Tuesday – April 18, 2017
Today was set to be a day away from Tokyo. Because it was supposed to be crappy weather I tried to figure out a day that would involve mostly indoor things. (The day, by the way, ended up fine; the weather was perfect.) The first thing I had on the itinerary was an arcade, but not an ordinary arcade.
We made our way to Kawasaki, along the way having to transfer to the JR. At our transfer station we grabbed breakfast at a place called Bagel & Bagel. I hadn’t had a bagel the entire trip and these were actually pretty good. I got my breakfast sammy with hummus and twas quite good.
Anata No Warehouse
Once we arrived at Kawasaki station, we walked about 10 minutes to the warehouse. The warehouse is meant to look old and rundown. The outside looks rusty and decrepit and even the sign for the parking lot appears to be crooked and falling apart.
I had purposely not told Dan what the place was all about because I wanted it to be a surprise. The front doors slide open as you approach and leave you in an empty room with another single door in front of you. I slowly approached and suddenly a light turned on, there was a loud unsealing noise and the door slid open. Frankly, it scared the shit out of me.
Once inside, you are in what feels like some back alley in China. It’s dark and creepy, you’d almost believe you were outside if not of the ceiling. We walked towards the back of the alley and saw the escalator that took you to the first floor, the main floor of the arcade. However, before going up, we saw the cave-like thing and had to check it out.
When we walked in, I was hoping it was going to be what I thought it was going to be. Sure enough, it was. The cave led to a stone pathway over a small green body of water that led to a circular door. It was mystical and creepy and cool until the illusion was broken by someone entering through said door. Apparently it is not only the exit, it’s also the entrance from the parking lot. (We had entered from the street).
After getting a few pictures, we made our way up the escalator to the first main floor. We decided to do some scoping before we tried any of the games. Walking around, apart from the theming, it wasn’t much different than most of the other arcades I’d wandered into. After doing a lap, Dan and I decided to race each other in their arcade version of Mario Kart.
After I beat him (by a hair) in Mario Kart, I watched him play a bit of Time Crisis before we headed up to the second main floor. That floor was basically a casino with slot machines and games of chance. Dan also came across this weird pachinko type game that featured his favorite anime characters. I watched as he tried to figure out how to play it (all the game were in Japanese).
Once he was done, we headed up to top floor. This one was the most chill. There were table tennis tables, pool/billiards tables, darts and two random pinball machines. Dan played the Elvis table and I played The Sopranos table. I ended up getting a little over 2,000,000 points, which I thought was good… until I saw the high scores which were in the hundred millions.
Once we were both done with our games we decided to play a few games of pool. On the first game, despite the fact that he ran the table, I ended upcoming from behind to win the game. On the second game, I left the table with three or four stripes still in play. I was glad that we both won one.
Lastly, after all that was done, we did one more lap of the first main floor. I played an Initial-D drifting/racing game and Dan played some fighting game. The place ended up being super cool I was glad we’d made the trip out there.
Next we made our way to Yokohama on the JR train. We hopped on one of the double decker cars. We rode it for about five minutes before an attendant came up to us and asked to see our tickets. We showed her our JR pass and she told us we were in a first class car and that we needed to go to scum, er I mean an “ordinary” car.
Luckily we were only going one stop and the rest of the ride was only another five minutes. When we arrived at Yokohama station we had to take the subway a couple of stops before arriving in the part of town we needed to be. We then walked about 10 minutes to Cosmo World
I was really only going there to ride one coaster, Diving Coaster Vanish (named so because there is a drop that “dives” underwater). As we approached the park, it looked like a ghost town and didn’t seem like many of the rides were running. I assumed this was due to the fact that it was a Tuesday and that there simply weren’t man people there.
[coaster er something]
As it so happened, when I approached the ticket window to pay for the ride, the women told me it was closed. I was pretty bummed to have come all that way and to have dragged Dan with me to not even ride anything.
Cup Noodle Museum
However, I had a trick up my sleeve. I knew that literally across the street was the Cup Noodle Museum. That’s right, an entire museum dedicated to Cup Noodle brand ramen. Unfortunately when we walked up, we saw that the museum is apparently closed on Tuesdays. I was once again defeated. I only had one last ditch effort to make our trip to Yokohama worthwhile.
We made our back to the train station and took the train to the end of the line. From there (after a bit of Google mapping) we switched to the #58 bus which would take us to Mooneyes Area 1
Mooneyes Area 1 and the abutting Moon Cafe are both centered around 50s, 60s and 70s era American car culture. The Moon cafe is, for all intents and purposes, an American diner. Being that it was around 14:00, we decided to get lunch.
