My winter 2018 trip to Asia. Days 24-28. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is my last stop in this trip. Afterwards, I will go back to Stockholm.

This is the third time I am in Tokyo. In aggregation, I have spent almost a month in the city. So, I have already a certain routine of what places to visit and events to attend.

My first day in Tokyo, I attend Comiket 95. Comiket is an impressive event, by its number of participants, that occurs twice a year. I like to visit its crafts section as much as to experience its efficient organisation. To see people queue to get into queues to get to a line is interesting in itself. It is a fractal approach to order. But, all this preparation is needed when half a million people will attend your event.

Comic Market (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto), more commonly known as Comiket (コミケット Komiketto), is a biannual dōjinshi fair in Tokyo, Japan. A grassroots, DIY event focused on the sale of self-published dōjin, Comiket is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run event administered by the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC). Inaugurated on December 21, 1975 with an estimated 700 attendees, it has grown to become the largest fan convention in the world, with an estimated attendance of over half a million.

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, January 11). Comiket. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

At night I am tired. I think to go directly to the hotel. But, this night is the last Saturday Odaiba out-of-season firework spectacle. To stay is a good idea. The view of fireworks with the Rainbow Bridge in the background is astounding.

Next two days I visit Akihabara. Most of the day I just roam around Tokyo. But, the last couple of hours I go shopping for presents for family and friends. I have accumulated a good stash of souvenirs along my trip. But, here I have the opportunity to get some missing items.

I also dedicate some time to play games. I have planned to spend more time doing so, but it always takes me a long time to visit other places in Tokyo. I have barely an hour to play. The language is a challenge. There are many very interesting, very Japanese games that I would like to try. But, the language makes it challenging to learn how to play. But, the real problem is smoke. It still shocks me to see teenagers and children in a room full of people smoking.

This year, I decided to try some gambling games. The idea is to exchange your money for tokens, and then put the tokens in the slot machines. I play a few minutes, but the smoke drives me away. The few coins I got to test disappear fast anyway. Visually the machines are way more extravagant than its European counterparts. Japanese slots also feature all kinds of manga characters.

Next day, I visit Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (六本木ヒルズ森タワー Roppongi Hiruzu Mori Tawā). I have visited this skyscraper each time I have been to Tokyo. At the top, there are two museums and an observation deck.

This time, I skip a Card Captors Sakura exhibition. I really liked the two previous ones on Gundam and Doraemon. But, I go to the Mori Art Museum. The last year’s Leandro Erlich: Seeing and Believing exhibition was very interesting. I do not like this year’s Catastrophe and the Power of Art so much, but it is still good.

My last day in Tokyo, I go for lunch with a Swedish friend and his girlfriend. We go around Ueno area. It is a relaxed day and we talk about many different topics. It is a pleasure to share my time with such interesting people. My friends play Pokemon Go, and I even have the opportunity to see how they join a small congregation of players as they try to capture a rare and powerful Pokemon.

Before meeting with them, I have visited the National Museum. Another stop that I repeat each year. I spend around four hours looking the exhibits, attending the outside events, and doing some shopping.

One of my goals is to sit down for a while to draw. This time, I had just half an hour to do some drawing. That is not enough for an amateur like me. But, it was the time that it make sense to dedicate to the activity. The museum was closed all the rest of days that I was in Tokyo, as it does not open in New Year’s holidays. So, I did not have the opportunity to do it any other way.

To play games in Akihabara in a good non-smoking arcade, to sit down and draw at the National Museum and much more, I will come back sooner or later to Tokyo.