Back to Tokyo and Gundam Expo
With the three days and three nights of Kyoto over, it was time to head back to Tokyo once again where I will stay for the rest of my trip. There was only a few days till Comiket74 but there were some things to do beforehand that would surely keep me busy enough. Some of these things include mailing off packages and going of to Gundam Expo. Hit the jump to read more.
It’s actually rather sad that it’s only 10 days into the trip and I’m already heading back to Tokyo. But there’s not much else I can do since that was how the itinerary was planned. The day started with us packing up our bags and checking out of the ryokan. When we first arrived we found that carrying the bags up the narrow stairway was bad, but I can certainly say that carrying the bags down the stairway was probably a lot more dangerous. What is it with Japanese and cramped areas? Arriving at Kyoto JR Station, we booked our tickets for the shinkansen, though all of us had to be in separate sections due to most of the seats being booked out.
The ride on the Hikari type shinkansen took about 2.5 hours, but it gave me plenty of time to sit and write up some Japan posts whilst it was still fresh in my mind. Eventually we arrived back in Tokyo and at the same hotel that we stayed over a week ago. It was a rather tiring trip despite me sitting down most of the time but we had plans to meet up with our friends from Tamarket, in Akiba. Well there were good reasons to meet up with Tamarket again. For one I had to collect my Wonderfest goods off them as they kindly looked after them whilst I was on the other side of the country. But once again Tamarket had shown us around to some of the more hidden shops of Akiba that I never explored before. All I can say is that by the end of the shopping trip, I was once again down a few thousand yens.
Once all the shopping was finished, we headed off to a Post Office in Kanda so Tamarket could ship stuff off and then headed out to dinner. Last time they took us to shabu-shabu, this time it was a teppanyaki and okonomiyaki restaurant above Bic Camera in Yurakucho. Knowing the place had okonomiyaki didn’t go down well with me and my friends, but we went ahead with it anyway. Below is what we had in the course set:
The pictures turned out a lot more blurry than I thought. Though that maybe because the camera was not shooting in macro mode like I was hoping. I really wish my camera would stay at the settings I set them to when I turn it off. Still it was a wonderful dinner and it was great spending time with Tamarket who once again showed us up by how much a business can buy compared to any individual. And they showed me some great stores that I’ll remember for future trips to Akiba. So after dinner, we bid our farewells and headed back to the hotel for a night’s rest.
Since it was a rather hectic 10 days of Japan, it was time to take a rest from everything, thus this day for me was staying at the hotel. However after the trip to Akiba the previous day and picking up my Wonderfest loot, it was time to send out a package. Luckily for me, there is a post office only 3 minute walk from the hotel where I managed to buy a large box from. I also took the chance to get some breakfast at a Starbucks near the hotel. It certainly is different from Starbucks here in Australia. Heading to a convenience store to get some tape I headed back to the hotel. So putting all my experience from working as a night filler, I went to work at filling up the box with as many goods as possible without breaking anything.
Eventually I filled up the box with most of my Wonderfest goodies, but I still had plenty of other items left over which would be mailed back at a later date. Although I didn’t head back to the post office to ship as I was feeling rather lazy and had to wait for another friend to come back so I can get shipping details. After a while, two of my friends arrived back after a trip to Shibuya and my friend Roobar came back with something quite EPIC. I cursed him for buying one before me. He also bought a very large box from Tokyu Hands for shipping purposes.
So after a few hours of helping him pack up his box, we headed off to dinner. Now the hotel we stayed at had a number of restaurants in it, as you would expect from something classy. We all decided upon the Chinese restaurantas we all thought it would be interesting to try Chinese food, Japanese style (that sounds very weird doesn’t it?). The following pictures are the items we ordered:
Once again I forgot the camera wasn’t shooting in macro mode. Anyway the meal for me was pretty average, since I have lost the taste for Chinese food no matter where or how it’s cooked. Mainly due to my family having owned a Chinese restaurant before, but that’s a different story. However Roobar and I didn’t really feel all that satisfied with dinner. So we did the next option, go out and find some snacks and drink up! The best kind of snacks you can have after dinner? Yakitori of course!
This day was going to be a rather jam packed day. Similar to that of the ones of Osaka and Kyoto. The agenda for this day was Gundam Expo, which two of my friends randomly found out about on their wonder of Shibuya. Before heading out I mailed off my box of loot at the local post office and then headed out to Shibuya to meet up with fellow AnimeSydney member ACQ. I also invited Rin from Koi Aichaku to join us for the Gundam Expo instead of spending so much time in Akiba.
