Japan Expo Features Anthropomorphized Tokyo Neighborhoods: Asakusa, Ginza, Shinjuku, Shibuya


Continued from Part 1.

Japan Expo Features Anthropomorphized Tokyo Neighborhoods Asakusa Ginza Shinjuku ShibuyaAsakusa

Asakusa in Taito-ward is one of the most traditional neighborhoods in the metropolis. It is home to the iconic Asakusa Kaminarimon and Sensouji Temple. The neighborhood is also full of traditional shops that sell kimono, paper fans, and other Japanese items. Some of the best and oldests Japanese restaurants in Tokyo can likewise be found here.

Asakusa Shiro reflects this traditional spirit with his Japanese festival garb. His friendly smile and easy-going nature reflect the hospitality of the people of Asakusa and their acceptance of the many foreigners who come and visit them.

Asakusa Shiro was drawn by Higuri You, who is best known for her shoujo and BL manga series such as Cantarella and Gorgeous Carat.

Japan Expo Features Anthropomorphized Tokyo Neighborhoods  Asakusa Ginza Shinjuku ShibuyaGinza

Ginza is one of the most espensive and exclusive places to shop in Tokyo, perhaps even in the entire world. Luxury designer brands and traditional shops that supply goods for the Japanese Imperial Family vie for the attention and shopping dollars of everyone who visits.

Ginza is also full of high-class restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes, and other eateries. Only the very best is served, and it is not unusual for meals to run to thousands of dollars. Surrounded by opulence, Ginza Reia is posh, polished, and fun to be with — if you can afford her tastes 😀

Ginza Reia was drawn by Hiyoshimaru Akira, of Bungaku Shōjo manga fame.

Japan Expo Features Anthropomorphized Tokyo Neighborhoods  Asakusa Ginza Shinjuku ShibuyaShinjuku

Shinjuku is a nexus of the Japanese business world. Many of the world’s largest Japanese companies have their headquarters here. Many smaller Japanese companies that contribute to the domestic economy are also based here. Last but not least, the seat of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government is located in this bustling ward.

But that’s just one side of Shinjuku. Go across the train tracks of labyrinthine Shinjuku Station and you will found Kabukichou — the closest thing that Tokyo has to a red light district. Stacked full of watering holes, ramen restaurants, karaoke boxes, hostess bars, and host clubs, Kabukicho has this air of naughtiness that distracts you from the fact that this neighborhood is actually very safe at night. Trust us — we’ve been walking around there at two in the morning stone cold drunk, and nothing bad happened except that one of us stumbled on a manhole cover.

No suprises then that Shinjuku Kyosuke is a smooth, urbane, and ever-so-slightly seedy host, drawn with flair by Kuzuya Katsuki of Milk Bar Suzune.

Japan Expo Features Anthropomorphized Tokyo Neighborhoods  Asakusa Ginza Shinjuku ShibuyaShibuya

Shibuya is the capital of Japanese street fashion — whether it is gyaru, hime, aloha, yama-girl, punk, gothic, and everything else in between. It is also a blackhole of incredibly hip teen cultures — home to several live houses, dance clubs, and illegal skate parks.

No wonder most of Tokyo’s cellphone-toting mini-skirted high school students gravitate towards it like moths to a flame. Shibuya Mio is one of these students, but what makes her special is her dog Hachiko who patiently waits for her in front of Shibuya Station every night until it’s time to go home.

Shibuya Mio was drawn by Hibiki Reine, who did the novel covers and illustrations for Maria-sama ga Miteru.

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