Weirdness in Kyoto

Despite beeing usually seen as the cultural heart of Japan and beeing dotted with temples and shrines everywhere even Kyoto has some spots, which may seem a bit weird from a foreigner’s perspective. At least they do from mine 😉

Creating Space

What do you do when you’re a train operator and need more space in your trains for all the rush hour passengers? Operate more trains? No, just use those, where you can simply move some of the seats upwards to create more standing space and usable doors! Quite clever indeed 😮

Pokémon Center Osaka

This one’s a long overdue article but I finally got around to writing it. As you might have already seen on Facebook, Ruth, Jonas and I went to the Pokémon Center in Osaka, which is one of the big merchandise stores for the Pokémon universe. As a student of Japanese Studies (and of course a big fan of the Pokémon game and anime in my childhood – no use denying it here) I definitely had to go there and pulled the other two with me.

Finding the store actually proved a bit more difficult than expected, but that is more due to my lazy reading of the map than to the location of the store. It’s located in a big shpping center directly in the Osaka main station (or Umeda station if you get there by the subway) but I somehow assumed the building would be outside of the station. So after running through some underground shopping streets we finally found the right building and went up to the right floor.

Childhood dreams came true! Everything was filled with Pokémon merchandise from plushy stuffed Pokémons over Pokémon lunchboxes to Pokémon chopsticks. Especially awesome were the hats, which were designed to make you look like your favourite little monster (or like you actually beheaded it and used its head as your hat, but I don’t want to crush childrens’ illusions here 😉 ). Obviously Jonas and I had to engage in a fierce stare-off duel to the bitter end!

Now here comes the thing: I was nearly unable to identify any Pokémon in the shop at all. Times must have changed a lot in the last years in the Pokémon world, I guess, because there were so many new monsters that I’ve never even seen at all before this day. Just look at our hats – do you know these Pokémon? We certainly had no idea. And on top of that even Pikachu wasn’t around as much as I expected.

Angry face!

With all that said, I think I’ll still visit the Pokémon Center in Tokyo when I’ll be there again in February and March just for a comparison. So stay tuned! 😉

Tokyo Spotlight 4: Akihabara

The last spotlight is a small view on Akihabara (or Akiba, as it is also called in short), the mekka for everything electronic in Japan and quite likely even the in the world. It’s also one of the few places in Japan where you can even barter for prices, I’ve been told. So of course we had to go there and check it out!