23 July 2009

Whole Day in Ikebukuro

Or strictly speaking, a whole afternoon only... -_-;;

We were a bit too tired after not sleeping on a proper bed for the first 2 days of the trip, and we've pretty much the third day's morning just to sleep.

To start of the day, we have some Hokkaido milk bought from a supermarket near our hotel - in fact we've always bought our breakfast from convenience stores and supermarkets.

Well, let's get going on this short day in Ikebukuro.

Tuna rice with half boiled egg for lunch inside Sunshine City.

Animate - this one is actually bigger than the one in Akihabara, and less crowded too ^^

Animate is literally just opposite Sunshine City Prince Hotel, so it's not hard to spot. Address as followed in case one's interested:

I can only do such location spots for the shops in Ikebukuro (I doubt I can do this for Akihabara I afraid), as there are fewer and most were found via the guide book I've used as well as Google Maps.

K-BOOKS are stores which will have anime lated merchandise that Animate (which is just a few blocks away) will not provide.

K-Books for ladies, selling various things oriented for girls including cosplay stuff.

A map showing other branches of K-BOOKS in Ikebukuro - there's an Anime store, Premium store, doujin store, and a comics store.

Zaku II J version 2.0 and RX-78-2 version 1.5 Kawaguchi version as spotted in Animate - not easy to get outside Japan (at all)

Btw there won't be much photos inside shops in my posts, mainly due to the fact that there are "no photos" sign here and there in most shops I've encountered.

コミックとらのあな (COMIC toranoana) - a shop selling seiyuu CDs, DVDs, visual novels, as well as various doujin stuff. There's quite a lot of explicit stuff for doujin in case you're interested ^^;

The location is around here:

VOLKS store in Ikebukuro. Other than stuff specifically from VOLKS (e.g. Dollfies, figures, and some plamos) there are other stuff available too such as gunpla and figmas etc.

It's right here in case you're interested:

Walking down Ikebukuro

Promotional stuff for Gurren Lagann the Movie: Lagann (i.e. the 2nd movie) found outside a cinema. It looks like that they've left it untouched for nearly 2 months.

Guys playing Gundam VS Gundam NEXT - couldn't leave the spot for quite a while ^^;

Tekken 6 arcades

Melty Blood - a well known fighting game based on Tsukihime.

Was going to mention this but forgot about it until LEon asked me in the comments below: Arcade games in Japan tend to be a bit more expensive than those in Hong Kong (many which are imported from Japan); Japanese ones tend to cost around 100 - 300 Yen, depending on what you play, but Hong Kong ones usually only cost up to 6HKD, which is still less than 100 Yen!

USB Missile Launcher for those who wants to launch these foam projectiles at your enemies in your office XD

There's an okonomiyaki restaurant inside Sunshine City where you can do one yourself~

Accidently called this yakisoba earlier as this one does contain some. Thanks to Blowfish for correcting me on this.

First of all, you mix the content/batter together...

Put the mixture on the teppan (metal plate) which is in the middle of the table and let it fry.

Make sure you make a circle shape so it can fit inside a cover...

... Like so. Let it cook inside for a few minutes and flip it to let it cook on the other side. There's a tiny hourglass for you to use so you can time it well when making your own okonomiyaki.

Add some okonomiyaki sauce on top of the okonomiyaki after it's been fried on both sides.

Add some katsuobushi as a finishing touch, and tadah - it's done. Time to enjoy the okonomiyaki now~

Yep, that pretty much sums things up for the 3rd day. Not much happened to be honest, as my sister and her friend spent the whole day shopping just inside Sunshine City and I walked around those places mentioned above pretty much by myself for most of the time.

When I've found out that they're planning to shop in Ikebukuro for the next day too, I've decided to go to Akihabara that day ^^;

Actually, I didn't manage to visit Akihabara within one whole day on the next day, which was mostly got to do with pondering around for too long in in a few shops, so I made a short return on the day after that (after visiting Nakano Broadway beforehand). Have been wondering whether I should do both Akihabara + Nakano Broadway visits in one single post, or keep them separate as though I'm doing them day by day like I'm doing so right now.

Hope you like this post on Ikebukuro and find the addresses above useful. Do ask me if you need a bit more info on something (can't guarantee answers but will try my best)!


