My Japan Visit - Wonfes 2018 Winter TripMy Japan Visit - Wonfes 2018 Winter Trip

Warning: pic and TL;DR heavy. Click on photo thumbnails for bigger pic. I'm using my Flickr to host my pics. Pics are SFW, there are some pics of a few bunny figures that are adequately covered.

I wrote this as a guide for myself or friend next time I/we go as I learned a lot from this trip.

I decided to stop by and take a vacation in Tokyo for 3 days after I was on a business trip to Asia. The plane flight was around $150 one way into Tokyo from Taiwan and I decided to try staying in one of those capsule hotels as I never tried it before (for the experience... why not). The capsule hotel averaged $20 a night with taxes which I thought was pretty good considering it was in the heart of Tokyo. Saturday night was 50% more as it was busy. Food and drinks was around $40-50 a day, I didn't go to any high end restaurant this time, just ate what regular Japanese people ate. Transportation was probably $9 a day as I took advantage of the Tokyo Pass. Wonfes costs $25 to enter. It wasn't too expensive as I did not buy any figures on my trip, I was in more for the experience and taking photos.

When I arrived in Tokyo, it was freaking cold (February 17-20 2018). The low was 0C and high was 7-10C. When going to Winter Wonfes dress warm!

Saturday 2/17


For those that never been to Tokyo before, Tokyo is a very VERY large and spread out 3D city. There are a lot of underground floors to explore and there are lots of stores and places above ground. There are sub-cities inside the city. It is like the "deathstar" if you ever looked out at the landscape from a skyscraper in the city center. It's literally buildings and concrete and buildings and concrete, see below pic I took from ~40th floor of the Shiodome last December.

The concrete jungle deathstar

I arrived in Haneda airport at 2am. Tokyo has two airports, one closer to the city in the south west called Haneda and another one farther away to the east called Narita. Both have good public transport to the city center. However, before 5:15am and after around midnight it is very hard to get any public transport anywhere from Haneda as all busses and trains and monorails are down. I never tried Narita yet but I believe it is the same. You can take the taxi but that's expensive ($100).

I withdrew YEN from the Seven Bank ATM machine at the airport using my USA bank's debit card. I needed YEN as I didn't bring any. The fee was around $2 for the Japanese ATM fee, $5 for my USA bank fee, and a 3% transaction fee for currency conversion. So I withdrew more than enough in in one go.

My Pass. They gave me a gift face towel also <3

I sat and browsed the web until 5:30am when the airport's tourist information store opened. I purchased a 3-day Tokyo pass for 1500 YEN. The 72 hour pass is the best value. The 48 and 24 hour do not make much money sense unless you know you will be moving around A LOT. The pass I bought lasts 72-hours after the first use of the card. When you slide the card into the gate machine for the first time it will stamp the date and time on the back telling you when it will expire.

It allowed me to travel on all Tokyo Metro and Toei subway lines unlimited which is nearly all the lines in Tokyo. This pass won't work on Japan Rail subway lines though. Japan has 3 subway line companies: Tokyo Metro, Toei, and Japan Rail (JR). Google Maps does a pretty good job labeling which is which, I can tell which one is JR because Google usually has a "J" on the line's code letters. Sometimes Japan Rail and Tokyo Metro lines occupy the same station (like in Akihabara), but certain entrances only allow you to go into JR or Tokyo Metro as they are separate companies so you may have to walk a few blocks to get to the right subway company's entrance.

If you ever go to Tokyo do some homework before to know where you want to go as the Subway map is quite complex. Also check which exit you want to take from the station as Tokyo’s stations can be ridiculously huge like Shinjuku, you do not want to take the wrong exit and have to walk 15 more more minutes back. All stations have a lot of English with intuitive signs so it was easy to get around.

The spaghetti map which I stared at for a long time figuring out which transfer stations to use

If you want to use something that is not the subway like the high speed Shinkansen or just regular train lines then you need to check out of the subway and pay for the separate ticket at the station as the Tokyo pass won't work.

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Pics of the Shinkansen to Nagoya I used last December 2017, it is very fast!