The Moon Cafe was really cool. The food was exactly the sort of fare you would expect to find in a greasy spoon such as this. We took our time enjoying our respective sandwiches, mine a ham and egg, his a pulled pork. Though I haven’t been straying too much, it was cool to have “normal” food. Additionally, it felt weird to be using a fork instead of chopsticks.
After eating we check out Area 1. The “gift shop” had two levels. The first floor had all the merchandise; shirts, hats, stickers, mugs, etc. The top floor had car parts and accessories, like an AutoZone except specializing in things that actually look cool. Period correct rims and dashboards as well as other parts one might need.
I knew I wanted a sticker so I somewhat hastily picked a set, then headed downstairs. When I got down there however, I saw two that were exactly what I was looking for. I was sad that I had peaked too early and expressed this sentiment to Dan. He reminded me that I had no idea the next time I’d be in Japan, so I knuckled under and bought the other two stickers as well.
After I was done we exited out the back as there was a garage and a few cool custom cars in the back parking lot. I grabbed a few pics and then we headed to the bus stop to make our way back to Tokyo.
It was only around 16:00 but I wanted to get back sort of quickly. Now that the day was turning around, I wanted to see if I could sneak at least one more thing in to make the day even more of a success.
I had looked up a few cruises that not only gave you good views of the city but also took you from one part of town to another. The only problem was that the last cruise leaves at 17:30 and I knew our bus/train ride was over an hour. I was going to be close and so the race against the clock was on.
To my amazement, we arrived at Asakusa station at 17:07. However, we weren’t out of the woods yet. Despite the fact that Google Maps said it was only a 1 minute walk from the station to the dock, we still had to navigate the subway (not an easy task in Tokyo rush hour) and figure out how to get from the station to the dock.
Usually GM is really good about labeling the station exits (all exits in Japanese subways are numbered, this can be super helpful) so you can see which is closest to the thing you’re trying to see. Unfortunately the labels for this station were not clear. We exited to some alley.
I then navigated us to the main road but, as has been my way on this trip, started heading in the wrong direction down said road. Dan course corrected us and, as we were running out of time, we both started lightly jogging. When we arrived at the ticket station we asked if there were still cruises. Happily there was.
We went to the ticket machine and we both grabbed one way tickets to Odaiba. The ticket printed at 17:19 and the boat was set to leave at 17:20. Can’t cut it more close than that.
We boarded the Hotaluna which looked like a spaceship just as it was about to disembark. We then rested while enjoying the view out the glass roof from below deck. Eventually, once we’d passed under all of the low bridges, they opened the top and we were allowed out on deck.
The views were much nicer from the top, unobstructed and with cool evening air. Dusk fell as we approached Odiaba and made our way under the Rainbow Bridge. Though we had rushed, I was really glad we were able to do the cruise. Being able to get out on the deck made it totally worth it.
Arriving at Odaiba, we were greeted by a familiar sight, the Statue of Liberty. For whatever reason there is an inexplicable SOL in Tokyo. It is, of course, much smaller, but was still weird to see.
We then made our way to Aqua City, which, despite it’s name, is just a mall. We walked through it to get to Decks, another mall. However inside is an indoor theme park/arcade called Joypolis. This is on my itinerary for a different day (probably Friday) but I at least wanted to see it from the outside since we were here.
After grabbing obligatory photos, we made our way to Diver City, yet another mall. However, as was the case with the other two, I wasn’t there for the mall. I was there for the Gundam statue that was on the other side. Or should I say that was supposed to be on the other side.
Now mind you, Dan had warned me that it had been taken down just a moth earlier in order to make way for a new statue to take it’s place. However, I wanted to see for myself that it was not in fact there. Low and behold, when we exited out the other side there was only a construction site. Sad.
We finished our time in Odaiba by grabbing a few pictures of of the Fuji TV building. We then took the train back home, however that too was an attraction in itself. Because of where we were, the train had to use the Rainbow Bridge to get to mainland Tokyo.
I’m a little kid when it comes to this stuff. I love bridges, and I love traveling trough a city at night. Because this train was elevated, it soared through the city, above the streets and between buildings. It felt like Batman Begins.
We arrived at our transfer station at 19:58. Two minutes later we heard this cool music and when we looked over, we saw this giant clock was doing a performance to announce the hour. I had no idea this was a thing, a happy accident. Dan and I ran over to it to enjoy the performance before it ended. It was a really great way to top off our night.