ORE WO DARE DA TO OMOTTE YAGARU?!!
Lawlawlawl, I've put this off for so long I nearly forgot about it until someone reminded me. In any case, being almost dry on resources, the only place we had on the itinerary was to return to Akiba for one last round of shopping. Checking out from the ryokan at around 10, we headed back to Ikebukuro to find a capsule hotel; as we would need to return to the first hotel we stayed for the first 3 nights in order to hitch a ride on the shuttle bus to the airport. Unfortunately for us, the capsule hotel we had intended to stay would not allow for us to leave our luggage. There was the option to go to one at Akiba, but that would mean having to wake up really early to catch a train back here. A call to the capsule hotel in Akiba confirmed that we could leave our stuff there, so we went after all.
By the time we got to the Akihabara capsule hotel, it was already nearly 2pm, as we had wasted time in Ikebukuro looking for the first choice we had in mind. After dumping our bags at the capsule, we pat ourselves on the shoulders and for one last time, explore every nook and cranny of the electric town till closing time.
Already tight on budget, there was still once place I just had to visit no matter what it took, even for a quick glance. It was none other that the maid cafe which I've heard so much about but had no opportunity to really see what it was like, @home.
I've heard of stories of these places not allowing photographs, which was of course justified, since I'd imagine that it would cause the maids themselves a lot of trouble. But not even letting people take photographs outside the premise and even the signboard downstairs? That's news to me. That was exactly what I had to put up with, when I took a shot and some male employee caught me. He even insisted that I delete them from the memory, which I obliged of course, not wanting to cause trouble in a foreign land. He even saw me all the way downstairs to make sure I didn't sneak a shot Orz.
One day, perhaps.
@home cafe occupies 2 floors. On the fifth floor is @home sabo, which is like a subsidiary if you would.
We bought a lot here and there from different outlets, including Akiba's own Animate, but this this definitely my favorite place when it comes to doujins and manga. With four floors dedicated to pr0n ones alone divided into "used" and new sections respectively. "Used" huh? Expecting them to be worned out material with fap stains all over, it turned out to be just older titles, probably even (clean)second hand ones. It was at this place I spotted the Holy Grail.
My two favorite places in Akiba, side by side; Animate and Comic Toranoana
If we had stayed an extra 2 days, we would have been able to catch the premiere of Kara no Kyoukai
Taka Tony C72 Nekomimi Batoraa(Hayate no Gotoku) Collector's Pack
So awesome that I just had to dedicate a section just for it. Normally I assumed stuff sold at Comiket were just copies of doujins priced at about 500 yen, which of course the same applied to this T2 doujin I wanted, although they were sold out at that time. Still I spotted a paper bag decorated with designs from the said doujin behind a glass cabinet. Upon inspecting it, I was shocked by the insane price tag that came with it, a whooping 9450 yen. Astonished as to why a doujin can cost so much, I asked in weaboo Japanese for the store attendant to show me the contents. Then and there, I felt like breaking down and cry. For that price, you get not only the doujin, but with it came (if memory serves me right) postcards, a mousepad, a clear folder and even a dakimakura cover. All coming with a awesome paper bag. Truly a collector's item. Only budgeting enough to come here for some doujins, I cringed with despair as I was unable to afford it. We left the store before I started sobbing in public. Oh yeah, definitely no pictures here, as they have surveillance cameras everywhere...
The Cat With Hat cafe located inside the Comic Toranoana building itself. The very same one where Najimi of Doujin Works worked in ^^
Already dusk, we head back to our favorite eatery(can't recall the name)as they served great curry rice, not to mention being cheap too. Resuming our round in attempts to explore Akiba in its entirety, we came across many interesting stores, including the only adult store we could find in the area(used schoolgirl uniforms anyone?). Sure enough, by 9pm, the stores were already starting to shut, so we decided to head back to the capsule hotel to get a good night's rest.
Closing time at Akiba ;_;
Probably one of the few capsule hotels that I came across on the web that allowed women. sleeping in one of these capsules proved to be a relatively interesting experience. As you'd expect, it could only fit a person at best, although it had a reasonable amount of legroom, and not like a coffin which I was told. For 4000 yen a night, you get the most basic of amenities, communal bathrooms and surprisingly, a sauna(I think) The bed was actually quite comfortable and thinking I would weep at the loss of obtaining that T2 pack, I dozed off quickly.
What the capsules look like
Morning. Time to head back to the hotel for the shuttle bus and plane back home(and reality) Still, coming to Japan was like a dream come true, even though we had just covered a small part of it. Still not giving up on
visiting entering a maid cafe and getting that Comiket collector's pack which I oh so wanted, I had already begun planning and budgeting for the next trip here, by hook or by crook. Heh. Shin out.
PS The Gurren shirt you see as the OP image can be bought at Animate for 3000 yen. I'm such a weaboo ^^;