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Showing posts with label Manga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manga. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pokemon Center Nagoya

ポケモン

The most-visited Pokemon Center in Japan is the Pokemon Center in Tokyo.

Pokemon Center Nagoya, Aichi, Japan


There are presently eight Pokemon Centers in Japan besides the Pokemon Center in Tokyo: Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo-Bay (Chiba) and Yokohama.

Pokemon Center, Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan


The Pokemon Center in Nagoya is located on the 5th floor of the main building of the Matsuzakaya department store in Sakae. The store is always popular and sells a variety of the hit anime's goods.

If you want the hottest Pokemon items before they sell out on the day, our sister site GoodsFromJapan serves customers worldwide who want Pokemon Center goods. If you wish to purchase the latest Pokemon goods and have them sent to your home or business please contact us.

Pokemon Center Nagoya, Aichi, Japan


A word from GoodsFromJapan:
"Hi, Dave here, the "Pokemon guy" for GoodsFromJapan in Tokyo. I get regular orders for Pokemon store goods from people all over the world: Singapore, France, Australia, India - you name it.
Most requests are for limited edition Pikachu goods - including plushies, files, phone cases, card holders, etc. - that come out on the special event Saturdays. I'm often there early morning with lists of customers orders, and in realtime contact with certain customers while I shop for them, texting with them using WhatsApp, Line, etc. just to make sure we're on exactly the same page.
Once the customer has sent the money by PayPal (+ our 15% commission), I send the goods using the super-secure and speedy EMS postal service: fully insured, trackable online, with the customer in 5 days max.
So if you want Pokemon goods from the Tokyo Pokemon Center - especially the hot, limited edition ones - please contact us at GoodsFromJapan.
Pika-chuuu!"

Pokemon Center Nagoya
Matsuzakaya Main Building 5F
3-16-1, Sakae, Naka-ku
Nagoya-shi, Aichi, 460-8430
Tel: 052 264 2727

The nearest subway station is Yaba-cho on the Meijo Line of the Nagoya subway.

Hours: 10am-7.30pm; daily

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Meikido of Fukuoka

Did you learn Japanese so you could read manga? At first, that was why my daughter enrolled in the Japanese School at the local Buddhist temple.

Meikido of Fukuoka


It didn't take long, however, until Amanda developed a keen interest in Japan, its history, and its culture - which I inherited. She spent five years at the school and loved every minute. If you can read Japanese manga and you like doujinshi, we have some information too good to keep to ourselves. In the past, we have visited a wonderful doujinshi store in Kanazawa. On our most recent trip to Japan, we found another AMAZING place to shop.

Meikido of Fukuoka


Meikido is a doujinshi store located in the Tenjin Ward of Fukuoka city. Take the subway to Tenjin and leave via exit #1. Meikido sells both new and used doujinshi. The stock is enormous and there are full shelves of doujinshi arranged carefully by series and category. Initially awestruck, Amanda spent a very long time inspecting and then purchasing a large number of very reasonably priced items. I sat on a pink step stool and unintentionally fell asleep - that jet lag!

If you cannot get to Fukuoka you can shop online at their website: www.meikido.com/sg2/index.php.

An English website is available at www.meikido.com/english or contact us to make an order for you and ship to your address for a small commission.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pokemon Center Tokyo

Pokemon is a global phenomenon born in Japan and there are a number of Pokemon Centers in Japan where fans of the character can get the latest Pokemon releases.

Pokemon Center Tokyo, Japan


There are presently eight Pokemon Centers in Japan: Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Tokyo-Bay (Chiba) and Yokohama.

The Pokemon Center in Tokyo is located in the Shiodome Shibarikyu Building opposite Hamamatsucho Station near the Shiodome area of Tokyo near Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Garden and Italia-gai.

Pokemon Center Store, Tokyo, Japan


Crowded at weekends, when new releases hit the store, it is best to visit the Tokyo Pokemon Center mid-week.

However, if you want the hottest Pokemon items before they sell out on the day, our sister site GoodsFromJapan serves customers worldwide who want Pokemon Center goods. If you wish to purchase the latest Pokemon goods and have them sent to your home or business please contact us.

A word from GoodsFromJapan:
"Hi, Dave here, the "Pokemon guy" for GoodsFromJapan in Tokyo. I get regular orders for Pokemon store goods from people all over the world: Singapore, France, Australia, India - you name it.
Most requests are for limited edition Pikachu goods - including plushies, files, phone cases, card holders, etc. - that come out on the special event Saturdays. I'm often there early morning with lists of customers orders, and in realtime contact with certain customers while I shop for them, texting with them using WhatsApp, Line, etc. just to make sure we're on exactly the same page.
Once the customer has sent the money by PayPal (+ our 15% commission), I send the goods using the super-secure and speedy EMS postal service: fully insured, trackable online, with the customer in 5 days max.
So if you want Pokemon goods from the Tokyo Pokemon Center - especially the hot, limited edition ones - please contact us at GoodsFromJapan.
Pika-chuuu!"

