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Japan – Day 10

Woke up earlyish and went to Super Autobacs near the Takaida station – Well about a 10 minute walk – About 30 minute trip in the end. Sarah stayed local and had a look around the shopping in Namba.

It wasn’t a HUGE store, but it was still pretty cool. I bought a few bits and pieces and also had an interesting converstaion with one of the staff there, when I tried to ask about stickers. His name was Yamada, Basically he had a google translate thing going on his iPhone and I was using their computer to do english translations. We ended up speaking about what cars we drove, he had an orange 180SX which he showed me videos on his phone drifting – Very cool. I showed him my S15 back in Australia – He was very surprised when I said how many KM’s it had done.

This place has a lot of stuff, exhausts, seats, all sorts of bling VIP gear – Its like a Super Cheap Auto/Autobarn but with more performance gear on show, and lots more electronics as well. I got some brochures for Tein, Recaro, HKS and Fujitsubo. I guess it wasn’t one of the really big ones as I didn’t see any turbo’s or the like on display. I think I spent about an hour or something talking/looking around.

When I went to pay, the girls at the Cashier had some fun with me as they tried to explain “If I only wanted one credit transaction for all my purchases” – They were just saying one and holding up their index finger while laughing at the fact I had no idea what they were on about. They ended up calling Yamada-San (The guy I talked to earlier) and he got his iPhone out again to do the translation. Funny that it ended up being so simple.

From here headed back to the hotel and met up with Sarah again. She had a new purchase too from a place called World Wide Love! Nice Jacket.

Lunchtime! We went to a Chinese restaurant just near the hotel called 551 Horai. About 2100yen for some really nice food. Sarah got some crispy noodle with seafood, and I had something similar but it came with a egg soup broth and fried rice.

From here, it was time to check out Osaka’s Den-Den Town (electronics/electric stuff) – Not far from the Hotel again, but I happened to lead us around the LONG way..I think we walked for about 3 hours today.

It’s a bit more slummy than Tokyo, this place had lots of tiny shops – What stood out the most was all the little electronic part stores – Wires, Resistors, LEDs, Circuit boards, everything.. I bought some terminal blocks for my Vewlix cab back at home. Cheap too. Few bucks.

There were lots of DVD stores and some toy stores too – Lots of figurine stores where you could buy all sorts of figures from movies, cartoons, etc.

We went into a Toy shop called Joshin Super Kids World – This place had a Tamiyatown – All the RC models, scale models, parts, etc – It was awesome. We also found out that you can buy replican GUNS and stuff. Like Machine guns, handguns, BB guns – They even have fake bullets for them, and look unreal. I would have tried to sneak a photo, but yeah..there were cameras everywhere..Would have loved to try to buy one but no point, I could imagine customs when we got back into Australia..

Stumbled across a Super Potato shop, a retro gaming store, Lots of old old gear, was awesome to check out some of the stuff from the 80’s.

They had Super Game Boys for 180yen and there were some Super Famicom (SNES) games that appeared brand new in box for 100yen. They even had a few of those old Nintendo robot things hanging around as well.

The second floor of the place was dedicated to game music. Tons of CDs from all years with tracks from video games. Such a cool place.

Next up we went into BIC Camera/Sofmap – Big electronics store – Sarah got a Sony MP3 Player – Its just headphones, its all built into the ear pieces are waterproof too. Good for her to use when working out.

Very cool, and I don’t believe are released outside of Japan. We were worried that it wouldn’t actually work without a Japanese OS but lucky for us, it’s just plug and play. The software was Japanese only but we can get away without using it.

And that leads us to now, where we are sitting in the hotel room watching funny Steve Martin movie on TV thinking about what sort of Dinner we should get…..

So we ended up going to a place called Lottoria for some burgers, and then a Haagen-dazs place for some Crepes.

