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The Basic Guide to Doujinshi/Anime Merchandise Shopping in Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto) 
4th-Dec-2006 07:39 am
Reborn - Yamamoto CHIBITA
For elvaron, whom I shall be missing terribly!
Have a safe trip, dear, and we'll meet when you're back!

The good thing about being Shachou is, Chibi Kadaj goes on reconnaissance missions for you. ♥
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The Basic Guide to Doujinshi/Anime Merchandise Shopping in Tokyo and Kyoto
I wouldn't normally post pictures outside friends-lock, but I've always wanted a precise English guide telling you where to go doujinshi shopping in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Here is a guide to doujinshi shopping locations in Japan, and includes a short section on how to choose doujin.
(This and this are all I have so far - and not precise enough!), so here goes:

(lots of pictures behind cut.
some mildly suspicious, but they're on public display in Ikebukuro)



Tokyo - Shinjuku

Shinjuku's purely optional if you're short on time, but if there is time, the Forest shop is absolutely wonderful. risax spotted this building first:



YAY FOR THE KKM LOVE

And it had the widest range of yaoi manga/novels I'd ever seen. Ever.





I kept wandering around it in a total daze. And made Niisan laugh when Abyss made me blink back tears of joy.





Ikebukuro

Tokyo Subway Map in English



It's the Higashi (East) Ikebukuro subway stop you want.

When you get out of the subway station, walk towards this huuuuuge shopping centre. The doujinshi area is around that general direction. Look for the Animate store, and you're set!

Animate Ikebukuro Store Location

Once you're at Animate (7 storey building), face the building and walk to your right. Everything else is down that way:

Word of caution: Don't buy doujinshi in Animate until you've taken a look at the other stores first. Mandarake and King's King sells doujin for a lot cheaper, although if you can't find the copy you want anywhere but at Animate, go for it!







Mandarake. If you're here for doujinshi shopping, do not walk out of Ikebukuro without first walking into Mandarake. Then again maybe if you walk into Mandarake you'll never leave Ikebukuro.

I didn't find its location that obvious, really:



Once you see that building, walk inside and turn left to follow the staircase down to Mandarake. Mandarake is in the basement of that building.



A VERITABLE ABYSS OF DOUJINSHI. If you're really into this, you can come in multiple times in one day. Stock gets updated throughout the day. I've found great doujin on the second walkthrough that wasn't there on the first.

Ack, El, the place I was telling you about isn't King's Bookshop, it's King's King:



Lots of FF7 doujin. XD *grin* It's like a historical archive. They've got really ancient Aeris and Cloud doujin that must be a decade old, and it's really like an artefact of an earlier age.



And little things I loved about Tokyo, like:




ALL THE OOTORO YOU COULD EVER EAT:
and this was just a supermarket!

The department stores of Tokyo are heaven and love and really left me struck speechless.



Try the tiny Western/French cafes in Tokyo, if you can. They're gorgeous, the service is fabulous, and if you choose the right time they're lovely.



And they give you extras with the food! We ordered a foccacia sandwich and a drink, and it came with apple brandy tea, chilled green pea soup, and dessert of the day.






Kuzu desserts. :D


French cafes are great and wonderful. This was one in Shibuya.


And the replicas look good enough to eat. ;)


This seemed like an image right out of a postcard.





If you don't have time in Kyoto, don't go anime shopping - way too many beautiful temples to look at. But if you're around Teramachi and have time to kill:

The doujinshi/anime section is off/around Shijo-Dori, around Teramachi and the Nishiki Market:



Again, it isn't easy to find if you don't know what you're looking for:






Animate is fine, but DO NOT walk into the Melon Bookstore, it is like a little Akihabara, and the minute I stepped in I looked around and realised I was the wrong gender to be appreciating it. I turned and ran straight back into the arms of Animate.

Very generally speaking, once again I wonder why the public face of yuri is so terribly graphic/distasteful. I have absolutely nothing against yuri as an idea - I'd buy yuri doujin if it were pretty and if I liked it enough, but the way it's presented is frightfully distasteful to me. Yaoi can be pretty exploitative too, but it isn't halfway as blatant as yuri.

Around the streets of Teramachi there is another manga bookstore:



I bought the 4th Sara Yajima Abyss novel here, so it shall always be special to me.
But if you have no time, this is eminently skippable. It stocks some doujin, but not very much - you'd be better of in Animate.

Oh, and some bookstores in Kyoto have open copies of the glossy manga magazines like Animage and Pash open for browsing. Good fun.


The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. Go on a sunny day, and it'll take your breath away.
It's indescribably beautiful when you see it with your own eyes, and a thousand times what it is in photographs.







Namco's Wonder Tower. Did not find any replicas there!
It's mostly a games/entertainment arcade. Amusing though.