 

Pokemon Center Tokyo, Japan


Pokemon Center
Shiodome Shibarikyu Building 2F
1-2-3 Kaigan
Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0022
Tel: 03 6430 7733

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Geeky-Girly Innovation: A Japanese Subculturalist's Guide to Technology and Design

Geeky-Girly Innovation: A Japanese Subculturalist's Guide to Technology and Design
Hardback: 296 pages
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (July 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611720028
Author: Morinosuke Kawaguchi

First published in Japanese in 2007, Geeky-Girly Innovation is marketed as a how-to-innovate guide applicable to any country, the main point being 'just add subculture!'. Given that Kawaguchi spends almost all his time detailing his ten "rules" of Japanese technological design, which, he posits, are an outgrowth of the otaku (geek) and gal (girly) subcultures peculiar to Japan, this is a dubious claim. Nevertheless, such a focus on Japan alone is intriguing enough, and, at their best, the book's rules - really more like synoptic observations - provide real insights into the origins of well-known Japanese innovations such as Japan's washlet toilets and more obscure items like a calorie-free cure for stomach growls.

It is a pity, then, that two factors work against the book's success for the Western reader: the repetitious nature of Kawaguchi's circumlocutory zuihitsu essay style, which admittedly is itself a feature of the culture it portrays; and the passage of time. The first point could have been addressed by more ruthless editing of the original to suit the straighter English style without obscuring the points, but the second calls for more substantial revision. The English edition has not been updated for the 2010s, save for one fleeting reference to the Fukushima meltdown of 2011. Thus the cited cultural exemplars are half a decade behind: Madonna, Morning Musume and cellphones rather than Lady Gaga, AKB48 and smartphones. However much the tactility of the physical cellphone keyboard may have been a Japanese innovation reflecting a "compulsion to touch", extolling its virtues in preference to the touchscreen seems 'out of touch' in the current tablet era. Perhaps that explains why Japan is now playing catch-up to the U.S. in this technological realm.

One could argue that there is also a whiff of the outdated in the extreme gender polarisation that informs the author's characterisation of modern Japan, casting as it does young, sexualised females as the object of attention of geeky guys, who together somehow synthesise Japanese innovation. He praises moe anthropomorphism - the personification of an inanimate object as a sexy, girlish 'image character' - for helping produce Japan's advanced interactive technologies, but much later tut-tuts at unspecified "discriminatory or sexist" attitudes in society. Though Kawaguchi does not care to identify it as such, perhaps an example of such attitudes can be found on the "cover of the manga version of the 2005 White Paper on Defense" which "shows a girl holding down a lightly billowing skirt to hide her panties", an 'image character' that citizens of Okinawa living near US military bases might have something to say about.

There are several examples of such eyebrow-raising contradictions in the text. Some amount to paradoxes that bespeak an essential feature of Japanese society: "Perhaps the true self-indulgence is consideration for others, because of the feelings of satisfaction and happiness it engenders." Some, like the above blindness to the downside of sexism, are simply counterproductive, and perhaps betray Kawaguchi's age.

Geeky-Girly Innovation is most compelling when it focuses on the compulsive aspects of the national character - its inner geek, if you will - and how they have contributed to Japan's product innovation. This does not mean the author is necessarily avoiding gender issues at such points, but rather using them to see Japanese society as a whole rather than a sexualised dichotomy. One of the best parallels drawn is between Heian-period women's written kana phonetic characters and how gal subculture encourages us to read 'between the lines' in innovative modes of communication such as the complex emoticons that decorate their emails.

Such a nuanced, "subtitled" approach to communication is one reason for the sophisticated nature of Japanese interactions, and, by extension, increasingly personalisable products and appliances. Perhaps subtlety is the softly whispered watchword of Japanese society, and, despite its anachronisms of content and approach, Geeky-Girly Innovation succeeds in conveying this trait in its various, and sometimes contradictory, facets.

Richard Donovan

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yaki-imo potato seller in Akihabara electronics district

秋葉原の焼き芋

Akihabara is arguably Tokyo's most cutting edge district, in two ways. It is the heart of Tokyo's electronics retailing, and it is also mecca for anime, gaming, manga, doujinshi and cosplay nerds. Yet walk through the streets of Akihabara and by no means everything you will see is "cutting edge."

