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京都駅周辺 Kyoto Station Area – May 2nd 2012

During some of my earlier strolls through places in Kyoto, I noticed that the movie, Super Hero Taisen, was showing in theaters. I have wanted to see the movie ever since passing by the promotional posters. Originally, my friend was to accompany me and watch the movie together, but after having our wallets sucked dry in Osaka, he had to pass on what could have been his first tokusatsu movie. I found that the Aeon Mall close to the Kyoto Station had a theater showing this movie, so that is my main target. However, the last time I was in the Kyoto Station area, I was simply just passing by, so besides just watching the movie, I took this chance to explore the area around the Kyoto Station as well.

Arrival at the Kyoto station and full of people as always. Major stations in Japan are anything but your typical 2 platform train station. They are more like malls combined with airports, just with a multitude of trains and subways instead of planes.

Check out that architecture. Built to be earthquake resistant while allowing plenty of sunlight to pass through I would assume.

The outside of the said architecture. This is the North side of the Kyoto station, and although the Aeon Mall is to the Southwest of the station, I arrived early on purpose and had plenty of time to explore around. The movie starts at 5pm and I came to the station at 2:40pm.

This was where I first discover the existence of the Kyoto Tower.

For those who don’t know about the Kyoto Tower (like me), they even spell it out for you.

It appeared that you can enter the building and go into the Kyoto Tower, but I’m not a 100% sure. Since the tower was not in my plans, I decided to pass it. It might have been a nice sight though.

So why am I here at the North side of the Kyoto Station? I’m here for the Kyoto Yodobashi Camera. I have been to the Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara and Osaka, so this makes it the 3rd Yodobashi Camera store I have been to. It has never felt boring even once. I didn’t take any photos inside, but at least I have this video below.

On the first floor, right besides the main entrance to Yodobashi Camera, was a set of interactive display panels that served as floor guides. I think you will get what I mean from watching the video. If you are wondering why it was night time in the video, that’s because I went back and forth between places and ended up staying until

Now at the South side of the Kyoto Station. What you see in the photo above is the building, Kyoto Avanti, which has an underground passage that connects directly to the Kyoto Station for your convenience. Many of the stores in this building were fashion oriented, so when I first entered the building, I quickly became somewhat uncomfortable. I probably looked like a dumb kid who wandered into adult territory, that kind of feeling. But the store, Animate, was here, so that was where I went. This was where I bought a Fate t-shirt as a gift for a friend, and also received 3 bonus Fate notepads for making a purchase of ¥3000. I bought the shirt in XL since I heard that the sizes in Japan are smaller than American sizes, but XL turned out to be too big. This is why I don’t shop for clothes. =.=;

After browsing through Animate, I headed West for the Aeon Mall. I actually took this photo as I was leaving after watching the movie. I’m quite glad that I have at least this one photo, but there was a lot to this mall that I wish I had photos of, including a place that sold some really nice smelling bread! I didn’t buy any, sadly…

On one of the floors of the mall was Sofmap, one of the stores that figuratively robbed our wallets back in Osaka. Yeah, I bought stuff here too. I bought them after watching the movie of course. I wouldn’t want to lug boxes of stuff into a theater.

Throughout the mall, these posters were hanged up everywhere. This was the movie that I was here to watch, Super Hero Taisen.

On one of the floors of the mall was something called Namco-land. It was a game center (aka arcade) for kids, with crane games and all, but lacks the serious/competitive games found in other game centers that I have seen. Since Namco is now partnered with Bandai, of course they had Bandai themed stuff, such as Kamen Rider, featured.

Not a whole lot interested me here. All I played was one round of Ganbaride, the game in the photo above. You put ¥100 in, you receive a card, you scan whatever cards you want to use, then you watch. You don’t really get to do anything in this game.

Time to move on to the theater, which was called T-Joy. I was originally going to make a joke about the photo above, but I think I will avoid being offensive.

It looked like there were some signatures on Super Hero Taisen’s movie poster. I wonder whose signatures were those? Besides Super Hero Taisen, there were other movies that I was curious about, but unfortunately, watching movies at a theater is not really my thing. I find the presence of other people annoying and distracting. Not to mention that the audio is often too loud for my liking. So unless I really want to watch something, I usually don’t go to theaters.

After some time at an automated machine to pick my movie and seat, I got my ticket for ¥1500, which was a discounted price for college students. I forgot what the full price was. I also did not expect to be able to pick my seat, so that was awesome and I picked one that was right in the middle.

In the lounge, there were these machines where you can pay to have your name printed on a themed tag of your choice. I wanted to buy one, as commemoration of watching this movie, but I thought that the price was ridiculous.

A massive poster. They don’t sell these do they? I wonder what do they do with these giant posters after the movie finishes showing. I can only imagine that these posters would be either sold, stored, or trashed.

Here I am, theater 9 and time to watch the movie. I was the first to arrive, so I took the chance to quickly snap a photo of the theater. A little girl then said to me in Kansai-ben, that I shouldn’t be taking photos in the theater. ^^;;;

Those who are interested in watching Kamen Rider or Super Sentai can check out TV-Nihon. They have subbed all the recent series and any movies that have been released on DVD/Blu-ray. Super Hero Taisen is on there too.

The movie finished at around 6:40pm. And I got to say, Super Hero Taisen is probably one of my favorite Kamen Rider movies of all time. I’m not sure whether or not watching it in theater had any effect (the sword clashes were deafening loud), but I thought that the plot was very enjoyable with very few boring or stupid moments.

Now that the movie is over, it is time to shop. The night streets looked amazing and I went back and forth between Yodobashi Camera and Sofmap to see what I wanted to buy. Given how big the station was, it was not a very smart idea to cross it 2 to 3 times. The sky was also gently sprinkling back then.

The Kyoto Tower looks fantastic at night!

I arrived back at the dorm at a little pass 11pm. It is not a lie when I say I take a long time to shop. I can literally be in one store for 2 to 3 hours. I pondered for a long time about buying model kits and tools, and in the end I bought what you see above, excluding stuff for friends. This is exactly why I regret buying the HG Brave model kit back in Osaka. Because of that, I had to buy epoxy putty, compound, sandpaper and even spray paint. I do not regret buying anything else though. On my way back to the dorm, I even stopped by Book Off to get a manga.

For further reflection, I really do wish that I had better photos of the different places and stores I went to. For instance, there was a lot more of the Aeon Mall that I could have taken photos of. I also wished that I wasn’t so tight on the money and spent a little more on things like food. And I probably could have hurried up a bit when deciding what to buy. Overall, it was a fun day and I hope that I will get to see another movie again.

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