Japan Rail has a massive network of trains. To get to the city center from Haneda, I took the Keikyu line (not covered with the Toyko pass) and then went to my destination Kanda station using my Tokyo pass (using Tokyo Metro lines). The Keikyu line merges into the Tokyo Metro Asakusa line so I did not have to transfer out of the Keikyu line (I know getting confusing right?). You can alternatively take the Monorail from the airport but that stops at Hamamatsucho station which only works with JR lines and my Tokyo Pass wouldn't work there.

I spent Saturday visiting my capsule hotel which is in walking distance of Akihabara. I stayed at one next to Kanda station. I was only able to check in at 11am. The public shower/bath opened at 4pm (it opens from 4pm to 9am) so I went to sleep until 4pm to take a shower. They gave you towel, face towel, and robe. You wear the robe when going to the shower bath room. You need to use the showers and clean yourself first before you can enter the bath.

The capsule is actually decently large, I was able to put my laptop back and clothes inside. If you are over 6 feet tall it might be a bit small. The living quarter floors are very quiet. You cannot talk on phones and generally people do not talk, and are very quiet when unpacking and moving around.

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Everything was very clean and people were very polite and professional. There were lockers for use but if you have a very big bag you will have to leave it outside. The receptionist does not have any space for anything. On the ground floor there are lockers for your shoes, which you have to take off before entering inside the hotel. There was a shared common room which was had a lot of luggage, and the basement had the shared bath. The shared bath was very clean and water was very nice and warm.

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When leaving the hotel you gave the receptionist the keys and when you come back you ask for the keys. Next time I come I will bring less stuff, you do not have a lot of space to work with here. Privacy is also reduced for those that want privacy, there is not much in the showers/baths and bathrooms. The capsules have the entrances covered by straw or fabric cloth, so if someone snores loud you will need to bring earbuds...

After my bath I walked to Akihabara, I could take the subway but it's basically the same walking distance and time. This place has everything! There really is nothing like it in other places in the world. Figures, gunpla, dakis, gacha, doujins, etc are all here. If you walk through enough small stores you will likely find what you're looking. I visited several small stores that stocked gunpla and figures and fabric items. Then I went to the big multi floor stores like Radio Kaikan and Volks. The stores all have a lot of floors so you need to look up for signs of stores you want to go into. I spent a lot of time this time looking at gunpla at Radio Kaikan which has a HUGE selection.

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Akihabara looked really awesome at night with all the lights. I was able to find figures I wanted to buy but it is just too big to take on the plane. Next time I may think about bringing a big empty luggage, but it is a pain to get around the subway and trains and hotel with a big luggage and expensive delicate stuff.

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Sunday 2/18

Wonfes day! Sunday I woke up at 9am and went to Ichiba for Wonfes. The capsule hotel I stayed at had us check out everyday before 10am and they will give us a new room the next check in time at 11am. Since I had to exit my lockers in the hotel and I did not wantnto wait until 11 to check in, I rented a locker near the Kanda station for 500 YEN for one day. There is a lot of English instructions.

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Wonfes is far from the city center so I had to take the subway to an outer city Tokyo Metro station and then I used the Keiyo line to Kaihimmakuhari station and then walked 10min. The Keiyo line was around 500 YEN from the outer city Tokyo Metro station to the Kaihimmakuhari Keiyu line station.

Oh my god the map is huge

You can walk to the convention center using the elevated platforms, just follow the massive number of people. The convention entrance is on the bottom floor. You can buy the Wonfes book there for 2500 YEN and there will be a line, cash only. I got there at 11am so the line was small. You hold the book up when you want to enter the convention. You can leave the expo and use the book to get back in. The book is your ticket.

The book

The figure vendors hall

When I went inside the convention it was just freaking huge. I thought when I first looked down from the convention hall’s second floor that the one wing I saw through the glass was all there was and I thought to myself that this was manageable, but after entering on the ground floor there were like 3 whole wings filled with figures and people and I was like Ohkay.... you have to see it in person to believe it. It's not realistically possible to go through and appreciate each stand in the 10am-5pm time given. Some stands started exiting at 4pm-4:30pm time. I started prioritizing where I wanted to go...

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So many booths to go to. So little time.

I was trying to find where I needed to go until I studied the guidebook (it's all in Japanese...) and asked the info desk in broken Japanese and English. The book will have an index of vendors and where they sit. They had all the big companies (GSC, Native, Kotobukiya, Alter, etc) on one wing, in the lower number halls. These big companies had a lot of showy professional glass display stands and lights and onsite staff and kawaii cosplay girls handing out fliers. I guess they have a lot of money :3 The large vendor stand layout were less organized as some were very big and some small.

