Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Hangout for the Geeks

The Last time I was in Japan, I frequently saw these "Manga Kissa" shops. I didn't really know what it was about but as the name says Manga meaning comic books, and Kissa is short for "Kissa-ten" which means cafe.

I tried to take pictures inside but it was quite dark and my pictures were a bit too out of focus so I pilfered these from google images.

The entire shop is like a book store. Stacked mile high with comic books, DVDs, magazines and video games!

When you walk in, you tell them what you want to do and they will set you up in an area. Depending on what you want to do, the price ranges vary but is somewhere along the lines of $3 per hour to hang out there.

The comic books had stuff from way before I was born to all the new releases and is all you can read for however long you want to stay.

Most of these are open 24 hours and from what i heard, people often stay there over night if they miss the last train home.

I chose the computer option because they set you up in a more private cubicle looking setup. The computers there have net access similar to what you see here. Its basically a real cramped cubicle but is enough room for you to kick back and relax.

A lot of gamers come here to play MMO RPGs late night.

I heard that people also crash in these cubes to pass out until the trains start running again. The chairs leaned back all the way and also had a small ottoman like foot rest.

The computer that was available all had flat screen monitors.

The video game cubes are also similar to this layout and is equipped with the console of your choice and headphones so you can have the volume as loud as you like. The most common console here was the PS2, then the Game Cube. Was there any xbox's there? The answer? only two...

A lot of kids come here after school to get their game on away from their nagging parents, I'm sure. If I have time, I want to go back to one again and take some action photos of me geeking out.

Did I mention theres food there too? They have a full on selection of snacks and dinner like items such as pastas and rice plates. They price is relatively cheap too! I think it maybe a bit higher than the McDonalds around the corner but definitely affordable and quite tasty.

I was a bit suprised when i found out that no one really steals from this place. They dont monitor what you do really and you can grab as many comic books as you please off the shelf. I guess the geeks in Japan are a bit more honest. Maybe its because they take care of their safe haven.

The Shabu Shabu Restaurant from Lost in Translation

I'll have to update this post later, but I had dinner at the Shabu Shabu restaurant where they filmed "Lost in Translation".

Unfortunately, we were not able to get the booths like the ones in the movie. Oh well, bragging rights? Maybe. Tasty food? Mos Def!

A day in Harajuku

So today, I decided to take a trip to Harajuku.
This is one of many tourists attractions out here in Tokyo. Theres a lot of local crazy stuff and a lot of local crazy people.
When I hopped out of the train station, I arrived in Snoopy Town...
I thought this was Harajuku... when did it change to Snoopy Town?

To get to the downtown area, I walked though "Harajuku Avenue(?)". This is known as the teenybopper centeral of Tokyo.

This narrow street is jam packed with people.

and more people...
and more people. LOOK! Theres a McDonalds!
Do you see that guy in the white jacket? He is one of MANY direct marketeers in Japan. They chase after people who fit a certain stereotype and give them flyers or let them know about special promotions and deals. Today, some ghetto gangsta looking Japanese kid asked me if I was "Hip Hop". I said "yes" to see what would happen and he started talking about a store down the street that has their stuff imported from America. hahaha.
Wow~! I can buy that at Walmart for $5! you want how much?

Down the street from this crazy teeny bopper area is one of the coolest toy store I've seen! Its a 6 story toy store called Kiddyland. They have a massive collection of toys from Hello Kitty stuff to Pokemon and everything cutsy in between.

The blue character you see is called "Doraemon". He's been around since the 70's or so. I grew up watching this guy and he still holds his popularity.

Whoa~! Check these transformers out! The big red one is definitely, Optimus Prime! Its a fully transforming one too!