Comments 
4th-Dec-2006 07:52 am (UTC)
Ohh, you make me so anxious to go to Japan RIGHT THIS INSTANT. XDDD I chouldn't imagine how much time I'd spend in the supermarkets, bakeries and cafes because I'm a huge sucker for fancy-looking food (more than manga an doujinshi combined!). Everything looks so good, including the Kuzu dessert. T_T
4th-Dec-2006 07:57 am (UTC)
I feel the same way! *grin* But the longer you wait, the more you appreciate it when you go. I think you'll probably love it even more than me because you love games and there'll be so much there for you! *grin* I spend ages in the supermarkets - there's just so much to see! And there's so much that's new there and really wonderful! *grin* You'll absolutely love the department stores - fancy food everywhere for acres on end. I was completely stunned when I went there the first time.

*grin* I can't vouch for how the kuzu dessert tastes, though ;) Didn't try it - but maybe it was good! :)
4th-Dec-2006 10:59 am (UTC)
Eeeee, I totally know what you mean. D: All that luscious food has my mouth watering right now! >.>;; OMG, manga and doujinshi can wait, food now plz~ ♥
4th-Dec-2006 08:23 am (UTC)
Ahahaha, I'm so printing the Tokyo guide out for when I go next October. I've only been to the Mandarake in Shibuya and the stores around Animate Ikebukuro for doujin~ The stores in Ikebukuro are small... and Shibuya's Mandarake is small and underground and a bit creepy. xD

And the Kuzu Dessert... while amusing, not surprising. xD Kuzu, the replicated dessert. (Why isn't red? xD) I remember one time that they were trying to sell this dessert in a French cafe that was called グラマラスデザート and they called it Grammarous Dessert. Very amusing.
4th-Dec-2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
*grin* I'm glad it'll be of use! Wow, you're planning far ahead! ;) I've never been to the anime shops in Shibuya (went there for the nightlife *grin*), and I think the Ikebukuro doujin shops are quite enough for me. *grin* Mandarake didn't seem at all small to me - I wish I'd been able to go to the one in Osaka, but there just wasn't enough time.

*grin* I've seen Kuzu desserts in other Japanese stores before, but they've never looked particularly appetising. This was the one I most wanted to eat. (It's green to match the colour of Luke's eyes!) *laughing at Grammarous dessert!* I wish I'd found funny desserts! xD
4th-Dec-2006 08:39 am (UTC)
Can't I just follow you around instead?

Your pictures make me think of Shanghai so much. <3 I wish they hadn't stolen my camera. *grumble*

... and yuri is that distasteful because it is for men. xD
4th-Dec-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
If you're going with me, I'll be gleefully dragging you around. XD

*snug* It's okay, dear! You had quite a few good photos from Jane! And I'm still so glad you're safe from that theft.

*grin* Because it's for men, yes. If it was for women, it'd be better handled! There was actually Suzumiya Haruhi yuri doujin in the Kyoto Animate and I happened to glance over as someone was looking at the preview image, and the art was actually very technically good - very close to the anime art, very well-proportioned, clearly a good artist - but oh, the cover.
4th-Dec-2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
So... when are we leaving? xD *giggle* Seriously, I will nag at you so much in Singapore that you will GIVE IN and take me there. <3 I don't care when, mwuahaha.

:D I should make a post with Shanghai pictures, aahh. You're almost posting more often than me! ;)

*g* Tell you a secret? I've actually never seen yuri doujin before. xD I'm going on what I know from obviously-for-men things I've seen and stuff clevman has shown me. *g* But I actually really dislike art that has Tear with her chest all poked out like she's stuck in that position. xD Or yeah, the super-size-fruits or vegetables. T.T

I don't mind it THAT much though. ;) I would leave you outside and buy something just because I'm curious about what's on the inside! *laughs* Maybe you'll have to come in and drag me back out if I faint or melt. xD

Ugh, no. xD I'm not that tasteless. *g*
4th-Dec-2006 08:58 am (UTC)
Shachou approves. ^_^

Thank you!
4th-Dec-2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Shachou is most welcome! *beams*

Hope the trip was safe and that all's going well when you read this! *beams*
4th-Dec-2006 10:48 am (UTC)
My photos didn't fully load (LEECHED), but there were two photos which look exactly alike - was that intentional?

^^ Hentai and yuri make me go BLEARGH. Not so much the concept as the plot/story. Um. Yes- lack of taste.
4th-Dec-2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you for telling me that! ;) Fixed the mistake!

SAME HERE. Concept is absolutely fine - it's similar to yaoi, after all. But story?! WHAT STORY? And also tasteless. Very.
4th-Dec-2006 11:25 am (UTC)
Waah... such cool fun you had! Did you play anything in Namco tower then? Arcaaaaaade.
4th-Dec-2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
*grin* Unfortunately, no - I was in a rush and had no time to do more than peer into the first floor of Namco Tower. Besides, I dislike arcades.

