Months of saving, weeks of planning (or, bugging the old timers at tbdx for advice and tips if you will). It all came down to this; my first trek over the western pond to the promised land for sight seeing, wandering, shopping and other assorted fun. I was lucky enough to hook up a free place to stay with a friend, meaning more toy funds. Only catch, they live in Utsunomoya, about 1 1/2 hours north of tokyo by train. Eh, it’ll be worth it in the end. OK, soooo… all was set, extra suitcases: check! Tokyo Underground: check! Pics of wish list items: check!
What else? Oh yeah, passport: check!
The flight over was good. I flew continental, I’d recommend them to anyone. The food was good, staff was pleasant and every seat had a built in entertainment screen with games, movies, music and a decent selection of tv shows, really helped the 13 hours pass by quick. Despite my best efforts though, I was unable to sleep the entire time. By the time the plane touched down in Narita I had been roughly 36 hours without sleep, totally wired on caffeine and adrenalin.
Customs was a breeze. Reason for your visit? “Tourism, shopping and the like”. Prior to my arrival I had gone ahead and gotten a JR east pass through JTB. I can’t stress this enough, if you’re going over there and plan on taking the trains a lot GET ONE OF THESE. I added it up and the thing was more or less completely paid for after the first 3 days there. I hopped onto the Shinkansen and was off for Omiya station with a stopover in Tokyo. Why Omiya you say? Well, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m kinda insane. I had decided that the first stop upon my arrival would be the king cluster-fuck insanity that is the Senshutei shop, across the street from the east exit of the Omiya JR station. I arrived, stuffed my suitcases in a 400 yen coin locker and met up with my friend/soon to be new toy widow, Satomi. After the meetings were completed we made our way to my first shopping destination.
Looks pretty nice from the outside right?
Nice case, some pretty cool looking pieces, and they’re on sale too! awesome! Ok, deep breath, calm down, time to go in and dig through the cluster-fuck-age that is this place….
Yeah…. this might not have been such a good idea… coming here with a pounding headache, brain flipped 12 hours around, blurred vision. My nose was filled with the sweet musk of moldy 30 year old cardboard, polyethylene, pvc and gokin. everywhere I look there’s more toys, layer upon layer, without any sort of rhyme or reason. There’s a pile of ZZ and XX jumbo fists sitting next to some sailor moon stuff. Wtf? I take a moment and remind myself that this is exactly what I came here for. Sitting in front of a computer 7000 miles away looking at blurry pics on yahoojp, or hanging with a bunch of dudes in a backyard eating bacon burgers can never EVER compare to this sensation. Afer a few deep breaths I started talking with the owner, showing him pics of wish list items, babbling in my usually ok Japanese, now totally incomprehensible due to extreme stress and exhaustion. Hurray Satomi came to the rescue and started acting as an interpreter, giving me the occasional odd glance when he’d start in with toy lingo. I ask about jumbo fists. He tells me he has some in the back in great condition that he can get if I want to see them. Sure why not? So he ushers us outside while he digs….
we were out there for about 25 mins. That alone can give you an idea how crazy this shop is, if it takes the owner nearly 1/2 an hour to find stuff in his own place. while outside I was lucky enough to spy this killer Yonezawa wind up vinyl of a Kamen Rider spider kaijin that shoots sparks out of it’s mouth ( damn, they don’t make toys like they used to).
The door opened and we went back in. I checked out the fists, they were in great shape and the price wasn’t too bad. I grabbed a ZZ-7, ZZ-5 and an XX-2. I looked around a bit more and took some pics, but they really can’t properly convey the true madness of this shop.
By this point I was nearly falling over, the caffeine was long gone, and the adrenalin was running thin. I decided it was time to even up and say my farewells with the owner (sorry never did catch his name).
I will note that he was amazed when I showed him my copy of Super #1 Robot. He asked me where he could find his own copy, saying how they don’t have any books like that in Japan and he “needed to get a copy for himself”. This was a great shop, maybe not the smartest choice for a first stop, but I managed to survive which is something. You might have figured it from seeing ths shop, but the owner really is a nut, he spent a good while scrubbing on a Kamen rider Stronger henshin belt I was looking at (hadn’t even agreed to buy it yet!) went so far as to open it up and grease the gears and check it out when it wouldn’t power on. Great service, and he gave me a super sweet discount as well as this killer inflatable mazinger z as a gift! awesome times. After we were done I took my booty and we grabbed a bowl of Ramen at this little dive around the corner. A good first day for sure. So here’s the score card for this day as it were: Zenmai Mekanda Robo, XX-2, ZZ-5, ZZ-7, Orguss vinyl triple case, KR stronger DX henshin belt, Yonezawa spark shooting Kaijin, Inflatable Mazinger Z. Hope y’all enjoyed part 1, sorry if I rambled but that’s my writing style, get used to it :-p. Coming soon, Part 2. Sofubi Lust in Jyarinco, Gokin Humping in Kaikodo.