So…about four years ago I wrote a post about the things I’d like to do in Japan if I ever get there. About four years later, I did some of the things in that list while I was there earlier this year. It was a rather short trip so of course I didn’t manage to do all of the things I’d wanted to considering some things are seasonal. Besides, I was only there for a short three days.
Out of the six items listed, the two things I didn’t do are to attend WonFes and Celebrate New Year’s Eve. Maybe next trip several years in the future I’ll complete these two things. Now, that meant I completed four items that were on my list, which is kind of cool right?
I’m pretty sure a lot of gamers, anime fans and figure collectors will make this their stop during any visits to Tokyo. I live in Ikebukuro because I wanted to see if I can catch a glimpse of “The Headless Rider” and maybe befriend the mysterious and friendly creature by the name of Celty Sturluson. Too bad I didn’t see any headless rider zoomed by…
Anyway, taking the JR Train from Ikebukuro to Akiba, Akihabara for short, is a piece of cake. Once I reached the station, I walked towards the Electric Town Exit and voila, a rather familiar scene came to sight. It’s familiar since I’ve seen it so many times in anime like Steins;Gate, Lucky Star and OreImo, lol.
Also, you’ll know you’re in Akiba when you see itasha, cosplays, etc. I honestly don’t see a lot of that elsewhere in Tokyo. I got lost in Akiba a few times because there are too many shops with the same name. I lost count of how many Sofmaps there are.
Of course once in Akiba, it’s time to shop! I didn’t buy any figures because I didn’t want to carry so many things back (luggage weight limit!). But I was tempted. Really, really tempted. So I chose to buy character goods instead since they’re a lot lighter. Stuff I bought are mostly Yowamushi Pedal, Shirobako and Kuroko no Basuke stuff because I don’t watch idols-related anime, which they have a tons of and apparently is the “in” thing in the current anime world. Friends bought Playstation-related stuff.
I popped in and out of shops, which I don’t remember most of their names. I do remember some like Animate, Tokyo Anime Centre, etc. Personally, I prefer Ikebukuro’s Animate. Not sure why.
I’m not sure visiting Japan during sakura season is a wise choice given how crazy the crowd was, especially tourist crowd. But because I made that choice, I was rewarded with this experience. Personally though, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to do this again because the real thing is not as dreamy as it looks in anime. I don’t want to ruin the image for you so do go ahead and experience yourself, if you haven’t already.
Maybe because I’m not a crowd person or maybe because I went to Ueno Park instead. Maybe if I have a sakura tree all to myself and friends, it’ll be a different experience.
I, of course, tried Naruto’s favorite food: ramen. I had a few bowls of ramen during my trip and boy, aren’t they salty. I’m not sure if it’s the shops I chose happen to serve salty ramen or that’s how authentic ramen actually tastes. The ones I had in Malaysia is not that salty. Although I have to say the ones in Japan are more brothy. Is there such a word? But I think you know what I mean. I had other stuff like okonomiyaki (first heard from Tamayura) and yakisoba pan (from any high school themed anime?). Besides food discovered from anime, I also had other generic stuff like onigiri, tempura, etc.
I tell you, conbini is the place to go when it comes to snacks or small bites like onigiri or nikuman. They served oden too even though I thought it’s only served during winter. Conbinis are in abundance, especially Family Mart. In one small area, I see at least Family Marts. Lawson and 7-11 are lesser compare to it, from what I saw.
1:1 Life-size Gundam
I never watch a single episode of Gundam, but everybody fluent in this Japan’s sub-culture will come across this term one way or another. So I decided to pop by for a quick stop at Odaiba to see this giant robot.
Anyway, I absolutely adore my time in Tokyo and would love to be back again. Transportation here is so convenient that getting around is so, so easy. The next time I’m back, I hope to spend longer time so I can really take my sweet time in each place in Tokyo.