Tokyo 2012 Day 2

The final day before AKB48’s Tokyo Dome concerts began with another trip to the familiar Akihabara to pick up more photo cards. I forgot that I had a few requests to fulfill and we figured it would be cool to take Vu around the area.

When we arrived at Donki there was a large line for some UTB thing. We asked some dude holding a big sign whether it was the same line for the AKB photo cards. Dude said yes and we queued up.

This time we were sure that there was no way we were in the Pachinko parlor line since the kind of people who were ahead of us consisted of those who had the stereotypical look of a wota or even an otaku. Yes that’s mean but it’s so true.

Once we were let into the building we had to wait on a dark set of stairs with the masses. Again, I noticed a lot of young girls and women wanting to get their AKB on. I will be somewhat politically correct and say that the viewing was keeping me entertained. I don’t know about the others.

After waiting more in the sweltering heat the line moved and we were allowed into AKB shop. The procedure was the same as before except this time there was the option to get a UTB magazine as well. So 5 photo sets and a UTB mag along with a special photo card.

Now you would think that I would pick Takamina for my card but you are wrong. I went with Minegishi because her pic looked pretty good. Since we were in the area we decided to visit the AKB Theater.

It was much more crowded than the day before with many people trading freshly bought photo cards. There really wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver but we managed to find a corner to compare cards.

As we were doing that we noticed that there were people taking pictures in the theater. Apparently it was okay according to one of the staff since this wasn’t during a live show. Out came the cameras and off I went snapping as many pics inside the theater as possible. The primary target was the marquee sign above the entrance to theater area.

I also took a few minutes of video to show just how much of a gong show it was in there. Seriously, just tons of AKB fans all over the place making transactions. But hey, the bonus was that at least I got some sort of photographic evidence that I was in the place.

Then another trip to the AKB Café for some food for the eyes and well… Food. This time I ordered the Team B set that consisted of sort of Taco/Rice sort of thing. It was okay but not exactly a Taco per se. Pretty much edible but not exactly the greatest meal in the world.

It is the AKB Café so don’t expect gourmet food is what I’m saying. Speaking of gourmet, I had to. And I mean HAD to order the Kashiwagi Yuki banana and mayonnaise sandwich. I had heard of this legendary thing when I first learned of the AKB café and it had intrigued me. I really wanted to try this thing.

So after finishing off the main course it was time to dig in to the sandwich. At first it was Dave & I who took the challenge on. I plowed through the thing and at first I could not taste the mayo at all. Just bananas. But as I got near the end of the thing the mayo started to become more noticeable and it had a real kick.

The combination of the two flavors is something that is an acquired taste. I finished the entire thing but I don’t think I shall partake in that particular meal again on my next visit to the café. The others having seen the reactions of Dave & I had to try and they seemed to agree that perhaps only hardcore Kashiwagi fans take this food challenge on with a smile.

When lunch was over we headed to the Tokyo Dome to buy official goods. By this time it was peak afternoon hotness & we saw that there were many people already being queued up. There were large poster boards before line up that showed pictures of what was available.

There wasn’t much for photo sets, given that those were being sold at the AKB shop in Akihabara that wasn’t a surprise. Instead there were the standard T-Shirts, Uchiwas, wristbands, oshi towels and the like.

I picked up a lot of stuff for myself. It was more than I had expected but I think I made a good haul. When it comes to concerts I am a T-shirt collector. So even though there was no possible way any of the shirts would fit me, I wanted them for the sake of having memorabilia. I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself correctly but hopefully you kind of get it?

When we were all done standing out in the hot sun a bit of rest and relaxation in the hotel and then dinner in Akihabara. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) We noticed that the Maeda Atsuko spam had started to be put up in the area but it was so windy that we couldn’t exactly get any good shots of the banners that were put up.

Since nature was being a bitch we decided to try again later and went back to our hotels for some much needed rest.

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Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.