too sad Miku’s outfits was too small for me.
Lot of old mangas, all sealed and well protected. Recognize anything?
Appart from being where Japanese pop culture lives, Akihabara is also known as the Denkigai (Electric Town). And you can easily understand this nickname when you come across all those little shops full of light bulbs, wires, and all sorts of electrical devices.
The kind of ideal place to get an adaptor for European sockets that can’t be plugged directly in Japanese installations. At least 10 times cheaper than those sold in airports. But you should better ask a clerk for what you are looking for ^^;
Club SEGA, where the trailer of Project Diva 2 was playing loudly on a screen displayed at the entrance with big posters. The game was about to be released, so there were Miku songs playing all over the place. Not that I had to complain about this, on the contrary! /fan
Time was running out so we had a quick tour in another SEGA center. First floor is full of UFO catchers like this one filled with Biribiri figures. Those stuff are damn hard to get actually!
Another one with Love Plus goodies. I did not pay much attention to this game, but it seems incredibly popular. Who is the most idolized character? I heard Nene was quite a success.
That’s what I call an arcade game! A network of Gundam pilot capsules.
Arcade centers are really something in Japan. Definitely a place where I would spend a lot of time is such things existed in France.
Too sad the huge market of online games almost killed the world of arcades over here.
Time to go back to the station. Some more lovely ads with 2D girls.
This made me smile.
Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower (モード学園コクーンタワー Mōdo gakuen kokūn tawā) is a 204-metre, 50-story educational facility located in the Nishi-Shinjuku district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The building is home to three educational institutions: Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion vocational school), HAL Tokyo (special technology and design college), and Shuto Ikō (medical college). Completed in October 2008, the tower is the second-tallest educational building in the world and is the 17th-tallest building in Tokyo. – wikipedia
Landed in Shinjuku to spend the evening. We passed by this impressive tower to reach the rendez-vous point with other French comrades we travelled with.
6:30pm still +32°c. Hot day is hot.
Yummy sashimi for din dins. Salmon I think, and prawn. Have no clue what the white thing in the middle was though.
Followed up with shumai – pork dumplings. But this is a Chinese meal isn’t it?
And in the end, green tea ice cream. I really love green tea, but turned into ice cream, I would say this tastes somehow strange.
Then we enjoyed the rest of the night in a karaoke. This is so typical we had to try at least one!
I tried to sing JAM Project’s title SOULTAKER, but I guess I am still a bit slow at reading hiragana ^^;;
And this ends this second day spent in Tokyo.