Friday, 4 August 2017

Ken Sir's Japan Trip - 15th to 24th July

I apologise for going missing for so long. Non-Yugioh Life has kept me busy for the past weeks.

So, I have actually been in Japan during July. I didn't want to make any big annoucements as it would have felt like bragging. Secondly, the trip was meant more for baseball than Yugioh, although I ended up doing both. I went to Tokyo and this is my first time in the country. I travelled with three of my classmtes and none of them played Yugioh, sadly.

I will try to reduce the non-yugioh parts of the trip but the YuGiOh experience there was so refreshing I felt that it was worth this blog post.

After all, my blog my rules right?
Who are those?

Day 1

I left Singapore on a transfer flight to Malaysia's Kuala Lumpar Airport on 15th July's afternoon. While the date in the blog post title suggest a week-long journey, the first and final day of the trip are unfortunately burned away by the transfer flight process.

I ended up reaching Haneda Airport in Tokyo at 2330, the final hours of 15th July (Japan time). Most of the shops were closed so shopping was out of the equation. I visited Lawson's Convenience Store at the airport for supper. And then there was supper Round 2 at a 24-hour joint. Eventually we caught the first train out of the airport and went to Arakawa for our first sightseeing location.

Next up we went to the Tokyo Skytree for the Pokemon Centre. And yes I do play Pokemon and I am a fan. I have been dabbling in VGC 17 but I am still terrible at the game. Unfortunately I do not play Pokemon TCG. (Yet?) While we are at it, my first game is Pokemon Yellow and my favourite Pokemon is Charizard. But hey, this is Dueling "C" not, Pokemon C so let's move on.

The first day of the trip was pretty YuGiOh-less. Our energy levels were low so we returned to our  lodging by 1600hrs. Toured around the area and brought an uneventful end to the first day.

Day 2

Day 2 was a slightly more eventful, and the first YuGiOh aspect of the trip appeared much faster than I thought it would. I left early, with a friend, after we splitted into two groups. We were planning to visit Yokohama that day.

We ended up stopping by Tokyo for a while, visiting the Train Museum. Not really an art guy, so the trip there didn't leave a deep impression on me. Yokohama's main attraction (for us) was the Ramen Museum, which we stayed for 3 hours or so, with almost every minute we spent hoping we had a larger stomach capacity. 

I originally wanted to purchase Baseball Tickets for Yokohama Giants, and when it was all sold out, Plan B was to visit the Stadium for Skelpers/Ticket-resellers. But that all went out of the window when a Book-Off I visited had YuGiOh cards on display.

So as you could have guessed, I spent 3 hours there, with the only reason I left the shop being my hunger and thirst.

When I was leaving I realised there was another shelf I did not browse through yet. Unfortunately, for fear that my wallet would be unable to survive the ordeal, I left and never return.

There were plenty of other cards that I did not purchase. They had plenty of common staples such as Call of the Haunted and Torrential Tribute. Considered stocking up on Mind Control but eventually decided against it.

Complete loot for Day 2:
  • Most are Goat Format stuff since I am trying to rope another player in, so I am making another deck.
  • I managed to get some cool foils at 20yen each, such as Shiba-Warrior Taro and Flute of Summoning Kuriboh.
  • Other random cards are for collection purposes, such as Elemental HERO Terra Firma.
  • Prohibition, Dragon Ravine and Swords of Concealing Light were all meant to complete my playset as I only had possession of two copies back at home.
Day 3

 Day 3 was actually just food, food and more food.

Day 4 - 5

I spent the next two days in Amusement Parks, Water Theme Parks and a Zoo. It was in Tobu. Unfortunately the Tobu Water Theme Park was closed when we went on a Wednesday. Eventually though, we went to one (which I forgot where) West of Shibuya.

On my way back I managed to tour Nakano. There were a few YuGiOh shops there with reasonable prices, and Mandarake was there too. However I didn't notice anything which I was looking for, so there weren't any purchases.

Finally, I went for the highlight of my trip on Day 6, and Day 7 was an entire day spent at Akihabara.

Day 6

Day 7

A single building in Akiba contained more than 5 YuGiOh shops. The shops also had various cards on display with a price tag attached to it, making purchases very foreigner-friendly. Some shops even have an iPad/tablet to make purchases.

 This was a 'Lucky-Draw' gashapon machine. I paid 500Yen for one. I ended up getting Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning and a four other cards. Worthy Mentions: Mystical Space Typhoon, Compulsory Evacuation Device.

 Goat Format cards. Very tempting indeed.
 One of the shops I visited had TCG cards for sale too.

While waiting for my friends, I enjoyed digging through the common pile. Sometimes I found some very tempting options, many 'potentially-good' and 'waiting-to-be-good' cards lying in there. It also helps that most of the shops arrange the cards in a systematic order. Cards like these range from 10yen to 30yen.
 I snagged a couple of Kozmo Farmgirl for a friend of mine.

I breaked for Lunch at a local Ramen store. The Tonkotsu ramen was cheap and delicious, costing only 420yen.

Meanwhile, I opened some "Lucky Draw" packs which I purchased for 100yen each.

And Lunch was served..
 Significantly cheaper than what you would otherwise find in Singapore.
Obligatory loot of the day. Obedience School was for a friend. Behind it are the Kozmo Farmgirl and some copies of Struggling Battle. The side sleeves were a product reccomended by an online friend, which I was very satisfied with.

But the greatest pickup of the day goes to the three Nordic Gods which I managed to obtain for 210Yen. I probably won't find it at the same price in Singapore.

This was dinner after the arcade, which I spent the second half of the day there.
Pokken tournament was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot. It reignited my desire to purchase Nintendo Switch for the game.

Played with my friends. I managed to win both of them with Blaziken alone. Plenty of my favourite Pokemon are also in Pokken, giving me all the more reason to purchase it.

Unfortunately, Switch was sold out everywhere in Tokyo as well. It is also very pricey in Singapore.

Other than Pokken, we did Tekken and King of Fighters too. Hworang earned me plenty of victories. For KoF it was Kyo.


Unfortunately, I was unable to enter the Jump Victory Carnival as I did not receive an invite. I expected it to be somewhat like a Jump Festa where tickets can be purchased on the spot. Nevertheless, as a YuGiOh player, the shops in Japan were a huge eye-opener. Shops in Japan are bigger than Singapore and if I had brought my deck along, I would have been tempted to join a local tournament. 

As a baseball fan, Japan was a perfect destination for vacation. Although I went in the summer and the weather was far from pleasant, the cheaper ticket fees made up for it and I got to experience tons of good food and leisure.

I would plan my next trip better, to coincide with a YuGiOh event, hopefully. I look forward to it. Words fail to convey how much I enjoyed the trip, both YuGiOh and non-YuGiOh. I hope to go there along with YuGiOh players someday. Card hunting would be tons of fun.

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