I have a bit of an update to do now since I didn't blog yesterday. For the majority of our 3rd day we were in Ikebukuro (most specifically Sunshine City and Otome Road). The first order of business was to try and hunt down the ramen shop where last year Jon and Tyson loaded up on garlic - later making their room rank with gasses. I was sad to see the ramen shop was replaced with something else. That's not the only time this has happened either. The HMV in Ikebukero is now a Book Off - In Akihabara, Aso Bit City was replaced with a souvenir shop.
Otome Road is exactly as expected - lots of second hand shops and lots of BL doujinshi. A plus side to the second hand shops is that I think the items there are even cheaper than Nakano Broadway. I found just a few items from shopping there. After shopping I took Sabrina to an "auto salon" - 5 floors of cars (mostly new contemporary models with some concepts). It was a nice, relaxing, cool environment. Did I mention it's still hot and I'm still not used to it?
One of the main reasons for going to Ikebukero that day was for the Basara café Maryanne wanted to go to. It was a pretty interesting experience for sure. The place was full of girls and themed with posters and videos from Basara 3 (I think the whole thing was just propaganda for the upcoming PS3/Wii title). I had a drink that was themed to one of the characters (blue with a lemon on top for the helmet and 6 pocky sticking out of the top to represent his 6 swords). Food was pretty decent as well (although overpriced). I don't know a thing about Basara but I can see how fangirls can like this sort of thing.
We had a bit of time while things were still open to visit Ginza (our transfer point) on our way back. We popped up right in the Sony Building just as it was closing but we'll be going back to see the rest of the techy gadgets. I got directions to MUJI and walked the 5-10 minutes with Sabrina with eager anticipation with what I'd find. I found exactly what I was looking for - Naoto Fukasawa's wall-mounted CD Player!
Today was great! Started off with the usual Denny's breakfast and grossing Sabrina out by eating natto (fermented soybeans - all stringy and smelly). As punishment for making her eat one (ONE BEAN!), she won't let me eat natto for the next 2 days. After this it was off to Akihabara.
Now believe it or not, today was the first day I actually went anywhere in Akihabara; The first day I just went along one side of the main drag and hung around outside the station. After being harassed by the maids we ended up in one of their café's doing the "moe moe kyun" over a melon cream soda...*sighhhh* :D
I love hanging around the back streets of Akiba, there's always some hidden shops. I found a narrow flight of stairs leading up to a really tiny 2nd floor shop where they had stock of everything new and at the cheapest prices in Akiba. I got a Black Rock Shooter figma for 400 yen less than the big shops and was able to find the Lucky Star X Street Fighter crossover Nendoroids that Tyson wanted. An overall good haul ended perfectly with Mos Burger (Sabrina stole a coaster). *nyuk nyuk*
Then to make Sabrina REALLY happy, we were off to the Ueno Zoo. Last year we only had an hour and saw what I thought was about half of the zoo, turns out it was likely about 1/3 of it. We dumped our swag in a coin locker and walked the scenic route through the blistering heat of the humid park towards the zoo. Starting with the section I didn't see last year, Sabrina and I spent a good 2 and a half hours just doing that one portion. There were more breeds of monkey than I can count. Best off to just look at the gallery on Facebook. I'll include one of this guy for good measure:
Here's an action shot of my Black Rock Shooter figma - This thing's of amazing quality: