This post is actually a couple weekends old – like Michelle, schoolwork has been keeping me busy!
I went to the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba on Sunday, September 18th with a couple of friends from school. We left Ontakesan Dorm around 8:00 am, and it was quite a long journey – we took the Ikegami line to Gotanda station, the Yamanote line to Tokyo station, and finally the Keiyo line until the last station. It took us a little over 2 hours to get to the actual convention center (getting briefly lost included); then, of course, there were lines to wait in before even getting inside – however, it is safe to say that it was definitely worth the wait in the heat.
The opening day for public admission was Saturday, but even on Sunday TGS was crowded – literally the whole center was packed full of people. There were two buildings, and both housed the booths open to the public. Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Konami, Capcom, and Square Enix were some of the biggest booths, and each had different displays set up. You could wait in line to test a variety things – we tried to test Sony’s Playstation Vita, but, unfortunately, the lines were closed when we got there. Instead we walked around for a little while, looking at the different displays and watching the trailers for all the games. I was, however, able to test out Mass Effect 3 and Biohazard: Revelations (once again – long lines!), which I must admit made me pretty happy!
Another thing that made TGS fun was seeing all the cosplayers walking around. There was a small area outside between the two buildings where cosplayers were holding photo shoots, and it was interesting to look around and find people dressed up as characters who you recognized. Even though I have seen cosplay done at conventions in America, it was different to see here in Japan. It really was amazing to look at all the intricate costumes people had put together to wear, and every single one was perfect down to the final detail. Also, another thing I found interesting in contrast to American conventions was that cosplayers here don’t wear their costumes to the convention – there are designated changing rooms, so people bring their costumes there and then change into them.
It was a little nerve-wracking going up to cosplayers and asking them for pictures (写真をとってもいいですか？/shashin o totte mo ii desu ka?), especially since the first person we asked actually said ‘no.’ But, as with any language barrier obstacle that I’ve come across so far here in Tokyo, it quickly became no big deal and we were able to take a lot of great pictures.
All in all, TGS was an incredibly fun way to experience some Japanese pop culture (also a good time to nerd out over videogames), and whether you’re interested in videogames or pop culture or just looking for something interesting to do, make sure to keep TGS in mind if you happen to be in Tokyo during the Fall! To make it even sweeter, TUJ’s OSS (Office of Student Services) gave out flyers for a 50% off student discount, so we only had to pay ￥600 with our TUJ I.D. instead of ￥1200 – definitely worth it!
Oh, and one final reason TGS is worth going to - tons of freebies!