07 February 2011

Japan Day 1 - Shinjuku, Nakano and 麵屋武藏

E and I made it to Japan finally.

First, we wanted to go during the Christmas holidays last year, but didn't because the flights and hotels were way too expensive, and also E had a deal to close over Christmas meaning she had to work. So, that was shelved. We rescheduled to February, after Lunar New Year and would have preferred to commence the trip on 3 or 4 Feb because those were holidays too... but again the flights and hotels were either not available or unrealistically priced.

E managed to get a package for flights and hotels for the 7th to 14th Feb period that is very attractive - return flight from Japan including a domestic flight to Hokkaido; plus hotel stays at Sapporo and the Niseko Hilton for all our skiing needs - all for HK$7000 (approx). So we were good to go, but once more was almost derailed by work commitments. Fortunately, that ironed itself out from E's end.

... which is why I'm saying that "we finally made it to Japan", after breathing in a whiff of Japanese air.

We stayed at our usual Shinjuku haunt because its very central and very easy to get to placed from there. We were almost famished by the time we checked so, so we took a quick walk to E's previously No.1 rated ramen place for dinner - 麵屋武藏.

Yummy ramen, the pork is just heavenly...


Once we were on full stomaches, E quickly asked "do you want to go see some Transformers? Maybe Akihabara and Shibuya?" She's awesome!!!

I thought about it and concluded that it might be better to go to Nakano first because it was already around 6-ish in the evening and we are unlikely to do Akihabara and Shibuya (which are close together) before the shops close there for the night.

So off to Nakano....

There were a lot of exciting TFs in this store including a quite minty VSZ giftset and a loose by genuine Shuffler for 48,000yen (yikes!). This time round, I didn't manage to snap any photos of the store interior, just couldn't do it with the constant wave of people and staff walking around (sorry). If its any comfort, it looked like this last year.

Got a reasonable haul from the shops there.

- vintage Transformers TV Art Book #69 (featuring Masterforce)
- C-341: Grease Pit MISB
- C-342: Air Wave MIB, unused, sealed paperworks
- C-343: Hot House MIB, unused, sealed paperworks
- C-344: Iron Works MISB
(I was told that the above are not their Japanese names, but I don't know how to read Jap, so am using the US names).


The highlight was 2 fold, (1) being able to get all 4 Micromaster Bases MIB in one go and (2) the TV Art Book. These are such awesome books. I would love to get the whole series, but everytime I go, I can only manage to find but a handful (and in this instance 1).

Here are some interior shots to show how awesome these books are...

Super Ginrai with 3D cross section showing his internal mechanisms

Very large box art for Buster and Hydra

Grand Maximus!

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