***

Went back to the Club Sega tonight, played a few games..had some luck again. Played a heap of rounds with the guy I spoke to last night, he was using Cody this time..didn’t get a match off him, came close a few times.. There were a bunch of ladies playing there as well, At the end when the place was closing one of them asked me something in Japanese (I assume “are you japanese”) to which I just gave some funny look and said “Australia” – This lead to an interesting view of the Japanese SFIV scene, from her point of view.

Stood outside the arcade which closed at 12am for about 35 minutes conversing with this woman and her husband. She was 30, a nurse and a Chun player. He a dentist, aged 33 and used Claw. She was part of a SFIVAE Guild – A group of players – Of about 10 girls. There were 2 others there tonight, But I only spoke to these two.

They head to the arcade, in a group of about 8-9 and play nearly every night…from about 9PM to 12am. After the arcade closes they all just talk Street fighter. She also mentioned that there are many players who are over 30, and a few women too. She pointed out one of the girls there was Choco Blanka’s friend, when I was talking about some of the more known Japanese players such as Tokido and Mago (And when they came down for SS last year)

They also told me, that it was safe in Japan to be out late, that they go out every night and talk lots of street fighter. They also want to come to Australia, and since Facebook only came out last month for Japan (or something to that effect) it wasn’t very popular here (yet?)

With a few days to go before travelling back to Australia – My SFIVAE card will soon be retired. At the moment I think its 50 losses and 32 wins with about 7300BP.

Written by Aaron Tan

March 11th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Travel

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Japan – Day 9

Got up about 10am, had something to eat and then checked out of the fabulous Hotel Sunroute in Shinjuku.

Pulled our baggage to the Shinjuku Train station and Sarah put an extra 1000 yen onto a Pasmo card, instead of a fare adjustment – Something to note! (We found out later Pasmo is only Tokyo)

Got on the Yamanote line to Shinagawa where we eventually found our Shinkansen platform. We were using the Nozomi service (express, fewest stops) on the Tōkaidō/Sanyō service. This train hits 300km/h..

I was a bit worried about how we would store our luggage (as space is limited, unless you can get the space behind the last row of seats) but ended up being fine. Whoever said the section above the seats is similar to that of an airplane should be shot. Our 55-60lt bags went up there no issues…assuming you can lift it up there.

The train ride was cool, I was trying to find my Blackberry to show GPS speed (Didn’t have an app on Iphone) and I couldn’t get the damn thing, it was burried in our luggage somewhere.

Very smooth ride, didn’t feel like it was going that fast..we went past some of the nice countryside and also saw Mt Fuji – had some clouds around it unfortunately.

Some parts of the track had some sprinklers going too, I assume to keep the track temperature stable in case the steel warps or something.


We passed through Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto before arriving at Shin-Osaka.

From here it was a pretty simple task to get to our hotel…Jump on the Midosuji line and get off at Namba. Only thing was at Namba it was a maze of department stores, subway lines, railway lines and bus lines. Evenutally found the lobby of the hotel.

The Swissotel Nankai Osaka – Is a world above where we stayed previously in terms of the size of our room, which is huge. Very nice with awesome views.

Only crap thing is we have to pay 1680yen for a day of internet – Might be a nice hotel but all the bits and pieces cost extra. 3000yen to use the pool/gym for example. The restaurants are also very expensive. However, not really an issue as we’d be eating out anyway.

The vending machine in the previous hotel was actually very handy, as the mini-bar costs 350yen for a coke, where as the vending machines have them for 150yen.

Once we were settled we had a look around, Had dinner at a place called Yayoiken – Curry Rice and stuff for me, and Sarah had some beef/egg/potato on Rice dish – Tasty, and around cost under 1500 yen.

***

Went and played a few games of SFIV at the Club Sega (Which we can see from the hotel room) – Had some success here tonight, won about 7 games and had a little streak going. Then played this Able and got destroyed. Doing stuff i’d never seen before…Very interesting. I attempted to have a little chat with the player who tried his best to explain some things with very limited english, if I knew Japanese I think I’d be able to learn a lot from these guys.

Written by Aaron Tan

March 10th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Travel

Tagged with ,