We started the day early. A bit too early perhaps as we were hit by the morning rush hour on our train ride to Akiba.
We separate ourselves into different coaches, while Wayne reminding each and everyone of us, “2 stops! Get off in 2 stops!”. Me and Momo ended up in the same coach, being squashed with Japanese people in business suits.
We reached Akiba early. And no shops was open yet. So, while we’re waiting for Akiba to wake up we head to the combini to grab something to eat. We walked around Akiba, just looking around at all the shops that have yet to open.
Around 11am, most of the shops started to open. We head to Softmap first, as Hayate wanted to buy a Japanese SIM card. I looked around and bought another powerbank, bringing a total of 3 powerbanks for my trip, haha. My phone was acting strange and keep depleting its battery so I didn’t want to take risk.
After Softmap, we head to the CD shop to buy AKB’s latest single, “Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai”. Even the Sousenkyo preliminary result was shown at the shop.
I bought all 4 versions, while the rest bought quite a lot. Mostly, for our friends who asked for our help to buy the voting tickets that comes with the CD.
Then, we head to Don Quixote or Donki and stroll around for a bit. We meet up with Kou and EroGG (Erik) from UKN48. So now, the 10 of us are just like one huge group of gaijin, strolling around Akihabara. There were a lot of other foreigners strolling about so we weren’t standing out that much.
We tried to go to Hello!Project Shop next. I was only half excited anyway since all my favorite members were long gone and I was not familiar with the current members. But it was nice to entertain the idea of going to the shop. Too bad it was closed when we were there.
Next, was my favorite shop of them all. It’s time for some photo hunting. We head to Liberty first. I just want to make a statement here, that before my trip to Japan, my only photocard buying experience is either through online (ebay/yahoo auction) or asking for a friend who is going to Japan for help. So being in a shop, that is nothing but photo cards… well, I went a bit crazy.
Just going by my memory of what cards I have, I just keep choosing and picking and by the time everyone was done paying for their photos, I was still crouching by the HKT48 section, going through each photo one by one. Needless to say, most of my photo cards are of Murashige Anna but I had a few variety of others as well. When the cashier was ringing me up, it took ages, and everyone was waiting with anticipation on how much the damage would be to my wallet.
The total came up to ¥19980, just almost reaching 20K yen. I could see the looks on everyone’s face, like I’m a crazy person. It didn’t help that while the cashier was ringing me up, Flashdance’s “Maniac” song was playing throughout the shop.
After the 20,000yen shock in Liberty, we headed to another photo card place. Akiba Cultures Zone had a lot more idol merchandise namely t-shirts and posters.
The 20,000 yen damage was too much so I avoided the photo section. Also, because I was not sure on which photo I have and didn’t have at that point. All I wanted to do is head home and put it nicely in an album, take note of the ones I didn’t have and head back here. I did however, grabbed Murashige’s sousenkyo poster from last year, which was one of my favorite sousenkyo photo of hers.
The rest of the gang then heads to the figures section while I waited at the side. I wasn’t that into figures and anime, so I just stayed by chatting with Momo and Gert. We head back down and went to Super Potato to look at some games.
Like anime, I wasn’t huge on games either so I just stayed by the door and chatted with Erik & Kou. I haven’t really chatted with them much before so I find them interesting. Particularly, Kou. Well, I’ll let pictures speak for themselves.
After strolling around Super Potato we went back down to the streets and just popping in random shops and look around. They even took a group picture with me (The Colonel).
When we looked at the time, we didn’t realized it was almost 5pm and we’ve been walking since morning. We split up into groups and I followed Souchan, Toki & Momo to Asakusa to grab some dinner.
I open my photos just to browse it. I was still reeling in from the 20K yen shock but there was no sense of regret to be honest. I was happy I got the photos and can’t wait to sort in out in my album.Souchan opens his CD and was salty that he got Paruru as he was hoping for Yukirin.I had Ikura Kobore Maki for dinner along with other side dishes that we shared.After coming back to our apartment, while Souchan, Momo & Toki was freshening up and resting, I decided to sprawl my photos on the floor and start some arranging. I must have looked like a crazy person, jotting down notes on which photos are missing, and rearranging all my photos.
I opened my CD and started voting as well. Giving 2 votes to Murashige and 2 votes to Shimada. As I do every year. I got both version of Jurina, Sasshi & Yui for my photos.
At one point, Souchan starts playing with my GoPro which I don’t know if he realizes it or not, as I could snap the pictures using my phone.
As the night kept going, one by one starts to pop up in our room. Gert shows up first and we played some card games from Netherlands that he taught us. Then Hayate showed up and we played some Uno.
Friendships were broken (but mended later) when this happened.
We started doing silly stuff and showing each other magic tricks as well.
Wayne & Brad showed up last after coming back from PARMS.
Even though he is tired, Brad seems to be impressed with Gert’s magic.
We spend the night just playing card games. Sometimes UNO, then a little bit of Cards Against Humanity.
In the middle of playing, HKT48 no Odekake started so my attention was half on the TV and half on the cards in my hand.
We played well up to 3am or so, it was so much fun. A few months ago, when we booked the apartment, we envisioned a night like this. We just keep chatting on what we’re going to do and to be actually doing it, it was just amazing.
It’s only been Day 2 but I’m having so much fun I didn’t want it to end.