We arrived at Shibuya a little too early and were starving. Although not many food places were open so there was only one choice. McDonalds. But this gave us the opportunity to try out something that we saw on the menu since arriving in Japan: the Mega Mac.
Surely a Mega Mac can’t be any different than a normal Big Mac. But how I was wrong. All I can say is that I won’t be eating one of these burgers again.
I first met up with ACQ and whilst waiting for Rin at the Hachiko statue outside Shibuya station, the strangest thing happened to us. As we sat there, an old man came up to us speaking to us in Japanese and was directing questions to one of my friends. We all stared blankly as none of us knew what he was asking, and then out of no where he starts abusing my friend and walked off. About 10 minutes later whilst still waiting for Rin, he came back and talked to us again. Thankfully ACQ knew some Japanese and told the old man that we weren’t Japanese. Eventually the old man understood and apologised and walked off. Most random thing EVER!
Rin eventually turned up with a friend of his, we exchanged greetings, then made our way to Ikebukuro Sunshine City for the Gundam Expo. It took us a little while to find where it was exactly being held but we eventually got there. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a huge Gundam fan, but I still enjoy it as much as any fan.
Upon walking in, you are greeted by arather large RX-78-2 Gundam as well as various bits and pieces about Char and Amuro. It felt like walking through history. Along the way there were many other large gundam displays that would’ve made any gundam fan squeal with excitement. I think the best part at the start for me was seeing the large Zaku head once again as I saw it at the Bandai Museum before they closed down.
When I laid eyes upon the large Zeta Gundam, I just drooled in it’s awesomeness. In case some of you don’t know, Zeta Gundam is my most favourite Gundam of all. I wonder if it could also transform, and if it could, that would be the best thing at the Expo. At this point, I wasn’t even halfway through the expo itself.
The figure of Lacus above was apparently no photos allowed. But its a good thing for me being a gaijin and I managed to sneak one in before actually being told no photos allowed. If I remember correctly this figure was about ¥12,000?? Still it’s pretty cheap compared to other things I have bought on this whole trip. Plus it was a really beautiful figure.
Of course what kind of Gundam Expo would it be without some Gundam 00 around. And I can certainly say there wasn’t any shortage of Gundam 00 things around. Also watched the second season preview there but wasn’t really sure if I should be excited about the second season. Meh I’ll still probably watch it anyway. By the end of the Expo there were UFO catchers, which my friends again wasted money on….. but then so did I. There was also a store setup at the end and two of my friends ended up getting the limited edition Gundam that is only available at Gundam Expo. Though I forgot what it was.
Once we all gathered together once again we started to feel rather peckish. So stopped off at Johnathon’s, which is a family restaurant chain in Japan. However thanks to the Mega Mac earlier, I wasn’t feeling too hungry so I opted for just a sundae. So far my whole trip I haven’t had the chance to eat strawberry sundaes. So I settled for a mango sundae.
Of course the day was still early and since we were in Ikebukuro there was only one thing left to do. Explore Otome Road! Although I’m not too phased about this since I came here on my own before but I never went into the Mandarake there before. It was rather amusing as the moment I walked through the door, there were plenty of eyes upon me, giving me that stare like that I don’t belong there. A few comrades realised where we were and made a hasty escape whilst I helped out Rin with his list. After hitting up K-Books and spending money once again, we headed back to the hotel as it started to rain.
A few hours of rest it was time for dinner. Again we didn’t feel like going all that far and we were in the mood for sushi. Luckily there is a sushi restaurant as a part of the hotel. So heading there I was certainly surprised at the level of class the place had. We each grabbed a chef selection set which comprises of 12 pieces of sushi.
Every piece was just sublime. You can’t this kind of sushi back home and this certainly shines over the sushi I had back in Osaka and Kyoto. Each of us could only pick out what we ate but none of us knew which was o-toro sushi (fatty tuna). So this is what we did:
We ordered a plate. Really I could keep eating this stuff as it melts in your mouth. Continuing to look at the menu to order one more plate, we were curious to try out only just the expensive dishes, and the next most expensive other than o-toro was arkshell. I’ve never heard of arkshell before so we ordered a plate:
The taste was something different for me, yet I can’t seem to describe it. No doubt it was delicious, but I surely didn’t have a craving for more. By the end of the meal, we were also served soup as a complimentary item, probably because we were hotel guests. So after 12 days in Japan the trip was still going strong and there were plenty of things for us to do and for us to eat. As well as much more to spend. Stay tuned for more posts about my Japan trip.