I would have taken more pictures but I'm sure you know what happens when you put a kid in a toystore... and if this kid had a credit card... and if this toy store was filled with cool things he has never seen before... ummm~ ya... I'll probably have to go back there to uh.. take more pictures or something.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Yet Another Ferrari

Yet another parked Ferrari sighting! I actually saw another one park the other day. Out of curiosity, I watched the owner get out. He was just a typical "dad" looking guy. From the passenger side, comes his wife who looks like a simple "mom, and their daughter, probably around 8 or so. Do they use this as a family car?

And~ since I'm posting about car's, heres yet another old school mini.

PS3 games already on sale on Amazon Japan!!

I was surfing around to see what kind of cool toys I can find and i found a section for PS3. PS3!? yes! Theres no prices or mentions of the console but I guess these are the confirmed titles for release.

On the left column, under the text that says: プレイステーション3
They List:
- Devils May Cry 4
- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Gundam
- Tekken 6
- Vision Gran Turismo
- Ni-Oh (From what the translator said, something like Guardian Kings)
- Face Phantom Saga
- Bio Hazard 5

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The great Buddah

A little ways down from the Temple sits this Big Buddah made of Copper.
Standing by it, its pretty darn big.

Its hollow inside so by paying Y20 (about $.20) you can walk inside. This is a pic of the hole where his head is.

Afterwards, I went down to another temple. The details on these buildings are AMAZING! I'll have to post some more soon. But it really seemed like something from a movie set. I think I want my house to look like this on the outside.

I call this "Crouching Tiger Hidden Jay"

Since I'm on a posting spree... a few pix of my little tour

Me at the entrace of the Engaku-Ji. One of the many temples in an area south of Tokyo.
So this entrance tower thing is made all out of wood. On top of that, this was built with NO NAILS or anything! its all fabricated with wood pieces that fit into each other. Kinda like an oversized lego or something.

This was amazing! This was part of the entrance door to one of their buildings. I think someone told me that this was made with one piece of wood. simply amazing...

HOLY CRAP! There were these HUGE spiders in this place! Ive never seen anything like it! The body of this scary thing was probably as big as a quarter (in length).

I wonder...

If you know who this sharply dressed man is?

I saw him getting into the Limo while on my way to a meeting. What's amazing is that hes actually looking towards my camrea. A few seconds later one of his security henchmen asked me to not take pictures. Im glad the one and only turned out good.

My daily attire

So not to brag or anything, but people say i dress pretty well. Mmm~ well not well per se, but at least in a cool fashion. I've told a few of you guys that i go in a suit every day and they all laughed!
hahaha. I can understand why.
So just in case you guys all forgot what i looked like, here I am!

See? you're lauging too!

Evern Ballers Parallel park

On my way to work one day. I noticed this car!

If you notice, its parallel parked on a busy side street. I didnt really think anything of it UNTIL~ that white truck parallel parked right in front of it! If that was MY car, I'd be freaking out! So after work, walking back, the car is still parked there! I walked closer to it this time and noticed that it had some yellow tag. i think he's illegally parked there. Now first off, who the hell illegally parks a Ferrari!?

I wanted to post this a few days ago when I first saw it but lagged.
Well THREE days later, the car is still there!! I asked my colleague why they dont tow it and he said that its probably cuz its too low and they're scared of damaging it.
We'll see if its there tomorrow.

On a side note:
I was expecting to see a lot of fancy import domestic cars. Some crazy Supra's and Skylines. Well so far, I've seen 2 Supra's and about 3 Skylines. I have, however, seen at least 10 Porche's, 3 Ferarris, 1 Lamborghini, Bently's and 1 Hummer H2. Yes! In the busy streets of Japan a HUMMER! I still dont understand these crazy Japanese people. hahaha

Monday, November 07, 2005

Who's Smorking?

Couldn't resist.
Found this one when i was casually walking around Shibuya.
Got nothing today...

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Japanese TV has a LOT of interesting stuff. I was watching TV while ironing my clothes and there was some random show that caught my eye. They were doing a quick "test" to see if you're body is healthy. It's real easy and would like all you guys to try it out.

