Home Forums General General Advice on trip to Japan

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  • #74548
    BarksBarks
    Participant

    Hi all,

     

    I’m about to spend ten days in Japan- my first trip. Can anyone offer me advice on things of interest to a wargamer, e.g. hobby shops, Samurai museums, castles, etc? I’ll be in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.

     

    Thanks!

    #74551
    shelldrakeshelldrake
    Participant

    Akihabara might be worth a look for kits (part of Tokyo) and the Edo Tokyo Museum (Edo Tokyo museum) next to the Sumo wrestling building is well worth a look. The Edo part has some great historical things to look at, including 1:1 scale model houses showing how people used to live, and there are some armour and swords on show.

    This museum also has the WW2 surrender document tucked away in a corner too… I was staggered when I found it.

    Kyoto itself has some fantastic sites to see in relation to historical buildings, including a nightingale floor at one of the places.

    As for things for wargamers – they can be as rare as hens teeth, but they are there. My in laws were amazed that I had such a hobby when I first met them on my first trip to Japan. Not too sure where to point you for this one.

    This web site is well worth a look for what castles and places are worth visiting: https://www.japan-guide.com/

    I am happy to find out some information from my wife if you have any specific questions you would like answered.

     

    Also, the lonley planet travel guide book is good for a browse and a place to start further investigations.

    #74625
    BarksBarks
    Participant

    Thanks for that! I think the Edo museum is currently closed, unfortunately. Looking forwards to this trip

    #74629
    shelldrakeshelldrake
    Participant

    Will this be your first trip?

    I really love Japan – every trip there has been awesome.

    If you use facebook, there is a facebook group you could visit for more info on what to buy and where. It appears they are all ‘gaijin’, so English wouldn’t be a problem if you ask: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kantogamers/

    A lot of gamers (RPG and board games included) seem to be very active on twitter as well shoud you use that medium.

    #74639
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    Thanks for that! I think the Edo museum is currently closed, unfortunately. Looking forwards to this trip

    That’s a shame. I found the Edo Museum to be exemplary of what a fun, interesting museum of history should be like. Much more immersive and inspiring than the Tokyo National Museum, which felt to me like the archetype of an old-fashioned, “stately and dignified”, rather stuffy sort of museum (although the objects on display were obviously still worth seeing, given that national museums tend to get all the finest things). Really, the Edo Museum and the Tokyo National Museum feel to me like each others’ opposites – both are well-funded “national prestige museums” but they have entirely different philosophies and attitudes as to what kind of experience visitors should walk away with. I hope more history museums all over the world will take after the Edo Museum. It’s the model of the future for museums.

    That said, neither the Edo Museum nor the Tokyo National Museum has much military-themed stuff, and you did ask about things specifically of interest to a wargamer. But there’s still a lot of “indirect” inspiration to be had (or at least there would be if the Edo museum was open), especially if you’re interested in gaming chanbara-style adventures in “civilian” feudal Japan beyond the battlefields and army camps.

    The Sword Museum seems to be closed as well. Shame. It’s relocating from Shinjuku to a place adjacent to the Edo Museum.

    As for “hobby shops”, when visiting Akihabara make sure to go into the Yodobashi Camera megastore. That is, assuming you’re on board with the fact that in a mainstream Japanese context, the closest thing to “hobby”, as we miniature wargamers usually speak of it, is model-building. A large part of the sixth floor of Yodobashi Camera Akihabara is dedicated to that. Just don’t expect to find anything more closely related to miniatures wargaming anywhere, except some GW stuff in a very few of the smaller stores catering to the more abnormal/rogue breeds of niche otaku.

    #76272
    BarksBarks
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice! I’ve distilled some of my findings onto my blog. I had a great trip, looking forwards to doing it again sometime.

    #76316
    shelldrakeshelldrake
    Participant

    Looks like you have a great time there – I can’t wait to go back. Fingers crossed it will  be next year.

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