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Racing Miku bike, the bike was very light :3

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On the other two wings were garage kits and smaller vendors. There were also some mecha and doll items on display. These tables were more densely packed together in neat rectangular arrays and there was a lot to explore and see here.

There was a section just for explicit 18+ figures and other items and dolls which were on the left most wing, highest number hall. Some big vendors like Qsix were there instead of being with GSC and the other companies in the vendors wing. Nearly all 18+ were in exclusive areas and you needed a drivers license or something to prove your age.

In the center of the convention outside in the hallway, there were a lot of cosplayers with photographers. In the back of the convention outside there were even more cosplayers and photographers. There was just so many.


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You are able to photograph the models but you have to wait in line and the good cosplayers usually had an extremely long line. There were photographers ranging from basic iphones to professional $8000 DSLRs with flash and diffuser umbrellas. It was very fun when I tried photographing some of the cosplayers, but I only brought my iphone as I decided my camera was too heavy to bring on my trip. Everyone was having a lot of fun from the models to the photographers.

One thing I found out is you get used to waiting in line. There is a line protocol for just about everything. I accidentally cut the line one time to photo a figure since sometimes the lines are formed farther away from the stand to avoid blocking other areas which makes it not so obvious, I felt the shame..sooo sorry ..sumimasen... You have to wait in line to get your Wonfes book, wait in line to go to the bathroom (to do the #2...), wait in line for food, wait in line to get dressed in cosplay, wait in line to see or photograph highly sought after figures, wait in line to talk to and take photos of cosplayers, wait in line to buy merch... You get used to it but it does take a toll on your legs and back after walking and taking photos for 6 hours. And if you have heavy stuff in a backpack it can get tiring.

The Binding/Native stand was the busiest and the line was so long they had to loop people around several times. So sad :( I waited 30-40 minutes to get in to take my precious photographs and get a peak at what their next release was. Best 40min wait ever! People went HAM taking photos in the Native booth no wonder it took so long...

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That line...

Skytube was the next longest line but I did not have the energy to go through that line. The GSC and Alter and other company displays usually had manageable lines, you wait 5-10 minutes, eye-candy the pretty Jeanne or other Fate figures, take some pictures, and then let the guy behind you to do the same.


There are bathrooms everywhere. On the ground floor there are no places to sit if you're tired except the ground or some stairways, so bring a small fold chair if you want (although that can get heavy). It can get very cold but also hot when there are a lot of people close together and some places are heated more so dress accordingly. If hungry there are some food stands inside the convention ground floor that are pricier. There are food outside the convention center near the train station which is a 10 minute walk. You can always walk back in with your book pass, but it's more walking when one has already walked a lot! For drinks there are tons of vending machines and there are plenty of trash cans.

Next time I come to Wonfes I will likely bring a backpack. I didn't bring anything this time and holding stuff is not convenient. I will bring my DSLR but will need to figure out how to store it when I don't want to use it, they are heavy. I believe there are lockers at the convention hall but its still risky (although Tokyo seems to very safe in terms of politeness and respect for personal items compared to other places I've been to). I have accidently left my iphone and wallet on tables before for long periods and it never gets stolen, people just mind their own business.

Make sure you bring a large USB power bank to recharge your phone and other equipment. For international travelers, my USA T-mobile international unlimited data plan with 2G/3G speed in Tokyo was extremely slow to barely usable. The only thing I can use with some consistency is the Google Maps to get around. I would recommend renting a portable wifi hotspot the next time I visit Tokyo. There is no public wifi at the con. Fast internet makes quality of life and uploading and writing to the web much more enjoyable.

I was moderately excited at what I saw in Wonfes. I mainly collect 1/4 bunny figures. Here is my current collection:

My precious trophies...

There were a lot of new announcements from BINDing and FREEing. FREEing showed some new sculpts and painted figures which looked excellent. I took some photos of the new announcements (some are already announced in past WF):

RIP my wallet

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Shimakaze YES. Marie YES!!

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Shiro :)

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Sakura painted looks very nice

The Fate figures especially Jeanne were all very popular at Wonfes and had big lines. I found that they all looked very pretty but I am not a "must buy this" fate fan. They were good eye candy!