Grab your ear and fold it in half.
Make the Top part of your ear touch the Bottom part (your earlobe).
The fold will appear in the center towards the back of your head.

does it Hurt? do you not feel a thing?

This check tests to see if you have good blood circulation throughout your body. So now i know you're asking which is better. should it hurt? or not?
The answer is NOT. If you have good blood circulation, you should not feel pain. Those of you who felt pain, there are ways to remedy this. FYI: this was common in more FEMALES than males.

what this means? it means that you'll get sick frequently, and usually cold.

If you're one of those, you're in luck. theres a way to increase your blood circulation!!
the best way is to put water in a bottle (40 degrees c) wrap the bottle with a wet towel and put against the small of your back. do this 2 times a day for about 15 minutes. Make sure the towel is wet. it contributes moisture to the skin and promotes better circulation.

another good excersize (according to the tv show) is to do the following.
1. Lie down on your back.
2. Lift up your arms and legs (towards the ceiling).
3. Move your limbs up and down. Like you're dog paddling.
*if you cant strech your limbs all the way up, its ok.
Move them in small motions, it does not have to be agressive. do this 2 times a day for 2 minutes. Results will show in a week.

Neat huh? I dont know how these crazy Japanese people find out these things.. but anyway, there. hope everyone has a warmer white christmas.

Mini Coopers~!

Saw a few so I wanted to share...

Thers a few new school ones too. But these are cooler

Just a Relaxing Sunday

Its about 6pm here and its been raining all day. I figured its a good time to post the stuff i've been lagging on and do some laundry. I've been trying to figure out this washing machine for a while now.

So this compact machine is a washer AND a dryer! pretty neat huh?

On Friday, after I came home, I decided to finally try out this washing machine. ok so let's see... Instructions... instructions... ah yes here they are!

ummm.... wtf?

(Not too sure if you guys can read this but...) THERES TYPOS EVERYWHERE!!
So HOW do you DO THIS? gah~!

I figured im smart enough to figure this our right? So just incase i screw up something bad I started with towels. Threw it in... put detergent in the compartment... pushed some random buttons and VOILA! It worked!

I sat back and watched it do its thing. This little machine is pretty smart. it spun around a few times to figure out the weight of whats inside... then calculated wash time. whoa~! As it started doing its thing, i noticed that there were no suds. I opened up the detergent compartment and its still in there! There was another compartment right next to it which was all wet! doh~! I cancelled the wash, and sopped up the detergent with my wet towels.

Ok Attempt #2...
So again, the machine started doing its own thing. Spun around a few times to determine the load... but WAIT! the towels were all wet! It calculated as a full load! oh well at least it'll wash...
I stepped out for some food or something.

(a few hours pass and i get back)
I came back and took a look...
everything looked ok...
opened it up and~ crap... everything is still wet! wtf?

Lets consult with the instructions... ok, so for drying i push this button? *push* *push*. wtf? its not doing anything. "hmm~ what does this button do..?" *push* all of a sudden the machine started spinning. COOL~! did i do it right? WRONG~!!! it started washing again! Holy Mother Fark! gah~!

Anyway after a few more tries i finally figured it out. Im doing laundry now, working on my third load. hahahah

The bottons look like this.

Where are the nice pictures? i dunno. There were also a few more instructions in Engrish pasted on top... did it help? Apparently not since i couldnt figure it out.

For All you Gangstas with a sweet tooth - GET CRUNKY!

I bought this when I was buying some snacks at a AMPM (its yet another 'convini' a CONVINIence store like a 7-11).

So to All you Gangsta's who wanna get cRuNk'd, its time to get CRUNKY~!

These taste real good too!
Endorsed by Lotte.

Karaoke time with Hello Kitty

On my way out, I saw Hello Kitty hiding behind a tree. "BigEcho" is a Karaoke Shop... this was taken while waiting for a train at the Gotanda Train Station. This is the one closest to my place.