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Starbase, Tokyo (or... 'the Takahashi Shop!') **Warning - Pic heavy!


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Just going through the old back-up drives on a wet Saturday afternoon...

Came across these pics from our holiday to Japan, back in 2016 that I never posted to SGL - meant to... better late than never!

Japan was always somewhere I'd wanted to visit back from the days in art college.

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The graphics, comics, cartoons, culture, video games (that Designers Republic work done on the Playstation game 'Wipeout', will always stick in my designer memory, it was so modern and out there, so non-Western) and import consoles. Reading in awe about that 'Akihabara' electronic district (sounded far sexier than Dixons, Currys and Comet on the UK high street), those Japanese girls.... (I'd got my Konnichiwa sorted in anticipation!) and Alpahaville's 'Big in Japan' (1984) plus Aneka's 'Japanese Boy' (1981) for those old enough to remember those... 'classics' !

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We did it as a package holiday with VJV around J's school Easter holidays so we got to see the cherry blossom. Julie is a secondary modern languages teacher, French and German. When in Austria or Switzerland walking (we were pre-Covid doing quite well working our way through the Inghams 'Lakes and Mountains' brochures), they think she's a German lass married to an English guy - as she turns to me to explain when the next train is coming, etc.

But she readily learns (and remembers) Italian, Spanish, a bit of this and that, Icelandic and Finnish on the planes over (when she's not explaining just how different they are and one, I think Finnish, is similar only to Hungarian... "isn't that fascinating?" - errr, no, not as much as the film dear!) and turned her hand to Japanese as well on the KLM flight to Osaka! I was rubbish at languages. It went in one ear and out the other. Our teacher at school, who we still occasionally see, thinks it rather amusing that the 'language idiot' actually ended up getting by when abroad.... by marrying his own Babel fish - it's so much easier than having to learn it!

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So Japan, 2016, I was turning 45 and we were just about to pay off the mortgage - didn't matter about the cost, we were going and I had it in mind that I would somehow get to the famed... 'Takahashi Shop' (I'd read and re-read the posts on CN), once we got to Tokyo.

http://www.starbase.co.jp

As it was my birthday, I was sure I'd be allowed to go!

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At the end of one day's extensive tour, as we were heading back to the hotel, I asked the guide how to find the place (obviously I'd already asked if I was allowed to). After the sort of weird eye contact between the wife and guide, how only women can do, that says without words 'not another bloody odd-bod male thing he's come up with', with the map displayed on the phone, we headed off for our first time onto the Japanese transport network on our own... I always thought it would be good for J (in a sort of 'sadistic' way), to understand how it feels to be abroad without being able to understand the signs or the language (I think she did get it), but she did a grand job of delivering me to 〒110-0006 Tokyo, Taito City, Akihabara, 5−8 秋葉原富士ビル 1F plus it was still open - I hadn't checked that in my excitement...

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Amazing Aladdin's cave of (mostly Tak) telescopes and astro stuff ! Not a word of English and some stilted Japanese from Julie. I'd gone 'prepared' though with some of my own astro pics saved from my SGL account and some pics of my Tak gear loaded onto the phone - I think he got that the EM400, FSQ and the TSA were mine as I flicked through them - well, I pointed at the pics on the phone and a proud me and spoke in slow but clear English, just as 'we' do abroad when 'they' don't appear to understand perfectly good English.... he went away and came back with one of Takahashi's early fluorite scopes, the TS 90, the precursor to my 102s.

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http://astrosurf.com/sogorb/takahashi/takahashi_ts_refractors.html

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One day we'll go back, J wants to see the monkeys in the hot springs and  I think both of us would like some more time in Tokyo.... I'm sure I'll be able to wangle another visit... but let's just drool and dream for now...

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Stop dribbling!

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Well, I must have made the right noises, the ooo's and arrhh's, a good few bows and smiling....

Julie I think he said I can have it..... NO !

But Julie... NO !

...ok... I'll give it back then...

Not even for my Birthd.. - NO !

[removed word]...

