June 22, 2010

California's Little Tokyo!

Hi everyone! You might not know but I recently went to California on a family-trip and I found Japan there as well! Being closer to Japan than New York, they obviously had more Japanese inhabitants and so they dedicated a place they call "Little Tokyo" to all things Japanese!

From Manga to Figurines to authentic Ramen! They had it all! Although it was only about two blocks of Japan-related stores, it was very nice.

Here is where I went:

So I visited the "Jungle" which was a "Special Collectors Shop" I only managed to take one picture before they screamed at me and said "No Pictures!!!" Well look at how many figurines they had on this shelf!

I have to admit. When I walked into this store (the first figurine shop I ever visited) I was in awe. I was overwhelmed and felt like everything in the store belonged to me and only me.

They had anime music playing in the background and a bunch of otaku's floating around. It was paradise. If you just listen to the conversations you'll hear tons of people talking about vocaloids and saying stuff like "I want this, this, this, and this!"

I wish they let me take pictures so I could show you what I mean but there was this place in the back with these large figurines (around a foot long) that just made me want to spend all my money on them. I saw this giant figurine of Hatsune Miku (if you've been keeping up with Chansu's vocaloid reports you'll know she's one of the cutest!) as well as smaller figures of some of my favorite moe-characters such as Konata and Kagami from Lucky Star! The sad thing was everything on that shelf was $20+, the big Miku being $50! With tough restraint, I resisted the attempt and only bought a few small figurines... which were still quite expensive.

For lunch we went to a pretty authentic japanese restaurant. They had an appetizer section in the front which was pretty good. I was disappointed at the staff, however, because it was mostly a spanish staff rather than Japanese. Interestingly enough the waitresses were Japanese...




I had takoyaki (which literally means fried (yaki) octopus (tako)) as well as Ramen but I wanted to try something new. So after being inspired from Clannad's Dango Daikazoku Ending (which you can watch here:)




(uploaded myself, just for you guys! :))

I decided to order some Dango. It was too chewy and sweet for my tastes, but it was an interesting experience :)

And finally we went to a Japanese Museum which was practically deserted but had some interesting things such as this real shogi set:



as well as a Samurai and traditional music exhibit:



So if you ever end up in Los Angeles, California, don't forget to check out Little Tokyo! :)

That's all for today, thanks for reading! ^^
:::Deretsun:::

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This blog, "The Otaku Reviewers", was started in February of 2010 on this very same platform, Blogger. At first, it was a venture into the informational and informal world of comics, anime, video games, and Japanese culture. In other words, just a random blog.

Over time, the founder of the blog credited with the pseudonym "RPGhero" was joined by two fellow bloggers and friends with the names "Chansu" and "Deretsun". Together the three bloggers looked up interesting Japanese culture facts, recommended new anime, talked about their own "otaku" interests, and traveled across the United States to various anime conventions.

There have been off periods when the blog ceased production of content and there have been times when there would be dozens of blog posts per week. The schedule varies depending on the lives of the people behind the alias'. However the pattern is that we always get back into the game with even newer information about Japanese culture, anime, video games, and other nerdy hobbies.

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