Sunday, April 28, 2013

Canned Bread and Other Interesting Japanese Souvenirs

I thought I would show a few of the interesting souvenirs the group of us picked up in Tokyo on our recent February 2013 trip.  We bought a wide range of stuff, ranging from CDs to clothes, but these are some of the more interesting items.  Many of these are anime related as I'm an anime fan.
All types of candy and chocolate including these cute little dwarf pocky that are twice as thick as the regular ones.  Chocolate and other types of candy or gum are always a nice souvenir you can enjoy later to remind you of your trip.  The sad part is always about running out of treats.
Exclusive T-shirt and other items from the Evangelion Store in Harajuku.  I really like the designs on some the coffee mugs there.
Catbus and Jiji from the Ghibli Store.
A set of tempura food models from Kitchen Town or Kappenbashi.  We bought individual tempura and assembled them into the set displayed in the photo.
Yamanote Line coin bank found at Yodobashi Camera in the Toys.  This bank plays three different train station tunes and lights up when money is deposited.
Sushi Candy set where you make the candy from mix.  Looks cool and tastes good.
A Mei and a super extended catbus from the Ghibli museum.  The Ghibli museum shops have some exclusive merchandise.
Ramen noodles that you cannot buy here.  I'll actually be doing a post on instant ramen in the future. This Raoh ramen from Nissin is a pretty deluxe bowl of ramen with real meat, bamboo shoots, and veggies.
Evangelion canned bread from the Anime Center in Akihabara.  The plastic lids on top also have markings on them so you can cut a slit in them and use the can as a coin bank afterwards!
Close up of the can. Rei and Unit 00.
After you pull the top off.  You see dessicant and a nicely wrapped bread.  Has a very bready smell.
The bread - I think they actually bake it in the can.
You pull the bread out of the can by the paper.
You unwrap the bread.
Closeup of the bread. 

http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html

I was kind of skeptical about this bread myself.  The Rei one was a strawberry flavoured bread and the other Unit 00 themed can was a plain bread flavour.  The stuff has a shelf life of about 6 months and actually tastes pretty good.  The texture of this bread is kind of like the cheaper / non-flakey croissants you can buy at the supermarket with a nice similar bready, croissant flavour.  It was okay to eat and I'll pop the other one open before its expiry and chow down on it too.
A whole set of 10 cm high Evangelion Figures.  You buy these in sealed boxes so it is kind of random getting what you want.  I bought an entire box that will contain two sets in some random packing order.  There are shops where you can buy opened boxes or a set that has already been opened.  These were nicely detailed and run about $6 each.
Link to another post I did about Japanese Souvenirs.

Calgary Comic Expo 2013 Impressions

I just returned from Calgary Comic Expo 2013 after a weekend trip down to Cowtown.   While I'm not a big convention attendee I've been down to Comic Expo three years in a row now for just a portion of the Saturday.  The convention organizers really picked up their game this year it was like way better organized this year and way bigger in terms of square footage.  There was a bit of walking, but even exchanging our prepaid tickets for badges and wristbands was easy.
Horses and a lineup for the 10 AM opening on the walkway.
They expected some 60,000 people to attend over the 2.5 days and they've managed to make it a much more pleasant experience.  There were the crowds, but you didn't feel squashed like last year.  Last year with the complete assemblage of the Star Trek casts was just nuts for attendance.
Lego Star Wars
Awesome Iron Man, but it came out blurry (figures).
The crowds
There was an abundance of cosplayers in attendance and you saw them prepping outside of the convention halls and I always wonder what the Stampede staff thinks of this stuff compared with the old wild west persona of the city.  The mayor helped kick off the event in a cosplay parade and that is one of the aspects of Calgary that I like the most.  The city gets behind their major events like the Stampede, the Winter Olympics, and now Comic Expo.  I saw some awesome Batman, Iron Man, Mass Effect, and even Jessica Rabbit cosplayers amongst the many folks who dressed up.
Comics for sale
I checked out a whack of booths on the floor and met a few of the shop keepers who I know from their actual stores in Calgary like the Sentry Box and Phoenix Comics down there.  I didn't realize that you pay for the booth and then you can also pay extra for power and for wi-fi.  There is always a nice mix of collectibles and comics from east and west there and I'm sure that plenty of people go home richer in assets and poorer in cash.
Art Books
I was actually interested in talking to some of the artists with booths there and trying to figure out if anyone did art that was good for a book cover for my Exocrisis Blue series of books.  I made a few contacts and hopefully I'll be able to commission some fancier cover art for my mecha science fiction ebooks.  I can write but I sure cannot draw like these guys and girls.  I met people who were just starting out and trying their hand at manga, students from Alberta College of Arts, to some commercial graphics artists who have graphic novels as a passion.
Bumblebee with Autobot logos to boot!
All in all, it was pretty fun and it is always fun seeing the great costumes and cool things to get.  Crazy thing is that even after leaving the expo, I ran into Bumblebee in the parking lot for a Shanghai restaurant across town.  Transformers are rolling!



