This would be my first time on a train in Japan. The trains are notorious for being on time by the minute, and it held true for nearly all of the trip. The only times they were off was due to snow or incidents (Which could include a number of different things going wrong.) The train was pretty quick and arrived at Kawasaki, in Kanagawa, in no time. Here, I would have my first taste of Ikumimama's famous animal donuts! I got a tiger (pumpkin flavored), cat (plain), and shiba inu (chocolate glaze). They were really tasty. My only advice is that if you don't like almonds, don't eat the ears. The outside is crunchy like cold chocolate is crunchy and the inside is a little more stiff than a western doughnut but I understood that they would be different than western doughnuts when I planned on having them. I had these alongside the hot banana cocoa I had picked up from a vending machine in the train station. It was a very interesting drink; it tasted like someone had melted a chocolate covered banana and marketed it as a drink.
Visiting a book store and a 100yen store before taking a train towards the Seibu in Ikebukuro, I finally found myself looking at the KitKat store.
The KitKat store was no different. Well, except that it had a huge line! It was lunchtime, too, so we had lunch in hopes that the line would be shorter when we got back.
The lower floors are usually dedicated to food stalls. Since it was so close to Valentines day, most of the bottom floor was for chocolates and other Valentines day gifts. The second floor was to more meal like dishes. Some of the floors are dedicated to restaurants, and I stopped in for some Ramen. I'm not a huge fan of Ramen and this place didn't help it. You order your meal through a machine, much like a vending machine except you get a ticket. You take that to the counter and hand it over, they'll serve your lunch based on what you purchased. It requires no talking, which is really great for me because I can't speak the language. I had the first choice on the machine after it was recommended (apparently their most popular dish). It was thick cold noodles and a piece of pork on top. There was a separate dish for the broth, which you poured over the noodles. It didn't make things hot, it just brought everything to lukewarm. The noodles were very difficult to chew through! .・゜゜・（／。＼）・゜゜・．
The meal was cheap though at about $3.
Then it was back to the KitKat store...Except the line was twice as long now! We decided it would be better to wait for Valentines to be over before trying to get in, so we left.
From here, it was a short walk to Nekorobi, the cat cafe.
You have to put up your things and wash your hands and change into slippers before you can even touch any of the cats though. Kiyomori and Aisha were the two kitties that I spent the most time with. They were really sweet and we even got Kiyomori to play a bit! The people who worked there would make toys for the cats in downtime for them. I watched as the guy making each one tested it with one of their cats, judging how fun they thought it was, before finishing the toy and giving it to someone to play with the cats with. There was this one cat named Bart who was in a bad mood; he wasn't ill tempered, no scratching or hissing or biting. He just didn't want anyone to touch him or to see anyone so he hid underneath the rug and it was really cute. Eventually people got him to play though.
After I said goodbye to all of the kitties, I left for Akihabara. For those of you who don't know, Akiba is the place that many anime and manga and video game fans call home. It's filled with arcades, book stores, maid cafes, and general anime/manga/game stores. It also has a lot of electronics shops to visit. There's more, but these are the main attractions of the area.
I also got to go to plenty of other stores; mostly book stores. But don't let them fool you, they have a lot of merchandise that aren't books as well. If you're a Touhou Project fan, this place is heaven. Touhou is huge in Japan and it shows. A lot of the products that I saw mentioned that they were sold at comiket, either last year or up to a few years before. Most of the things you'll see are doujin (self published manga/artbooks/games/music) as far as Touhou goes, but there will also be a lot of keychains and card holders. Other places will carry more Touhou music CDs than you could ever listen to in your life. Of course, the official manga, guides, games, and music CDs are always an option. Of course, if Touhou isn't your thing, there's plenty of other anime and game goodies to be found!
|Lot's and Lots of Touhou|
|And Even more Touhou|
And I ended my day with a dinner of curry (again) from CoCo Ichibanya. Mine was a plate of beef and veggies prepared as amaguchi (sweet). If you don't like spicy things but want to enjoy curry, then order the sweet version. If you do like spicy, though, their scale goes up to ten. Don't choose ten thinking this is western spicy because the spice levels are much different! Things in the east tend to be spicier than what a lot of people in the states are used to.
Curry is very tasty though, and CoCo Ichibanya's is my favorite Japanese curry so far. <3
I had to rest up when I got back though because the next day we would journey to Sendai to stay in a huge Japanese style house for the next few days!