Friday, May 25, 2012

In Japan - Diver-City Gundam Front Tokyo

I'm alone, I'm done with class, I'm done with my homework and I couldn't find anyone back at the dorm because their classes start in the afternoon. Then what? Time for some adventure and travelling, of course!

Diver-City is actually a nice pun on Daiba city ("diver" sounds like "daiba--" when pronounced in katakana language; or some people call it Engrish, I guess). As you can guess, Diver-City is located in Daiba city. It was opened on April 19th 2012, but I didn't have the chance to go there until yesterday.

What makes me want to go there? Well, a life-size Gundam is a priority, but I actually watched a program called "every" on TV on Thursday during the Golden Week holiday and heard reviews of this yummy and affordable tonkatsu (deep fried pork) that is made by layering 25 sheets of very thinly sliced pork meat, and it's very juicy. So the adventure began.

I started from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station, taking the Marunouchi Line up till Ootemachi and switched to the Hanzomon line up until Shinbashi Station. After that, I took the Yurikamome Line, which is actually a monorail, towards Daiba.

The view from the monorail was brilliant, so even though it's quite a long ride, don't miss it :)

And then get off at Daiba station, U-07.

Upon arrival at Daiba Station, it doesn't matter if you turn right or left. The sign board says turn right for Diver-City, but even if you turn left, you will still reach this huge space with Aqua City building connected to it:

Before you proceed to Diver-City, if you turn left and keep walking for about 2-3 minutes, you will see a weird sight: the Statue of Liberty in Japan. Yes. The photo below was taken in Japan LOL. I was using my phone camera so I couldn't zoom in closer.

Once you're done, head back until you see this yellow figure below, and you should reach Diver-City.

And you should be passing this building :)

On the entrance of Diver-City I saw this notice. Well, the huge Gundam is actually not on the 7th floor but on the 3rd floor. The 7th floor is a Gundam museum, in which you have to pay for 1200 yen per person just to see Gundam-related merchandise. I'm tight on money and I'm not really a big fan of Gundam so I skipped it.

Before I went to see the Gundam I was looking for the tonkatsu shop mentioned in the TV program, and I found it: Kimukatsu.

I ordered the cheapest menu, Kimukatsu-don:

6 slices of tonkatsu, a half-boiled egg on top of white parts of shredded leek, and rice. As mentioned in the TV program, it was really juicy and flavorful, with no traces of undesired pork smell. And there was a good balance in flavor as well. This menu comes with miso soup and since it is located at the food court, water is free :)

Definitely worth the money!

Ok, next, the Gundam on the 3rd floor of Diver-City. I just need one word to describe it: MAJESTIC.

It's 19 meters tall, and it's supposed to be the life-size Gundam. Yup.

If you'd like to buy some Gundam merchanidse, there's a small shop next to the Gundam model. They sell plastic models and gachapon (instert 100 yen to get an egg-shaped container that has a random keychain / model / figurines / other stuffs). And it acts as a money changer as well, if you don't have 100 yen coins with you.

This is what it looks like from the front.

To the right of the Gundam model (next to its left shoulder) is a Gundam Cafe branch (I saw another branch in Akihabara previously).

It sells pre-packaged as well as ready-to-serve foods. And other miscellaneous stuffs, like this book:

I also saw a poster about beam kuchen, which is actually a word play on baumkuchen, a layered ring-shaped cake (look it up on Google if you don't know what it is; it's actually a German word). 70cm... you can definitely use it as a toy sword LOL.


On overall, the shop was decorated with silverish / steel-like interiors.

I think one of the popular menu on this cafe is the latte, with a picture of Haro and some other stuffs I don't recognize (probably some famous characters' faces).

Everything in Japan becomes a sellable item once it's linked to a character or an anime. Or a manga. I don't know if it's good or bad, but it's certainly innovative and interesting.

After that I decided to stroll around. I found this special Rilakkuma nuigurumi (dolls) to promote Tower Records.

Cute dessert-shaped plushies:

Maid Cafe. Hmm.

And of course, a game center called Round 1.

As I expected, it has the Gundam pod simulation. It costs 300 yen and I decided to be brave and give it a try. I still wasn't able to fully figure out the controls, but I somehow made it and got a rank B in the end. After I played this, I suddenly remembered about a scene in Gundam SEED where Kira Yamato, a normal civilian, stepped into a Gundam and was confused with the controls. I can understand a little bit of his feelings now. I just experimented with the handles and the pedals, and somehow it worked.

Another awesome game machine I found was this card-based game. You still have to press some commands on the machines, but at the same time you have to keep moving the cards. In this case, I believe that each card represents a football player on the field, and you have to control each card simultaneously while pressing the button on the left and right and side (most likely to pass the ball or something like that). It's a game that requires high level of concentration and excellence in multitasking. I really want to try it but I'll have to buy the cards and they're probably very expensive :(

Anyways, back to the Gundam pod game. I tried to take a picture of the interior but it was a small space (if you watch Gundam then you probably can imagine how crammed the cockpit is; it can't fit more than 2 people). The screen was made such that it's dome-shaped, making the scenery look somehow three dimensional.

There are two handles and two pedals, and there are 2 yellow buttons on each handle, one that can be pressed with your thumbs, and one that can be pressed with you index finger. Additionally, there are up and down buttons on the handle so you can choose commands during battle. And to the right of the right handle are start button and up and down buttons that have the same functions as the up and down buttons on the handle.

Additionally, you can also give commands through a voice speaker attached on the right side of your seat. It's positioned such that if you turn your head to the right you can speak directly into the speaker. If you turn on the assist mode, you can also hear voice assistance on enemy locations near you from the speaker.

I'm not entire sure what the right pedal is for but I think it was a gas pedal. The left pedal allows you to jump over a certain height (yep, it's not a brake pedal).

Last but not least, the Gundam Museum. I'm not too impressed with it but if you're a Gundam fan you'd probably appreciate it more than I do.

1200 entrance fee. Yup.


Comments are welcome, but please comment responsibly :)