Akihabara, like many well-known places in Tokyo, sees a lot of foreigners on a daily basis, be they tourists or regulars. I say this because the game center and store employees see a lot of transient foreigners passing through Akiba, but a handful have started to recognize me. I really noticed it the other day when I was getting a gift for a friend at Lamtarra and the guy immediately asked me for my point card (which stores rarely do here). “You remember me, I see,” I said, to which he replied that they didn’t get a lot of foreigners who actually speak Japanese. I was flattered.
- Speaking of which, I spotted a Japanese guy decked out in ultra Love Live! gear last Friday, and when I approached and asked him about it, he confusedly asked me, “You’re a foreigner, right? Not Japanese?” I would have been flattered on the spot if it weren’t such a bizarre question with such an obvious answer.
- A couple weeks ago, I was walking around the little neighborhood behind the Akabane school on lunch and ran across something I hadn’t seen for a long time: a Torikizoku. This would have been great if they had been open — the place doesn’t open until six. Torikizoku is a kushi restaurant whose strong point is that every menu item is 280円. I originally discovered it in Osaka, but haven’t been to one since that first trip. I finished work last Sunday a little after six, so I decided that’d be my place for dinner. It’s every bit as good as I remember, and the staff were really friendly. I wish there were one closer to my place!
I was in Ikebukuro Friday at a Sega center. A trio of guys started working on a machine near me, and I quickly realized that one guy had figured out how to win a specific item — Date A Live II cookies — in one shot. I dropped a couple appreciative remarks as he won, out of respect, and he offered me the last box he won as a present. I couldn’t think how to decline without looking like a jerk, and I knew it had only cost him 100円, so I humbly accepted… then asked if we could get a photo. There were no employees around, so I had to take it myself. I really do meet some pretty friendly people here.