Anime Street! Let's go to Asagaya!
Asagaya Anime Street for Anime Fans
At the end of March 2014 opened a fantastic street called Asagaya Anime Street, a place where anime creators and fans of anime can come together and create an experience like no other.
Located only about 4 minutes by walking from Asagaya station, Asagaya Anime Street is like a little mall designed just for people who are enthusiastic about anime related things. They have many shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants which all are tied with an anime theme.
There are a total of 16 different spots to visit in this street. There are shops like Game Life, a videogame shop with many retro and anime games which also acts as an event spot. There are cosplay shops like Cosmenia, a cosplay specialty shop and Copin, a brand cosplay shop specializing in dressing up as male characters. Gofa Labo, Baroque Cafe, and Shirobaco are all cafe/museum type restaurants where you can relax, have a meal or a cup of coffee while admiring many anime works on display.
Cafes have never been so much fun!
Baroque Cafe was one I personally visited, which was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the anime and manga series 攻殻機動隊 Ghost in the Shell. They had a lot of anime pop displays and even an almost scale sized Logicoma from the new ARISE movies. The best part of this cafe though is the giant home theater set up they have in the back actually playing anime movies.
We grabbed ourselves some nice cups of coffee and were able to watch the 2nd Movie of the Ghost in the Shell ARISE movie series playing on a giant projector screen while sitting on these fantastic premium surround sound home theater seats.
You can watch our experience with this youtube video:
Looking for an absolutely unique experience? They got one.
There was one place that I had a very fun experience at, the Micro Museum Cafe. This place was less of a cafe and more of a museum/theater as they gave me a small drink as we watched some great 3D movies. But that was just the beginning. The real unique experience was the project they had which involved the hyped up virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift.
These guys have developed an anime titled "Speed Story" an educational anime being used abroad to teach science. Together with that anime they produced a virtual reality experience where one can experience what it is like to jump or fly with a magic broom like the typical fairy tale witch or magical girl does.
I tried on the Oculus Rift head set and it was quite something. The initial setting was actually set to look like where we were- Asagaya Anime Street. When I jumped, the sensors read my movement and made it look like I jumped miles or kilos up in the air as if I were a rocket. They modeled the entire view of the Tokyo area and I was able to see far in to the distance to the mountains and even Tokyo Bay. Of course this was all virtual reality but the experience was pretty convincing.
You can see me try it in the whole Asagaya Anime Street review video here:
All in all this street was full of interesting things related to all kinds of things anime fans love and are interested in. Heck I'd recommend visiting even if you're not a big anime fan because there's just a ton of interesting things to check out here. I swear it was a lot of fun.
You can find the location in google maps here:
Check out the Home Page for Asagaya Anime Street for more information:
Thanks for reading!
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Alex Kobayashi /Subtokyo