Shopping at Nakano Broadway

Hello from a cloudy Tokyo! Yesterday a storm came through and dumped a large quantity of rain on the city and surrounding areas, which meant one thing… shopping! We went over to Nakano Broadway in the afternoon since it was indoors and out of the rain.

IMG_0526

It’s a great little shopping center with plenty to see. Mandarake operates most of the stores in the 3rd and 4th floor and many of the other shops deal largely in second hand goods. It’s typically less crowded than Akihabara and is completely indoors. Since it’s a bit less traveled, you can often find some interesting little gems!

Continue reading

New arrival and review of Tenso.com

I swung by the post office on the way to work this morning since I received a notice that a package had come in (apparently I was vacuuming and didn’t hear the doorbell ring). My Miyuki Figma had arrived, courtesy of Tenso.com.

IMG_3006 IMG_3008

IMG_3009 IMG_3011

The package arrived in good condition and it appears that Tenso had put a new shipping label on the box and forwarded it on. It didn’t seem the seller had anticipated that Miyuki would be flying overseas, so no padding was used at all…

IMG_3013Kagami, Tsukasa and kitty welcome Miyuki to her new home

You may have noticed that Konata is missing from these shots. I was going to pose her on top of the box in a sitting position, but there was an accident when I tried to do that. Apparently the joint was a bit tight or weak (never really tried to pose her before) and it snapped as soon as I tried to move it. ;_;

IMG_3014Poor Konata… she doesn’t get to join Miyuki

I’ll definitely try to replace her, but I haven’t had much luck finding a seller that still has them in stock (aside from eBay). Realistically though, I’d just be looking to replace the leg piece, so if anyone knows where I can get a spare left leg for Figma 008, I’d be open to options…

IMG_3021 Since Konata is temporarily out of commission, Miyuki has taken her place on the shelf

As for the actual Tenso service, it seems like a pretty good concept. I can see how it could be useful for people trying to buy goods from a Japanese retailer that doesn’t ship outside of Japan. The process itself is pretty simple:

  1. Go to Tenso.com and sign up for an account
  2. Once the account is activated, they provide you with what amounts to a PO Box at their offices in Tokyo
  3. When purchasing from a Japanese retailer, provide them with your Tenso address
  4. Once Tenso has received the package, they contact you for shipping payment (a small shipping and handling fee applies on top of actual shipping cost)
  5. When they’ve received your payment (they take credit card and PayPal), they’ll put a shipping label on the box and send it to you
  6. You wait and check tracking every 15 minutes to find out where it is
  7. Package arrives via EMS and delivered by your local postal system

In all, a nice little business model. It is very easy to set up and use. For my order, however, I struggled a bit to see the value of the service. Miyuki cost 2244 Yen from a marketplace seller on Amazon.co.jp. Shipping charges from Tenso added 1990 Yen more, bringing the total to 4234 Yen or US$42. The current going rate for a Miyuki Figma from Toylet.net is $30+$10 shipping.

Now, using the service may be worthwhile on something a bit larger and expensive, as the service charge would be a smaller percentage of the item cost. With a small order such as this, it doesn’t make much sense to go with this method. It may also be worthwhile to get rare items that can’t be found elsewhere except for Japanese auction sites or smaller online retailers.

Thanks Danny for allowing me the opportunity to try out this
service! Now to see if I can replace Konata or her leg…

Anime clearance at Best Buy

It seems that many Best Buys nationwide are clearing out their stock of Anime. According to ICv2, about 400 stores are cutting back on their total stock and clearing everything out at 50% off. After seeing the news, I made a trip to the local store and picked up a couple of items I’ve been meaning to get.

IMG_1575

Total price for everything: $118.91. Not bad for that many DVDs!