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Zen-Builder
03-18-2007, 03:12 AM
Hi All.

This will be a thread where I will post useful info for Tokyo visitors.

For today is the start of a new ticketing system for public transportation.
Up to now you had to buy separate tickets for JR trains, train lines, subway and buses.

This has gone now(you can still do it if you REALLY want).

As of today you can use either a SUICA or a PASMO(previous PassNet) card to pay for your transportation needs.
All you need to do is buy a pre-paid SUICA or PASMO and maybe top up the charges a bit. After that it is simple as holding the card over the IC-Card reader at the gate and away you go.

The readers work at walking speed and you can keep the card even in a wallet and swipe the wallet. The reader display will show current deduction and how much is left on the card.

This should take the hassle out of having to work out fares between stations and possible having to use the fare adjustement machines.

Another advantage of those cards is that they can be used to purchase goods at station(kiosks, shops, etc) too.

Hope that some will find this info useful.

Soon I should have some hotel information for people visiting WHF and/or WF and which should be way more convenient than Shibuya or Shinjuku for commute.

Of course feel free to post your questions here, I will try to answer them as soon as possible and as accurate as I can.

FilmMkr
03-18-2007, 12:05 PM
When we visited in August for WF Sumer, it only took one time through Shibuya Station for my son and I to figure out how to use the ticket machines. Look at the map, determine your final destination (in English and Japanese), then buy the appropriate fare. It was kinda fun, actually, especially once you get the hang of it.

The new Suica cards sound awesome as well. It will make my next trip even easier!

We stayed at the Cerulean Tower Hoteru in Shibuya and loved it. Easy access to the station, across the street from the famous Hachiko crossing (which we could watch from our window), and a very elegant hotel. It was no more than a half hour train ride from anywhere, but I must admit that after a while the riding and stopping grew a bit tiresome.

Thank you for starting this thread. We certainly appreciate any insight that you can provide to make our trips even more fun!

Filmy

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:04 AM
In the next few posts I will review a few shops where you can do more than oggling the girls and buy some ol' resin kit(which are becoming a rarity on the shelves).

1.) Tokyu Store

This is an upmarket DIY shop that stocks all types of goodies. Great source for diorama buildings, custom bases and materials like resins, putties, etc.
They do stock a bit of plastic models too, plus a variety of other funky goods.

One great service they offer is that you can buy things like acrylic sheetings and can get them cut to your favorite size/shape for a fee.

They have shops in Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, with Ikebukuro being my prefered shop.

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:13 AM
2.) Yusawaya.

While similar to Tokyu Hands they are a lot more hobby related. Here you can get materials for nearly any hobby you can imagine.

Their arts supply section is VERY impressive with a huge range of brushes, wire-loops, screen-tones, etc.
They offer a membership card for 500yen which gives you a 10% discount on ANY item for a year, great value if you plan on buying a LOT.
Even without the discount they are cheaper than Tokyu Hands.

Here my prefered store is in Kichijoji which is 8 stories of goodness with a RC racetrack on the roof.
Kichijoji is a great area easily accessible from both Shinjuku and Shibuja, Yusawaya is right next to the station.

Kichijoji might be well worth a daytrip as it offers a LOT of shops, restaurants, cinemas, temples and also got a great park(Inokashira-koen) close by. The park has a lake where you can rent boats or visit a small zoo.

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:18 AM
3.) Mandarake.
Famous for its selection of anime goods. There are shops in Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro.
Warning though, a lot of the shops specialise only in certain goods.

Here I prefer to visit the HQ in Nakano which is easily accessible from either Shinjuku or Kichijoji.
The HQ consists of a total of 16 shops(each one specialises on a certain aspect), but they do offer a smallish selection of 2nd hand resin kits and plastic models.

The Building(Nakano Broadway) where the HQ is situated also has many other shops that specialise in anime related goods as well as a Games Workshop, Maid cafe, restaurants, etc.

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:27 AM
4.) Village Vanguard.

This is a bookstore(sorta) that is based out of Nagoya. They have shops in Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji(2 shops and 1 Diner) and a few other locations.

They are advertising themselves as an "exciting bookstore" but sell a variety of novelty goods(and some hemhem items).
Here you can find anything from Lava-lamps to Voodoo dolls and books of course.

Shops are biggish but packed to the brim, navigating a store can be fun as the aisles are narrow and layed out in a funky way.

Worthwhile a visit and a browse around.

Forgot to mention Shimokitazawa is accessible from Shibuya, Shinjuku, Kichijoji and features a mixed crowd of asians and foreigners, great for local music, food and a general fun-time. Great place to spend an evening.

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:32 AM
5.) Yellow Submarine

They are huge 2 story hobby shop in Shinjuku that offers a range of goods and materials.

While their resin kit section has dwindled over the years you might still be able to pick up a kit or two.

These days they seem to specialise more in standard scale models and accessories plus games like "magic the gathering".

Quiet a hike from Shinjuku station but the next building over has the Volks(mostly dolls) store in it too.