Monday, April 22, 2013

I Saw the Corpse Flower (World's Tallest and Smelly Flower) at Edmonton's Muttart

Wow. I've seen the Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest free standing tower this year, and now the world's tallest flower.
Muttart Conservatory Pyramid

This flower is a carrion flower called Amorphophallus titanum that grows in Sumatra, Indonesia.  The plant I saw at the Muttart Conservatory on April 22, 2013 had to be seven or eight feet tall (over 2 metres) and it flowers for a couple of days before dying back to a bulb (a big bulb).  The people at the conservatory also said the plant really stinks, especially when it had just opened up.  The smell is like old rotting garbage on a hot summer day or dirty diapers.  When I went I didn't get to experience the full 4D effect of fantastic smellovision - that is good I think, but some people were saying they caught a wiff. Some of the specimens of this flower have been measured at over 10 feet in height or 3 metres too!  The plant is rare and there are only like 5 flowerings at different gardens around the world each year.
The Giant Carrion Plant
It's pretty tall
Closeup of the petals.
This plant was pretty cool to look at and the petals at the base actually reminded me of a big cabbage.  The life cycle of this plant is pretty interesting too as it grows from a bulb that puts up a totally different stem that looks like a little tree.  This stem comes up each year and dies off, then comes back the next year.  It happens again and again over many years with the bulb storing more energy until it decides to put up a flower.  The stench is supposed to attract carrion beetles to pollinate the plant.


It was actually pretty nice to go to the conservatory as spring has been pretty late here in Canada this year.  The greenery was really nice.  Also, included below are pictures of a Japanese Persimmon tree, followed by some photos of one of the worlds oldest surviving species of trees, the Dawn Redwood or Metasequoia glyptostroboides (gotta love the name).

Persimmon
Persimmon
 Dawn Redwood fossils date back to the age of the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago.  It has leafy needles and drops them in the fall too kind of like a larch. 
Redwood
Redwood needles
We thought it was pretty crowded when we got there as it took 45 minutes to get in after another 15 minute wait to buy tickets.  When we left at 8 PM there had to be a lineup a block long out there with hundreds of people waiting. 

You can view my trip to the Tokyo Skytree here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness and A Great Set of 2013 SF Movies

This is a good year to be alive to see all of the great science fiction flicks coming out. This isn't going to be the most intellectual film produced, but it'll be fun.  Oblivion is already out and I'll probably catch it on Bluray despite the reviews.
  1. Star Trek Into Darkness is looking like it is going to be quite a showdown between Kirk and Khan?  I'm amongst the fans who thought the first movie was a great reboot that captured the essence of the main characters, so I'm breathlessly waiting for this one! 
  2. Leading up to the movie release, the new Star Trek videogame is coming out and it is Kirk versus the Gorn's again.  The Gorns are looking badder than ever and they have multiple Gorn castes or subspecies it looks like.  Some of the pre-release buzz around the game makes it sound pretty good, but we'll see when it releases next week.  Best of all, for the game there is a really good trailer that stars William Shatner and the Gorn.  The trailer is hilarious if you've seen the original episode.  
  3. I also previously blogged about the giant mecha / robot movie Pacific Rim earlier and I'm hoping this is going to be a blockbuster hit! Big robots versus giant monsters done with really good CG. Here's hoping to great characters too!
  4. The Elysium movie is also coming this summer.  This is where the elite have left the devastated surface of the earth and live in a high-tech space station now.  One man scratching out a living on the ruined earth needs to get at the advanced medical technology in Elysium and has to take on the system to get it.  This is from the director of District 9 and it looks pretty good from the trailers.
  5. This Superman reboot looks like it could be pretty good too.  I like the original Superman movie with Christopher Reeve a lot so this has a pretty high bar to jump.
  6. Iron Man 3 is coming!  Who doesn't like the old Ironman armour.  Even Disney now has their first Marvel themed attraction at Disneyland where you get to see the Iron Man Armour Room!  This movie has a lot to follow up on after the Avengers last year and lets hope it's a good one.  Best of all, I hear Pepper Pots gets to don the old armour too to save her beloved.
  7. In the fall, I'm looking forward to the movie adaptation of Ender's Game.  This should be a pretty good sci fi movie about the Battle School.  Just have to read the novel now.
  8. Finally, another comic book movie.  Wolverine.  He gets to become mortal again and travels to Japan to get it.  Samurai / ninjas versus Wolverine's adamantium claws!  This should be a good one.

