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Post Reply Tokyo / Akihabara Diary (Anime Edition)
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Posted 12/8/16 , edited 12/18/16
I thought about posting everything about my 9 day stay (rented a tiny apartment a few streets away from Akihabara) but decided to just cut out everything that's not anime-related. It's still going to be a very long post.

I will do update edits to this post as I find the time to write.

ACT 0: "I want to go to where those dolls come from" - wife

After I got my Love Live Birthday figures, my wife, a decidedly non-fan of anime, was very impressed with them. She was so impressed that she wanted to get a display case and put them in "her room" (which is the front living room... all my electronics is in the den which is "my room") with some of her stuff .

Apparently, that wasn't enough. One day she told me that she "wanted to go see where all those dolls came from", referring to the figures.

To be honest, I wasn't that gung-ho about the idea. She is the world-traveler; I just get dragged to all the countries that she wanted to go to. This time, it happens to be Japan. After a bit of her pestering, I agreed to go to "the land of the dolls" as she called it.

...Little did she know what she signed up for. We're going to stay at Akihabara, the otaku capital of the universe. What will this non-fan of anime have to go through?

LIVING ROOM DISPLAY CASE BEFORE THE TRIP:

LIVING ROOM DISPLAY CASE AFTER THE TRIP:

(It was a minor miracle that I managed to bring back all those figures along with the luggage. More details later)

ACT 1: Odaiba

Fuji TV

We rode the Tokyo Water Bus to Odaiba.
Fuji TV's headquarters is in Odaiba. The building is this huge hulk that looks like a space city.

There were exhibits of Fuji TV's running shows, including anime. I would have geeked out if I'm actually a fan of Assassination Classroom and One Piece but too bad I watch neither series but it was still pretty cool. There was a sort-of model of the front of the classroom, and a big figure display which show a whole slew of One Piece characters in figures. Of course, there's DBZ...


Life-sized Gundam

The sculpture is located at Diver City mall, and stands about 3 floors in height. It looks to be the right size to still be agile enough to start running around and jumping, the cockpit section barely accommodating a pilot. though I kept thinking about getting squished by its feet, which are more than car-sized each.




ACT 2: "Operation Akiba"

In the morning, we met up with Jas_Sedai, who was the only person I was able to recruit for Operation Akiba, in front of GAMERS, a multifloor anime merch store (all the big stores there are multi-floor deals... one could literally be stuck all day in just one building browsing if time is not a concern)



After some chit chat, we found out that he had to take a 1 hour train ride to get to Akihabara, and he doesn't actually visit Akihabara that often at all- This was the first time he's been here in a very long time. Originally I had a set of very specific "mission objectives" to accomplish, but I thought, eh, forget it. Since Jas_Sedai was nice enough to come out here to humor me, I might as well just spend the day looking for the stuff that he wants.

Akiharabara Radio Kaikan

We went right across the street to Radio Kaikan, which is a multi-floored building chock full of rental boxes (private individuals selling stuff in locked showcases).



After just one shop there, Jas_Sedai found one of the things he was looking for. That was quick. I of course had no luck there... Either I'm just bad at looking or my things are plain hard to find (yes... they ARE hard to find)



More showcases there:


Showcase prices vary from kind of reasonable (the Madoka Magica set of prize figures above) to really outrageous ones that I just laughed at... You have to either sort of know the prices or are just shopping around and/or looking to run into something specific you don't see elsewhere.

Mandarake

Next up was Mandarake since they have a big selection. Once again Jas_Sedai found his stuff and I didn't... At this point I'm gonna have to make a decision: Either stuck stubbornly to the end and buy ONLY what I plan to buy, or buy something that I like even though it wasn't on my original target list.

