Tokyo Trip Schedule

12Sep13

I’ll be in the Land of the Rising Sun for the next week and unreachable by normal contact methods. If you need to reach me, your best bets are my email at kairandersen@gmail.com or on Skype (search for Kai Robert Andersen). I may make an effort to post some on this blog, but I’ll also be sure to let you know via Facebook if there are any updates.

That said, I wanted to give you an outline of where I’ll be each day and what I’m most likely going to do. Here’s the schedule.

Thursday 6:15 AM – leave for BWI.

Thursday 9:15 AM – Flight to Boston.

Thursday 1:00 PM – Flight to Japan.

Friday 3:45 PM – Arrive in Narita Airport. Immediately take shuttle or train to Shinjuku Station. Walk from Shinjuku Station to the hotel.

Friday ~5:00 PM – Check in at Hotel Sunlite Shinjuku.

Friday evening – Explore Shinjuku vicinity. Dinner.

Saturday 12:00 – Meet contact Jess at Shinjuku station.

Saturday – Tour with Jess wherever she leads.

Saturday evening – Dinner at the Ninja themed restaurant in Chiyoda, if it’s not booked to high heaven and I can suffer the cost.

Sunday morning – Train and/or catbus to Mitaka and Ghibli Museum.

Sunday evening – Sightseeing, including SkyTower and/or Meiji shrine.

Monday – Akihabara, specific focus on video games, computer goods, arcades and electronics. Super Potato!

Tuesday – Akihabara, specific focus on anime and manga, books and merchandise. Animate! Maid cafe a possibility.

Wednesday – Shibuya, upscale apparel shopping, Worlds Busiest Intersection and Hachiko.

Wednesday evening – Sailor Moon musical in Shibuya’s AiiA theater.

Thursday 9:00 AM – Leave for Narita Airport.

Thursday 11:00 AM – Leave Japan.

Thursday 8:40 AM – Arrive in O’Hare Airport.

Thursday 2:05 PM – Arrive in BWI.

The “To Buy” List includes:

  • Gamecube controllers
  • Western novels in Japanese
  • Any and all candy
  • Converbelt sushi
  • Pikari Sweat and/or Morning Rescue!
  • Pochi
  • Taiyaki
  • Ear Picks
  • Fire Emblem Awakening’s Soundtrack
  • Ultra Jump’s September issue (Little Witch Academia comic!)
  • Code of Princess’ Soundtrack
  • Anime Figurines
  • The Sailor Moon Art Books (if I can find them)
  • Antique Video Game Consoles
  • Possibly a PS Vita (If I can fork over $80 for a memory card. Ugggggh.)

Jess’ suggestions as well are all on the To Do list.

Here’s my suggestions:

– Ikebukuro; has a multi-story Animate and a large Mandarake, as well as more maid cafes and otaku-y spots. There’s more than one shop that has cheap, used anime merch. “Used” in Japan also means “practically new” by the way. Animate is exactly what it sounds like–a store that carries anime merchandise. They have figures, phone straps, dishes, clothes, cosplay, sweat rags, buttons, stuffed animals, CDs, posters, books, clear files, the whole shebang. Mandarake is a store dedicated to selling doujinshi and cosplay materials. It’s also notable because the staff is almost always cosplaying something or other, and they aren’t always happy about it.

– Don Quixote; a store that sells, well, just about everything. At very reasonable prices, too. I love going into them because, like Yodobashi, they have a hilarious jingle that plays in the background, and also because the stores tend to be this really bizarre mishmosh of crap. Oh, you need a towel? Please go get it from in between the motorcycle helmets and the LED lights. If you plan to move to Japan at any point, Donki will be your second-best friend.

– Daiso and its ilk; if you ever move here, Daiso will be your BFF. This is the Japanese dollar store, but unlike the ones we have in the U.S., it sells just about anything you’d need. Dishes? Yep. Clothes? Sure. Art supplies? Hell yeah. Plastic warning signs? Oh yes. Stickers? And how. If you plan to bring back some generic souvenirs for acquaintances or coworkers or what have you, I’d suggest checking this place out, because unless otherwise specified, everything costs 105 yen (tax is included in prices here). 100 yen shops are dotted around the country, and tend to be pretty easy to find.

– Here’s some snacks you should try: Country Ma’am cookies, Crunky chocolate bar, various special flavored kitkats, Pretz, melon soda, melon cream soda, kinoko no yama, mochi, anything from the warm food cases at the conbini counters.

– Karaoke.

I’m not doing karaoke alone. Honestly people. That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

 

Edit:  Expense report

Expense Tally Day 0

~3000 yen – Money changing fee

3000 yen – Bus to Sinjuku station

Expense Tally Day 1

150 yen – Barley Tea

200 – Admittance to Sinjuku Gyoen

450 – Shaved ice (Rose)

2000 – Train ticket (Suica) card

315 – US electrical outlet adapter from random back alley stall in Akiba

3000 – Lunch for two at Sweets Paradise

4200 – Two GCN controllers (Black and Grey so far)

1145 – Kyouko Sakura dongle and Madoka Do Not Disturb sign

4000 – Fire Emblem Awakening Soundtrack (Yes!)

2500 – Doganropa present for Jess

724 – Squid jerky and Adult Flavor Kit Kats

150 – Barley Tea

450 – Pop up Pirate game from Shibuya

525 – Conveyor Belt Sushi (5 plates!)

Expense Tally Day 2

500 yen – Umbrella

1000 – Added to Suica, then immediately used on a taxi to the Ghibli Museum and the bus ride back. I should have walked.

1680 – Present from Ghibli Museum

1000 – Added to Suica, dammit

386 – Lunch, including a drink!

10881 – Pokemon Center Tokyo

150 – Poccari Sweat

496 – Dinner, including a liter of barley tea

Expense Tally Day 3

3600 yen – Double feature at the theater

1300 – two OJ’s and large carmel corn

550 – mugicha and pocky

300 – Umai Bo (octapus flavored)

200 – Vending machine underwear

150 – 10% grape juice drink

14960 – Used Playstation Vita

2730 – Madoka Doujin

3570 – [redacted]

1280 – Nichijou figurine

780 – chibi Homura figure

2730 – Art of Penguindrum

Expense Total Day 4

310 yen – Mugicha and rice ball breakfast

2000 – added to Suica to have enough for today, tomorrow, and the 1500 train ride back to the airport

500 – Egg noodles and soup

140 – Mugicha

2170 – Used books, including 10 Yugioh cards and a copy of Pokemon Crystal for the GBC

3990 – Fire Emblem Awakening artbook

11500 – Scanty and Kneesocks figurines (and that’s about half the price on Ebay!)

500 – Princess of the Crystal figurine

400 – Dinner of rice and chicken

Expense Tally Day 5

1230 yen – Hamburger, onion rings, lemonade

380 – ice cream cone

400 – UFO catcher crane game

128 – mochi

0 yen left.

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