Monday 2/19

Monday was my relax and walk around Tokyo day. After walking so much at Wonfes I really didn't want to do much anymore. I checked out then checked in from 10-11. Then slept late and woke up after lunch. And then decided sitting around inside a capsule was a huge waste of time. I took the subway to Nakano and visited the Nakano Broadway stores. Inside the building, there were many floors with many tiny stores. Mandarake took up a good number of those small stores. The Mandarake Nakano is not really one store but a collection of very small stores. They mainly stocked vintage toys and also a lot of books and doujin.

Nakano Broadway

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Many many small Mandarake stores

After browsing everything I can find I bought a cream filled cake and went on the Subway to Shibuya.


When I got out of Shibuya, the subway was huge. It is ginormous. I got lost and my cell phone had poor signal deep underground. I eventually walked to Mandarake Shibuya and the entire store was a cave of Anime goods. They had everything and the store had a nice theme to it that made it very different from the other stores.

Mandarake Shibuya in the corner

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The underground store

After that I went to see the Shibuya crossing at night. Shibuya is amazing at night, lots of lights, music, and there were a lot of fashionable looking people (like those girls in Citrus...) There was an incredible number of people. At the crossing it was amazing how the number of people just kept refilling the street in between each green light. The population density is just huge and there are so many people above and below the ground. Tokyo is a very 3D city with people moving on multiple layers so finding stores using a 2D map can be challenging.

Red light ^ ^

Green light ......

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Lots of fashionable young people in Shibuya ;) Was very busy.

After Shibuya I took the subway to Akihabara for a final goodbye stop. I wanted to take a visit to Shinjuku but I my legs were already starting to fall apart.

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Tuesday 2/20

After waking up, I checked out, and took the subway and Keikyu train back to Haneda airport. I ate some Unagi at the airport and then boarded my plane back to the USA.

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Farewell.. Japan

Currently I am planning my next trip to Tokyo during Wonfes 2018 Summer. I found the Capsule Hotel to be much more pleasant than I thought, the price was very good and as long as you have set expectations straight it went pretty much as planned. Wonfes was a very fun experience and the city of Tokyo had so many mini-cities and small districts to explore it would take years to experience it all.

The food was also very good whether it was cheap and fast or a nice sit down. Next time I plan to bring my DSLR so I can participate in the Wonfes cosplay photographs and take better shots of figures, my iphone cam does not do my waifus justice... I'm also thinking about learning and making some cosplay back at home with my sewing machine, it was very fun seeing a lot of characters come to life.

Also I would pack less and focus on traveling light. Also bring a backpack for Wonfes and get a wifi hotspot. If I go to Tokyo as a side trip after a business trip to asia I will likely leave some baggage at the Airport baggage storage for a fee.

For flights booking I will try to avoid red eye ones as the subways are all closed, and waiting for the subway and waiting for the hotel to allow check in was quite unfun.
1,223 hits • 9 comments


oic °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
Thank you for sharing your trip experience! You also formatted your blog post so nicely, 10/10.
Only one woman in the native line >:(
but yeah great blog! i miss tokyo ;-;
Read it all, start to finish. What a very engaging blog!
Interesting, always wanted to go to Wonfes.

And the line to the Native figures was interesting. I always wondered what kind of people buy Native figures. They look just like anyone else.

*Locks the door*
ugendo ( ´-ω・)︻┻┳══━一
This was a lovely read. The capsule hotel looks so charming.
Great blog! Your writing made me feel like as if I was there myself!

I've been interested in attending Wonfes and staying in a capsule hotel some time in the future, and your experience really helped me know what to expect. And wow you really walked around a lot, I'll remind myself to bring Salonpas the next time I go to Japan xD
Amazing blog!! I loved all of the lovely photos and your detailed commentary, it almost felt like being there myself, thank you! :D
;_; what a dream to be able to visit japan AND wonfes

loved your blog <3
Well that was a short visit. Interesting article. You presented a pretty balanced perspective on the Tokyo experience and your travel tips are a nice touch. Regarding capsule hotels; I've stayed in ones where the rates are a bit higher but one doesn't have to check out and check in each day (the pricier one had an onsen). About the weather...sorry, 0C is not "freaking cold"...then again, I'm originally from Canada... ;-)
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