Fukuoka

Yesterday, #five and i shopped around Fukuoka a bit before heading over to Nagasaki, our final destination.

Our prime shopping destination was Yodobashi, the massive near-by electronics store. It was pretty much like a sears, except all electronics on 4 floors. The first floor had cellphones, TVs and DVDs. The TVs were quite beautiful. They had these gigantic flat LCD ones for under $1000. When i first walked over to the area, i noticed that the TVs featured some guy kiteboarding... O_o. Unfortunately, i was unable to get my camera out in time to snap a shot of the illustrious sport.

The DVD section was... well... a DVD section. It was pretty much half Anime DVDs, a quarter American movies, and the rest was everything else. They had a DVD of Evangelion music videos with a kickass cover:

The shoe is so neat.. i'd love to have running shoes that looked like that. sadly, that's probably what it would take to get me out and about more.

I took some pictures of a few others notable things.

Apparently, the japanese release of Samurai 7 also had a over-sized box which contained little storyboard books, just like the US release: here. Respect++ towards Funimation for releasing a semi-authentic product in america.

The second floor of yodobashi had more of what i was looking for: Games and Toys. ^_^ I found my Rakubiki Jiten without a problem, and picked up a DS Gamecase, which proved to be somewhat disapointing. Their DS selection was alright. It was kinda like a Best Buy's game selection, where they have a ton of games, but they are all the most recently released ones. They didn't have alot of older games. I'm not really even sure what it'd be looking for though. They were really promoting the Recipe game Erika posted about on the SPAMM forum. I also found Rune Factory, Xenosaga I+II, and Children of Mana pretty easily. I also found that Custom mecha game where all the controls are done using the touch display. I don't remember the name though, Something Something MS. I'll probably pick up Rune Factory and the Mech game before i leave if they aren't announced to be released in the US.

I also found a copy of Zombie Vs. Ambulence on PS2:

$19 is not too shabby. #five and i found some other neat stuff as well: a Flonne figure, a weird snotty kid, and a huge evangelion model kit. We also checked out cameras and computer things.

This whole shopping experience really just reminded me of the dealer's room at an anime convention. It was just a ton of japanese stuff for sale.

here's yodobashi from the outside:

and another hastenly put together panaroma of the place: here. The building design was rather interesting. Basement to 3rd Floor was all electronics, and then the 4th and 5th floors were restaurants and convience stores. The levels above that were all parking, and this side of the building were ramps to get you all the way up there.

It seems like such a waste of concrete to put your parking above your department store, because you have to use a good 20% of your ground area for parking ramps. You could have the parking be the first couple of levels, and the stores above instead, then you'd have more surface area per floors. I really wonder why they put their parking above their stores, rather than underneath. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me.

We walked around the train station a bit to see what else was around. I was getting a bit thirsty, so i bought some Kirin Water:

Which really wasn't water afterall. It tasted a lot like a weaker, more delicious Red Bull.

I noticed a store that had a bunch of CD/DVD signs around it, so i figured they had to have games as well. We ventured forth.

The manga section was alot like i thought it would be from what i've seen in anime and j-drama:

Plenty of freeloaders. Among them i found a used copy of Star Fox for the Super Famicon, 4 copies of DDR 1st Mix used for Playstation, A few awesome shooters, all 30 volumes of Berserk for $60, and this game which i've wrote about before:

Yoshinoya is actually a franchise of Fast Food restaurants in Japan. This would be like if McDonalds made a video game. You basically manage your own restaurant of Yoshinoya, kinda like Sim-Restaurant. I can't see what the price tag says in this picture though, i think it was $25 though. I should've picked it up, considering i had a bit of hitsory with it.

#five and i were a bit hungry by now. We went over to the Bus station to get our tickets for Nagasaki, and then went out to eat, and you'll never guess where we went ^_^

Yoshinoya. ^_^

This place is pretty tasty as well. I bought their pork rice bowl which was 420å??. These posters were all over the place too:

(This was taken later at a different restaurant though)

#five was telling me that there was a ban for importing Beef from the US and other countries for a little while, but this ban had just been recently lifted for some reason. This poster says that on September 18th, for one day only, Yoshinoya will be bringing back their Beef Bowl which was ever so popular before they banned Beef from the nation.

You can be damn sure i'm camping out in front of Yoshinoya early Monday morning to get myself a Beef Bowl.

Then we took our 2 hour long bus ride over to Nagasaki. I took a few pictures aboard the Bus, but they turned out like crap.. This one is somewhat ok:

___

Everything felt rather jumbled and squished together in Fukuoka, but after realizing the scale of the city, what the hell was i expecting. Fukuoka is about the size of Minneapolis with the Population Density of downtown Chicago, so of course everything is going to be jumbled together. It's a hell of a lot of people in not that big a space. I should've really researched some of these places before-hand so i knew the scale of what i was getting into. But... oh well, I learned pretty fast otherwise. I mean, it was pretty much like being in downtown chicago. A big city is a big city.

I dunno, after watching Anime, playing Video Games, reading Japanese, and getting used to seeing, recognizing and operating within the Japanese language, this really isn't all that foreign to me, yet. It's just a little different, but's it still Earth... Urban Earth. Just give me a map and the japanese yellow pages, and i'll find everything i need.

I suppose one of the biggest reasons i don't feel so lost is the amount of reforms the US did for Japan after World War II, where they gave Japan the blueprints for a democratic urban society. Also, i'm with #five and he's doing all the japanese conversation, so it's not like i've been alone <_<




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