Another Trip to Den-Den Town

Day Trip

A typical lunch from the cafeteria at IBU
It looked like it was going to be a pretty normal, uneventful school day on Tuesday, until Courtney, Stacey, and Neko-Sean invited me to go with them to Nipponbashi.

I took this picture after I had been screwing with the tilt-shift
function on my camera. I guess it still looks pretty cool.
We took the train over to a station about 4 or 5 blocks away. We were a little on-edge, because we had recently been warned about the "bad part of town," Shinsekai, and it was right across the street from us.

It's a pretty cool looking place, though.

Just a short walk north, and we were in Nipponbashi, AKA Den-Den Town.

Supposedly the sister town to Akihabara, This street was one of my favorite places in Japan. Stacey had seen a CD shop the first time we came here as a group, and she wanted to go browse their wares.

It was a cool store, but the clerk said I couldn't take any pictures. So, I took one from the outside. The store was full of foreign music and Japanese music alike. I think it was mostly centered around western music, though. There were Beatles and Rolling Stones LPs hanging on the walls.

We headed back onto the main street, where there was another CD store.

I waited around for a few minutes while the others browsed, but I was getting bored with it, so I headed down the street to this retro games shop I had wanted to check out during my last trip, but ran out of time. Sean was, of course, out of sight, but we knew he'd be back when he needed to be.

I had given up at trying to openly take pictures inside stores, so I was doing it covertly.

This place, called "Game Detectives," was right across the street from Super Potato, and it was heavily focused on older games, unlike Super Potato, which had all manner of new and old games. Not only was their selection of old games more thorough, they had lots of weird merchandise, like old video game-related books and magazines. Their prices were better, too.

It was that depressing time of night, between 6:00 and 8:00, when begin to close up. We stopped by this small shop across the street. One of my favorite shops, it had lots of heavily-discounted second-hand otaku goods.

There were a few shops like this, but this was probably the best of them.
A Freaky Walk Home

It was getting late, and staying out much later would have been a bad idea, especially considering our proximity to the "bad side of town." Sean had shown up, just in time.

We decided that we would walk back to Abenobashi, since it was so close. It wasn't really worth the effort to find the station and change trains after only one or two minutes. Along the way, we ran into this cool art on a wall.

But that wasn't the only kind of cool art on the wall.

We stopped by a 7-Eleven, where I took a picture of this lovely Engrish.

much words. such doge. wow.

As we headed Southeast, the streets got more and more shady. Graffiti and old/broken buildings and signs were everywhere. We passed by the exit to a zoo, where homeless people supposedly camp out at night, but there were none in sight. There was a mysterious idling car with tinted windows parked on the side of the road near it, though.

I admit, it was a little scary. but it wasn't long before we got back to the familiar territory that is Abenobashi.

I took a few more pictures as we walked, but we weren't stopping until we got home.

More than ever before, I understood how early everything closes in Japan. It was only about 8:00, but the streets were empty, and many of the shops were closed. It felt like midnight. Next time, I would have to come earlier.

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