Japan Evangelion 3.33 Blu-ray / DVD Release, Ginza Exhibit, and Tie-Ins

April 24, 2013
The date above is a pretty good date if you live in Japan.  That is the date that Evangelion 3.33 You Can(not) Redo gets released in Japan on Blu-ray and DVD.  Boy do I want to see this, but I'll be waiting for awhile longer...

I'd be pre-ordering it myself if it had English subtitles, but it does not, so the event is kind of a non-event for me.  The PSP game "Black Rock Shooter - The Game" finally gets an American release the day before on April 23rd as a PSN download.  I'd be really excited about that too, but of course, the love didn't get spread to the other North American Free Trade partners of Canada and Mexico.  So up here in Canada, where spring doesn't seem to want to arrive this year, these happy event is not happening...

Still, it is pretty darn cool that the discs will be released as it is a step closer to a release in North America (glass is half full point of view).  On the Japanese release, there is the 10 minute long "Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo" short. This live-action tokusatsu short was created by Anno and Studio Ghibli for a way cool museum exhibit I blogged about previously here, and it screened with Evangelion: 3.0 in the theaters. I would be very interested to see if it gets released here too!

With the Blu-ray/DVD release, there are a ton of marketing tie-ins on right now and a future Evangelion exhibit coming up in Ginza.  The Evangelion Store, Lawson, Sega, Shick, and other stores are all doing promotional tie-ins for merchandise.  The Matsuya department store is doing the Evangelion exhibit from August 7-26 on the 8th floor of their Ginza store. The exhibit is supposed to offer a glimpse behind the creation of the Evangelion franchise with documents, illustrations, and more.

The Sega Arcades have special prizes and have promotional decorations up.  Lawson is offering to sell you an exclusive clear file if you buy select items.  The Evangelion Store has special clothes and a special line of tights that look pretty cool with the designs on them.  The tights are called "Shibuya Harajuku Eva Project 02 w/ Evangelion x AvantGarde Tights."  Check out the links below for the awesome consumerist goodies to buy with your hard earned money!

To see all of the cool merchandise, check out the really good Crunchyroll link below.
This one is a bit of a side note, but there's a popup store for Monster Hunter Fans too!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm Giving Away My Ebook HARM (Mecha Action SF) FREE For a Limited Time!

HARM 
(Humanoid Assault Reconnaissance Machine)

The free download period is now over.  Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the free download while it lasted.  I've had nothing but good reviews.
  • Please leave some feedback if you like it.  I'd love to hear more.
  • Refer it to a friend if you like it.
  • And do consider buying the loose sequel, Raid on Kahamba at Amazon too! I don't make much on it, but every copy sold is a real vote of confidence.
My Publications Web Page at Peterlok.blogspot.com

I'm a big anime mecha fan, but I prefer the more realistic mecha anime series such as Full Metal Panic, Code Geass, FLAG, or Gunparade March.  Mecha from Evangelion, Appleseed, and Gundam kind of cross over into realistic but have many elements of the super robot mechas such as the Mazinger, Getter Robo, Gunbuster, Grandaiser, etc.  There are tons more mechas I could mention, but I want to talk about HARM today as it is about mechas of the more realistic variety.


HARM is the title of my first story that happens sixteen years before the main storyline of Exocrisis Blue. It is hard science fiction with an anime bent that I believe most mecha anime fans and military SF fans would enjoy.  I have received good reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads which is a great thing for an indie author.  There is also a loose sequel to HARM titled Exocrisis Blue: Raid on Kahamba that has more mecha action of the same caliber.  Currently, I am writing Exocrisis Blue: Neo-Ace, a short novel that will continue building the future history of Exocrisis Blue with more political intrigue, mecha technology advances, and exciting combat action.  So stay tuned and try my books on Amazon!  I appreciate your support if you purchase a copy as it is a strong vote of confidence.

