As if I hadn’t talked about it enough already, I’ll now close the topic by giving some general information on what happened during these 10 days I spent in Tokyo.
First of all, as many of you already know, I didn’t go alone. Mai volunteered to go with me, though I’m not sure whether she was actually regretting it midway through. 😛
We also met Marcel, a friend who traveled through Japan during that time, so we only spent around 4 days with him, but damn, he was such a great help that I just have to thank him again for everything!
Coming to the actual trip, we only visited some places in Tokyo. 10 days was just not enough to go anywhere else, especially since Comiket already kept us occupied for 3 days.
So what did we see? Our hotel was located in Shinjuku, which is probably the best district to just get around in Tokyo. We visited Shibuya around 4 times. It’s definitely the best place to do some shopping, and I think I did a great job when it came to that!
Next and probably most importantly, we spent A LOT of time in Akihabara. For those of you that don’t know why I love this district so much; It’s like the mecca for all otaku. You’ll see anime related signs everywhere. There are tons of anime, doujin, manga, and even adult visual novel shops.
Then there’s also huge stores in which you’ll get pretty much any electronic device you might need, and in the streets, you can listen to anime music as well as the cute voices of maids calling out to possible customers. It’s heaven I tell you! Though, many shops are really small, crowded and have their location underground, so the whole environment is not that pleasant if you’re not used to it. I can still see past that, since all the yuri greatness kept me distracted from pretty much anything else~
Moving on, we also visited Ikebukuro, which had surprisingly many anime related shops as well. The “Animate” main store had 9 stories full of anime goods. It was crazy! I think we spent around 2 hours in that shop alone, and it still wasn’t enough.
Lastly, we also did some things that every other tourist would do, like visiting famous shrines, the Tokyo Tower, or other famous places, like the world’s most famous junction, on which millions of people cross roads every day.
On New Year’s, we also tried to follow Japanese traditions and went to the Meiji Shrine, the place that probably most people in Tokyo visit during New Year. Well, we didn’t really know what to expect and thought that there would be traditional dances, some kind of ceremonies, music and fireworks. However, we were completely wrong. We waited in line outside for 2 hours, and by the end of it, the big “highlight” was throwing money into some kind of fountain. On the way home, we then got lost and returned to our hotel 3 hours after midnight. I hadn’t completely lost hope by that time, because I was still looking forward to my New Year’s mochi that I bought beforehand. Though, while opening it, it fell to the ground and that finally ruined my New Year…. 😛
The day after New Year’s, I also got sick, so I think we did something wrong during our time at the shrine. Who knows? But back to the more important topics like: How much yuri can you shop in a city like Tokyo?
First of all, pretty much every manga shop, no matter how small, has at least some yuri works for you to buy. Though, we are aiming for the big ones, more precisely the ones that have whole sections with yuri works, and there are certainly quite a few shops that will have just that for you.
Since Mai and I were after doujinshi more than after any kind of manga, we visited shops like Melon Books, Comic ZIN, and Toranoana a lot. I think the latter also became my absolute favorite store in all of Japan. I always found some nice yuri doujinshi in these shops, and you can basically find a Toranoana store within a 10-minute walk, no matter where you are in Tokyo.
Some of these shops were numerous stories tall, and even though everything was rather small and cramped, the variety was always top-notch. And since we visited while Comiket was taking place, their range of doujinshi changed daily, and even if we ever missed something at Comiket, we could just visit one of these stores in the evening and find it there. Well, we visited the two Toranoana shops in Shinjuku daily anyway, but that’s just because we couldn’t possibly get enough of it~
Still, despite how awesome I make it sound, yuri is not as big as I think it should be. I mean, there are whole shops that only sell yaoi, while there is nothing even close to that when it comes to yuri. Having a bigger yuri section is already the best you can get, and even if this is awesome, it still makes me wonder just why yaoi is so much more popular. But oh well, it still felt like paradise to stand in front of these huge bookshelves full of yuri magazines, manga, and doujinshi. I shouldn’t complain.
Let’s also talk about something that really surprised me in a positive way. I already mentioned it in my post about Comiket 87, but I now want to take the opportunity and talk about it a little more.
From the very first day we arrived in Tokyo, there was one anime that we saw pretty much everywhere. Love Live! is seemingly so big in Japan that you get whole gaming halls themed after this anime. You’ll hear the music everywhere, their faces pop up on food, drinks, and as huge wallpapers on buildings. You really can’t miss Love Live! because you’re reminded of it everywhere you go. I think it was even a little annoying at times, though as soon as we went to Comiket and saw the huge sections of yuri Love Live! doujinshi, I was all good with it~
So, yeah. This wraps up my trip to Japan, and just like mentioned before, I can only repeat myself. If you ever get the chance to do so, visit Japan. It’s awesome! I’m already saving up money to go there again, because that’s just how much I loved it there~
Lastly, here you have everything I bought, nicely arranged for you to enjoy: