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Tokyo New Years Loot

yaibayaiba5 days agoLoot
I've always wanted to experience New Years Eve in Japan, so almost on a whim I ended up in Tokyo at the end of December. I stayed in an older condominium in Ueno that housed a taiyaki shop on the first floor. The building was probably constructed in the 1980s or even earlier, and might be typical of what a working class person might live in nowadays. Gas heaters supplied hot water for the bathroom and kitchen, and a tatami room (washitsu) was used as a bedroom/living room.

I don't think the building had much in the way of insulation so I was wishing for a kotatsu practically the whole time I was there, but it was surprising how well the sliding door (fusuma) separating the kitchen and bedroom kept in the warmth after the electric heater had been running for a while.

If you go to any of the typical places that people might visit around the New Year holidays, expect to wait in lines. I waited in lines at Comiket. I waited in line for hatsumode at Kanda Myojin. I waited in line for Ippan Sanga. I waited in line for a shrine visit at Washionomiya Jinja. I waited in line to take pictures at the stairs by Suga Jinja.

Many smaller businesses, some bus lines, and government offices are closed from Jan 1-3. I don't think too much was closed in Akihabara though...

Anyway, here are pictures of the bags from the stores where I bought stuff. 2.5 Spinns is a cafe, and also the location of the Park store featured in Urahara.

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The Plum Live Shop opened in Akihabara almost 3 years ago, and carries character goods from Nagano. They gave me a free calendar, which fortunately survived the trip back home despite not being protected in a mailing tube.

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Here are pictures of the contents.

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Art books and CDs. The Touhou stickers were a freebie from Toranoana.

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Trading figures and gashapon toys, plus the mechanical design book from Takashi Murakami's unfinished Six Hearts Princess anime bought at an exhibit in Nakano Broadway that closes on Jan 15.

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A couple more art books, and a sacred arrow (hamaya) from Washinomiya Jinja.

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I'll conclude with some general thoughts on buying merchandise in Japan. For the more readily available stuff, I think you can often find it cheaper on eBay (not factoring in the shipping). However, I think that it's good to buy art books because they are way cheaper in Japan, and cost a fortune to ship.

A lot of stores were selling fukubukuro, but I've never been particularly interested in buying random stuff. The huge boxes being sold at Yellow Submarine did intrigue me, but my areas of interest are too well defined nowadays.

A couple of years ago I would have said that Mandarake had really competitive prices, but I found stuff to be much cheaper from Surugaya and Book Off/Hobby Off. Of course these places have a lot less in the way of selection.

Nakano Broadway is also still cheaper than Akihabara. The same gashapon toys I bought in the Nakano Robot-Robot for ¥200 were ¥300 in Akihabara Robot-Robot. But then Akihabara still has much more in the way of new items.

Anyway, here are some posts from my regular blog that I made about my trip for those who are interested. I'll probably update the links here as I make additional posts.

Comiket 93
Hatsumode at Kanda Myojin
Suginami and Nakano
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Comments2 comments

1pt
The other CDs are soundtracks from a couple of TV shows that just ended recently. One is Keiji Yugami, based on the manga of the same name, and the other is Minshuu no Teki.
4 days ago
1pt
What are the other CDs besides the new bad apple remix comp :o
4 days ago
Your source for old and rare figurines!

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