Zen-Builder
03-19-2007, 04:33 AM
Ok, that is all for today. If you want additional or special information feel free to post it here or pm me.

Zen-Builder
03-20-2007, 01:26 AM
Ok, today I want to talk about a rather famous area Akihabara or akiba as we call it in Tokyo.

This area used to be the electronic mecha for all things cheap and cutting age technology. NOT anymore, you can now buy most electronic goods just as cheap without hitting akiba, the area is still worth a visit for electronic parts if you know the right shop.
Forget the import and duty free shops as they don't sell anything that you can't get cheaper at home.

These days akiba has been turned into otaku town lots of anime goods related stores and plenty of businesses in the pink industry.

There are still a few shops that carry resin kits though. Kaiyodo, Volks and Kotobukiya still carry a few kits(mostly their own and dated ones). Kotobukiya recently enlarged their shop and took over the 1st floor of the building.
Yellow Submarine also has a shop that still carries resin kits, but most of them are NOT cheap kits.

All of the above shops can be found in the same building across from the station, simply follow the dumpy looking otaku gaijins. Neither Kaiyodo nor Kotobukiy are still producing kits, Volks are still releasing kits in their A-Brand, X-Brand and FSS Series plus a few older lines.

Volks also has a collectors shop on the 7th floor(no elevator) where you can still find some older resin and plastic models.

Liberty is another chain of stores that specialise in Anime goods, they also got one shop that carries a decent selection of resin kits. Some of those kits are at very reasonable prices.
The shop that carries the resin kits is a fair hike away from the station on the main strip.

Akiba is still worth a visit(if only for the crowds) and you can still find a bargain or rare kit here and there, but be prepared to do some footwork.

Next up are alternate locations for staying besides Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Zen-Builder
03-20-2007, 03:34 AM
Again feel free to ask questions about previous posts, get clarification on details and maybe better guidelines to places I mention.

I want this thread to be interactive and not just me providing info(which is boring to me).

Also I am fairly regularly in the chat so pop in and ask questions directly. Most of the times there are people in chat and those are a bunch of great guys and gals.

A few of the members might know me from other forums too.

telemarq
03-21-2007, 04:57 AM
Thanks for this thread. I've been away from this board for a few days. I will have some questions when I sort out everything else that I need to know.

I have been following the introduction of Pasmo on the internet, and your information was what I needed.

I'm going to be over there in two weeks, and I convinced my traveling companions to get the JR Pass for the Shinkansen. They were undecided about the Pasmo and Suica, but I will show them this thread and that should convince them.

Filmy, for our first trips to Japan, you beat me by a month getting over there last year. But as for the first of us to return, I think I gotcha! I might die of anticipation in the next two weeks. :hubba:

Zen-Builder
03-21-2007, 06:21 AM
If you got any questions feel free to drop me a pm.
I will be quiet busy this and coming week, so I might not check the forum in a timely fashion.

FilmMkr
03-21-2007, 08:59 AM
Filmy, for our first trips to Japan, you beat me by a month getting over there last year. But as for the first of us to return, I think I gotcha!
That you do, my friend, and I am positively GREEN with envy. I have been jonesing for JP like no other lately, but the first two quarters of the year are our busiest time of year and my business is through the roof, so no playtime for Filmy until the fall.

I am hoping against hope to get back over in September or October, before it gets too cold. There is so much I did not get a chance to do or explore last summmer.

Travel well, 'ya old fart.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/FilmMkr/Japan%202006/Hara/Harajuku-2.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/FilmMkr/Japan%202006/Hara/Babes-3.jpg

telemarq
03-22-2007, 03:49 AM
What is the difference between Suica and Pasmo?

Zen-Builder
03-22-2007, 04:14 AM
Suica is the old JR-pass.
Pasmo is the old Pasnet(Subway card).
Not much difference between them these days apart from where you buy them.

Example:
I use JR till a point than Tozai line(subway), but buy my monthly ticket at a JR station for both lines.
My new monthly ticket should be suica, will know more in a few days when I renew.

Basscially JR and the other lines signed an agreement to synchronise their cards.

Zen-Builder
03-22-2007, 05:22 AM
Ok, guys and gals.

I will be busy tomorrow and most of next week (JST) so if you got any urgent queries. Either pm me or post them and than pm me.

For the guys that come to japan and would like to meet me, pm me and we can arrange a meeting point.

telemarq
03-22-2007, 06:50 AM
Ok, guys and gals.

I will be busy tomorrow and most of next week (JST) so if you got any urgent queries. Either pm me or post them and than pm me.

For the guys that come to japan and would like to meet me, pm me and we can arrange a meeting point.
That sounds great. I'll see how our schedule goes.

Zen-Builder
03-24-2007, 05:05 AM
Had a chance today to use my new Suica-Commuter pass for the first time.
What a pleasure it is to breeze through the turnstiles and gates, without worrying what line I am on.

::thumb ::thumb