I was too busy shopping to take pics so the only inside pic was this (I think this was 3rd floor, dedicated to bishoujo figures)


My wife drew up the guidelines:
1. The figure has to be high quality ("High quality" to her meant "looks just as good as those Love Live Birthday Figures in the living room")
2. It can't be too racy because sometimes she has her friends over and don't want them getting "the wrong ideas"

...As soon as my wife saw the kimono Madoka figure (left) she said she wanted me to buy it. Well, no objections from me, I liked it too. After some more searching, I saw Hestia. Wife said it's too racy but later kinda just told me to get what I like so Hestia goes home with me.

Souvenir Exibit A: Madoka (Madoka Magica), Kuroneko (Oreimo, bought later in the trip), Hestia (Is It Wrong To Hit On A Girl In A Dungeon)


GAMERS

For the last stretch of the operation (it was getting late) we went back to GAMERS where we met in the morning. Once again my teammate found his stuff, but this time I also found some of my stuff too!... Because they're all too easy to find.

The "wall of Love Live" upstairs at GAMERS:


Nico mai waifu!

My wife thinks that mai waifu is cute. (my wife doesn't need to know anything about Nico other than she's cute )

Also got a 3-pack containing clearfile of all 3 first-years of Love Live Sunshine (because they're cute, and Yoshiko's my fav because part of her personality is sort of like Nico's)


Thus concludes Operation Akiba. We bid goodbye to Jas_Sedai because he's got a real early workaday the next morning.

Before that, we saw an exhibition of die cast models in the pedestrian tunnel going around the outside of the Akihabara station. Here are 4 pics from it: (the models could be ordered on the spot, I didn't buy anything even though I was tempted)



Upstairs in the mall attached to the station, there was also some [email protected] merch being sold. Again, too bad I'm not into idolmas because I'm pretty sure any idolmas fan would totally geek out at the giant wallscroll display with the signatures of all the VAs of both idolmas series:



Back of the idolmas merch stand where the giant wallscroll was:




ACT 3: Anime pilgrimage #1, Your Name (Movie locations)

On the way to Japan I saw Your Name on the ANA flight (great movie, lovely story) and I thought, since I'm going to Tokyo anyways then why not- I should try visiting some of the places shown in the movie!

Stairs near Suga Shrine


The stairs of the ending scene. Wow, looks like this place is already world-famous, because now there are a whole bunch of couples traveling there just to film at this now-romantic spot! I thought that was funny... There were so many people there that it was hard getting a clean shot. But it was cool.

Yotsuya Station

This JR station was not that far from Suga Shrine. We got off there and took some shots. The above shot was a close imitation of the scene shot when the main guy was meeting someone for a date, and that date was waiting for him.

Yoyogi Station

This is where the first confrontation between the two main characters in a station happened. The station was crowded when I was taking a pic....

ACT 4: "Still haven't found Utaha-san but I got these!"

Akihabara Culture Zone

Another multi-story mall full of anime / manga stuff. Long story short, I got Saber and Kuroneko (Exibit A) on one of the floors in one go. It of course had everything including all the light novels. If it weren't for my crap Japanese, I might have weighed myself down with some light novels too.

Souvenir exibit B: Saber, Asuna (bought at Tokyo Tower later on... you'd never think that there's a figure shop there too)


"Maid Alley"


I never went to any maid cafes because my wife wanted "real food"... But, you don't have to go to maid cafe to look at maids, if maid-watching is your thing. This is because just about on any given night, there are maids handing out paper ads or tissue paper packs in an effort to draw customers to their respective cafes (sometimes there are also minor idol groups advertising on the street also, so if you can't get into big performances, no problem either if you just want a taste of idol culture... I didn't get to go to any performances because of time constraints, and I didn't even TRY for Don Quixote AKB48 tickets because the lottery is literally IMPOSSIBLE) .

This is especially true on Friday nights, and the biggest concentration of maids seems to be on the narrower street leading off from the main Akiba Strip starting from Akihabara Culture Zone. This street is what I call "maid alley" because it's maids, maid, and more maids. Note that not all maids are moe kyun, but I did see a few pretty/cute ones and one extraordinarilly pretty maid.

Of couse, no photographic proof here because no photos allowed. Why? That's the rules.

