We continued our travels by looking for the brand new location of the Evangelion Store, which moved from Harajuku to Ikebukuro in late 2014. Unlike the Harajuku store that had its own building, the new store is now only a section on the second floor of Ikebukuro Parco’s P’ building. The selection of goods has likewise downsized, so if you were used to the scope of the old store, the new store may be a bit of a letdown (that didn’t stop us from picking up a few things though).
After that, we had a small trip to Zojoji Temple planned. Zojoji is located in central Tokyo, and was formerly the family temple of the powerful Tokugawa family — several deceased family members are buried on the temple grounds. The temple is famed for its victory o-mamori, as well as its close proximity to Tokyo Tower. Thats’s right — Zojoji is the tower close to Tokyo Tower repeatedly stepped on, stomped on, and generally destroyed in such anime as Tenchi Muyo, Magic Knight Rayearth, and X/1999.
Our last stop for the day was Odaiba’s Aqua Diver City and their handsome mascot-slash-security guard the 1:1 scale model of the Gundam RX-78. As usual, there was a lights-and-sound presentation in the early evening, but because it was Christmas time (and Christmas is a BIG EFFIN DEAL in Tokyo, despite the Japanese not being Christian) they showed a special winter show instead of the usual presentation. After the show, we retreated to the heated comfort of the Aqua Diver City food floor and feasted on udon and takoyaki :3
It was still early (well, early by Philippine standards) when we got back to our ryokan, so we decided to go out for another round of exploring the east side of Ikebukuro. Most of the shops were already closed by then — many Japanese stores open at 11 AM and close by 8 PM, but East Ikebukuro being what it is, many shops, restaurants, and arcades (arcades where they don’t cheat players and actually make it easier to get prizes) were still open.
We made a beeline for Book-Off which was still open, and bought a shitload of second-hand BL manga, a couple of CDs and DVDs, and were even contemplating a second hand iPhone or two. The Japanese are known for changing phone models, luxury handbags, and game machines with the release of every new model, so buying a second-hand model from Japan means you are getting something that is practically new. So you can basically drop several hundred dollars at Book-off and still not feel cheated :3