January 25, 2011

東京: Day 4, Akihabara, Ghibli Museum, Dinner

At first I was going to cruise the entire Yamanote loop (in a clockwise motion), until I came upon this:

It was only 10:01 in the morning. With a little time to spare I decided to drop by the electronic-mecca, Akihabara.
Sadly when I arrived most of the shops and arcades weren't even open, even the Gundam Cafe was closed. For an hour or so I sat inside a resident cafe, snapping a few pictures.

Ten after eleven, Gundam opened!
For anyone planning on visiting this cafe (or any other place in Japan), realize that though the Latin alphabet is plastered everywhere doesn't mean everyone speaks English. When in Japan, speak Japanese. I realized what I was saying to them in English was as foreign to them as foreign could be. Learn the proper pronunciations of foreign things - saying Sylvester is not the same as Shirubesutā - they'll understand the difference.
A Caffè Americano! (I think)
And of course you know I took pictures of the inside display.

With more time to spare I decided to run back towards Akiba's Chuo-dori to see if any arcade houses were open.
Behold the great Taito Station
I've seen many things in prize-grabbing machines but this, this was too much. Also they're on the first floor.
I haven't played beatmaniaIIDX since DistorteD came out in 2006. With years behind me I was surprised to pass 9s and most 10s with AAs. Because it's 200 yen (per play) for the short amount of time I was there, I spent at least 2000 to 4000 yen!

After some time I finally made my way to Hamamatsucho for the tour's departure to the Ghibli Museum. The museum is really fascinating in every centimeter you come across. It's so unique, so different and so fucking awesome that you'll be a fool to withhold your inner-childlike tendencies.

Here's the the outside
Mr. Totoro at the ticket counter (きっぷうりば)
Aren't these the little dust thingies?
This is the greatest place on the fucking planet. Pure brilliance.
I had some delicious Raspberry Ice Cream and Japanese tea from their little cafe. Yes, it was 1˚C outside but I didn't care - I want to enjoy myself!

There are no photos allowed inside the museum. I could understand why too. I can't go much into detail about what's inside but everything is about inspiration. From Hayao Miyazaki's past works you'll see sketches and film clips in action - the whole ordeal a team of artists labor into making a film. Visiting the museum was definitely inspirational and lovely. Someday I hope to meet Mr. Hayao and his team.

With no time to spare I quickly made my way back to the hotel for a warm-welcoming dinner in Shinjuku with friends: Sexy-Synthesizer's Mr. Nagai and his wonderful wife, the VJ (Mr. Otani) and the great Ms. Chihiro in Tokyo.

(They're all crazy, like me)
We had a delicious feast and a very interesting discussion of east and west, the similarities and the just plan silly. Ms. Chihiro was wonderful enough to provide concrete English to Japanese (vice versa) translations. And Kubota sake, absolutely delicious. Too bad I had a good episode in my hotel room which paralyzed me for a damn long period.

I'll leave it at that.