26 September 2008

zomg tokyo! day 16

Day 16 (21 September)
Our last full day of Tokyo goodness. Seeing as how the weather reports are amazingly unreliable, we opted to completely ignore it and just look out the window instead. Some clouds, nothing too threatening. Excellent. I'm wearing sandals and not taking an umbrella.

Not taking an umbrella you ask? Shouldn't you be inside packing like a responsible adult? Nope! That would be a very boring and wasteful use of our final day. Going to Akihabara Electric Town was a much better idea.

Despite being fairly close to the hotel, it took three subway lines to get there. Conveniently, there were lots of signs to guide us through the subway station, such as, "Electric Town is This Way You Idiot!" After getting twirled around by the masses of people out to do their Sunday shopping, we made it out into... the rain! The abnormally wet rain, I might add.

Electric Town is filled with all sorts of electronics stores, from tiny operations that sell cables by the meter to giant chains. Girls in cosplay outfits, as well as one very disturbing man with a furry tail, are everywhere, distributing ads. There are also anime stores, video arcades, and pachinko halls. After our previous failure in Kyoto, the pachinko machines were avoided, but everything else was fair game.

Near the subway exit we found an anime store that I had to be dragged out of. A huge selection of Totoro stuff, as well the normal assortment of stuffed creatures, figurines, and cell phone dangly things. The rear third of the store was lined with 300-1000 yen boxes of mystery figures. They had every collection imaginable, from Pokemon to female workers. There were a few cool mech ones, but they were left behind. Actually, so was everything else. It was already pouring and we were going to pass by again on our way home, so we figured it would be best to let everything stay dry.

The next stop in our wanderings was a small video game store. We probably would have skipped it if it weren't for the pile of Seaman 2 boxes near the front. Only 980 for the Playstation 2 sequel to everyone's favorite Dreamcast game! Only available in Japan! I had to get it.

With Seaman 2 wrapped in plastic to protect the water creature from the rain, we continued on. The highly rated Laox, mentioned in the guide book, was almost a bust. They had the souvenir I'd been searching for - a mini-USB AA-powered cell phone charger. Finally!

The other must-see destination in the guide book was an anime store. It probably would have amazing if they weren't having a special event that day. The entire store was completely filled with fans. Oh well.

At this point we were fairly soaked and a bit cranky, so we started heading back to the first anime store. On the way, I spotted a sign for bicycles in front of what could only be called a general merchandise store. Past the grocery floor, the cosplay floor, and the every cute stuffed animal besides Gloomy Bear floor I found the bike floor. Actually, it was the random electronics and other stuff floor with a bike corner. Lo and behold, in the corner of the corner, were bike locks. They had a decent selection of the kind that I was looking for. It gets permanently attached to the back of the frame, and then a bar slides out which prevents the wheel from spinning. It doesn't prevent the entire bike from being stolen by truck, which is obviously not a problem in Tokyo, but it does prevent people from riding off with the bike. Obviously, this would not suffice in the US, but it would make it a lot easier to lock my bike since I wouldn't have to worry about looping the lock through the removable rear tire. Victory!

Out of curiosity, we took a look at a couple more floors. We found a Tiffany's display, as well as a cabinet full of Gucci, Coach, and Prada bags. They were by no means the best knockoffs we had seen. Neither were the strangely low-priced watched.

Back at the anime store, I picked out a stuffed Totoro. Sadly, size restrictions prevented me from getting a giant one, so I made due with a small one. I also got an awesome Totoro picture frame, and various other small souvenirs.

The wet bags of fun joined us for an uneventful subway ride back to the hotel. After dropping off the bags in our room, we walked over to the nearby deli cafe place for a late lunch. On the way, I realized that I was actually enjoying the rain. I love rain, and we don't get it much in Los Angeles. Of course, I don't exactly want buckets of it to fall on me while I'm on vacation, but I am water proof.

With lunch taken care of, we were quickly running out of ways to procrastinate, so packing actually commenced. Around 1900 we had to admit that there was no way all our stuff was going to fit in the suitcases available. We bought mostly small things, but a lot of them were fragile and required large padded boxes. Large padded boxes (I'm looking at you cows) take up a lot of room. Now what do we do?

After some failed attempts at rearranging things in hope that they would magically shrink, we went upstairs to the concierge to inquire about shipping stuff home. We were informed that it would be cheaper to buy a suitcase. At that point Mitsukoshi was closed, so we had a half hour to get to Takashimaya.

Well, we found an acceptable suitcase. The only problem was the 53500 yen price tag, but we weren't in much of a position to shop around. At least it was made in Japan by a Japanese company, which made us feel slightly better about it. But it was still evil.

The evil suitcase was dropped off in our room, and we went upstairs for one final meal. No way our last dinner in Tokyo was going to be room service. Matt got the steak, and I got the risotto. Figured I should try something new on my last night.

Oddly enough, we weren't particularly eager to return to packing, so we went to the Mandarin Bar instead. After our first round, we really needed to get packing, so I asked the bartender if we could get another round to go. I thought she'd laugh and say no. Instead, she asked us what are room number was and told us our drinks would be up in about 5 minutes. Seriously? Score!

Oddly enough, packing is not particularly interesting, so I'll spare you the gory details.


dreamerj25 said...

"as well as one very disturbing man with a furry tail,"


Sounds like fun! Just hope you left the rain over there when you flew back! ;)

osmodion said...

Why would I want a picture of a very disturbing man with a furry tail? Oh yeah. It's possible. We'll find out this weekend!