I'd change my mind if they had Abyss amusement games, though!
4th-Dec-2006 11:54 am (UTC)
oh wow it looks like you had some fun!! n-n Hmmm, could you pick me up something, I wonder? xd i'll totally pay~
4th-Dec-2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
I completely would, except that I'm not going to Japan anytime in the near future. I wish I was, though!

Also, grief! The Abyss doujin available in Tokyo is primarily Peony/Jade, where Jade's involved, or Jade/Luke. I rarely see any Dist-related doujin available for sale conventionally. They're probably only available through doujin conventions or via ordering directly from the website.
7th-Dec-2006 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh I see. ^-^ Me too. Hopefully in the next year or two I will be visiting though. I'm saving up my money. xD

GRIEF INDEED! Why is it so difficult? Oh man. I would order from their website(s) 'cause I DID find some nice circles... but if memory serves me right, they don't ship internationally. Sadness. Ah well, thank you anyways!! ^___^
4th-Dec-2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
XDD I promise to draw tasteful yuri for you~ *SHOT*
actually i've never tried it but I could do tasteful shojo-ai for sure *whimper*
4th-Dec-2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
*BEAMS* You're special, and different, and anything yuri you draw would be beautiful. And I trust you and your art. *grin*

HEHEHEH. *smiles* Don't worry about it, I think I'd love anything you drew. :) Draw what makes you happy! ;) I have wondered if it is hard for artists to draw yuri, if they normally don't prefer to.
5th-Dec-2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
i'm inclined to girl/girl pairings sometimes XDDD
4th-Dec-2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
Wow, haven't seen a Namco in awhile. めちゃ懐かしいなぁぁ〜。There was one above the keーkitabehoudai we went to often. Anyhow, I just wanted to give you a few to add to your list for Kansai because I know Kansai far better than Tokyo. : )

In Osaka (city) in 日本橋 (Nipponbashi, or called by foreigners as Den Den Town/Electric town) there are two pretty big ones, as well, not very far from each other. One is called Mandarake and the other is K-Books. I never bought anything at Mandarake that I can remember, but K-Books will give you a frequent purchase card (for a nominal fee, I believe) so that you can earn things.
4th-Dec-2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
*grin* I'm not advanced enough to parse a complete reply in Japanese, but it makes me smile when I can read what you write in Japanese. *grin*

Thank you so much! *beams* I landed in Osaka airport and was thinking about you being there! I really wanted to go to the Osaka-Kansai Mandarake, but I had just the one free day in Kyoto and used it for the temples instead. *grin!* When I was in Tokyo they asked if I wanted a loyalty card and I wished I lived there so I could make full use of it! *smiles*
4th-Dec-2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
This is an interestjng writeup (and I like the photos)! Thank you, I'll remember it~

..Wow, Forest's books are all extremely pink, aren't they.

Did you not visit Book-Off or were you mainly looking for doujin? Also, when you look at books in Mandarake or Animate, can you open the doujin to get an idea of the contents? I've read somewhere that you can't always identify the ones with questionable contents before buying them so that makes me a little nervous...

And I want to go to places like Super Potato too and get lots of cheap games~ &hearts I wish I could go to Japan.
4th-Dec-2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
*beams* You're most welcome! I did attempt to make a Japan writeup once, but just editing the photos alone tired me out! *laughing* I just found very few good instructive writeups on doujin shopping Japan, so I thought I should do one.

*grin* Not at all! ;) It's just my selective viewing. This is just the size of Forest's pink section. It's only about an eighth of the entire store - they have about five floor-to-ceiling stands of doujin anthologies alone.

We didn't visit Book-off in Japan, but I went to the Book-off in Kyoto - it was alright, but my focus is exclusively on doujin-shopping, so I didn't find it relevant to what I wanted to do. Price-wise for manga, Mandarake has what Book-off has, but at far cheaper prices. I'm not sure about CDs, though, as I don't do much CD shopping and can't objectively say how they compared.

You can't open doujinshi at all to look at the contents, but if you're buying a first-hand copy of doujinshi, stores will usually photocopy a preview sheet of one page of the contents and slip it behind the sample book, so you can take a look at one page. Again, it's not foolproof, and it's true that you can't identify the ones with questionable content before buying them. But the covers should generally tell you when the doujin is R or NC16, either through the image, or the cover or sticker will expressly state the rating. Once again, not foolproof, though.

