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Posts tagged Japanese Manga

A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide: My Favorite Things to See and Do In Japan

A Manga Lover's Tokyo Travel Guide: My Favorite Things to See and Do In Japan

@aniklasson @TuttleBooks @evacomics

A great book for kids or adults heading to Japan for the first time, or who want to reminisce about their time in Tokyo, I read the entire thing on a less-than-two-hour flight this past weekend. The pictures are fun, the facts are accurate, and the suggestions will lead to discoveries (or enjoyable memories) for anyone and everyone.

My daughter (now 21), who lived in Tokyo for a year when she was 11 years old, read much of A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide: My Favorite Things to See and Do In Japan when she saw it on the nightstand in our hotel room. When she finished looking at it she exclaimed, “I wish there was a book like this for Ecuador!”. She is heading to Ecuador, for the first time, for a month or so on a study abroad in a couple months.

Nice work, Evangeline Neo!

Takashi Murakami’s “Super Nova” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

takashi murakami super nova san francisco museum of modern art sfmoma

Super Nova
Japanese Manga
Takashi Murakami

I didn’t have my wide-angle lens with me when we went to San Francisco this past Thanksgiving so the photo above doesn’t really show just how large this painting is. The actual painting, only part of it shown here, is over 34 feet in length (and almost 10 feet tall).

takashi murakami super nova description

Naruto —ナルト—

—ナルト— naruto billboard

Naruto billboard in Takadanobaba – Tokyo, Japan

At the time today’s photo was taken (November 2009), Naruto was celebrating 10 years as a weekly serial in Shonen Jump. More than three years later and Naruto is still going strong. In fact, it was just over three years ago that Naruto, the anime series, began being published in English.

Personally, I could never get into Naruto. The only manga I enjoyed in Jump was Kochi Kame.

Japanese Candy

Few things in Japan can be had for under 100 yen. These candy sticks were one of them at just 10 or 15 yen each. The contents of the fancy packages are a flaky, flavored, hallow stick of sorts. Some of these are Chocolate Flavor (チョコレート). I think うまい棒 is the brand name (or maybe the name of the treat) which means something like “delicious stick.” Corn portage (コーンポタージュ) is the flavor on the far left.

Manga reading dude in Inokashira Park

toho rikimaru manga reading comics japanese

While walking through Inokashira Park (井の頭公園) last Saturday we stumbled upon Rikimaru Toho (東方力丸), who I recognized from a piece I saw about him on TV. I asked him if he was the guy I saw on TV, and he said he was. We spoke only in Japanese, and he said he only does his manga readings in Japanese (while offering to do one for us). As Ryan contemplated which manga he would like Mr. Toho to read to us, he did one of his dramatic readings for another couple.

read manga reader inokashira koen shimokitazawa eki station

Above is his collection of very faded manga which customers can choose from. If you’d like to experience 東方力丸 in person I understand he can usually be found in Inokashira Park on the weekends during the day or at Shimokitazawa Station on weekend nights. He looks like he could be homeless, and I hear he started in this line of work by selling used manga that others had thrown away, but who knows if these things are true? I will chat with him in more depth if I ever see him again.

Even if you don’t understand Japanese, this guy is entertaining. I only took one video (below), and it isn’t great, but you can get a bit of an idea of his different voices and sound effects he uses to bring the manga to life.



The line to get into the Tokyo International Anime Fair is absolutely insane. It starts near the train station (300 meters away), continues through monster-sized buildings, and once you turn one corner, when you think you are almost about to enter, the line turns into an amusement park style line, back and forth, back and forth, etc. Turn the corner again and there is more of the same. Some say it took three hours to get in. I wouldn’t know. Both times I have attended we have bypassed the mega line completely and walked straight in via the “Family Entrance” (ファミリー入口), which you can use if you have someone with you who is 11 years old or younger.

The crowd peaks at about 11:30. If you don’t have a kid to bring along and get in via the Family Entrance I recommend arriving between 2 and 3 p.m. There are no entrance lines at this point in the day, and the booths inside are far less crowded than they are between 11 and 1.

Did I mention there are lots of people to deal with while you try to see what you want to see?