Akihabara, a dog`s paradise!
Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
17Trip End Jul 05, 2009
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Contrary to my previous idea of how long it would take to get to Akihabara, it was actually not so far away - probably about sixteen minutes. It had its own little stop on the Yamanote Line, which was very convenient because that`s the main line that everybody who`s anybody is on when you`re a station (Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, Ueno, us (Shinagawa) and many others are also there).
When we first got there, we went to Akky, which was a duty-free shop that the internet was all excited about, but it wasn`t all that
So then we went to another electronics store. Because we just couldn`t get enough. And there were lots of fun cameras, again some for foreign use, as one helpful man told us, though we just ignored him and continued looking at the Japanese selection. On later floors, things got a bit more interesting. There were lots of suggestive dolls created for men who like cartoon women better than real ones. You could undress some of them and one or two were in bondage. This would be one of our more mild experiences with them, as they got worse throughout the trip.
Next we went into a pachinko-arcade hybrid. We were trying to take videos as discreetly as possible, but we were apparently spotted rather early on, as I wasn`t as sly as I thought I was. It was incredibly loud and there was a lot of activity going on. Sean and I have hypothesized that this was the reason that the employees couldn`t catch up to us quickly enough. They were just so disoriented and their senses so overloaded that they had gone partially blind and were actually just wandering in the direction of our garbled English shouting as we fled. Evidently I didn`t get the second fun video that I thought I was taking, but only one.
In other news, Sean took yet another picture of a pornography store by accident. We wandered inside and were about to head up the stairs (because the first floor looked relatively harmless) when we both simultaneously noticed different things about the place that made it seem less than savory
There were a couple of fun arcades around with lots and lots of claw machines just as impossible as those in America, which made us feel quite at home. Throughout the night Sean and I would attempt to strategize a way to win a fun anime girl model for my cousin, though we would fail repeatedly. Sean finally got to place Street Fighter. Unfortunately, however, it was connected to the internet and so he didn`t have a chance to fight anyone seated directly nearby. And the controls were a bit difficult to get use to considering the instructions were in Japanese. But he wants me to mention that he did win a match once - so ha, he says. We wanted to play this game where you get into this crazy shuttle thing, but you play with other people in the crazy shuttles and it cost like sixteen dollars per person and we were all like: "We aren`t made of money, Akihabara." Sean also got made fun of by some random boys, but he scared them off.
We encountered the famous maids from the Akihabara maid cafes. They were wandering the streets handing out advertisements and just looking cute in general. A few of them were up on a balcony with megaphones strapped to the ledges. The same Japanese messages were being repeated over and over while the girls did handsigns to accompany them. It was obvious that the owners of the shops were trying to fool us into thinking that those on the balcony were speaking, but we were too smart for them. We, here in America, know that you generally have to open your mouth for sound to come out. Anyway, I couldn`t get very many pictures of them
By the way, on a side note, every time that people pass out flyers, I take them out of guilt, much to Sean`s frustration. My purse is full of them. I reason that we may one day be lost and not have enough money and need a discount to get food so that we don`t starve in a foreign city miles from home. But this is not enough for him. If I won`t stop taking flyers, he`ll go directly to the source. One man was attempting to lead us to another duty-free shop. I believe that Sean and I were BOTH walking there, though he claims he was just walking in that direction. Then, as we were about to enter the shop, Sean turned the tables on the poor man and was just like NOPE. Seriously. He said "nope" and then he led me away.
We weren`t sure where to go next and so we stopped by one of the ubiquitous maps on the corner and took a gander. There was apparently a Don Quijote in the area, which we had heard a lot about, and decided to go looking for it. Unfortunately, we were quickly distracted. We went back across the street, walking towards the area where the JR was located and saw a couple of fun things:
a) a green car that looked like a cat
b) a man rapping in front of a glasses store
We have a picture and video of both
In shop with the woman-dog coupling, there were a lot of models that were dressed as movie characters, which Sean and I were pretty amazed at - they looked very much like the actors. There was an inmistakeable Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, and Johnny Depp. Sean was also quite pleased that there were smaller versions of Michael Jackson from the Thriller music video. But it was all really expensive and so we were forced to leave empty-handed.
We finally did find Don Quijote, by the way, and it was quite by accident. There isn`t too much to say about it. It was kind of like a department store or a dollar store kind of deal and it was really brimming with stuff
As a final note on the day, on our way back to the JR station at the end of the night, a man stopped me and Sean at a light and asked, in relatively good English, if he could take a picture of me. He told me he thought I was pretty. Sean and I deliberated and we decided we`d allow it. I thought it was kind of nice that he directed the question at both of us (though perhaps more at Sean than myself) because it kind of does matter what Sean thinks in those sorts of situations.
And that`s that for the day`s happenings.
I`m going to add on a couple more things before I end this entry. I don`t know if I`ve mentioned this or if anyone has noticed it, but the desserts here in Japan are so pretty
I also want to say that I was actually kind of angry during our time in Akihabara because I witnessed a commercial that was making a mockery of westerners