We started the day by heading off to Sengakuji, where the 47 ronin are buried. It was a lovely shrine, but more importantly, it was really quite moving. You can buy incense bundles and leave a stick at each stone. There were dozens of people doing that, and it had a cumulative effect that was very powerful.
On the way out we found what are quite possibly the most amazing things I’ve ever seen – Hello Kitty phone straps, 47 Ronin version. No kidding. Every one of the ronin are replicated as a small, beribboned cat, with a matching bell and phone cord. It was breathtaking. We bought a handful, because they were simply too…yeah. I’m keeping Oishi kitty for myself.
Then we took a ride halfway around the city to Ikebukuro, where, as we got off the train I said, “Tadaima.” I love Ikebukuro and once standing in the middle of the hub and bub, I was reminded why. It’s so alive and yet not overwhelming like Shibuya or Shinjuku.
We decided to find lunch, something not easy at lunchtime in the middle of the week, but we ended up at a Denny’s. ^_^ It’s one of my secret vices…I love Denny’s. The wait was long and hot (every single store in Tokyo is overheated to excess, I have no idea why) but we got seated at last and had a really bizarre and eclectic meal that was great – especially the french fries with taromasalata dip. That was soooooo good.
Fed and energized we headed, at last, for our mecca. Starting at the far end of Otome road, we hit up K-Books comic-kan, where I spent way freakin’ more that I expected to, mostly in anthologies. Then the wife did the BL doujinshi stores, and I watched the steady stream of women pour down from the train station at a regular every three minutes or so, as trains arrived. Bruce and I did a quick stint in the back with the Marimite doujinshi, but I did manage to find an Aria Alicia x Akira book I was really coveting.
Then onto Lashinban and K-Books stuff stores, where some gashapon inexplicably found their way into my bag and, at last, into Animate. Where we spent 2 hours in blistering heat and more money on myself than I usually spend in a year. What can I say…Drama CDs. I look sheepish as I write this, I assure you. I did find the microscopic Marimite section and got a bunch of goods, then ended up with the second volume of Aoi Hana.
There was one small section of one wall that was the “Yuri section” which made me happy. It had all of the Ichijinsha books, Shoujo Sect and a few other related manga that would be instantly recognizable to anyone who reads Okazu. It’s a small section, but hey, it *existed.*
Our bags were so heavy that Bruce asked if we had added some ingots to our anvils from yesterday. :)
Honest to god, I never expected to buy this much…it’s really embarrassing. ^_^;
On the way back to the train we passed an add for coffee “Meister Bland.” So close, yet so far.
We decided, as it’s Bruce’s last night in town, to do something special for dinner. So we went to an Irish pub. ^_^
The whole place was manufactured to look like a smoke-stained Irish pub, with the collected works of George Bernard Shaw on the shelves and Guiness ads everywhere. I had a Strongbow, which made me nostalgic for the UK, and beef and Guiness stew, with enoki and shitake mushrooms, which was delicious. Bruce and the wife had fish and chips. It’s was a little weird, but kind of nice. I wished for a piece of bread, though, to sop up the gravy.
Went back to the room, where were uncovered all our treasures for the day, then Bruce took his leave. Tomorrow, we go to Nakano, where I really, REALLY, don’t plan on buying more. ^_^;