In HARM, mankind is fighting a desperate action to keep the invading aliens at bay to keep from being exterminated.  This stand-alone story (approximately 9400 words or 30+ paperback pages) is all about future robotic warfare with intense mech verses mech battles.  All the weapons of the near future battlefield are utilized from autonomous battlefield robots, main battle tanks, powered infantry in exoskeleton battlesuits to unmanned drones. HARM is about the first combat use of a giant, humanoid robot, fighting machine against the invaders.  Can these new humanoid weapons turn the tide of the war?

You may also visit my HARM entry at my author's blog page here.

A brief excerpt from HARM
... Readying his coil-gun he aimed past the silo to where the first spider-mech would appear.  Safety off.  Coil-gun in single mode, he thought.  “Safety off. Single mode, acknowledged,” replied the AI.  Single shot mode was the most powerful mode for the gun, but it would take 10 seconds before the capacitors would recharge for the next shot.

He was nervous, his hands felt a little damp, but he remained steady.  The front of the first mech appeared and he waited until a third of it entered his line of sight.  He sighted on the center of mass in front and below it’s primary gun, the targeting programs automatically adjusting for range and other parameters.  A squeeze of the virtual trigger in his right hand caused the coil-gun to kick back.  One hypersonic, depleted uranium penetrator fired out of the coil-gun with a loud bang.  A moment later, the slug hit with devastating power.  The full power shot punched clean through the side of the spider-mech in a small explosion, with most of the kinetic energy from the projectile focused on a tiny surface of armour that was blasted apart.  Inside the mech, the penetrator and spalled pieces of armour ricocheted through machinery, interior walls, bodies, and the main power plant.  All the stored energy inside the power plant instantaneously burst out and the resulting explosion tore the mech in two. 

“Target destroyed,” the AI called out...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Great Mini Role Playing Games In-between Your JRPG Sessions For Iphone, Ipod, and Ipad.

When I last blogged about all of the fantastic trade and hobby shows you could see in Tokyo, I mentioned that mobile games where a booming sector at the Tokyo Game Show.  For myself, I like Japanese Role Playing Games and many other types of console games, but I am finding it very convenient and fun to play shorter, but still very satisfying games on IOS.  In this post, I have compiled a list of RPG type games that I have enjoyed playing on my iPad over the last year or two.  Many of these are cheap and well worth the time and money to play.  Many of these games are from small studios who could use your support for their innovative and entertaining work.  You can also amass a nice little assortment of games on your iPad or iPhone for those road trips for very little money.

Knights of Pen and Paper
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knights-of-pen-paper/id549248038
This is a fun little games.  The core idea behind this game is to reproduce a table top role playing game experience where the gamers sit at a table in front of the dungeon master who gives them quests to perform.  You can buy all kinds of weapon, spell, and ability upgrades and even fight dragons later on (I got smoked the first time I decided to go after one).  The base idea for the game was simple, but you can tell that they did put a great deal of thought into doing it well.  Very fun after a slower start to level up your characters.  Nice retro graphics too.  No need for in-app purchase.

Dungeon Block
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dungeon-block-girl-rescues/id503080382
There is a whole genre of connect 3 or four type puzzle dungeon games that started out with Puzzle Quest (I think).  These can be very challenging when they work on a timer and Dungeon Block: Girl Rescues Knight is one of them.  I like the graphics in this game, and it is quite a bit of fun to play once you wrap you head around the mechanics of making these huge long strings of attacks for more powerful combos.  It works differently than Dungeon Raid and Dungeon Story and can be frustrating at the higher levels - but I finished it without in-app purchase - Princess Saves Knight!

Dungeon Raid
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dungeon-raid/id403090531
This was a well received matching puzzler where you level up your character to see how long you can fight on.  Connect potions to restore health, swords to attack, shields to raise your armour, and coins to buy better equipment.  Elegant concept and fun to play.

Dungeon Story
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dungeon-story/id560744147
This game has a concept that is similar to Dungeon Raid but puts you on a quest where you fight ever more challenging monsters as you go.  You level up, buy better gear, and slug it out with elemental damage too.  Again a fun little game I always keep on my iPad.

