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Our main highlight today is Nakano. Actually I came here to see lenses. No seriously! Its not like I got drawn into Patty's subliminal messaging song with the Nakano Broadway constantly repeating in my head. >.>

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View from the station. Azusa's surname is Nakano. So this place must be full of win.

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Here's the view from just outside the station. The building on the left is where we're going.

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Its called the Nakano Sun Mall, perhaps because its got a roof that lets sunlight in.

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Its like one of those malls where Junpei took out Kaede's bra and realized he was doomed for life.

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And we arrived at Nakano Broadway.

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We got here a little early, so the shops haven't opened yet. All that was open was the porn shop on the far end of the corridor.

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I must question the Japanese taste for bishoujo.

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So we went off for a bit to look at lenses since most of the shops that actually mattered haven't opened yet. After a little while of browsing lenses and cameras, my companions got visibly irritated because they were stuck with me looking at pieces of glass and metal that bored them to death.

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To cheer them up, I insisted we wait to eat at an overcrowded gyouza place.

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The place was filled to the brim with people, so the food must be good. This is the first thing you must always remember. The place does not have to look posh or dirty, it just has to be full of locals and you know you've got it right.

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I got my Ramen with a mini fried rice and 6 pieces of gyouza.

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The freshly cooked gyouza was pretty effin awesome.

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We headed straight back to Nakano Broadway after eating and there it was: Nakano Mandarake.

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Mandarake fills up most of the 2nd floor with hobby stuff, from retro figures to hobby cars, to music to anime and manga and moe stuff. Even though this isn't quite Akihabara, its still really full of win.

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There is a lot of stuff up here. Even little Suika cards and CDs and 2nd hand goods

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And rare stuff.

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And even cosplay gear.

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There was a Games Workshop here too selling 40k stuff.

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Obviously, I wasn't the kind that would leave that kind of place empty-handed.

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After spending a good 3 hours in that building, we decided to head off somewhere else.

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A short train ride later we found ourselves in an enormous crowd.

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Shibuya had this awesome crossing that I absolutely had to visit.

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Since it was like 3 pm however, it wasn't the busiest of times.

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The streets that proceeded from the Hachiko crossing were also lined with a huge number of shops.

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There was also the Shibuya 109, which was like 90% women's clothes.

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There were barely any stores for men.

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We didn't catch Macross Frontier because my companions were blur in moonspeak and the cinema that showed it was in Shinjuku.

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We also found a very interesting information center.

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I thought it was actually a porn shop, but it REALLY WAS an information center.

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There were so many karaoke places here too

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The buildings were so epic that they needed 3 bridges to cross between 2 of the same buildings.

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Another view from the Hachiko crossing. The building directly in front is actually a really really big TV.

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There was a big animal collage on the wall just outside the Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station.

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We caught a glimpse of the Macross frontier posters while we were on the train.

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Next me and my companions parted ways because they couldn't stand me wandering off to places they weren't interested in. So I went back to Akiba to kill time while waiting to go to a karaoke with friends later tonight.

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I found a big porn shop. It had like, 7 levels. The high levels contained pretty extreme stuff.

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There were also posters glorifying Japan's former manga-reading prime minister.

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The words say "Our Taro!"

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Akiba looked really nice with all the lights at night.

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View from under the railway.

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Next I headed off to Hachiouji to meet my friends for Karaoke.

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This was when I discovered the existence of a RAPID Chuou line that skipped stations. So I arrived a little too early.

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But Hachiouji was a nice place too, lined with limos and poshness

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It was another one of those places which was absolutely glittering in neon lights and banners.

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Busy city for the win

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So I sat around in Starbucks reading the Comptiq magazine I bought in Akiba to continue killing time and enjoy the liveliness of the city

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One of the things I noticed here was that the Japanese people use bicycles a lot. Presumably this is because the city is so big, and trains can only get you to certain places, you need to fill in the gap with either your legs or wheels.

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We Love Hachioji! There was a small K-ON group singing in front of that banner. Their music was so good I tossed them a 500 yen coin for their efforts.

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After that I went for a bit of shopping in Sogo. I didn't realize until today that this was a Japanese store.

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After about an hour of kicking back and relaxing, it was almost time for the meetup.

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So I took a short ride down to Nishi-Hachiouji.

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Just west of the bustling city, this place looks deserted outside the station. It was at this time I realized I forgot to bring my spare camera battery with me. The karaoke box had sailor uniforms one of my friends wanted me to wear. But I only had enough charge for one shot left. So I decided to make the most of it by taking a most meaningful picture.

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Me, Kagami and three of us continued to sing songs for the rest of the morning. Soon, it was 5 a.m. and time to return to the hotel.

written by astrobunny \\ 109, akiba, akihabara, aso, box, bridge, broadway, camera, cosplay, crossing, crowd, dogs, frontier, gyouza, hachiko, hachioji, hachiouji, hiiragi, japan, kagami, karaoke, lucky, mandarake, nakano, people, shibuya, sing, starbucks, station, sun mall, taro, tokyo, tokyu