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Aki’ba, THE geek mecca (and mecha!) of the world. We covered a few spots on our last visit but its one of those places that you can continually go back to and not only find something new every time but you’ll never cover all of it! It’s a bit hard to reference each store, especially when a lot of them don’t even seem to have any obvious naming (having rubbish Japanese reading skills doesn’t help!) but know that if you work your way north from the station keeping within a block or two of the main drag you cant go too wrong. The best part is uncovering hidden treasures in stores that, at first glance, don’t look like they’d have what youre looking for.

A couple of our fave stops include:
The Gundam Café – exactly what it says on the box. A café celebrating all that’s Gundam with Gundam referenced food and drinks and nifty décor. Also a good place to grab a couple café related souvenirs – mugs, biscuits etc. as well as a small selection of Gunpla. Next door is AKB48, the girl band, the theatre, the hourly shows. Sick of waiting years to see your fave act or missing them because they didn’t come to your city? AKB48 has you covered where you can go to them and see them play any day of the year and even in different parts of the country on the same day! How is this possible? Well having 48 members (now into the hundreds!) helps. Though if you’re not a tweenage girl or business man it may not be your cup of Miso.

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Mandarake – Big black building. Toys. Cosplay. Old, new. Lots. If you’ve read any of our posts about Japan previously, you’ll know how much we champion this place, go there.

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Gashapon store – A whole shop just for gashapon! While the thrill of the hunt is always fun, I’m finding I’m more inclined to just pay a slight premium to get the “discovered” pieces and either cherry pick or buy the whole collection that someone else has taken the time to collate. If this sounds like you as well, the rear of the store and upstairs has display cases and shelves full of the ones you’ve been chasing, didn’t know existed or have been out of production for years.

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Sega – There are plenty of multi storey gaming buildings but none stand out quite like Seee-gahh (cue sparkly shine). Many hours and thousands of Yen can be spent without blinking an eye. But of course if you cant master the “giant metal nail punching holes in the paper” or “push the pig through the bars” technique, there’s always the cop out of simply finding a store that stocks the prize you’re after and buying it 😉

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Super Potato – Wall to wall retro console gaming, even if you’re not after a cartridge or console there’s plenty of items that would make great wall/desktop display pieces.

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Robot Robot – Thankfully this was one of those times judging a shop by its name paid off! With no street frontage and only a sign to go by, it was always going to be a gamble but the trip up the elevator was worth it not just for Robot squared with its extensive range of Hot Toys style high end collector products with leanings towards horror movies and gore in general …and vagina-like monsters (why are they always vagina-like??)  but for the smaller accompanying stores on the same floor with a great selection of new and used toys and collectibles. Want to see a fair chunk of Coca Cola’s history as a yoyo? Yep, you see that here too!

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Of course there’s also the plethora of electronics stores like LAOX which really need no description, if it’s a new gadget, they’ll more than likely have it. Pricing is however average or slightly better with greater bargains to be had online but finding a JDM only model or colour can be worth it.

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We stumbled across a “Rollertarg” a bit further down so lunch was an easy choice :) continue walking and you will end up in Ueno. However, unlike last time the market gods were not kind to us and a lot of stores that we previously come across had moved on, though its always a good place to walk through, you’ll never know what you’ll find and the nearby park is more than worth the trip.

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If you have any questions on our travels, where to buy, what to do, hit us up on the Soulbridge media facebook page.

Japan 2013 part #1 – Arrival
Japan 2013 part #2 – Tokyo International Toy Expo
Japan 2013 part #3 – Gotemba – Premium Outlets mall
Japan 2013 part #4 – Tokyo – Studio Ghibli Museum
Japan 2013 part #5 – Tokyo – Kichijoji and Nakano
Japan 2013 part #6 – Tokyo – Akihabara
Japan 2013 part #7 – Tokyo – Tamiya HQ, Diver City
Japan 2013 part #8 – Yokohama – Zoorasia
Japan 2013 part #9 – Yokohama – Ramen Museum
Japan 2013 part #10 – Nissan HQ and Yokohama
Japan 2013 part #11 – Osaka – Nanba Shopping
Japan 2013 part #12 – Kyoto
Japan 2013 part #13 – Tokyo – Harajuku, Shibuya
Japan 2013 part #14 – Osaka castle, Umeda Sky building
Japan 2013 part #15 – Osaka Aquarium and Tempozan wheel
Japan 2013 part #16 – Osaka Universal Studios

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Hardcore metallists and quite possibly Public Enemy fans, Countdown to Armageddon step in for our The Music Magazine’s (Brisbane) – “The Guide” section cover shoot this week.

Read about them in this week’s issue of The Music (Brisbane) #048.

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Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets, read current and back issues online @ The Music magazine – Brisbane or download the new app for iTunes and Android.

Last year G-Shock celebrated its 30th anniversary of creating tough time pieces and general bad-assedry. With a slew of releases for the occassion it wasn’t an easy choice but when it came down to the eye popping Lightning Yellow combination it was hard to say no! The finishing touches of the gold case back and band keeper to mark the occassion wrapped in the new “all about dem gains” bulked up GDX case its a real head turner! So of course we had to hit it up for a portrait shoot 😉

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We don’t normally shoot weddings but when we do, the celebrant does stand up material and the ceremony has more swearing than Reservoir Dogs!
Ok contrary to what you may think, it wasn’t “What really happens in Bali – Wedding edition” but a light hearted and intimate affair full of smiles and laughter and if you ask us, its how a wedding should be.
The light faded fast but the couple still managed to shine it on with Kat and her gown trying (not) to steal the show 😉
edit – I don’t know when dresses become gowns but hot diggity, that has got to be the living definition of one!

It was a wonderful day and we wish them all the best in their new bonded life together (:

Highlight photos below

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047 - cover

It would seem Double Lined Minority became a trio during our shoot for The Music Magazine’s (Brisbane) – “The Guide” section cover but we assure you they’re still a quartet and are out hitting the road on their “White Flag” single launch tour. Just hope you never end up owing them money is all we’re sayin’…

Read about them in this week’s issue of The Music (Brisbane) #047.

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Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets, read current and back issues online @ The Music magazine – Brisbane or download the new app for iTunes and Android.

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Insert Simpson’s reference here for this week’s shoot for The Music Magazine’s (Brisbane) – “The Guide” section cover, Canyonero. Twelve yards long, two lanes wide!

Read about them in this week’s issue of The Music (Brisbane) #046.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets, read current and back issues online @ The Music magazine – Brisbane or download the new app for iTunes and Android.

Finally got around to shooting these bad boys, basically a high top Air Force 1 but with a rugged military style beefing up via wool lining, 4WD tread and Nike’s version of breathable waterproofing, “Watershield”. We covered everything in freezer bags, things got messy, mozzies were biting but we got there in the end (:

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It’s all happening this week, we’re taking over the mag! Ok so it wont change to a comic format with reviews on sneakers, toys and watches but we do put more of our grubby finger prints over it than usual starting with the front cover shot of The Cairos as well as the nabbing those harping groovers The Flumes for “The Guide” section cover, and finally we head out to Ellement Lounge for a drum and bass double header with half of New Zealand outfit, The Upbeats and reunited live DnB dynamic duo, Silent Shadow! Highlight photos of that gig below.

On top of all that The Music mag has launched a new app for iOS and Android and is already one of the top three apps for gig guides!

Check it all out in this week’s issue of The Music (Brisbane) #045.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets, read current and back issues online @ The Music magazine – Brisbane or download the app from iTunes and Android.

Upbeats and Silent Shadow at Ellements photos

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