Japan Day 3: Ikebukuro, J-World Tokyo & Shinjuku

Started off the late morning with intentions to go straight to J-World Tokyo in Ikebukuro, but got sidetracked when we saw the Animate store.

Animate - 9 floors of manga and anime goods
Animate – 9 floors of manga and anime goods

There was a small Shingeki no Kyojin, or Attack on Titan, exhibit on the 8th floor. O and I went into a minor otaku mode and fancrazed over everything. They displayed some original sketches from the manga, sold tons of goods, and had a section where you could vote for your favourite character. Interesting to see that Jean and Captain Levi were winning the poll. I voted for the potato girl Sasha, mostly because she reminds me of myself. HA.

I bought a replica of Eren’s key necklace. ^^ There were also some weird goods… like body pillows of Captain Levi and Eren in sexy poses…

Posing with Captain Levi, Eren, and Mikasa
Posing with Captain Levi, Eren, and Mikasa
Poll for favourite Attack on Titan character
Poll for favourite Attack on Titan character

Finally made it to J-World and had some lunch – Naruto’s favourite Ichiraku ramen! The J-World cafeteria also serves other Shonen Jump anime-themed food, like buns in the shape of Majin Buu from Dragonball Z and soup with a bun in the shape of Luffy from One Piece’s hat. As we were eating lunch, Naruto, Goku, and Luffy came out to interact and take photos with the guests! Super giddy after doing the Kamehameha move with Goku, eating meat with Luffy, and making jutsu hand seals with Naruto. They have some interesting rides at the theme park, but they’re quite expensive at about 800 yen per ride. We chose to go on the One Piece Soldier Dock Adventure, but it was quite short and all you do is sit in a cart and point flashlights at things… but fun nonetheless! There are designated areas for the 3 most popular Shonen Jump series: One Piece, Dragonball, and Naruto, but there is also a large Heroes Arena area where you play games at booths for other Shonen Jump anime like Bleach, Hunter X Hunter, and Prince of Tennis. We spent quite a while taking silly pose photos and buying capsule toys. Where did all our money go..?

Had a little tea break in the station at Ikebukuro before heading to Shinjuku for some basics shopping at Uniqlo. Walked around Shinjuku and stumbled across Kabukicho, the red light district, while it was still early and not so sleazy. Weren’t really sure what else there was the look at, and our feet were sore from all the walking. Relief flooded through me when we found a Mos Burger where I enjoyed one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life. The chili balanced perfectly with the cheese and tender patties in my burger. Soooo yummy!

Didn’t have much else to do in Shinjuku, so we made our way home for a break before going to Mickey House – a language cafe run by the owner of our guesthouse. He invited us in for a free drink and introduced us to the customers at the cafe. The concept of his language cafe is to give people an opportunity to practice having conversations in different languages, so naturally it draws in many foreigners living in Japan. We got there pretty late, most of the local Japanese had gone home for the night. Nevertheless, we met and spoke with many friendly foreigners and traded stories about life in Japan and our home countries. I’m not usually one to jump at a chance to talk to strangers, but it was actually extremely fun! “Please enjoy.”😄

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