After years of wondering what it’d be like to visit Japan, G4 gave me the opportunity to visit the country responsible for many of my video game memories. Tokyo Game Show has come and gone. When we landed at Narita Airport, a week seemed like an eternity. How would I adjust to the time? Where’s the nearest McDonalds? How do I ask where the bathroom is? The week flew by and four curry meals later — an amount I do not recommend if you want to like curry when you leave — I’d returned home and knew exactly where the nearest McDonalds was.
A portable pancake filled with syrup, butter and other goodness.
By far, my favorite ad that I saw during my entire week in Japan.
When you finish a bowl of ramen, you dump the noodles out first. Japan loves dividing things up. It’s much more hardcore with recycling.
Please, friends. Do it in the athletic club! For the children.
Some insane graffiti just randomly hanging out on a building in Shibuya.
This frickin’ amazing car came out of nowhere. Jealous.
Naturally, this is the slogan attached to Typing of the Dead. Naturally.
There is a culture of “love motels” in Japan. This one? This one is full.
One of the last things I saw before stumbling into my hotel the last day.
Tokyo Game Show highlight #5 — Feedback, Episode 10.
Tokyo Game Show highlight #4 — Japan is crazy for pachinko. So loud.
The view from my hotel at night, overlooking the busiest part of Shibuya, a district of Tokyo, Japan. It’s both insane and beautiful. At night, only a portion of the neon lights are turned off. Shibuya is always glowing.
I now understand why people come back with a suitcase of toys, video games and buckets of other crap when they visit.
Several of the G4 crew attending Tokyo Game Show this year have never been here before. During the one day we have no work obligations, we decided to pack a few days worth of nerd touring into an entire afternoon. That meant assaulting the famous Akihabara district, best known for its endless geek-centric shops. Wallet threat level was in the deep red when we entered this area. Not having a competent understanding of the currency doesn’t help matters, either.
5,300 yen is what? Who cares!
Despite the abundant temptations, I kept myself on a budget.
But splurge I did.
The train map is less confusing than it looks, but it’s daunting at first.
I don’t have a clever caption for this one. DOG!
I would ilke to shake the hand of the man who buys these shoes.
Holy crap, it’s a chair made of frickin’ cartridges!
It’s an ad for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Guitar Hero Adventure!
Brian and Dana try their hand at Beatmania. Dana gave up pretty quickly.
This shop contains six floors of toys. SIX FLOORS. It’s dangerous.
Nothing like waking up to a little gunfire. Note: I did not buy this. … Yet.
Stacks of airsoft guns next to stacks of toys next to stacks of games.
And our nerd adventuring comes to an end with a glorious brew. To Japan!
Tokyo Game Show highlight #3 — from our hotel into busy Shibuya.
Tokyo Game Show highlight #2 — imagine this in your bathroom.
Tokyo Game Show highlight #1 — a tour of my tiny hotel room.
Billy Berghammer looks for a delicious coffee drink. We settled on chocolate.
As of right now (well, when I wrote this…), it’s 11:00 am in the Excel hotel in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan. That’s a strange sentence to write. I’ve been looking forward to experiencing Tokyo for a great many years. Finally, it’s happened. I’m in Tokyo. I’ve passed on previous opportunities to make the journey because Tokyo Game Show tends to fall on the same weekend as my girlfriend’s birthday. She gave me the go-ahead this year, though, and here I am, dumping pictures and video from my travels so far in the land of the rising fun, searching for sleep.
That’s the big thing about your first day in Japan — deciphering the secret of jetlag. But before I reached this point, I had to travel to Tokyo, a ten-hour journey in the sky that proves monumentally stressful, as you try to balance remaining awake to catch the two light meals that pass through and sleeping enough to last through the rest of the Tokyo nightlife that awaits you when you land.
I’ll do my best to narrate the first day of my experience in Tokyo through pictures. It’s better than words. Especially when you’re tired.
Billy seeks out nutrition in the duty free section. There was a 2-for-1 deal!
This tracked our progress across the ocean. Halfway there!
Rip-off version of Tetris called “Tetrix” on the flight. It wasn’t very good.
Our media controller for the flight. Looked like a SNES-style Wiimote.
Funky yellow bus, part of the lineup of “limosines” to guide you to your hotel.
This is where they make you smoke in Japan. What the hell?
The stuff of gods.
The hectic Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan, as seen from my iPhone.