  1. Wow K-Books has quite a few branches huh?
    Didnt know that type of Yakisoba.I only know the "traditional" Noodles with Veggies fried and a shit of soy sauce.Those you showed remind me alot of okonomiyaki even though they are different XD

    Those adresses would prove useful if id go over there in the near future but my horrible spending habits prevent that from happening!

  2. Awesome coverage:) That looks like a fun little place to visit, sorry to hear that you couldn't really get pictures in most shops:/ Those Yakisoba look tasteful ^^

  3. Look like a fruitful trip you are having there. How many Yen for one play on the arcade?

  4. Once again, just awesome my friend! Thanks for the post! Both those meals looked fantastic!

  5. @ Blowfish:
    You're right; this is indeed the okonomiyaki, and this one has yakisoba as part of the ingredients. Thanks for the correction; that's what happens when I blog late at night OTL

    K-BOOKS has quite a few branches within Ikebukuro, so it's worth checking them all out in one sweep along with Animate, VOLKS, and toranoana.

    It's never too late to save up some money so you can save a lot of shipping fees when you get to go to Japan ^^

    @ blueplains:
    I don't want to ruin the image of tourists by challenging their rules too much, so I only took the pictures secretly or outside of the shops.

    @ LEon:
    Japanese arcades often cost around 100 to 300 Yen to play, depending on what you're playing at. They are actually more expensive than playing them in Hong Kong, which has them imported from Japan. Strange, isn't it?

    @ Apt-1B:
    Glad that you like them. I think I can post about 1 or 2 more before the end of this month, if I am not too busy.

  6. Lol every milk carton i see reminds me of Ed from fullmetal alchemist. What does the K in K-books stand for?
    Ive seen a lot of arcades here in Hong Kong, but unfortunately, im a bit too young and some places look like their trying to hide smthng XD

  7. No Problem!
    so theres okonomiyaki with yakisoba hmm?Yum!
    I regularly mess up during late might posts aswell
    Oh and please correct my typo!
    Its supposed to be a shot of soy sauce and not shit...^^;;;
    The I and O are next to each other on the german keyboard

  8. @ Asuka:
    I've tried looking for the meaning behind the name, but no results -_-

    Arcade games are getting fewer and fewer, and many are now getting replaced by those gambling machines... This is likely due to the fact that people are more willing to play them on consoles once they're out.

    I think it's only a few more years until you get to see them out yourself. I don't play arcade games usually but I like watching people playing on them.

    @ Blowfish:
    There's various kinds of okonomiyaki, but this is just the one I've taken pictures of.

    The I and O are next to each other on my keyboards too. In fact the only biggest difference between English and German ones is that the Y and Z are swapped due to the usage difference, i.e. Germans uses Z more than Y and vice versa (hence QWERTY and QWERTZ keyboards).

  9. Yum! Okonomiyaki!

    I hear there are some places that won't let you flip the okonomiyaki, so nice of you to get the whole experience ^^

  10. Did u have a few rounds in the arcade? Seems pretty packed from the looks of it.

    At first, I thought K in K-books stands for Kinokuniya-books. LOL
    Speaking about it, what does the "K" stand for?

  11. @ Lightning Sabre:
    You will have to see the restaurant has the teppans provided on the tables or not. There's usually an instruction card on cooking one for those who are new to them like me ^^;

    @ Optic:
    I am rather awful at gaming, and there's a lot of people queing so I prefer watching them playing instead.

    I've tried searching for the meaning behind the mysterious "K", but still no results -_-;;

  12. Did you end up buying anything from those shops or they were already covered in your Japan loot post before?

    I think the fact that people make less money (lower min wage) in HK plays a role in the prices. My relatives told me it's expensive to go to Japan, but I found it to be more in line with prices in Canada.

  13. @ T.I.P.:
    Most of the stuff I've bought (as shown in in the loot post) are from Akihabara.

    Actually, the primary reason for the low and competitive prices in Hong Kong is the fact that Hong Kong is an import-heavy city with no import or sales tax (with alcohol and tobacco being the exception). This is why it has the nickname being the "Shopping Heaven".

    Is Japan an expensive place to go? Well, I am not the best person to answer this. Metropolitan areas like Japan sure has a high cost of living, but you can get away with cheaper things there if you know the stuff. Besides I heard that going to Japan isn't as expensive as it used to be, but that's just for short haul flights like me going from Hong Kong.

    Just my humble opinion though. Ask others who live near you and they may give you a more precise answer according to your location and situation.


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