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. ♥
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.
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.