Yaki-imo roast sweet potato van in Akihabara Tokyo

I was ambling through Akihabara last Sunday shopping for a particular adapter plug, an SD card and a new electric razor. I was on the street parallel to and just west of the main Chuo-dori that runs north-south through Akihabara. This side street is well-known for its multitude of small- to medium-size shops selling mainly computer parts, second-hand computers, and electronic bric-a-brac.
Yaki-imo van in Akihabara, fire burning, firewood stacked.

Then through all the neon and cosplay girls handing out fliers and life-sized character figures trying to attract customers to shops, though the ambling crowds, trundled a yaki-imo (roast sweet potato) truck with its red lantern, and its charcoal fire oven on the back, flames leaping within, a pile of firewood next to it, wailing its traditional yaki-imo cry through the decrepit loudspeaker mounted on the roof.

Akihabara character antics with the yaki-imo truck passing through
The yaki-imo truck was sadly ignored, it seemed. Not once in its perambulations round and round during the hour and a half or so I was in the area did I see anyone hark to the plaintive cry and hail the driver to purchase his steaming wares.

Life-size character in Akihabara with yaki-imo truck in background
Follow the progress of the yaki-imo (roast sweet potato) truck in these pictures snapped on the backstreets of Akihabara.

Yaki-imo truck outside Tsukumo DOS/V Pasocon Kan computer shop

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Next time on Dragon Ball Z

What would you say is your favorite thing to come from Japan? Since it is probably difficult to pick just one thing, perhaps we should narrow the category: What is the most popular Japanese anime to come to the United States? I would say it has to be Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball Z. I would give the Cell Saga a five-star rating.

dbz group

Now wait a minute! Before we get into a heated discussion here, let me continue. Yes, I loved Astro Boy when I was in kindergarten and Kimba the White Lion when I was in elementary school, and I have enjoyed many animated series since that time. But somehow, Dragon Ball Z grabbed hold of my daughters and me as soon as we began watching that day in McDonald's, when I first saw a very young Gohan in the clutches of Goku's brother Raditz. As I viewed their troubled interaction, the thought grew in my mind: I really want to know what this is!

Every afternoon we sat, enthralled, in front of the TV. My younger daughter and her friends, all boys, reenacted DBZ scenes on the playground, and everyone competed to be Vegeta. We all quoted lines from the show. One of my favorites came from King Kai when he admonished Goku for bringing Cell to his planet. (Goku felt it was a safe location to blow up the evil villain.) Before the explosion King Kai said rather huffily, "You could have at least called!"

Android, Dragon Ball Z


I cannot tell you how nervous we were as we watched the evil Cell fly above the land. Who would he get and when? It was a bit like seeing the Korean horror flick, The Host. To relieve the tension I would pen silly poems and send DBZ e-cards to my daughters: "I'm Mr. Popo, I'm a very nice guy/ But I miss my boss, and that's no lie/Had to merge with Piccolo, that's what he did/Had to find Cell who flew and hid." There was also a large humor contingency with the appearance of three androids, Android 16, Android 17, and Android 18. Androids 17 and 18 took obnoxiousness to a fine art, while Android 16, well, he was GREAT! Why, oh why did it have to come to THIS?

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shonen Gaho

少年画報

Shonen Gaho (Boys' Pictorial) was a popular manga of the 1960s and 70s published by Shonen Gahosha, which nowadays publishes such titles as Young King and Young King OURs.

Shonen Gaho manga

Aimed at young boys and teenagers, popular themes of the Shonen Gaho series were sports, space, war and science fiction.

Such well-known manga artists as Osamu Tezuka and Keiji Nakazawa, the author of Barefoot Gen have written for Shonen Gaho at some time during their careers.

Shonen Gaho, Japanese manga


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Most Popular Blog Posts For December 2010

The most popular blog posts for December were a mix of Japanese fashion, namely Japanese nail art, Japanese language, manga and sex: of both the homo- and heterosexual kind. The top five posts are:

Japanese Nail Art
Gay Japanese manga
24 Kaikan Sauna: Gay Shinjuku
so desu ne
Book Review: Pink Box

Nail Art In Japan


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beckii Cruel

ベッキー・クルーエル

Beckii Cruel, aka Rebecca Flint, was the subject of an interesting BBC 3 documentary this month. The Isle of Man-born schoolgirl became a hit in Japan after posting videos of herself on YouTube dancing to J-pop songs in her bedroom. Long a fan of Japanese manga and anime, Beckii's doe-eyed looks fit perfectly the stereotype of a shojo manga character.

Spotted by a talent scout, Beckii was taken over to Tokyo for her 15 minutes of fame as a moe idol.


