Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Japan Trip Day 5: Tsukiji, Akihabara, Nakano

I wanted to just do shopping at Akihabara today and because the shops would only be open near noon, I wanted to sleep in. Of course the idea of going to the Imperial Palace in the morning crossed my mind too. I guess my engine was already geared towards shopping for the rest of this holiday that never mind about the sightseeing anymore.

I am not interested in Tsukiji Market and my sister was the eager one. I told her that I did not search on the way to go there so if she wanted, she should find herself. So on the train we just sat all the way until Akihabara and I was like "what??" I thought she wanted to go to Tsukiji? If we just went to Akihabara, I would not leave so early as the shops were not open yet. So we back-tracked to Tsukiji. Well my sister was the one more disappointed than me. I told her already that there was nothing much to see. It was human packed and the sushi places that we passed by were so expensive. 3000 yen for 1 bowl of whatever don?? The both of us spent less than 3000 yen in total when we ate the don at Asakusa.

I lost a bit at Akihabara as I mixed up between Central Gate and Electric Town Gate. Not to mention that there are Atre1 and Atre2 which makes me even more confused as I remembered there was only one Atre. Lol.. Anyway the mix up brought me to Square Enix Cafe. I did not eat there although there were still tickets for the next hour because there was nothing exciting shown in the advertisement outside the cafe or with the internal cafe decoration. I entered the shop and the decoration was mostly Play Arts figurines and the only thing I was tempted to buy is the Dissidia acrylic stands. I like character designs in Dissidia but 1440 yen for each of this is still quite a price that I need to think many times.

I feel bad for saying this but I was really wishing that my sister would go somewhere and did not follow me in Akihabara. It is not that I do not want her to see what I am going to buy but I know the sucky feeling of following someone shopping when yourself has zero interest in it. It is just a waste of time and I can imagine she is feeling that way. I also could not concentrate when I went to Book Off. I could not even find the section on anime books because I worried that my sister would be left behind and then I would waste more time trying to find her. Or perhaps my Japanese ability is slowly getting rusty as well.

After going round and round, I finally relied on google map to lead me to the correct side of Akihabara that I was looking for. After going to several shops at the side of Animate, I suggested to have lunch first before I crossed the road to continue shopping. We ate at Tendon restaurant and after that I suggested that my sister just went to Donquijote while I went around and split our way for the rest of the day.

I wanted to go to Nakano Broadway and hence I tried to be quick with Akihabara. Obviously that did not happen lol. I was aiming to leave at 2pm but in the end I only left Akihabara at 4pm. I actually did not go to a lot of shops: Mandarake, Kotobukiya, Lashinbang, and Mulan. Of course it was not a one-way trip because I had to see what things I could buy and what I eventually would buy.

I am very happy that I bought Final Fantasy Chrome figures to complete my collection 2 years ago because there was really very few Final Fantasy stuff at Mandarake this time :( I thought I could get the display box haiz. I was deliberating to get the newly released Fullmetal Alchemist Illustration book but I made up my mind when I passed by the glass cabinet with the special edition version. I also bought Fullmetal Alchemist Book in Figure ~Red~ for 600 yen. The ~Blue~ version was 2500 yen so I gave it a pass. I am also happy that now Mandarake allows purchases from different levels to be combined for tax free.

At Lashinbang, I bought a few Free! books and I realised that I might be purchasing without thinking much since I did not even have the time to look at the books I bought in Osaka few months ago. Surprisingly Kotobukiya shop did not have anything to buy and even the Final Fantasy merchandises were not as complete as in Animate or Square Enix Cafe. What a disappointment.

I went back to Animate and I was seriously considering to get all the FF Dissidia acrylic stands and 1 Kaito Kid acrylic stand. I already queued for the cashier (which was long) before I remembered that when I was in Osaka, there was Square Enix shop at Yodobashi and the purchases made there would be eligible for additional 5% for visa payment. In the end I went to Sofmap that initially I did not plan to visit but nope I found nothing. As it was already 4pm, I did not even have the time to see Yodobashi or visit Donquijote as I already decided that no matter what I would go to Nakano today.

Nakano Broadway is where Mandarake main store is located. Nakano Broadway has 4 levels and there are so many Mandarake stores scattered everywhere as each store is specialised e.g store A only sells anime books, store B sells figures, store C sells tokusatsu stuff, store D sells fujoshi stuff, and so on. There is Lashinbang too and many other anime shops. It is really amazing experience lol. Again I did not find any FF stuff and I found 1 Free! book that I bought earlier at Akihabara much cheaper here. Haiz!! It was not a wasted trip as I managed to get the only Free! Mook that I was missing out. There was a complete set of Sailor Moon artbooks including the elusive Volume Infinity and Materials collection. I braved myself to ask the price and unfortunately there were not for sale yet. They would be put for auction from 1 Jan :( I also bought Squall Theatherhytm plushie here since I did not manage to get the Dissidia version at Akihabara earlier.

The journey from Akihabara to Nakano took me about 40 minutes but thank God for express Chuo line (rapid) and I was back to Tokyo Station in just 20 minutes. I already felt tired with the heavy loot from today but since I was already at Tokyo Station, I decided I should just get the Kit Kat Tokyo Banana instead of waiting to buy it on the last day. The plan was just go get the Kit Kat and that was it. Things did not turn out that simple as I forgot where the heck the shop was! Bleah!

The shop was located outside the gate and I had to tap out. Since I already tapped out, I might as well go back to the Character Street to get Conan karuta cards. I passed by JUMP shop again and saw only 2 Saint Seiya otedama was left on the shelf. That means there are people buying and I decided to just buy it before regretting if it is sold out by the time I come back here on the last day. 4630 yen for 5 pieces of tsum tsum-like plushie is pricey since tsum tsum is only about 600 yen each. But oh well..

Unexpectedly there was 1 box of Prince of Tennis kutsurogi complete set (7000 yen) which was a no-brainer for me to buy. Because of these unexpected purchases, the tax-free amount would be quite significant and I decided to try my luck at the tax-free counter. "Try my luck" is because the instruction pasted at the shop is to go to tax-free counter first before shopping but I tried to do the reverse. Good news was I could still get tax-free but the bad news was I had to back to those shops to get my barcodes scan. Oh my God T_T The back of my knees were dying and I swore I almost fell down a few times. The Kit Kat was from a non-tax free shop so all the pain and hard work was just for about 800 yen tax return. Thus still in the spirit of free and easy trip, what was planned to be a quick visit to get Kit Kat Tokyo Banana became another 1.5 hours torture shopping trip.

I returned to hotel almost 9pm and I had not eaten anything since lunch. Now I can understand how ladies can get special energy and endurance when they are shopping. Well no complaints since I don't mind getting 7-11 food as meal. I decided to buy the Ippudo ramen cup for breakfast tomorrow although I am worried since it is spicy flavour.

I just finished packing my luggage to prepare for the next 2 nights at Disneyland. I am so tired but I am pretty sure the excitement for Disneyland tomorrow will sustain me through :p

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