Now we are on a flight from Hong Kong HKG to London Heathrow LHR. We’ve spent the last 5 days in Hong Kong, being busy end-to-end, without time to recap our trip to Japan. I shall use this time to complete this task.
Last Sunday we spent a full day in Ikebukuro in Northwest Tokyo. Japan-Guide.com has an excellent overview of the area so I won’t re-invent the wheel. For me, it was a centralized location containing various attractions that I was interested in, and the last station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line (for easy access). Cool!
Our first stop was the Yamada Denki electronics megaplex. Ever since I had stumbled into a Yamada Denki in Akihabara, I had been reminiscing about this tower of electronics featuring floor after floor of gadgets, computer parts, cell phones, and even washing machines. The one in Ikebukuro also happened to be the flagship store so it was an excellent opportunity to visit as well as purchase the portable document scanner that I had been pining for.
It was a rainy Sunday and the store staff had prepared plastic umbrella bags for everybody. We bagged up our umbrellas and fun time began. The first floor was the cell phone and camera floor. Interesting, but since I bought my first smartphone recently and didn’t have the funds for camera stuff, it was straight on up for me.
I had already seen a lot of the computer accessories inventory at the Akihabara branch (see haul post), so I went straight to the scanner section and picked out my scanner, and then spent time in departments that I hadn’t yet seen, including the computer components section, where I saw loose computer parts such as motherboards, CPUs, hard drives, etc., the Blu-ray section, where I saw Blu-rays of Japanese trains and scenery, and the toy section, where I saw model railroads and race cars. I enjoyed observing which brands and components were popular. For example, Buffalo appears to be a big brand for hard drives in Japan, and brands like Elecom and Logitec (not Logitech) seem to be big brands in Japan that I haven’t seen anywhere else. The Blu-rays were fascinating as well. Some of them were cab-point-of-views of popular routes in Japan. A fan could pretend to be a train operator driving a popular route, all in 1080p glory. Lastly, it was great seeing old-school Tamiya model cars, some of which I had played with as a child in Hong Kong, still being sold.
I would have loved to get my hands on one of the Blu-rays, but of course we’re traveling around now and I don’t even have a Blu-ray player. I am definitely going back to Tokyo some time, so I will keep that on my list.