The documentary probes the Lolicon (Lolita complex) aspect of young girls dancing for the "entertainment" of a mainly older male audience, the pressures of making it big in Japan and the support Beckii has received from her policeman father, Derek, who clearly has one eye firmly on her earning potential.

Now with a Twitter page and a website, Beckii is hoping to go mainstream and we wish her well.


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Monday, August 23, 2010

Final Fantasy Potions

ファイナルファンタジー

Drinks are a popular tie-in, with Japanese companies selling real-life counterparts to in-game items.

Final Fantasy Potions

Many convience stores stock "potions" drinks made famous in the Final Fantasy series.

In the game the drink is used to heal wounds, etc. It won't heal any real-world ailments, but is a treat for fans of the series.

Following along the same lines Square Enix and Suntory recently released a drink tied into the mega-popular Dragon Quest Series, made to look like the game's famous slimes.

Final Fantasy Potions

The Slimes come in two flavors and are modeled after spells in the series.

Dragon Quest is a wildly popular role-playing series that has had installments released - usually to rabid fanfare in Japan - across a variety of platforms including the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Playstation, Playstation 2 and the more recent Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS among others.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Gundam Cafe Akihabara

ガンダム・カフェ

Gundam Cafe Akihabara

The Japanese sci-fi animation, Mobile Suit Gundam, with its beginnings in the late 1970s is still alive (or at least still mobile) and kicking (?) in Japan after all these years.

There are Gundam toys, movies, comic books and games. There are also gundam cafes. However, in April, the very first official Gundam cafe opened, in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district.

Gundam Cafe Akihabara, Tokyo


The cafe's sleek white armor-paneled facade gives way to an interior that is equally shiny and spaceship. The staff wear cute 1970s uniforms, there's lots of pink and icy blue neon, or "laser," there are Gundam toys for sale, of course there is food for sale, and there is even a special blend of coffee for sale, known as Jaburo Blend: a "whole bean coffee" that is also a "city roast."

Jaburo Blend comes with its own barely intelligible Gundam legend, about some massive Earth Federation Army being located in a hidden South American location, whereupon the till then secret Jaburo Blend also become known to earthlings in general, and can now be purchased by the curious at the Gundam Cafe, Akihabara.

Gundam Cafe Akihabara, Tokyo


When it comes to edible equivalents, there is the "1/144 Gunpla Yaki," a bean paste- or custard-filled confectionery in the shape of a Gundam mobile suit.

In the evening, Gundam Cafe becomes a bar.

1-1 Kandahanaoka-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10am - 11pm. Closed Sundays. Almost next door to the popular AKB48 Cafe & Shop in Akihabara

Gundam Cafe website

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yokai Gallery

妖怪 (ようかい)

All these are statues of Yokai found along the Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato.

GeGeGe no Kitaro, Sakaiminato, Tottori

The first is the most famous of all the manga characters created by Shigeru, GeGeGe no Kitaro, star of many manga, animes and movies. Born in a graveyard from a father who is an eyeball, Kitaro is 300 years old. He is missing one eye and so his hair usually covers half his face.

Kappa Yokai, Sakaiminato, Tottori

The second are Kappa, known as water-sprites in English. There are stories of kappa from all over Japan. They live in irrigation ditches, wells, ponds, and rivers. Known to drown children, kappa can be appeased by writing the name of your child on a piece of kappazushi, a type of sushi made using cucumbers, and throwing it into the river and the kappa won't take your child.

Gangikozo

The third is a Gangikozo, a fish-eating water monster possibly related to the kappa.

The fourth is a Sazaeoni, literally Turban Snail Ogre. Sazaeoni are created when a turban snail reaches the age of 30. Sazaeoni, like kappa and kitsune among others, are of a class of creatures known as obake, and have the ability to transform into the appearance of humans.

Sazaeoni

An old story tells of pirates who rescued a beautiful young woman from the sea. After having sex with her, the woman (an oni) cut off the pirates' testicles and when they threw her back into the sea, she transformed again into her true form.

The yokai Ratman

The last is another invention of Shigeru, Nezumi Otoko, half human, half yokai, known as Ratman. He assists Kitaro in many of his adventures and has not taken a bath in 300 years, so is known for his smell.

More than 100 Yokai statues can be found along the Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seoul: Cosplay

Cosplay, Seoulソウルのコスプレィー

On a weekend trip to Seoul, many things were surprising.

First was the sheer pace of change. The city has changed enormously in the few years since we were last there.

The old still can speak Japanese--useful to someone who can only speak English and Japanese and is very lost--and the city still has the night markets and great street stalls with wonderful food.

