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davemerrill
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Forum get-togethers.

Post by davemerrill »

* NOTE FROM DANIEL:

This started out as something else, but is now a general topic about forum get-togethers.

Being that some people might be sensitive about sharing info/pictures and such, I was wavering back and forth between making this public or private. In the end, I made this public, and made another private topic that can be used for sensitive stuff (if desired): http://forum.animepast.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=193.

END NOTE *



so the wife and I are planning another Tokyo trip for the end of July because we like to sweat. And it's our anniversary. Naturally we're going to hit all the cool stuff we hit the last time we were in Japan: Nakano Broadway, Akihabara, Ikebukuro & Otome Road, and the various Mandarakes. The story of our '09 trip is here: http://davemerrill.livejournal.com/587912.html and you can just hit "next day" and it'll take you through most of it.

My question for the Old Japan Hands here is, what should we definitely see, in terms of crazy old-school Showa-era anime fan, general 60s and 70s and 80s era pop culture? Shopping, museums, absolutely insane nonsense, what's un-missable, in your humble opinion?

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greg
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Re: back to Japan

Post by greg »

Well, you picked the worst time of year to visit Japan. I'm sure the summers in Canada must be pleasant, but they are pretty bad along the Japanese coast. However, it just so happens that I will be in Tokyo at the end of July myself, from the 27th to the 31st. I will be attending the Summer Wonder Festival with a Japanese friend of mine, and possibly Mike from the Tokyo Scum Brigade, the most insightful blog on Tokyo geek culture I've found. That's on Sunday the 29th. Let me know what days you will be in Tokyo and where you'll be staying and perhaps we can get together and do some geek shopping. I missed Heibi when he was here, but it'd be cool to meet up with you if our itineraries overlap. I will be staying by the Senju Ohashi Station area, just a few stops on the Keisei Line outward from Ueno.

It's a shame that BikeLover seems to have disappeared. He hasn't responded to e-mails either and I am worried about his situation, from what I've gathered of what he's going through. Anyhow, he swears that Tachikawa is the place to go, but in terms of how long it takes to get out there and the amount of stuff you will see, I would recommend skipping it, at least in my opinion. I visited there myself a couple of years ago. The nice thing about it is that you can perhaps find stuff there that you can't find elsewhere, since it doesn't get the same amount of traffic that somewhere like Akihabara does.

So what are your main interests in shopping? I'm reading through your trip blog, but haven't finished it yet. I need to get to bed soon. Will this be your second time visiting Japan?
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davemerrill
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Re: back to Japan

Post by davemerrill »

Actually right now Toronto is ten degrees hotter than Tokyo, but we're in kind of a heat wave. I'm from Atlanta GA and Shain lived in Tennessee for a while, so we are used to sweating and humidity. On our last trip to Japan we were there in late August and everybody told us we'd be miserable, but it was fine.

We're staying at the Sakura in Ikebukuro because it's "a paradise for women's comics". Also, Denny's. Gonna be there from July 22-August 4.

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Re: back to Japan

Post by greg »

OK, neat. I can PM you my cell phone information. I have several people in the Tokyo area who've been waiting for me to visit ever since I moved here in January, but I have not yet made any solid plans except for Sunday. If you'll be busy that weekend, that's perfectly understandable.

There's the new "Gundam Front Tokyo" attraction in Odaiba. It looks like you saw the 1:1 scale Gundam the last time you were here. Since then, they moved it to Shizuoka City, which is close to where I live. It was there until sometime last winter, I believe. They moved it back to Odaiba and it is now a part of that attraction. I don't think they will move it back to Shizuoka now. I have yet to see it.
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davemerrill
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Re: back to Japan

Post by davemerrill »

We're definitely going to hit the Gundam Front, it looks kinda awesome even for casual Gundam viewers such as ourselves. I want to go back to the Decks mall in Odaiba anyway and hit that 70s style haunted house thing we didn't go into last time (if it's still there). Also, steal that Yamato bike.

