The worst days will end. The best days will end. Remember that. From 6/25/2020 – 7/12/2020, there is a special MOTHER exhibit featuring works by Americart and 35 different manga artists on the 8th floor of the Shibuya Parco building. As an avid fan of the series, I had to go the very first day the gallery opened up. It’s completely free so if you live in Tokyo you have no excuse not to check it out. You won’t be disappointed!
Though I wasn’t initially familiar with the artists, the artwork on display has a tasteful style that fits the theme of the games. You will see familiar characters from all of the series and be lost in nostalgia as familiar music from the series is plays overhead. Seeing this really made me want to go back and play all of the games again:
There are photo spots where you can pose with Ness’s hat and various characters from the series. I love how the hand sanitizer was creatively incorporated into this exhibit too. It definitely gave me a laugh! There is a monitor where you can see the speed paint process of Americart’s work too. There was a ton of effort put into this and it really shows:
In addition to the Pollyanna art book and comic anthologies, there are T-shirts, bags, pixel charms, jewelry, and plushies for sale. Unfortunately the giant Mr. Saturn plushies on display are not for sale, but you can purchase a miniature one that comes with a house for 2500 yen. I picked up the Mr. Saturn bag for a mere 600 yen. It has amazing quality and is super stylish. I can’t wait to wear it out! I am so happy I had the chance to experience yet another nostalgic videogame exhibit.
After eating the legendary floating noodles and having some aesthetic dining experiences in Kyoto, I figured I’d point out two of my favorite cafes there as well. They both involve two of my favorite things: small animals & videogames so naturally I had to check them out. I will be detailing my experiences below so hopefully more people will decide to visit!
Pug Cafe Living Room
Pug Cafe Living Room is a small space where you can interact with adorable little pugs dressed in colorful jerseys. It was opened in the living room of the Japanese family’s house who owns it and currently there are 15 friendly pugs that reside there. The system is very simple; you pay 1500 yen to enter and you have a full hour to play with the pugs. The entry fee includes treats so naturally the pugs will come to you if you feed them! They are quite energetic so it was difficult for me to take photos, but I really enjoyed my time here. You can extend your visit for 500 yen per 30 minutes if you wish. The cafe is a bit more crowded on the weekends but I was able to walk in on a Saturday and not have any wait time. Be sure to check their calendar to see if they are open because they do have some irregular holidays. If you are a pug lover, this is an experience that you can’t miss.
Cafe la Siesta is a retro gaming cafe located in central Kyoto with 8bit-themed drinks, old school games, music events, and more! I lucked out by coming here on a Wednesday night when all of the arcade games were free to play. I ordered a Space Invader drink that had Crab-shaped ice cubes which was highly aesthetic and tasted awesome. The wall of cartridges was also quite fun to check out because their collection of games was massive. I’ve been to many gaming bars in Asia, but this and Space Station in Osaka are my favorites due to the friendliness of the staff and the welcoming atmosphere (not to mention the interior decor). I was only here for a short time but got the perfect buzz.