Among other changes were the number of modern buildings, the Chonggyechon River, and young people.

Outside of Yongsan Station, which has both subway connections and is a stop on the new high speed KTX rail, many young women and men were dressed in Japanese cosplay fashion.

They happily posed for photos, completely in character.

The costumes ranged from "traditional" (see above right) to a more "modern" look (see below).

The costumed were gathered on the steps in front of the I-Park Department Store, which is part of the station complex. Though they did not appear to speak Japanese--we communicated in simple English--their love of things Japanese was evident.

How times change.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Japanese Manga in America

アメリカでの漫画

A recent business trip to San Francisco left little time for any sightseeing. Time constraints notwithstanding, manga was easy to find.

A book store on Union Square had an entire section, shelf after shelf, devoted to Japanese manga in English translation.

Not far away, south of Market Street, the Cartoon Museum has a large collection of work. While it is not specifically devoted to Japanese graphic art, hardcore fans of manga will still find something of interest.

I had time to take in an exhibit of Mary Blair, who designed "Alice in Wonderland" and did early work in anime. She was one of the first women to work as an animator at Disney, in the 1940s.

The upcoming exhibit is "The Ten-cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America."

Access

Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel 415-CAR-TOON

Adults: $6. 11 am - 5 pm. Closed Mondays.


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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco: Blast Off

アジア美術館サンフランシスコ

asian-art-musThe Asian Art Museum in San Francisco will host a manga (Japanese comics), anime (animation), and pop culture extravaganza for aficionados and amateurs alike on July 7th. The exhibit/happening is called Blast Off, and its lineup features:

* Opening ceremony with Gen Taiko, whose drumming will hurl you into space for art and adventure

* Cosplay contest - dress up as your favorite manga, anime, or game character to win prizes

* Manga and anime panel discussions led by experts Frederik Schodt and Gilles Poitras

* Art activities and demonstrations by local artists, illustrators, and cartoonists

* Guided tours of the galleries and special exhibition Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga

* The Manga Lounge - hands-on library, wild anime, toy display...

* Ramen and Rice, the costumed duo that plays string renditions of anime and video game music

* Multimedia performance by Live Action Cartoonists, inspired by Tezuka Osamu's The Story of a Big Forest

Details

Saturday, July 7, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
FREE with museum admission // kids 12 and under always admitted free

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kyoto International Manga Museum

京都国際マンガミュイジアム

Kyoto International Manga Museum, KyotoKyoto, better known for its traditional arts, is now home to two of Japan’s premier manga institutions: Kyoto Seika University, which is the only university in Japan to offer an undergraduate major in manga; and the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which recently opened.

The latter opened on November 25th in a renovated former elementary school in central Kyoto, on Karasuma Dori just north of Oike Dori. The museum was the brainchild of Seika officials, and is Japan’s only museum devoted entirely to the modern art form born in Japan.

The old school has been beautifully renovated, leaving much of the original structure as it was. The former classrooms now serve as galleries, performance spaces, libraries, and there is a room on the history of the school; corridors have drawings on most of the available wall space.

The outside too is lovely. The school playground has been covered in that rarest of commodities in Japan: a lawn. Children and adults roamed the green space not sure exactly what to do, but enjoying it nonetheless. The exterior of the building as well was thoughtfully redone in a color befitting Kyoto.

Kyoto International Manga MuseumThe Museum has also clearly considered one of its core constituencies—young people. When you enter the facility on the first floor, the first attraction is a drawing area. Pens and pencils and paper are provided and set out on large tables; children (of all ages) immediately gravitated towards the tables. Next, farther in and next to the elevator, is an artist who will do manga-style portraits. Last, in all of the galleries, there are shelves and shelves of books and magazines that are there to be read and handled. Young staff were there to guide and help.

Including a basement, the Museum has four floors. The basement is a library and research facility; the first floor consists of the entrance, a café, a museum shop, and a library for pre-schoolers. The second floor is where the main galleries are. Large open rooms feature manga from around the world. The third floor is a “research zone,” with some manga better not seen by pre-teens.

Tickets are 500 yen for adults, 300 for junior and senior high school students, and 100 yen for elementary school age children. Children not yet in school enter free.

Perhaps the only criticism is that there is virtually no English guidance or information. As the medium is visual, this is perhaps petty. However, many non-Japanese visitors--clearly tourists--were in attendance the day we went, and no doubt would benefit from knowing about the magazine cover or drawing they were looking at.

Kyoto International Manga Museum
Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Tel: 075-254-7414

Directions: The Museum is a one-minute walk from Karasuma Oike subway stop, which is on both the Karasuma and the Tozai lines.

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