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Day 2- Akihabara- Sega Center

March 9, 2012

Seeegaaaa! (You know the tune….I was always a fan of the angelic voices one versus the ‘Sega Scream’…props if anyone actually ‘gets’ that btw…

Providing you take the ‘Electric Town’ exit from Akihabara Station, this will be one of the first things you see. Home to multiple floors of arcade machines, UFO Catchers and other glorious, geeky obsessions.

Going down to the basement level where the arcade is…so excited but then the stench gets stronger…

…the stench of cigarettes. This will be a reoccurring theme throughout many posts. While there are plenty of places outside that forbid smoking almost all businesses (stores, restaurants, cafes, even frickin’ McDonalds) have smoking sections that pretty much infect the entire area. We literally spent 30 seconds down here. It wasn’t even ‘fresh’ smelling—it was stale, stubby-ciggy butts that have been stewing for years.

To make matters worse, most of the arcades machines they had were either some sort of ‘card’ games, weird gambling/fighting hybrid games or horse racing games. Disappointing, until the 3rd floor…

Mario Kart 2 Arcade Machines! Wa-HOO!

Was actually surprised that there wasn’t much of a ‘Mario’ presence in Japan.

And to think America just gets those Daytona Arcade machines…if you’re even lucky enough to HAVE an arcade…

Donkey Kong–slow acceleration, but fastest speed.

Our first Gachapon experience. Gachapon (sometimes referred to as gashapon) is a small capsule toy–the name derives from the sound ‘gacha’ (the turning of the crank on the machine) and ‘pon’ (the sound of the plastic orb dropping down.) They’re similar to American coin machines but while American toys tend to be cheaper (but inferior in quality) Japanese capsule toys are around $3-$6 and are of higher quality (PVC molded characters typically.) They are considered collector’s items and can fetch high prices.

These machines were the cheapest we would encounter—around $2.50 or so.

Samurai Neko (Cat) Warriors are awesome.

UFO Catcher AKA the ‘Crane Game.’ Just as difficult to play in Japan. There were a TON of these all over Tokyo.

Cool Neko plushies. Reeeally wanted one…

Shiloh tried…

…but no luck. After trying multiple more times (which probably cost more than triple what the plushie was actually worth) we decided we’re just not UFO Catching material.

I think during our entire trip I saw one person actually get something.

Monster Hunter clock that you could ‘try’ to win…

For those with a Hello Kitty! guitar fetish.

The first (of many) EVA sightings.

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