Day Eight

From the japan Collection

For our first full day in Tokyo, we decided to start in Ikebukuro (池袋駅). I wanted to go to Sunshine 60 and a number of shops were nearby. Our first stop was the Kit Kat confectionary shop to pick up some chocolate for my mom. We picked up some of the strangest flavours we could find, including a spicy chili Kit Kat.

Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo ポケモンセンター メガトウキョー

We then headed for the Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo (ポケモンセンター メガトウキョー), which is supposedly the biggest in all of Japan. I grabbed a whole basket of merchandise! This Pokemon Center was definitely the largest and most well-stocked one we've been to.

Large Charizard mural.
Large Charizard mural.
This Pokemon Center was huge.
This Pokemon Center was huge.
Sunshine 60 サンシャインシティ

The Pokemon Center was located in a building that was connected to the Sunshine 60 (サンシャインシティ) skyscraper. It is a 60 story skyscraper with a sushi restaurant 鮨処 銀座 福助 at the top so we knew exactly where we were headed. There we had one of the best views in all of Tokyo and also some delicious sushi.

Sushiin the sky.
Sushiin the sky.
Elsie wins at Crane Games

After finishing lunch we started to make our way back to the train station but got distracted by three story arcade called Game Safari (ゲーム サファリ池袋) along the way. It was mostly filled with claw machines, one of which caught my eye because it had a huge Neko Atsume plushie as the prize. ¥1100 ($11) later I was the proud owner of said plushie with some of the best claw game tactics I have ever employed.

Image courtesy Reid Main.
Image courtesy Reid Main.
Several buildings in this area are dedicated to floors and floors of independant merchandise sellers.
Several buildings in this area are dedicated to floors and floors of independant merchandise sellers.
All kinds of prizes that get rotated out each week.
All kinds of prizes that get rotated out each week.
Monster Hunter slot machine?!
Monster Hunter slot machine?!
Some rhythm game.
Some rhythm game.
Beat Mania
Beat Mania
Horse Race betting game?
Horse Race betting game?

Nearby there was another Yodobashi that we decided to duck into and buy more stuff! We started heading towards the Nakano Sunplaza (中野サンプラザ).

Nakano Sunplaza is the path to Nakano Broadway.
Nakano Sunplaza is the path to Nakano Broadway.
Nakano Sunplaza and Nakano Broadway 中野ブロードウェイ

Massive plushie in hand, as well as bags of the other stuff we had bought, we headed to the next shopping destination on our list: Nakano Broadway (中野ブロードウェイ). It is a massive shopping center full of independent shops carrying all sorts of anime, video games, figurines, and all other sorts of fandom merchandise. There was also one chain called Mandarake which had twelve different stores each carrying a specific type of merchandise. One store was just full of Godzilla memorabilia. One had VHS of anime from the 70s! After losing ourselves in there for two hours it was 4pm and we decided to head back to our Airbnb to rest.

Nakano Broadway First Floor.
Nakano Broadway First Floor.
Mandrake is a chain of shops all dedicated to different things.
Mandrake is a chain of shops all dedicated to different things.
It was common to see open box figures being resold.
It was common to see open box figures being resold.
Sailor...moon.
Sailor...moon.
Yakiniku Blackhole 和牛塩焼肉 ブラックホール

Reid heard of an amazing yakiniku restaurant in Shinjuku called Yakiniku Blackhole (和牛塩焼肉 ブラックホール). So since we were in Shinjuku for Robot Restaurant later tonight we decided to eat there. While it was absolutely delicious, it does not compare to what we had in Kobe.

Blackhole logo.
Blackhole logo.
Golden Gai ゴールデン街

With our bellies full, we had about an hour before we had to head to the show so we headed over to Golden Gai (ゴールデン街)for a drink. Golden Gai is a collection of several small alleys jam packed with all sorts of small bars one after another. After wandering down one of the alleys (and getting told that we wouldn't get served at one bar because we didn't speak Japanese) we found the perfect bar for us. A little hole in the wall with just enough seats for our group called やどかり and an awesome bartender named Yasu who chatted with use about 80s music and whisky. Three whiskies later (including a tasty kirin whisky!) we were all sufficiently inebriated for the show that is Robot Restaurant.

Golden Gai.
Golden Gai.
Robot Restaurant ロボットレストラン
The outside was kinda...sleazy.
The outside was kinda...sleazy.
It is recommended to get Robot Restaurant tickets ahead of time via their registration system. It is in a somewhat shady area of Tokyo, known as Kabuki-cho, but as with most places in Japan its not all that dangerous.

It is really hard to describe the Robot Restaurant (ロボットレストラン). From the outside it looks like the seediest Vegas show you could imagine, after all it is located in a seedy district known as Kabuki-cho. Tons of flashing lights in the hallway leading up to an elevator. Helpers dressed in gaudy clothing. We were then brought to an elevator that takes you to the third floor waiting roomwhich was colourful, but not in a good way. I have never seen so many sequins in my life. After about five minutes, we were told we could take our seats which involved us going taking the stairs down to the basement. Why we had to go up to the third floor was never made clear but whatever time for the show to begin!

Really narrow entrance to an elevator that takes you down to the basement.
Really narrow entrance to an elevator that takes you down to the basement.
Reid is enjoying himself?
Reid is enjoying himself?
Reid still...enjoying the show.
Reid still...enjoying the show.
The show was incredibly colourful.
The show was incredibly colourful.

The show floor was in a dark basement with three rows of seating on their side of the stage. It looked like there were seats up to 150. The two ends of the stage were gated off because that is how the performers would enter. What happened next was really indescribable. Robots! Fireworks! Pyrotechnics! Lasers! Giant snakes fighting some sort of mecha-tank!

Laser show!
Laser show!
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