Nihon Here I Come! (Insert Yeehah!)

Oh what things to see and do!

That’s right, I’ve booked myself 18 days of pure bliss within the delights of Tokyo’s precious bosom. From March 12th to March 29th I shall practise my Kobanwa’s and Genki Desu Ka’s until my gaijin (foreigner) friendly pals stick sushi in my mouth and make me swallow (I’m not the biggest fan of sushi). In less than two months I shall be in Nippon’s capital to experience many of Japan’s gaming pleasures such as…

The Sony Centre; Sony’s one stop shop to show off all thing computer related to tech junkies and their bored other halves.

The Pokemon Centre; Pikachu I choo… no way noob it’s all about Squirtle! I was one of the lucky people to see this place in its full glory in New York before it got downsized into an area of the now Nintendo Store near the Rockefeller Centre. Tokyo’s merchandise heavy version may in fact send me to the deep end of financial hell.

Harajuku/Yoyogi Park; Are you surprised that I would mention the Sunday cosplayers playground? I’d imagine there will be at least one Dead or Alive character dressed up. One can only hope it’s Kasumi!

Endlesssssssssssssss(to infinity) arcades that are scattered throughout this sacred home of Virtua Fighter.

Oh and speaking of Virtua Fighter, there’s also this rather small place called SEGA GiGO plotted in only the biggest geek hub in all of the glorious Tokyo.


Akihabara (known as Akiba to the local Otaku or “Geeks”) is home to endless games shops whether they are new or old. How about having a go on the headache inducing Virtual Boy on display in one of the many used game shops that specialise in all consoles ever made for the Japanese market?

Or even better I could use some dating simulators to hone my pick up skills, only to end up gaining leaflets from barely legal teen-maids wishing to charge me extortionate prices for a coffee instead…

Anyone have any decent suggestions?







16 responses to “Nihon Here I Come! (Insert Yeehah!)”

  1. Shaz avatar

    *Highly jealous* >.

  2. Laura avatar

    Awesome Nick have a fab time and yes of course we want to see photos, you could always pop Shaz in your suitcase and take her with you πŸ™‚

  3. James avatar

    I first met my wife in SEGA GiGO so that place has a lot of good memories for us! I was playing Street Fighter III when a new challenger came on and proceeded to kick my ass within seconds. Frustrated at my defeat I stood up and looked over at the opposite machine to see my rival who turned out to be a beautiful Japanese girl. Good looks and awesome Street Fighter skills were too good to pass up on and the rest, as they say, is history – James

  4. Alex avatar

    No advice. But I am so jealous of you.

  5. Tim avatar

    My advice is just because the schoolgirls do that in the cartoons you watch, doesn’t mean they’re really into that in real life and also won’t stop you from getting arrested πŸ™‚

  6. Nick avatar

    James; your story makes weep a tear of happiness. That’s the way it should always be!

    Time; you’ve ruined my holiday. Bastard.

  7. Lordstar avatar

    been there! done that! got the tee shirt!
    pokemon center is awesome it was about 10 mins walk from my hotel. I also recommend the Square enix store which is off the main map on the train lines of Tokyo but not too hard to find if you ask the locals with a map you can get from your hotel (or from one of the capsule toys) if your serious about arcades and gaming Aki is. There are two arcades by sega and if you flirt with the sega girls they will line up the toys in the UFO catchers/pusher games for the easy win for you X-D

    Keep an eye out for where there testing new games. It happens often. When i was there this time last year I played initial D 5 and Blazeblue (both of which are only just getting releases now)

    There is one 50yen arcade which has a lot of everything but I recommend the arcade called HEY! they have the most comprehensive list of games. with a floor dedicated to just about every type.

    i recommend this site my friend made (who lives there)

    Best English map of electric town.

    I was there for three weeks in tokyo and it was not enough time. I want to go back next year. I hope you do πŸ˜€

    p.s When i was there i played a lot of Sf3.3 and my playing level went up a few notches because of it. Vs arcade cabinets encourage everyone to fight each other and its fair play to just sit down and fight someone without asking.

  8. Zoey avatar

    I am so so so jealous. Bring me back a pokemon and I’ll take a girl dressed as Kasumi as well, although you might have trouble smuggling her through customs. You better right some awesome blogs showing us everything after you come home.

  9. Michael avatar

    “James; your story makes weep a tear of happiness. That’s the way it should always be!”

    So you’re going to come back home with a wife in tow?

  10. Ben avatar

    Sounds awesome, really wish I was in your shoes right now!

    Be sure to take at least two extra suitcases for all that possible swag *melts.*

  11. Emily avatar

    Ohh, so *thats* where Akiba comes from!

    Have an excellent trip Nick πŸ™‚

  12. Scott avatar

    Hey Nick, sounds awesome. I will get to Japan one day, even if it takes me a couple of years to afford it!

    If you’ve got the time (perhaps on the flight on the way over), I recommend you head over to Giant Bomb and listen to the string of four podcasts (beginning with the one linked below) detailing the crew’s experiences in various areas of Tokyo. They talk about TGS, local game stores, arcades and the unique cuisine local to the area, among other things.

  13. Andy Turner avatar
    Andy Turner

    Hey Nick…I’ve been to Tokyo a couple of times once for a Birthday booze up for m birthday in June and just a few weeks back for new year. (I’m not super extravagant or anything but I live in Korea at the moment so it’s not too far away.)

    Went to the Pokemon centre both trips and it was truly the land of dreams a few suggestions that might help you out…

    1) Take lots of money the exchange rate is terrible at the moment…when I went in June it was roughly 220 yen to the pound End of december it was 129 which hurt a lot…so either take lots of money, pray either the pound goes up or the yen drops…or better yet do both.

    2) Get a day pass for the subway if you want to see a lot of the city it’ll save you so much cash and hassle getting singles every time.

    3) Go to Ginza and go on the hunt for the statue f Godzilla

    4) Go to Shibuya terminal where there are a ton of arcades plus it’s exactly like the area sharing it’s name on Jet Set Radio so grab some spray paint and run around tagging things singing “I love-a love-a love you” until the Rokkaku police show up.

    There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo but its a confusing place too to save going into too much detail on junk you already know about or aren’t planning on doing so feel free to drop me an xbox live message (Majin Snake) or an email ([email protected]) and I can let you know about stuff like getting around, decent places to eat or go drinking (a fair few of those) when you aren’t hitting the gaming sites. I can suggest a couple of hotels in decent areas too if you still need to sort that.

    congrats on booking the trip anyway man I’m sure it will be awesome.

  14. Michael avatar

    I’m just a teeny bit gobsmacked that we have readers in Korea!

  15. Andy Turner avatar
    Andy Turner

    Hey Michael…hope it doesn’t spoil the international success too much but I am actually from the UK, just working in Korea for a little while to facilitate worldly adventures. I hauled my 360 to the other side of the world with me and found out about the site when my Xbox headlines told me about you looking for a new staff writer. So I went on and applied (hoping my current overseas location doesn’t count me out too much since it’s not forever)…Since then I’ve been back almost every day checking out what’s new and enjoying the virtual company of some fellow gamers.

  16. Alan Williamson avatar
    Alan Williamson

    I’m planning a post-graduation trip to Japan this summer and will be planning to worship at the shrine of the almighty SEGA GIGO.

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