Most of what I'm interested in, in terms of buying stuff, is old. Old toys, old books & manga, LPs & singles, beat up diecast robots, cels, corporate mascot stuff (Peko-chan, etc), old VHS and Beta tapes, old weekly manga. Weird discolored vinyl toys of monsters, robots, spacemen, etc. Not a big figure buyer, don't build model kits, and I don't cosplay, so a lot of Akiba was lost on me. Shain's into doujin and 70s &80s shojo.

I read your thing on Tachikawa and I think you're right, it doesn't seem to be that radically different than what you'd find in Ikebukuro or Akihabara. That's one thing I noticed on our last trip, you go into three or four Animate-type stores and you see a lot of the same stuff. We were lucky enough to have Roy as a guide and he knew of a lot of small independent vintage toy shops in Shimokitazawa and the surrounding territory.

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Re: back to Japan

Post by Heero »

The wife and I actually plan to go NEXT summer (and we live in Texas, last summer had like 70 100 degree F days, so Tokyo was not bad at all). One place I'd say you MUST hit is the Mandarake in Shibuya. The first time I went there they had a toy Gratan from Nadia as well as a bunch of other really cool stuff. The Mandarake in Akihabara is more rubber suit movie toys and doujinshi. Nakano broadway is all over the place but seems really "hit or miss" to me, it also seemed "reduced" last time we went, but that might be misremembering on my part. Since you're staying in Ikebukuro, Nerima is really close by, its worth going over there to go see Toei studios and the surrounding area.

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Re: back to Japan

Post by davemerrill »

We did go to the Mandarake in Shibuya the last time and definitely plan to return, they had some amazing stuff. I found great things in every Mandarake we went into, to be honest.

There's still part of my brain that's in Nakano Broadway. I saw so much obscure merchandise from barely-there series that I not only never knew existed, but would have sworn SHOULDN'T have existed. Of course I was seeing stuff like that everywhere, even Akihabara.

The Toei studio is definitely on our list this time, we didn't make it there last trip. We only gave Ikebukuro/Otome Rd the most cursory examination on our last visit but we'll be able to give it the full treatment this time.

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Re: back to Japan

Post by Heero »

davemerrill wrote:We only gave Ikebukuro/Otome Rd the most cursory examination on our last visit but we'll be able to give it the full treatment this time.
Our FIRST time in Japan we (randomly) stayed at the Sunshine City Prince hotel right across the street from Otome Road. We became incredibly familiar with it and have stayed in Ikebukuro almost every time since then. (there's several reasons why we stay in Ikebukuro, but the wife LOVES the Mandarake on Otome for getting her doujinshi fix, and for me... at least there's an Animate and K-Books nearby)

Have you been to http://www.ooedoonsen.jp/higaeri/english/ ?
It's "theme-park"y, but that's half of what makes it great. :)

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Re: back to Japan

Post by greg »

You guys know of the multi-level Mandarake store in Akihabara, right? It's gimongous. Tons of vintage stuff. I even found a couple of Lensman plastic models. Wow!
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davemerrill
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Re: back to Japan

Post by davemerrill »

We did spend some time last time at the Mandarake Complex in Akihabara, yes. There was a steady stream of guys my age selling their toys on the ground floor, and if my language skills were better (aka, extant to any degree) I would have been cutting out the middleman and making some deals with those guys right then and there, because they were unloading some pretty awesome stuff.

Greg, we may be making a road trip out of Tokyo the weekend of the 28-29th, but we should definitely be able to meet up for whatever on the 30th or the 31st. Maybe the 27th too, but that's our anniversary, and I'm pretty sure at least some of that day is spoken for. PM me your cell number and we'll be in touch. I'd definitely appreciate being out and about with people who are more conversant in Japanese than I am (which doesn't take much, but still). We're bringing the laptop so we should have the internets, at least.

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