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August 9, 2007

Anime and Arcades

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 12:06 pm — Tags:

Today was pretty fun. I started off by trying to find the pokemon center. I failed. I will try again some other time. I don’t like asking for directions in Japanese because I feel I’m really inconveniencing people. Part of this trip is trying to break out of my aversion to speaking with natives, hopefully I break out of it soon.

Then I spent a great deal of time in Ikebukuro, wandering around half looking for the Animate head store which deals with character goods and all things anime. On my way there I went in and out of numerous arcades. They have some pretty awesome games here in Japan. They have these card games where you buy packs of cards and then you sit at a station where you place the cards on a screen and battle other people. The battle is happening real time on a big screen in the center, it was pretty awesome.

They also have more music games then I’d ever know what to do with. IIdx Gold was I think in every aracade as was Pop ‘N Adventure and Taiko Drum Master and GF&DM Rock and Roll or something.

Another big thing was quiz games, I never really tried any of them, because from my experience they require the ability to read japanese. I did place a typing version of House of the Dead though, I was pretty good, unfortunately there was only one level available for play. A funny little parody if nothing else.

I also wandered into the Toyota Amlux which is essentially their showroom for anything they do. You can sit in the cars and play with them and they have a theater. An air conditioned IST is very comfortable in the summer.

Then, to my surprise while looking out the window of the Toyota building, I saw the animate store. It had a lot of anime stuff, unsurprisingly, and a floor devoted to Youth and Adult comics. There was no real separation as far as I could tell. And it’s altogether a different attitude than here in the US. This was comics which explains the laxness of Japan’s censorship, but even then, the amount one was able to take in merely by glancing over the shelves was a bit disconcerting. In anycase I browsed for a bit and then left without buying anything because their was nothing really must have. Also, I’m not really into collecting shit.

Then I went to Shinjuku, the vibrant center of youth culture, and government and business. I was ostensibly looking for certain high rise towers in order to catch some amazing views which I did (The Nomura Building has a nice one, as does Center Building. Not the best observatories though, I might have to look around for something with a more comfortable viewing lobby.

All my other time was spent in arcades searching for ddr. Even though the other bemani games are all over the place I only found one supernova, and boy am I out of shape. I also played tennis and was schooled by some kid, horribly so.

An interesting note, is when riding on the various trains that cross Tokyo and Japan in general, there is a genera aversion to gaijin (foreigners). At least that’s what I’ve read. So far I’ve mixed feelings. So there are certainly times when there will be a space next to me vacant even though people are standing, but at the same time there are japanese with seats next to them as well.

Without any kind of decent control, it’s up in the air. I imagine it probably still exists but not as much as it used to.

That’s all for today.


  1. So, off you go into the big wide world for the first time on your own (not counting college). Sounds like you are enjoying the benefits and negotiating the path you’ve chosen as best you can. It looks like you will learn a lot about traveling in a foreign country under your own steam — something you can apply to other adventures in the future. Stop being “shy” and seize the day! Eat the food, speak with the natives in their own tongues, get “schooled” by the young — keep at it everyday. We love you and wish you the best. I can only hope your sister does as well in India with Mark — it does worry me how her “intuition” or “instincts” will help her if she gets lost, etc. Oh, well, we’ll all be wishing her the best on her adventure, too.
    Love, AntiP

    Comment by Penny — August 9, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  2. Hey, keep smacking that Pokemon Center-You are inconviencing them-do it anyway-think about the stories they will be able to tell their friends when the get home: Man, you wouldn’t believe what happened to me today!! You have the right idea-being “in-country” forces you into doing embarassing things to gt what you need. Sounds like you will get the hang of it-D.

    Comment by Darrel — August 9, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

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