Like I always do, on the look out for a good anime to watch. And here’s one. If you’re into mechas, gundams and stuff, you will like this.
Main protagonist to your left.
No like mechas?
Just too bad.
I’m on a roll this month.
Was rummaging through the photos which I’ve taken randomly a while back, the people of Japan. Guess I’ll post these up for randomness too.
Jan Ken Pon!
And finally… I’ve no idea what this is. Probably trying to make a fashion statement, eh?
Cheers. Will post more soon.
Had been longing to go to this part of Tokyo since eons ago and finally we’re here in Akihabara! Dubbed as the electric town, it’s famous among otakus because everything and anything that’s related to being an otaku was available here. Just to clear things up, I’m not entirely otaku-ish, say.. maybe about 35%?
This photo was taken at the entrance right after we exit the Akihabara train station. I was really pumped, just like a little boy who’s let loose in a toy shop.
Do note that these are cafes. Yes, cafes. You’ll have to line up to have a meal. If you’re a big fan of AKB48, a popular Japanese pop group in Japan, feel free to join in. It’s not like you’ll be able to meet them in person, it was more of a fan service cafe than anything else. When we first saw the crowd, we thought there was a party going on.
You may opt to have a meal with your favorite Gundam figurines too.
We decided to move on to explore the other parts of the town. The Club Sega, an arcade center, was exactly the same as how I saw it in a video game called Yakuza 3. Seeing it in real life was unbelievable.
We could spend a whole day here if we wanted to. There were so many stuff to see. There were quite a number of maid cafes around too. If you were keen to go to one, just approach one of these ladies above and they would guide you to their respective cafes.
From figurines, anime box sets, key chains, dolls and collectibles, you name it, they have it. However, I’ve been told by my cousin-in-law that the stuff sold here slightly on the expensive side. Again ,mainly due to the large influx of tourists here too.
Hatsune Miku posters were everywhere too! Amazing how crazy Japanese can be, in a good way, when it comes to these sort of things.
We made a short stop in Ginza about 8:00 pm, just to get a feel of how it was. Apparently Ginza was one of the more expensive townships to live in compared to the others. The streets in Ginza were very much similar to the ones in Oxford Street, London. You can find most of the expensive brands of clothing and jewelries here. Even the pastries sold here were so pricey. They looked so tempting but the price tags on them made our hearts sank.
The crowd here was generally much smaller as compared to Shibuya. Maybe only the ones who were rich and famous walk here? I don’t know. Here in Ginza, you’re allowed to walk in the middle of the streets. The roads were closed to vehicles at a certain hours so people were allowed to roam freely on them.
Took the picture standing right in the middle of the road. A good view of how a concrete jungle looked like. Do wear thicker clothes if you do plan to walk here in the evening. It was quite chilly at night and anyone with a sane mind would not be wearing a tee-shirt at this time, unlike me. From where I come from, there’s only one season. That’s scorching heat 24 hours a day! Any cold winds or cool temperatures are very much welcomed.
We made a stop at the Ueno station (using the Yamanote Line) after we read that there were a few interesting places to see here, especially the Ameyoko (a short form of Ameya-yokocho). It’s also known as the candy street or the American street because it was famous for selling candies and American goodies back in the old days. It’s somewhat similar to the Pasar Malam concept back home. However, just like what I said in my previous post, no haggling of prices were allowed.
It looked like a back alley in a glance. It’s situated right next to the railway tracks as you can see it here from the picture.
Similar to the street back in Asakusa, most of the stuff there could be found here too but at a relatively cheaper price. There is a wet market located underground, but you do have to look for the entrance. Funny thing was, we didn’t even know a wet market existed. We saw people walking through a dark alley and down a flight of stairs. Out of curiosity, we went ahead and followed them and we were quite surprised to see a wet market beneath the streets. We spent about 2 hours here just going through the shops to get all those weird but tasty Japanese crackers. If you’re a fan of Japanese tea, here’s a good place for you to scout for some good but cheap teas too.
Most Japanese drop by this street to get their daily necessities after work. So the crowd gets larger by the evening. Unless you wish to be part of the crowd, try to be there earlier so you have some room to breathe.
I find Japanese shops so cute! Okay, fine. That doesn’t sound too manly. I’m just trying to point out that the shops were so neat, tidy and graphically enhanced. However, most shops were not very big in the inside. I’ve seen Caucasians having a hard time maneuvering into them since they generally have bigger frames. Some even had to duck too just to get pass the door.
We had a great time here, especially when we’re busy hunting for goodies. If you’re planning to get some souvenirs home, Ameyoko street is definitely a good place to be.
Located north-east of central Tokyo, Asakusa is famous for one of the many Buddhist temples that are found in Japan. The place was really lively, filled with tourists. On the way to the temple, the paths were lined up with shops, where souvenirs could be bought ranging from Japanese fans, key chains, stuffed toys to sweets of different assortments.
We managed to get a couple of things but the stuff that was sold here were slightly more expensive. In general, you’re not allowed to bargain in Japan. So the prices are fixed. If you’re not happy with the price tag, you have no choice but to look elsewhere. I guess the amount of tourists here were most likely the cause for the hike in price.
Doesn’t it look more like a bazaar to you? It didn’t feel temple-ish at all to me. I guess it’s the same all year round.
Another thing about Japan that never cease to amaze me was how civilized the citizens were. If you look closely, there’s no litter lying on the ground. And there’s no rubbish bins too! We tried searching for one high and low, and we gave up. We had no choice but to keep the food wrappers in our pockets until we’re back at the hotel to dispose of them. I’ve asked my cousin-in-law (who’s a Japanese) once, of why it would be so difficult to locate a bin. He replied, “To avoid bomb threats”. O… kay. How often do you hear a bomb threat in Japan? As compared to the other countries?
Here we were, right in front entrance to the temple that everyone had been flocking to, including school children. Beyond the gate lies the main temple grounds.
And behold, the ever famous Kannon Temple. We did not go any further than that because it was really crowded inside. And besides, it was smoky too. Once we’ve finished up the little red-bean stuffed pastry we bought along the way, we made our way back. I would recommend this place for first timers if you’ve not seen it in real life, but other than that, this place had nothing much else to offer.