Tower of Fortune
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tower-of-fortune/id517689892
Tower of Fortune is a retro graphics dungeon slot-machine game.  I usually avoid the slot machine games as they only try to get you to sink money into them, but these dungeon slot games give you a low cost way of getting your slot-machine fix and have some genuine fun at the same time.  I played this game a great deal and managed to get all three endings.  You need to get keys to unlock the final boss battle and to fight it again to get all three endings.  When you get a chance to get a free key after defeating certain monsters you take it!  Also, look out for the bosses on each level as they get tougher each time you play against them (you can randomly meet a boss every time you play a level again - you will have to grind).

I like the retro-LCD graphics that are in use in this game.  The bar brawls and recovering your strength at the bar / inn was a nice touch!

King Cashing
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/king-cashing-slots-adventure/id455070641
This is a more complex dungeon slot than Tower of Fortune with snazzier graphics.  The combat system in this game is fairly complex as there are different types of weapon / attack combos to achieve.  You can also buy and equip better gear as you go that gives you better odds in the slot machine combat.  The first screen shot shows a bit of the map with some limited branching on your journey to defeat the final boss.  I found this game pretty fun too and it occupied my time for quite awhile.  If you're looking for a dungeon slot machine game - this one is a keeper.  I beat the boss too without any in app purchase.

Keep on gaming!

Monday, April 1, 2013

You Love Crowds! Comiket, Anime Fair / Contents Expo, Tokyo Game Show, Design Festa, and More

This post is an overview of some of the big conventions and trade shows that happen in Tokyo.  Whenever you are visiting Tokyo there is the chance you could catch one of these big event trade shows that run the spectrum from only for otaku to only for car aficionados.  Both times I have visited Tokyo I have been lucky enough to catch some type of design show or media festival.  It is always a nice break from just touring around if you have the time.
Anime Contents Festival  Flickr / Danny Choo

http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html


For anime / manga fans there are always the big shows like Comiket and the Wonderfests, but there are also more mainstream shows that would appeal to your artistic or engineering side too. These big events have so much on display that you're bound to find something to like!  In this post I'll cover the:
  1. Tokyo Game Show
  2. Comiket
  3. Japan Media Festival
  4. Tokyo Wonder Festival
  5. Tokyo Motor Show
  6. Tokyo Auto Salon
  7. Art Fair Tokyo
  8. Tokyo Design Festa
  9. Tokyo Anime Fair
  10. Anime Contents Expo
  11. Tokyo International Tokyo Toy Show
  12. International Robot Exhibition
Tokyo Game Show
This used to be a massive show when Japan ruled the game universe.  Times have changed, but the show is still big and if you like games it is probably work attending if you are in Tokyo in the September time frame.  Mobile games are making big inroads and you can see the change happening from console to tablet / smartphone.  Consoles are still around for that full, big game experience, but you have to admit that there are many innovative smaller games from indie developers hitting the scene on mobile gaming platforms.  I would love to attend this show one year just to see it in action.
http://tgs.cesa.or.jp/english/

The Tokyo Game Show, commonly known as TGS, is a video game expo / convention held annually in the Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, Japan. It is presented by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) and the Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. The main focus is Japanese games although it is used by a few international video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware as well. Like Gamescom, the Tokyo Game Show allows the general public to attend during the final two days. From wikipedia.

Comiket
I think this is one of the holiest quests in anime / manga fandom for the Japanese manga lover.  Comic Market is held twice a year; once in August, and once in December. These are typically referred to as NatsuComi (??? Natsukomi) and FuyuComi (??? Fuyukomi) (contractions of Summer and Winter Comiket) respectively.  I would love to attend and skip the crowds as the videos and reports about the crowds and lineups kind of scare me.  Probably like Disneyland on a really crowded day and it has to a real expedition with porters if you're really into dojinshi.  I don't read Japanese, even though I love the art, so that automatically limits my interest.  Dojunshi are independent comics made by fans and they even crossover into using the actual properties of the big publishers.  The publishers allow this limited fan expression as it promotes their work and it is believed that enables a far more vibrant and creative manga scene to happen.  Many big name mangaka started out as dojinshi artists.  Read more about dojinshi here.

