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Conrad Zimmerman avatar 9:12 AM on 09.18.2012  (server time)
TGS Travel Log: Touring, shopping and lots of walking

(Just as a heads-up, at least one photo in this blog is really, really, NSFW.)

My dogs, they are barking. While Tokyo Game Show doesn't start until later in the week, we wanted to get here a little bit early so we'd have a day to just bum around and acclimate ourselves. After waking up and enjoying a breakfast of fine, packaged foods from the local Family Mart (popular chain of convenience stores). I had a hot dog which was...well, it was a hot dog. I don't know how enthusiastic one can really get about that. Dale made it a point to mention that the hot dogs here are more like proper sausages and, yeah, it didn't taste like the tube of fat and offal I usually get at a gas station, but it was still a hot dog.

From there, we hit the road, hopping a train to visit the Meiji-Jingu shrine. Serene, beautiful, all the things you expect from holy ground. And shade. Lots of sweet, blessed shade. It's not terribly hot here, temperatures running in the mid-80s, but the humidity is a nightmare and we were all pretty well coated in sweat after about fifteen minutes of walking.

We then passed Yoyogi park on our way to Shibuya. I suppose we could have walked through the park. It was certainly lovely enough. Instead, we just walked along the perimeter because we're dumb or something.

Once in Shibuya, we started touring through local shops. We hit a Tower Records, practically a relic as far as I'm concerned, but this bad boy seemed alive and well and occupying several floors. That's a thing here, stores which seem never-ending due to the number of levels they have. Dale rediscovered pop icon Debbie Gibson here, expressing astonishment that she is now highly attractive. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that the album he found consisted entirely of J-covers.

After a light lunch at a burger joint, we headed on to Nagano Broadway. This place is absolutely insane, a maze of strange shops filled with stranger merchandise. All manner of geekery could be found, from the junk store with its piles of old RAM and older cameras, to the seemingly endless rows of little plastic toys. Some of the stores are so packed with merchandise that there's barely enough room to walk between aisles. Just looking at all the vintage stuff alone would take you an entire day's effort.

And then there's just some weird shit. Allistair found one joint that had all of these rather unsettling paintings of incestuous relations. A pair of young girls scissoring on a couch, a mother masturbating her son while her daughter films her snatch, a grandmother with her face buried in the cooch of her granddaughter during a visit for tea. Really, really strange stuff.

I'm on a pretty tight budget, so I'm resisting the urge to buy all kinds of crap all the time. In one shop, we found three Super Famicom copies of Chrono Trigger, in box, for less than 1000 yen each. I don't even particularly like Chrono Trigger (always tune out around the post-apocalypse) and would have even less desire to try and struggle through it in Japanese but, at that price, I felt like a fool passing it up. Likewise, I skipped out on a copy of Intelligent Qube at 105 yen (already have the NA version). But then I spotted Quest for Fame, an adventure game starring Aerosmith and I simply couldn't resist, mostly because I picked it up for roughly a dollar.

What I did not find, the one thing I'm actively seeking on this trip, is a copy of Red Seeds Profile, the Japanese release of Deadly Premonition. That's the one thing I want to bring home, but not a single store we've visited so far has turned up one. The search continues.

I took a bunch of pictures and they probably tell the story better than I can at this point. I'm fairly exhausted and we have an early day ahead of us. I'm off to shower and bed, but I'll try to get another update in here before things get too crazy at the show. In the meantime, enjoy the gallery.

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