Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yodobashi Akiba!!!

Yesterday was my first payday since I came to Japan. My camera has been having some issues lately and I wanted a nicer camera anyways. So I planned on buying a camera after I got paid.

I found the camera I want at a store in Mishima (about an hour and a half away) several weeks ago (well they carried it but they were out of stock) but it was much more expensive than it was in Tokyo. It was a little over $100 difference. Sooo... I decided to go to Tokyo to buy it. Even with the train ticket I would still save money! I could have waited until the next time I was in Tokyo but I wanted the camera soon to use it when I start doing some more traveling.

I got up a little after 5 to catch the bust at 5:59. I had looked up train times using a website and it said I would get to Tokyo a little after 10. However, I got to Tokyo around 9:30. As soon as I got off the bus I bought my train ticket. As I was buying my ticket at the machine, I heard the bells start ringing to signal that the train was about to leave. So I ran to the train and made it on just as the doors were closing. Then when I switched at the next station I also ran to the train. My train station skills are getting pretty good. :)

So in three and a half hours I went from a super small town to one of the largest cities in the world. Japan is awesome like that. :)

First I went to Akihabara and found the post office bank there. Then I headed towards Yodobashi Camera. The store in Akihabara is the largest camera store in the world!

I found it pretty quickly. As soon as it was in sight though I stopped to eat breakfast. I got a cinnamon roll and cappuccino. The cinnamon roll was so yummy and warm.
Then I went into Yodobashi-Akiba!



The store was super awesome. I think they pretty much have every camera that's made right now. I don't know that much about photography but I was still amazed by all the expensive stuff they had. Here's the camera I bought! It has a fun swivel screen. :) I wanted to use it so badly yesterday but I couldn't because the battery needed to be charged.


Oh, and they have an awesome point card system. 10% of my purchase goes onto the card and I can use it like a gift card next time I go! So now I have like a $45 dollar gift card. :) At least I think that's how it works... the sales clerk was explaining it to me in Japanese... Well, actually I also read about it online. Otherwise I might not have understood the sales clerk so well. It's easier to understand Japanese when I know what they're probably about to say.

Anyways... Yodbashi Camera is one of the best stores ever. Their selection on everything is insane. Even in the toy department (they had more than just electronics) they had sooooooo many puzzles! :)
Here is the one I bought:

It's so super Japanese looking!

Oh, the store also has a theme song. I feel very sorry for the people who work there. In the hour and a half I was in the store I heard this song twice. Another time I heard another rendition of it with just a woman singing. I didn't want to walk around taking a video and wanted to stay by the speakers anyway, so here is a beautiful video of the ground. Though I do bring the camera up for a little bit. This was the model train section.



Akihabara is a really fun area. There are all sorts of colorful signs with anime characters and girls dressed up as maids advertising the maid cafes.


Next, I went to Nippori to visit the fabric district. If you have read my post from the last time I went to Tokyo, you know that the last time I went the fabric district was closed. Well, this time it was open... yay! It was soooo crowded though. The only store I went in was Tomato because it is the largest and I figured it would be the most likely place to find fleece. They had tons of fabric... but NO FLEECE!!!!! Grrrr! I have given up on fleece now. However, I did find some nice fuzzy fabric, but it still does not replace fleece. :(

I decided not to waste any more time searching for fleece and headed for Ikebukuro. There I ate lunch at KFC and shopped at Tokyu Hands. First, here is a video walking down the street in Ikebukuro.



Tokyu Hands is one of my favorite stores. They have all sorts of things ranging from bikes to furniture to tools to kawaii stickers and stationery. I bought some really pretty paper to hang on my walls. There are pictures in my facebook album.

On the top floor of Tokyu Hands is Nekobukuro. You pay to go in and there are a bunch of cats that live there and you can pet them and play with them. I went in. It was really cute! Only one cat was really active and walking around. The rest were asleep. It was like playing hide and seek trying to find the cats hidden in different places.

Well, this cat wasn't asleep, but it wasn't walking around. Isn't it sweet?

It tried to bite me. It tried to bite other people too.

Though they did give me a paper before I went in that said, "Let's be friends with kitties" and then explained how to approach the cats. I like how it says "the kitties are moody animals" and "when they get angry, it's possible to be scratched and bitten by them."

But it was a fun and cute experience even if most of the cats were asleep and one tried to bite me.

I headed back home around five. I took the shinkansen back home. In the morning the train ride from Mishima to Tokyo took about two hours. The shinkansen only took about 45 minutes from Tokyo to Mishima.
Here are some videos I took from the train:





Today I played with my camera. So far I love it. :) It works much better than my old camera. Even when lighting conditions aren't the greatest the pictures still turn out nicely! Here are some of the pictures I took!


Here is my facebook album of Tokyo: MORE PICS!!!

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