*griiiin* I wish I was an avid gamer and was able to discuss the game stores! *grin* And I do believe you will go there one day. *smiles* It's a great experience, so much more than I'd expected it to be.
4th-Dec-2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
I guess when I go I'll just stick to circles I recognize, then~

Mandarake is even cheaper than Book-off?! Whoa~ I only went to the Book-off in New York but they had manga for $1-$3 apiece, and where I live it's more like $10-$20 a volume for translated manga. I had better add this store to my mental list then, thank you! (I'm also secretly planning to target one of my trips for around Comiket, heehee. Although I expect it'll be scary with the crowds.)
4th-Dec-2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
*grin* Unfortunately, the only Book-Off I've been to is the one in Kyoto, and I wasn't particularly impressed by their range (okay, to be frank, the Kyoto Book-Off was a disappointment to me), so perhaps that isn't a good basis for comparison. But I was with my friend in the Tokyo Mandarake, and there, current issues of magazines for that month were already selling at half of the listed price. My friend went to investigate older books and found that they were disturbingly cheap. *grin*

Where I live, Tokyopop translated manga is about US $9-$12. *grin* And still ouch. *grin*

Mandarake is great fun, don't miss out on it! At the least it's an experience - we saw a mother bringing her six-year old in. The people there on a busy day are fascinating.

Comiket is terrifying with the crowds by all accounts.
4th-Dec-2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
*shocked*
You went to Japan?? When?
BTW a question*_*
How far is the k-books, animate area from higashi ikebukuro station? because I've always stopped at Ikebukuro to go there..I'm completely shocked that maybe it was nearer using the Yuurakuchou line *_*

Seeing these pics makes me long to go there again;_;
4th-Dec-2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
*grin* I went to Tokyo in July and to Kyoto in October. I didn't post about it because I was busy and tend not to talk about my real life much on LJ.

*grin* I think it's about ten minutes at the very most, probably 7 if you know where you're going. We got a tiny bit lost when we went there for the first time, but it's really near! I looked on the map and the East Ikebukuro station seems closest to me.

Me too, actually! *grin* There's just so much to do and see there!
4th-Dec-2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
i got your text! =) i'm back safely~~ ♥!! i will drag you out the moment your exams end!

can't wait to see you again! xDDDDD
4th-Dec-2006 03:37 pm (UTC) - WELCOME HOME!! :)))
(totally meant to be studying now, but saw your message and just had to say a CONGRATULATORY WELCOME BACK! ♥

So glad that I got the right number! ;) I wondered if you'd changed your phone! BUT YES WE SHALL GO OUT END-EXAMS!! XDDD Let me know how you are for Friday maybe! )

*snugs tight* ME EITHER!! *EMITS HEARTS*
4th-Dec-2006 03:45 pm (UTC) - IT'S SO GOOD TO BE BACK!!!!11
YESYES i'm free on friday! i shall scrawl your name all over hte friday slot so NO ONE gets it but you xDDDD EEEEE!!!

my sim card is being evil to me so i'll have to re-transfer all the numbers again.. probably won't be bothered to get that done until tomorrow afternoon.. =p but it'll be the same number!
4th-Dec-2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
farfello! Weiying? xDD

:D You took your plane on the right day! *g*
4th-Dec-2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the lovely pictures! I'd really love to go to Japan someday...and get some cheap doujin, along with seeing the sights! :D
I totally agree with how yuri is presented...and it is for that reason I do not own anything yuri at all. But I don't think this just goes for yuri, it would seem anything female is subjected to the same distasteful art (like some hentai). It's quite upsetting...especially since if people tried there could be some *really* nice yuri. :o

And hooray for KKM! Still need to finish that series~! XD
5th-Dec-2006 03:02 am (UTC)
OMG ALL THAT BL MANGA O_______O;;;;; HOLY SHIT;;;;
I would buy that entire wall rofl XD;;;

dang, I wanna go to Japan :(!!!!
5th-Dec-2006 07:19 am (UTC)
BL!?O_O What the hell!? I never knew that Japan is THAT open!XDXDXD OMG! That's so cool! *badly wanna go to japan*
Thanks for the peeeeectures...XDXDXD
14th-Dec-2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
I happened to sort of stumble into your LJ and looked over all these really precious photos, just wanted to ask if I could share this with some people who has never been there nor seen this? I really regretted not taking so many photos myself when I was there- but that was 3 years back now
14th-Dec-2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
Sure! That's what I put them up here for, so people who'd never seen them could see this. I wished I could have taken more photographs - as it was, Animate doesn't allow instore photography, and s I was leery of taking photographs anywhere else in Ikebukuro, but sure, go ahead!
15th-Dec-2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot for that! I think you've covered the most important, and that counts for a lot. In any case there's always the next time
15th-Dec-2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting your gorgeous photos and giving us a tour, not to mention the pointers about buying doujinshi.
3rd-Apr-2008 09:14 am (UTC)
Hello there. ^^

I was indirectly referred here by talho through google.

Just wanted to say thanks for all the information!

Although, I'm not sure...if it's...really that.. easy? I mean, just...walk into the store... and ask for this certain character and that's it? o___________O?!

Thanks once again! *^^*
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