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Have I died and gone to heaven...?!

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... J: "you used to look at me like that...." !

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J telling (scaring), the nice manager, "He's got more than enough scopes for one man, how many does he need..? No, he's not allowed to buy anything", in Japanese of course so I don't understand!

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I'm sure that's the look of, 'you surely have had enough time in here now, you've surely got enough pics for your forum thing and you must surely realise you're not getting any of them...??!!'

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I presume this is fluorite...?

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...although I've no idea what the white toothy creature is below !

Julie, can I hav... "NO"...... ok.......

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Gives a clear idea of the old green and newer blue Tak colour scheme...

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... Julie... NO !

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We'll come back, one day... can't we dearest...?

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Hope that was a bit of fun anyway...?

Damian

 

Edited by TakMan
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If I were to end up in that shoppe on a walk through the streets, I would be leaving without my wallet, clothes, signed my home over to the owner but, I would be complete!.

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Thanks for posting all the pictures. My daughter and husband love going to Japan. They love the culture and animation.  The telescope shop owner must have quite a sum invested in astronomy stock. Like the picture with the telescopes displayed in the street outside the shop. Imagine these telescopes being made off with if displayed like that in London.

Ha, if I was in that shop I'd chain myself so I did not have to leave the telescope paradise.

Edited by Grumpy Martian
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10 minutes ago, Grumpy Martian said:

Thanks for posting all the pictures. My daughter and husband love going to Japan. They love the culture and animation.  The telescope shop owner must have quite a sum invested in astronomy stock. Like the picture with the telescopes displayed in the street outside the shop. Imagine these telescopes being made off with if displayed like that in London.

Ha, if I was in that shop I'd chain myself so I did not have to leave the telescope paradise.

I hope you are dropping hints about bringing you home a souvenir 🤣👍🏻

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Myself and Lorna have decided that Japan is our honeymoon destination (either 2022 or 2023). Looking at these pics, I might just leave her there and bring back a nice Vixen refrac and a few EPs.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Just noticed the amazing price on the FC-100DC at 191,000 yen. That’s only £1200 back in 2016!!!!!

Amazing photos, thank you for posting, it must have been a great experience!

Edited by festoon
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My Mum was Japanese, so I've been there several times. Last time was on honeymoon in 2012. Didn't see the Tak shop but did see the annular eclipse from Kyoto - my avatar was taken then.

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Great story.  I've been to Japan about 50 times but never to that shop.  There is a whole floor of the Akiba superstore in Akihabara devoted to astronomy (and photography).  Takahashi plus Vixen etc.  If you are into your RC models there is also an amazing multi floor TAMIYA shop.  It used to be in Akihabara but has now moved closer to Ginza.  Everything is Tamiya and the prices are less than half of the imported versions.  Also easier to fit in a suitcase than an f/13 frac!

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That's a great post Damian, and an experience you'll no doubt remember vividly for the rest of your life. What a pity we don't have a shop in quite the same league in this country. 

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Thanks Mike, thought you'd appreciate the post.

I should point out here that J isn't.... 'quite'.... the dragon as I portrayed for the comic effect (!!!), she did in fact buy me two small gifts while I was busy taking photos in the shop.

The paper 'zodiac bauble' hangs above my desk as I type. The keyring has a working mini planisphere on it's reverse.

D

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22 minutes ago, TakMan said:

Thanks Mike, thought you'd appreciate the post.

I should point out here that J isn't.... 'quite'.... the dragon as I portrayed for the comic effect (!!!), she did in fact buy me two small gifts while I was busy taking photos in the shop.

The paper 'zodiac bauble' hangs above my desk as I type. The keyring has a working mini planisphere on it's reverse.

D

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Is the key ring fluorite?

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On 31/01/2021 at 00:00, festoon said:

Just noticed the amazing price on the FC-100DC at 191,000 yen. That’s only £1200 back in 2016!!!!!

Amazing photos, thank you for posting, it must have been a great experience!

Tak are meant to be a lot cheaper in Japan.

Wonder how much a direct import is?

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