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Japan Journal Day 10: Train Hopping & Book Shopping

We took the train about five or six times today due to my spontaneous inspiration and poor planning. Yes, both my brother and I are finally back on coffee, so it was good until the caffeine wore off and we turned cranky.



I forgot to take a picture of breakfast, but that's not so interesting. Anyway, our first stop is at the Pokemon Centre.



These cuties greeted us at the lobby, and we headed up to the only other floor via elevator.



A Snorlax greeted us as soon as the lift doors opened.



As a typical tourist I was, I had to check the map.



Did starter pokemon really look like this? I don't know their names anymore.



There's a cafe that we didn't go to because they needed reservations, I think.



The rows of cute stuffed toys killed me from the very beginning as my brother almost walked into a mirror, thinking it was a door. The coffee wasn't doing a very good job yet.



There were so many Pikachu variations here!



Eevee is my favourite pokemon!



The sleeping pokemon plushies were too adorable!



Apart from stuffed toys, they had more practical merchandise like handkerchiefs.



These were on bags. A clever design with a slightly transparent window.



I got myself that yellow Eevee clutch wallet on the top shelf. It would have been perfect if it were purple, but I was happy with the functionality. Now I have more space to store my Fushimi charms.



I think these items are more suitable for kids.



They have more decorative items too.



I like how these materials are wood and plastic. They were probably made more durable for children or clumsy people like me.



They had phone accessories that I considered getting, but they didn't have the functionality of a phone case with a card-holding slot, so I passed up on getting it.



For the nerdier fans who want to have collectables and more realistic pokemon battles, these exist.



People who just want munchies can get them too.



The displays of the newest pokemons introduced along the checkout counter queue.



We chanced upon Takashimaya on the way back to the station. It was huge and expensive so we gave up shopping there.



Nearing the train we were meant to take, the Nihombashi bridge came to view.



So there was actually a history.



The river had tours, but no boats were running at that hour.



We boarded the train in search of my books and coming up from the station, I found this strange wall.



We didn't rent these e-scooters because they needed a local app.



We've seen CDs and vinyl records in Japan. However, tapes were a whole new level of retro.



This was a hand-drawn notice on a vending machine. It was too adorable, so I snapped a picture.



There were many bookstores in the area, and some of them had many old collectables. Too bad I'm not that proficient in Japanese.



There is a cafe inside, but we didn't stay for it. I just found myself two books about grade 3/4 and checked out after affirming that I had furigana with the kanji. More importantly, I was looking for Japanese textbooks that weren't in here.



Without luck at Kitazawa, we walked along and decided to take the train to a station near Akihabara.



I saw another bookstore and knew I had to try.



They had books alright, just not the textbooks. However, I had to try.



They had many stands on display that were as tall or taller than me. Also, that spoiler was something I didn't need.



I was amazed by how many signs they had in this place. These were illustrated by the original manga artist and signed for the store to display.



I spotted some familiar titles, but I couldn't stay long, so I'm heading back tomorrow for a more thorough look.


We had lunch in a really cool restaurant.



They had just about everything you'd ever want in a Japanese restaurant!



Don't know what fish that was, but it had bones. Tasted great, though!



Someone was having extra carbs. We also don't know what went in that small jug. It had a warm white liquid that tasted like water?



After lunch, we walked to Akihabara's hub, where the otakus congregated.



This is a place I will explore along tomorrow. It's known to have seven floors of interesting R18 goods. It would be amazing research for The Haunted Vibrator.



We spent a long time in here.



While looking at figurines, I found the Minions!



Didn't know air guns were part of hobby collections now.



There were many figurines.



Some were huge.



Some were chibi.



Some just Ghibli.



But the one I wanted was out of stock! R.I.P. Kanda Yuu ;-;



Of all the things we found here, I couldn't find any posters. It was odd.



With disappointment and not a lot of money, we tried our luck at this bookstore for my Japanese textbooks. However, it was another dead end. Desperate now, I asked the store assistant lady where I could find textbooks, and she referred me to our last stop of the day.



If a book store was big enough, they're likely to have it was what she said.



Lo and behold! We found the whole set! Time to pay at the tax refund counter because this is literally the only purchase in my whole trip that qualified.



There was a Harry Potter thing going on in Maruzen too.



The book of monsters scared me a little.



This is Tokyo train station from the outside, I think.



This should be the hub with plenty of skyscrapers.



I was highly impressed with these decorated trees. Christmas was over but they still look pretty.



We had some time before sunset, so we decided to walk and check out the Tokyo Imperial Palace for a bit.



After seeing the Himeji castle, this felt a little underwhelming. However, a small detail caught our eye. This was probably the biggest park in the hub of busy Tokyo.



Parts of the park.



A glimpse of what remains of this palace.



Taking the train for god knows how many times today, we settled for this place for dinner.



I ordered a small sized udon this time so that I won't make my brother fat.



But then he decided to make himself fat anyway with four cheeses in that bowl.


As usual, we stopped by the convenience store after dinner to grab tomorrow's breakfast. For the next few days in Tokyo until we leave for Busan, my brother and I will be running separate itineraries. He's likely to go luggage hunting by himself while shopping for his souvenirs while I check out all the weird things that my brother would be ashamed to be seen doing.


For now, I should probably check on the laundry I washed earlier and finish writing a chapter before sleeping.


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