There are several places in Tokyo that I would like to visit. And as a gachapon collector, Akihabara happened to be one of those locations. The reason why I wanted to check out Akihabara is because of the place called Gachapon Kaikan (ガチャポン会館). Based on what I read online, the entire store is lined with rows of gachapon machines.
From the nearest train station from our hotel, Higashi-shinjuku, we took the Toei Ōedo Line to Shinjuku Station. And from Shinjuku Station, we then transferred to the Toei Shinjuku line to Iwamotocho Station. To be honest, it can gets quite confusing; with all the different metro lines, especially when the name of the station all sounds somewhat similar.
Thankfully, we managed to somehow find our way to Akihabara.
Gachapon Kaikan (ガチャポン会館)
Address: 4-3-3 Sotokanda_ Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, JAPAN, 101-0021
Took us awhile before we finally located the place. The shop was located at one of the smaller streets next to the main road.
With gachapon machines located on both side and in the middle, the entire shop was rather cramp.
It was the first time we came across a machine like this that dispense a big sheet of sticker.
Just a handful of gachapon that we got from this shop.
Subsequently, we also came across a few more shops that look similar to Gachapon Kaikan (ガチャポン会館).
You might think that I’m the only one obsessed with gachapon, but I assured you the fiancé is nearly as crazy as me too. While I was mostly interested in the Disney gachapon, he was interested in the Pokemon gachapon. I believe we easily spent more than SGD100 that day just by turning gachapon in the shops. (Each gachapon generally cost JPY100 to JPY400.)
His backpack was filled with gachapon by the time we left Akihabara. We even resulted in emptying the gachapon from the container to minimise space while we were seated on the train. Even the passenger seated next to us asked what were those that we were holding in our hands.
We were walking down the street when we came across a shop that has these Gudetama plush displayed at the store front. We didn’t think it was anything special until it started to repeat the sentence that we said. It was so funny when the plush repeats what the fiancé last said.
As expected, we bought it in the end.
Someone got attracted by Pokemon playing cards. Apparently this was part of his childhood.
Spotted Pablo cheese tart!
A variety of flavours.
I got a chocolate cheese tart!
Near to the Pablo stall, there was a mini van selling melon flavoured soft serve.
I got tempted
so I bought one to try!
Somone caved and bought a pack of the Pokemon playing cards.
Overall, Akihabara is a good place to spend one’s afternoon especially if you’re into gachapon and anime characters. There were a handful of arcades, drugstores, shops selling touristy items and themed cafe in the area. One of his friend recommened us to stay in Akihabara area and I’m glad we didn’t take up his recommendation. While it’s a good place to spend one afternoon, I don’t think I would enjoy staying there. It was just too messy and noisy for my liking.
Later that evening, we headed back to Shinjuku as one of the fiancé’s friend very kindly hosted us for dinner. If I’m not mistaken, the restaurant was known for its sukiyaki.
We were given a private room and sat on the floor (like the way Japanese do).
We started our meal with drinks and an appetiser that consisted of three small dishes.
For main course (sukiyaki), the staff actually came in and cooked them for us. Once the food was cooked, the staff will then place them in individual portion, before serving them to us.
Along the course of our meal, our bowl was constantly filled with more food. We didn’t even have to leave our seats. The staff would come over and collect our empty bowl, filled it up with more food and bring it back to us.
It was the first time we experience a meal like this, so it was quite an eye-opener for us.
Ended our meal with a refreshing sorbet ice cream as dessert.
I couldn’t be more thankful that this trip happened, and a big thank you to Toshi and family for hosting us. It was a blessing to know that we have someone we know in Japan.
Have he not invited the fiancé over to Tokyo, I wouldn’t have visited Tokyo either.