One Piece Tokyo Tower: An Otaku Paradise

This theme park is the first of its kind in Japan, and just last March it became open to the public. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to experience it in its first week of operation.

Once you arrive at Tokyo Tower, you can purchase the tickets at the counter which also includes an access to the tower’s observatory area.

It is an elevator ride to the One Piece Theme Park, after which you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff and this impossible-to-miss signage/photo spot:

Tokyo Tower One Piece
Tokyo Tower One Piece!!

Upon entry to the theme park, it’s gonna be one fangirling/fanboying moment after the other! With walls decorated with some excerpts from the manga (with special effects!) to life-sized character figures, as well as theme park games and frolicking pirate cosplayers, One Piece aficionados will surely think of this place as heaven on earth.

My favorite part of the theme park was the Zoro’s Soul of Edge. It was a short but fun game! The other attractions had a lot to offer as well. It was just One Piece geeking overload! Moreover, we were right on time to witness the ONE PIECE LIVE ATTRACTION “Welcome to TONGARI Mystery Tour”. The actors nailed it! My favorites were Zoro, Sanji and Luffy 🙂 I was really impressed with the actor who played Zoro, I mean working with the sword props, that wasn’t easy!! :O And we were given glow sticks that we used, which made it an interactive live show.

glowstick
The glow stick that was given to each live show audience
liveattraction
As you can see, the audience sat on the cushions that were laid out on the floor when watching the live show.

I had a really great time trying out all the attractions, and it really helped that I knew some Japanese, especially in the Nami’s Casino and Chopper’s Thousand Sunny Tours. A must-visit place, especially for the One Piece fans! Allow me to show you also my picture of life-size (that’s right LIFE-SIZE) Portgas D. Ace figure:

My favorite One Piece character :)
My favorite One Piece character 🙂

 

Here is the link to the official website for more info. 🙂

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Akihabara – Where Tech and Anime Collide

Since childhood, I was already a big fan of anime and as such, I’ve always wanted to go to where it all started; JAPAN! This country has been consistently at the top of my travel goals and I’m very thankful that my dream became a reality when I flew to Tokyo last month. 🙂

Among the places that I checked out during my stay in Tokyo is non-other than Akihabara (also called “Akiba”), an area in Chiyoda, famous for great tech finds and anime merchandise stores.

The place can be easily accessed via the JR Yamanote Line at Akihabara station. The Gundam Cafe and AKB48 Shop is just near the station’s exit.

The area is filled with tax-free shops and stores for any kind of anime merchandise you could think of. Figures, games, DVDs, and other anime-related items can be found in this otaku paradise. And the prices for these items are way cheaper (obviously) compared to when you buy them outside Japan. I was basically at a loss of words when I got there. Feels overload!

It's Akihabara!
It’s Akihabara!

A shopping place that I checked out among others is the Yodobashi-Akiba. It’s a huge establishment filled with various items (not just limited to tech).

Yodobashi-Akiba.
Yodobashi-Akiba.

Each floor in the building features a category of some of the many items being sold there, such as cameras, souvenir items, game consoles, mobile phone accessories, etc. And the best part: it’s tax-free!!

JUST A TIP: ALWAYS bring your passport with you, because many shops in Akihabara (and Tokyo in general) offer discount to tourists! They also sell  “exclusive” or “limited edition” items at a reasonable price.

My visit to Akihabara won’t be complete without stopping by the numerous anime merchandise stores!!

A particular hobby shop that I encountered is VOLKS, a secondhand anime figure shop (but they also sell other merchandise). Collectors have their own glass cubicle where they could showcase and sell their collection. When buying here, it’s important to have a box ready as the store won’t provide you with one since it’s not brand new. But most of the figures sold here are still in good condition.

Other places that can be seen is the AKB48 Cafe & Shop and the Gundam Cafe. And can I just say that AKB48 posters are all over the place?? 🙂

 

So if you’re planning to pay Akihabara a visit, either you bring a lot of money, or a LOT of self-control. HAHA. Get ready to shop ’till you drop!!