Me: Hey no pictures
Wife: Why?
Me: It's the rules
Wife: Why?
Me: Go ask them (points to maid)
(No more questions since Wife doesn't speak Japanese and those maids on the streets don't really speak English. Yeah, clever me)

I think I'm going to skip describing my second anime pilgrimage because most people don't care about Magic Knight Rayearth and there's not much to say about Tokyo Tower anyways (view's great tho, and I got Asuna!)

Free Hatsune Miku Concert @ SegaFes

For several days straight I saw that something's up with Sega setting up stuff next to the Softmap headquarters building.


I kind of ignored it for a few days, but then one night SEGA got my attention again when they sent girls dressed in silver bodysuits passing out fliers (ok I know what you're thinking, but I noticed ONLY because those suits really STOOD OUT). Then I thought, okay- It's time to check out what SEGA was up to.

Turned out there was an event going on called "SegaFes" (transliteration) and there was a crowd of people. I went there and it happened that there was a free Hatsune Miku concert going on. Well, I'm not a huge vocaloid fan but I did stay for two songs, plus some greets/shoutouts by Miku "herself" in between. Wow, the people at the very front near the stage was really into it, glow-stick waving, lyrics-chanting, the "woo-wooing", the whole thing. They must've camped out for the privilege of being all the way in front.

There was no photography allowed, so the only proof that I was at the live Miku concert that night was this SegaFes balloon...


The expensive Re:ZERO Rem-flavored soda

Near Akihabara Station, the sweets shop SWEETS PARADISE was running a promotion where if you buy a "Rem drink" for 500 yen, you get a mini-clearfile with Rem and that-other-non-Rem-character! Given that Rem is one of mai waifus, I had to get the clear file. Seriously, I couldn't have cared less for the drink... I could have just tossed it right after getting that clear file prize but I drank "Rem" anyways. Didn't taste bad; It wasn't made too sweetly, just about right.
I know it doesn't taste like Rem, but who cares.

Note: after that, I decided that wasn't enough Rem for me. So I bought more Rem stuff and preordered the Rem prize figure, along with the Ram prize figure too because one, Rem would be lonely standing by herself in the display cabinet without her sister and two, the two sisters' poses match so of course I had to order both figures.

Next: I FOUND UTAHA AT LONG LAST, and the final anime pilgrimage
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Posted 12/8/16 , edited 12/8/16
Sounds fun.

I never really do anything when I go to Japan. I just go home and just eat and watch tv. Then I'm wondering why the airplane seats are smaller on the ride back.
Posted 12/9/16
Oh shit, he went to the promised land
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Hoosierville
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Posted 12/9/16
You are at the holy land! Lucky bastard!
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Posted 12/9/16
cool, didn't know you went to Japan. seems like you're having fun
that giant Love Live Sunshine poster / ad though o-o
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28 / M / New York
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Posted 12/9/16 , edited 12/9/16
Lol. Akihabara is a fucking cash dumpster for anime/manga fans and toy collectors. I found several rare ones I've been searching for as well as a few gachapon wins. Don't forget to go to Gachapon Kaikan! You gotta go into the small side street so it's not on the main road. And I hope you scored tickets to Ghibli Museum in Mitaka!

Also, endless hentai dungeon...

Posted 12/9/16
Cool *heart eyes*
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Posted 12/10/16 , edited 12/10/16

namealreadytaken wrote:

cool, didn't know you went to Japan. seems like you're having fun
that giant Love Live Sunshine poster / ad though o-o


I don't know how long it will take for me to write the rest of the post but...

I went to the sweets shop which inspired Honoka's house. The outside is the same but the inside's totally different. Went to a bunch of other places shown in the anime.

I ran up "those" steps! I videoed the whole thing... Took me about 35 seconds but I didn't go all out because it was snowing and I didn't want to trip and fall like Nico did (I took a pic of the place Nico fell too lol.............)

Even just all the Love Live stuff would take up a whole post. Maybe after all of this I can post something in the LLSIF thread
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Posted 12/10/16

nanikore2 wrote:
I don't know how long it will take for me to write the rest of the post but...

