The arduous first day at Tokyo is never going to end early, so right after Mandarake, the next stop was to go on a long trek to Suruga-ya. Surugaya has recently opened two physical shops in Akihabara, and I have labelled them as 'A' and 'B'. The shop which I visited would be 'B' where there are mostly anime merchandise and figures. There are around 4 floors in that store. 'A' specializes in retro games, but I never found a time to visit when it was open.
The path from Akihabara station (Electric town exit) to store 'B' has been highlighted in yellow. Amiami is circled in red, and the path from Amiami to the same store 'B' has been plotted in purple instead.
Floor 1 is a mass of little merchandise. They have art-books and some fabrics like towels and cushion covers there. I also found some gashapon, keychains, shikishi (autograph board) and chibi-kyuns there. During my stay in Tokyo, I bought 3 books and 1 shikishi from this floor, which I would post in the daily loot posts accordingly.
Level 2 was filled with CDs and blu-rays. I'm not really into either so I decided to pass. Level 3 was more on mecha, which would be a plus if you are a fan of gundam or transformers.
Again, I left that floor quickly, and went to the 4th floor where the figures are. The figure section is largely split into three parts -- Nendoroids, figmas and others, which include both prize and scale figures. There are some older Nendoroids, but none that I was searching for except Akari's (Yuru Yuri). There were also many Nendoroid petites in a corner of the Nendoroid section, which were mainly Love Live!, Girls und Panzer, and Vocaloid.
I probably spent quite some time in Suruga-ya because it was already dark by the time I came out. The next stop at Toranoana was my last because it was nearing closing hours. Unfortunately, Toranoana has 3 separate stores, albeit quite close together, but it would probably take up some time trying to get to them all, so I decided to visit the branch I preferred the most, which is 'C'!
'C' is just down the path from Club Sega, so instead of turning into the alleyway to find Kotobukiya, continue straight to find Toranoana C branch in Akiba! Their A and B branches are opposite the Chuo-dori!
Speaking of Toranoana means doujinshi! But before that, Toranoana are well-known for their gashapon as well! Here are some machines that they have... but note that little bin there for you to dispose of your capsules! I usually keep my capsules, but if you are the kind that find the little plastic ball containers a pain to keep, how convenient this would be :DNow that we are in Toranoana 'C' store, I would like to point out that it has many different levels. In fact it has a total of 6 levels and these are what each level contains (roughly translated):
1F: Media Floor -- where you can find Blu-ray and DVDs.
2F: Media Floor -- here are where the CDs are located.
3F: Doujin Software floor -- basically the doujin games corner to unleash your secret desires
4F: (Fem-orientated) Doujin floor -- games, BD, DVD, CD, original series, goods
5F: Similar to 4F. I guess the imagination of artists cannot be contained within a single floor. This floor is specialized for several of the currently more popular series: Kekkai Sensen, Jojo, Tokyo Ghoul, Owari no Seraph, World Trigger, OPM, Daiya no A, Magi the Labyrinth of Magic, Nintama Rantaro, Durarara!!, etc.
6F: A doujinshi floor. The games here are all BL-related. None of those soft yaoi kinds anymore... Anyway, this floor is currently dominated by these titles: YowaPeda, Shingeki no Kyojin, Free!, Tiger and Bunny, Hetalia, Vanguard, UtaPri, Ensemble Stars, Idolmaster Side M, Fate Series, etc.
7F: Similar to 6F, but what we have here is mainly Touken Ranbu.
Here's some images for better visualization on what goods they have. Toranoana sells many small merchandise like badges and keychains, especially rubber keychains, files and pencil boards.
Doujinshi in this corner. As I mentioned before, a large part of Toranoana is mainly about doujinshi and books. The way they organize their books is quite similar to that of Mandarake. Their labeling is by far neater, making it easier to search based on pairing. Though they commonly isolate popular circles from the respective pairings and that might be a little confusing sometimes.
Of course, though doujinshi is a large part of their sales, it isn't the only part. At least not the yaoi ones. Toranoana also sells male-orientated goods and doujinshi, as well as for popular series like Touhou and Kantai Collection. Manga and light novels are of course, also part of their collection!
And knowing how many people frequent Toranoana daily, advertisement is also another way which they can make money, and interest others to check out items which they are selling. There are many of such boards around in the stores, and I merely took picture of one because... well, it's Monogatari Series. Need I say more?
They also have many pop-up character boards in their stores for phototaking! Sadly, I didn't have the courage to take a picture of Tsurumaru Kabedon-ing me D:
Now that we are finally more or less done with my long first day in Tokyo, I would like to end off this Day 1 post with a loot post. For this Japan trip, I didn't get much in for loots because I am thinking of saving more for my one-week stay in Hakodate.
And last but not the least, here are some extras from the day itself! We have Club Sega (with all of its awesome crane games), the Radio center which is filled with many electronics stuff (I would be visiting this on my second day!) and the soba which I had for dinner~ Unfortunately, I never actually eat much in Tokyo because shopping always took the most priority. Perhaps I'll try to make an exception for food on my next trip ^^
From Your Fellow Japan Fan,
Day 5 (Part I) | Day 5 (Part II)