Tokyo (7)

Sunday 05/11

By Florence:

This morning we woke up at 8 am. We ate breakfast (cereals and fruits) and then we started working. We worked for 3 hours with a break of 30 minutes in between. When we were done, we ate lunch really quick and we left for the metro. We stayed in the metro for 15 stations to go to the area where there is all the mangas stuff. It was super fun. First we went to an 8-storey building with all mangas and action figures and Ghibli stuff. We then left for a big duty free store. The kids went alone and the parents went to another store in the meantime. Then we left and went to another manga store. We bought two Dragon Ball books. The shop was full of mangas. After, we went to a manga store with comics, DVD’s, action figures, etc… When we left, we went to a place where there were old games we could play. It was amazing. After, we went to a cat cafe! It was amazing. When we entered, there were cats all over. Half of them were sleeping but there were still some woken up. We even got to carry them! We stayed there 30 minutes and then left to go see a gallery. In the gallery, they recreated some dinosaurs with used toys! It was really creative. When we were done, we went to go eat some noodles. They were delicious! When we left, we tried to go get a waffle with cream inside but it wasn’t where we thought it was. So, we went to another alley and got a strawberry chocolate pancake. We also got some puffed pastries. Then we went to the metro and headed back home. That was our day. Bye.


By me:

We wake up at 8am.

Kids do their homeschooling until 12:30am, while I prepare the visits of the day, go and buy bread, and prepare the lunch. We eat it at home.

We take the metro (direct) to Akihabara: 14 stations.

As usual, I try to put all the points of interest on a map (usually on

Akihabara is the electronics district that has become synonymous with otaku (geeks) and their love of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comics) and J-pop culture (J stands for Japanese of course).

We start with Akihabara Radio Kaikan, which includes 9 floors of shops selling manga, anime, collectables such as models and figurines, fanzines, costumes and gear.

We then send the kids to (LAOX) electronics shop while we go and see the biggest (5 stories) sex shop in Japan. They have so much stuff! We hardly understand the use of half of them…

We go to Super Potato Retro-Kan, where we can get our hands on some old-fashinoned consoles to play tetris or pac-man…

We go to Mandarake Complex, a giant store for manga and anime. Eight storeys are piled high with comic books and DVDs, action figures… What a choice of figurines, mangas, gadgets of all kinds…! We also go to Don Quijote.

We don’t go to any Maid Café, despite the many seducing girls (touts in fact) in the street. The concept is not really appealing to us. In these Maid Cafés, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat customers as masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as café customers.

The shops are full. It’s really for geeks, who seem to collect all these things. There are also models shops.

Contrary to what we expected, we don’t see cosplays, the anime fans dressed as their favourite characters (despite the fact that we are here on a Sunday).

We eventually manage to get our ‘cat café’ (Neko Café) experience, at JaLaLa Cat Café. There are many (soft) cats; kids love the place (and Isabelle seems to enjoy also…). Cat cafés usually feature strict rules to ensure cleanliness (we have to take off our shoes, wash our hands) and animal welfare, in particular seeking to ensure that the cats are not disturbed by excessive and unwanted attention, such as by young children or when sleeping. The price is set according to the time spent cuddling the cats. The popularity of cat cafés in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be a stressful and lonesome urban life. Other forms of pet rental, such as rabbit cafés, are also common in Japan.

We also go to 2K540 Aki-Oka Artisan, an arcade under the JR tracks that offers an eclectic range of stores selling Japanese-made goods, and to 3331 Arts Chiyoda where we don’t enter.

For diner, we eat soba at Kamda Yabu Soba, one of Tokyo’s most venerable buckwheat noodle (soba) restaurants, in business since 1880. The handmade noodles are excellent; we accompany them with slices of duck.

I work until 2am.

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