I went to the sweets shop which inspired Honoka's house. The outside is the same but the inside's totally different. Went to a bunch of other places shown in the anime.

I ran up "those" steps! I videoed the whole thing... Took me about 35 seconds but I didn't go all out because it was snowing and I didn't want to trip and fall like Nico did (I took a pic of the place Nico fell too lol.............)

Even just all the Love Live stuff would take up a whole post. Maybe after all of this I can post something in the LLSIF thread


>the inside's totally different.
like that A-rise building, which is not actually an idol academy in real life

would be really cool if the Otonokizaka (spelling?)...Honoka's school actually exist :p
if it does, ss pls
i would say to check Sunshine's real life locations as well...but you probably already did.
and of course, there's real life locations for other series like Chuunibyou, Sora no method, hyouka, shirobako, etc, etc.
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Posted 12/10/16 , edited 12/10/16

namealreadytaken wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:
I don't know how long it will take for me to write the rest of the post but...

I went to the sweets shop which inspired Honoka's house. The outside is the same but the inside's totally different. Went to a bunch of other places shown in the anime.

I ran up "those" steps! I videoed the whole thing... Took me about 35 seconds but I didn't go all out because it was snowing and I didn't want to trip and fall like Nico did (I took a pic of the place Nico fell too lol.............)

Even just all the Love Live stuff would take up a whole post. Maybe after all of this I can post something in the LLSIF thread


>the inside's totally different.
like that A-rise building, which is not actually an idol academy in real life

would be really cool if the Otonokizaka (spelling?)...Honoka's school actually exist :p
if it does, ss pls
i would say to check Sunshine's real life locations as well...but you probably already did.
and of course, there's real life locations for other series like Chuunibyou, Sora no method, hyouka, shirobako, etc, etc.


Yeah UDX building was renamed "UTX" for the anime lol... There are a bunch of restaurants in there and I had dinner inside UDX building twice.

I didn't have enough time to go to Sunshine's locations (assuming all the Tokyo ones, not the Numazu ones because those are wayyyyyy out on an island)... but I did a quick google search and saw that I was kind of at some of the Tokyo locations anyway so yay.

I'm already back in the states, so all this is just me trying to remember the order of everything and spending a lot of time just trying to find the right pictures to post from the huge number of photos I have
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Hoosierville
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Posted 12/10/16
That is truly the holy land! I will HAVE to go there some day!
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Posted 12/10/16

CKD-Anime wrote:

Sounds fun.

I never really do anything when I go to Japan. I just go home and just eat and watch tv. Then I'm wondering why the airplane seats are smaller on the ride back.


Doujin markets? Castles! Battlefields. Compare that to America, which only has modern history.

I guess it kinda depends on where you live though, or if you go there on a non-Japanese passport (discount JR rides) and want to bring some Japanese people along (who can't get discount JR rides). I guess you'd at least have a car. Well... depending. ^_^;
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Posted 12/10/16
Did you go to Super Potato yet?

Last time I was there I got interviewed by some hentai magazine article writer. That was fun.
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San Diago
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Posted 12/10/16
Visit any themed cafes while you were there?

The only ones I've ever visited were the Gundam Cafe and Maid Dreamin. The Gundam Cafe was pretty cool, they'd play music and video clips from the shows and the food and drinks were named and even shaped like Moble Suits. I got a Zaku themed fried rice with a drink named after Ramba Raal.



Maid Dreamin was pretty fun too, the girls there spoke English pretty well and they even had English menus. It's a fun experience and I don't want to spoil anymore than I'd like to.
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Posted 12/10/16 , edited 12/10/16

zangeif123 wrote:

Did you go to Super Potato yet?

Last time I was there I got interviewed by some hentai magazine article writer. That was fun.


I'm back in the states, and I haven't went to the game shops... Trying to find my Saekano figures sucked up literally all of my Akiba time (at least by the end I DID get my Utaha)
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