[Editorial]: My First Trip to Japan (Tokyo Edition)

So i’ve finished my four weeks in Japan and it was a fantastic experience. I’ve got plenty of photos to share of Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto, though unfortunately my timing was slightly off for being able to see cherry blossoms so many of the areas appeared a great deal more barren than they would in late Spring or Summer.

There was definitely a culture shock when I arrived; I never expected anime to be entirely accurate concerning their country of origin though, so I was prepared. The differences came mainly in how darned crowded everywhere was (roughly 127,000,000 people in Japan, compared to 4,500,000 for my home of New Zealand fit into about the same space), the cleanliness/brightness of the cities (which is obviously played up in anime) and also the general spaciousness of streets (which are teeny tiny in reality!). The people, however were always polite and friendly!

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Every journey begins with the purchase of an oddly-named drink.

One of my favorite aspects of Japan were its vending machines. Stuck out in the cold rain? Around every corner there’s a hot chocolate or coffee for only 100 Yen, it’s fantastic.

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Love Live was super popular during my visit. This particular full-size version of School Idol Festival was set up in Akihabara Station and had a ridiculous line. To be fair, everything had a ridiculous line.

Now, enjoy Akihabara!

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Poor fellow got caught in my shot and has now been immortalized on the internet.

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Soundtracks seem to be pretty big in Japan. I just snapped a photo of the first one I recognized.

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Crane games seem to make up the entirety of the first floor of every single arcade. There’s a massive variety of merchandise in them and I did actually see someone win a figure while I was there.

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Maid cafe? I had to visit at least one, right?! They were pretty underwhelming, to tell the truth. And no photos were allowed for obvious reasons.

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Crowds along the main road of Akihabara. Imagine this many people, EVERYWHERE, and that’s Japan (in the cities, at least).

Akihabara has a huge number of stores for both new a second-hand goods. Plenty of anime, manga and video games that I couldn’t understand. Figure-hunting can take up a huge amount of time with lots of shops renting out display space to individual sellers. A 900 Yen figure will be 50,000 Yen just two glass cases away so it’s hard to know when you’re getting a good deal (or when the figure is a bootleg!).

Because i’m still catching up with older anime instead of watching new releases my tastes were about two years too old for the merchandise on sale. Fate/Stay Night stuff was common enough with the new UFOTable release, however, and fan favorites are still available. Things like Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online and Idolmaster/Love Live are reasonably easy to find merchandise for if you have the time to look.

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Then there are the Gachapon machines with small toys or figures for a variety of series. These were almost all for recent shows, though you can buy older Gachapon merchandise that have been marked up at specialty stores. Good luck finding the characters you like, though, because even if they’re there they’ll be more like 2,000 Yen rather than the 300 they originally cost.

Now enjoy Akihabara at night!

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I stayed in a capsule hotel, which was really quite nice despite being very cheap.

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Unfortunately I only had a very short time in Tokyo, so enjoy some scenic and then fun pictures to finish off this installment.

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Akihabara away from the massive shops.

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Rivers often cut straight through cities with high-rises on either side.

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Akihabara Station. Trains are always on time and arrive often, so there’s no need to memorize the schedule. Just show up and you’ll soon be on your way.

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The appearance of an average city street.

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Be prepared to find everything in Tokyo.

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Public Safety Announcement: Selfie sticks are dangerous. There were also signs to watch out for people taking up-skirt photos. Stay Classy, Japan.

 

Next time, Nagoya, shrines and residential Japan!

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About Silvachief

I'm a Gamer that dabbles in a little bit of everything. I'm big on Video Games, Visual Novels, Anime, Books and TV Series, but there's more to me than just those!
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6 Responses to [Editorial]: My First Trip to Japan (Tokyo Edition)

  1. Lazarinth says:

    You had one experience that I missed out on and that was the capsule hotel, although I’m oddly not so jealous of that. Now that you’ve gone on your first pilgrimage to otaku mecha, I’m curious of what treasures you brought back with you.

    • Silvachief says:

      I actually quite enjoyed the capsule hotel and would happily stay there again. Good internet and a comfortable hole I can hide away in XD
      There will eventually be photos of my purchases once I get home…not gonna unwrap them while i’m still overseas.

  2. Kai says:

    “Maid cafe? I had to visit at least one, right?!”
    …Did you moe moe kyun with them?

    And gosh, Love Live’s literally everywhere.

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