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For Day 2 in Japan, we decided to take it easy–only a few train stops away from our home of Saitama (seen above, in the daytime, this time) to Ikebukuro. Ikebukuro is a lovely little mini-city within Tokyo, most notable for… shopping. It features several huge malls, most notably the Sunshine City complex, and the flagship store of Japan’s largest chain of anime and manga stores, ANIMATE, is in Ikebukuro.

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In Japan there are plenty of ways to get around, including the public rail (JR) which are above ground trains, and the private above-ground trains and the Tokyo subway system (below ground). All of these trains operate using the same perfect tap-card, meaning you never have to fumble with different tickets, tokens, or fares. Your tap-card (a credit card with a chip in it that can be read without being swiped) also works at lots of vending machines and convenience stores. Toronto could learn a thing or two (note: this will be a theme).

Please continue reading after the cut:

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People reading novels and manga on the train.

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A book vending machine. Oh, literacy.

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Andrew conveniently points out where we are in Ikebukuro. Did I mention that Tokyo train stations and maps have tons of English on them, and that getting around is REALLY SIMPLE? It is. It’s almost disheartening. Anyway, on the map Andrew saw the store TOKYU HANDS, which he wanted to visit because of its vast amount of paper-goods.

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A lovely little park-path. All “wasted space” in design is made as beautiful as possible. It’s heart-breaking.

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When we got to Tokyu Hands, the first floor entrance level was taken over by… THE EVANGELION STORE! Celebrating the release of the new movie (you may have heard from ICv2 it was the number one movie in Japan last weekend) was a little boutique of top notch and rare Evangelion goods. T-shirts, ties, giant Rei Ayanami dolls, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys! So much eva. I settled for…

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LCL JUICE! Yes, Juice themed like Evangelion’s artificial amniotic fluid. I’m bringing this one home as a souvenir. I also bought a Kaoru & Shinji-branded cold milk-coffee, which was delicious.

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But we could only stare at Eva crap for so long… (elapsed time: 25 minutes). So we went to see the rest of Tokyu Hands department store. I think… I think I’ll mostly let it speak for itself.

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Miniature plastic food? Everywhere.

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The 8th floor (yeah, 8th) had a pet store.

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The photo of the chipmunks didn’t turn out.

Yeah. Chipmunks. Like Chip ‘n’ Dale up top.

That’s the first 3 hours of day two. More to come!

- Christopher


8 Comments on “Japan 2007: Ikebukuro Tokyu Hands”

You can track this conversation through its atom feed.

  1. Halliday says:

    Jesus… Japan is like the future and all my fantasies at the SAME TIME.

    If you doubt that Japan is actually the future, look at how clean that subway car is! Only the future is that immaculate (SEE: Demolition Man). And indeed, it is so bright you have to wear shades. And in the future, shades are much cooler looking and everything looks like you’re looking through Terminator’s eye. I can’t wait until 30 years from now when Toronto becomes Japan, and Japan becomes… like some unimaginable fantasy-land uptopia for the super-rich where no dream is impossible.

    Yeah.

  2. ADD says:

    Chris,

    My daughter and I have both been loving the hell out of these pictures, thanks so much for sharing your trip with us all. Hope it continues to be a blast!

    Alan

  3. Bitter Matt says:

    Many of us are still waiting to catch up with Toronto, some day. Some very distant day.

    Also, thanks for sharing all of these cool photos! I have to ask, though, did it seem at all odd to be taking pictures inside a (futuristic) department store? If so, we all appreciate your sacrifice for the greater good.

  4. kdd(alan's kid^^) says:

    i wish i lived in japan…but, visiting would be cool to.^^
    awsome pics by the way!:)

  5. Nadine says:

    The green pop top alien Phallic drink thing kicks arse. Hehe.

  6. wintersweet says:

    I love Tokyu Hands more than is healthy. I’ve been in that particular one, too, randomly enough. I don’t suppose you went to the Ikebukuro Denny’s? ( http://alwayshoneymoon.livejournal.com/6070.html ) It’s so superior to North American Denny’s as to be from another galaxy.

  7. Normand Shearer says:

    Loved your pictures. My partner and I are leaving for Japan Wednesday for a month and a week and this time we will stay at a Sakura hotel in Ikebukuro. Two years ago we had rented a small……very small…appartment for 3 months for foreigners near Aoto station. I love Japan…it’s safe, clean and restaurants aren’t that expensive neither and you can go anywhere and never feel threatened.

  8. Japan 2009: Tokyu Hands and Evangelion Store at Comics212 says:

    [...] So that’s Tokyu Hands! If you want to see the pics from my first trip to Tokyu Hands in 2007, check out this post: http://comics212.net/2007/09/08/japan-day-02-ikebukuro-tokyu-hands/ [...]

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