55 Days in Tokyo

February 10th, 2007

Allowed myself to sleep one hour more than usual since my girlfriend wasn't going to be online and I didn't have to hurry with anything. Took my time getting out of bed and ready for the day. I was going to meet Athena at Ikebukuro station at 2pm to to go another strange cafe. Got to Ikebukuro without incident and waited at our designated meeting spot. I had arrived early to I just stood around, waiting and listening to some music. 2pm came and went. I always give an extra 15 minutes before I start to worry, especially in a town like this were the trains can be randomly late and it takes a while to get anywhere. However, at 2:15pm I started to wonder and so found a phone to give her a call. Turned out the train she was trying to get onto was seriously delayed and she'd probably be an hour late. So we setup another meeting place and a rough time and then I went walking around Ikebukuro.

Visited a few arcades and found one that just outside the main entrance had this long line of people waiting to get into this little box. Turned out it was a movie preview box that people could see a preview for a new horror film that's coming out. It stars the girl who played Gogo Yubari in Kill Bill and the absolutely insane Takako Chigusa in Battle Royale. The name of this horror film is... Hair Extensions. That's right. She's evil because she has hair extensions. Or maybe the hair itself is evil. Perhaps the man who keeps giving her extensions gets the hair by killing people and their tormented souls lie within the hair, driving her insane. Whatever. The title and concept alone make me laugh more than spook me. I heard girls literally screaming within the box due to their fright. I'd probably come out laughing, but no way am I going to wait in line for 30 minutes to see something like that.

As I got closer to the hopeful meeting time I headed back to the station, leaned up against a wall and listened to some tunes for a while before Athena found me. Told me this guy had been trying to get her to work for his company and tried all kinds of different languages when she didn't respond. That's dedication. We then set out for B.Lily Rose, a cosplay cafe. Well, sorta. Basically, everyone who works there is female but dresses up as guys and try to act in a general male manner to the guests. The idea alone FORCED me to go to this place. I just had to. I ordered the drink of the day and it was something with coconut in it. It was alright but they served them to us in this tiny little martini glasses. Also got the New York cheesecake. Not bad, but something just didn't feel right. Tasted like the kind of cheesecake you buy in the supermarket and thaw out before serving. In general the place was interesting but it was most certainly strange being the only male in there. They only let guys in during certain hours and only with a female escort. They were also playing Galaxy Quest in the background making it even more surreal. The L'arc constantly playing in the background sealed the deal. Some of the girls really did look like they could be very androgenous males but most of them looked like girls dressed as boys. They even talked in a slightly lower than normal voice but it was obvious it wasn't their natural speaking tone. I'd love to see how they wind down at the end of the day after they've closed. How do you unwind after a day of playing another gender?

After a while they asked us to leave, mostly because we'd been chatting there for over an hour without getting anything else and they needed the seats. Walked back through Ikebukuro and pointed out the movie preview booth to Athena. We decided to go to Shibuya so Athena could take me to this store I'd never been to. On our way there I found out she'd never been to a Don Quixote and told her that we would fix that problem. We got to Shibuya and walked to this store that's at least 20 meters underground called Mandarake. Basically, it's a collector's dream. Lots of manga, doujinshi, figures, cards, toys and many other things are available. Wandered around and got a few toys and trinkets. Then we walked over to Don Quixote so I could show her the madness that exists there with their random clothing setup and availability. She was happy with the discovery of cheap bottled Dr Pepper, something that I've mostly found in Don Quixote. walked over to the all you can eat curry place so I could show it to her and get some food. They had chicken and well as mutton curry this time so I could get more than one choice. Only ate two plates since I didn't want to push myself too much. We chatted for a while until we got the feeling we'd been there too long and headed out.

At this point we almost headed our seperate ways but instead wound up in the bottom floors of Tsutaya. I didn't even know they had lower floors. Watched some PS3 gaming and saw a few more previews for random movies. She got a few books (I think) and I got an Ebichu book. I make the proud claim that Ebichu is the greatest thing to come out of Japan ever. Hands down. Not Kimono, not the work ethic, manga, animation or the culture. Nope. Ebichu wins.

Spent close to an hour in there before headed out. Discussed other possible meetings we might have while I'm still here. Might go to the curry museum(!) and is neighbor the ramen museum(!!) out in Yokohama. While we were talking by the Hachiko plaza drops of water starting hitting me on the head and when we realized it might start raining soon we finally went our seperate ways. Took the train home and relaxed for a while before taking my shower and looking through my goods. Watched some more Planetes until finally going to be at 2am.

Photos for February 10th, 2007