Comiket (Komiketto), otherwise known as the Comic Market (Komikku Maketto), is the world's largest dojinshi fair, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan.  The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees. Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people. It is a grassroots, DIY effort for selling dojinshi, self-published Japanese works. As items sold in Comiket are considered very rare (because dojinshi are seldom reprinted), some items sold at Comiket can be found in shops or on the Internet at prices up to 10 times the item's original price, and in certain cases, more than 100 times.  From Wikipedia.

Japan Media Arts Festival
I actually caught a show for the grand prize winners when I was in Tokyo last time for this.  It was pretty entertaining and was really interesting to see all of the different types of art and media on display.  I blogged about the visit here. The last 16th Annual Exhibition of Award-winning works was held from February 13-24, 2013 at the National Art Center.  I didn't pick up the big guide, but it did look like there was plenty of English text too.


The Japan Media Arts Festival is an annual festival held by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs since 1997. The festival for a nominal year was usually held during February or March next year, rather than at the end of the nominal year. For instance, the 2010 Japan Media Arts Festival, where award-winning works for Year 2010 were exhibited or screened, was actually held in February, 2011. During the festival, awards are given in four categories: Art (formerly called Non-Interactive Digital Art), Entertainment (formerly called Interactive Art; including video games and websites), Animation, and Manga. Within each category, one Grand Prize, four Excellence Prizes, and (since 2002) one Encouragement Prize are awarded. These are sometimes also called Japan Media Arts Awards. From Wikipedia.

Tokyo Wonder Festival
There is both a Summer Wonfes that happens in July and a Winter Wonfes that happens in February.  The show is hosted for one day at the Makuhari Messe each time and shows off a wonderful selection of beautifully crafted models and figures made by both pro and independant artists.  I'm into collecting models and figures so this is a show I would love to see - even with the big lineups.  I've only seen smaller model exhibits so this would be a nice big, new experience that I have only seen in photos.  The photos are often awesome and make me want to attend.
The Tokyo Wonder Festival or Wonfes (wanfesu) for short, is a bi-annual event to display and sell "garage kits", which are sculptures that usually replicate anime and game characters, but also popular mecha/sci-fi characters and creatures. These models are extremely detail oriented, and many of these sculptures appear in very small quantities due to the amateur nature of their reproduction. Unusually skilled artisans are promoted specifically during the "wonder showcase" (WSC), in which their works are given special attention and limited quantities of their masterpieces are sold for high prices to avid collectors. It also showcases future releases by major toy companies. From Wikipedia

Tokyo Motor Show
I like seeing futuristic / concept cars and this is one of best shows for that type of thing that happens once every two years.  More cars need gull wing doors too.  Some of the smaller cars are really cool looking with their high-tech designs too.  Again, this would be an interesting show to attend if you happen to be in Tokyo in the October to November time frame.

The Tokyo Motor Show is a biennial auto show held in October–November at the Makuhari Messe, Chiba City, Japan for cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles (Venue and Location need to be updated for 2011). Hosted by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), it is a recognized international show by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, and normally sees more concept cars than actual production car introductions which is the reason why the auto press see the show as one of the motorshow's big five (along with Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris). From Wikipedia.

Tokyo Auto Salon
I don't know much about this show, but it looks interesting if you're into customizing cars.  The Tokyo Auto Salon (Tokyo Oto Saron) is an annual auto show held in January at the Makuhari Messe, Chiba City, Japan for Performance and custom dress-up parts and technology display. Hosted by the Nippon Auto Parts Aftermarket Committee (NAPAC). Mercedes at Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 The Tokyo Auto Salon is one of the top motor shows globally for modified and tuned cars (Jek, 2013). The 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon featured 802 vehicles, 452 exhibitors, and 3,608 booth that offered aftermarket accessories for purchase (Wijayasinha, 2013). From Wikipedia


Art Fair Tokyo
One of the big art festivals in Tokyo along with G-Tokyo and Roppongi Art Night.  It moved to the spring time frame (March) some years ago to match up with cherry blossom season and is a huge event with international participation.  If there is an art or craft you wish to see, it is probably here!  A good percentage of the exhibitors are about modern art.  This event happens at the Tokyo International Forum (I love this glass building!)
Tokyo Design Festa
One of biggest art / design festivals in the world and definitely in Asia.  The event takes place in the Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba and is being held in May.  This is another show I would love to see.  It is starting to look like you have to visit Japan on a monthly basis to see all of this wonderful stuff.  The imagination, talent, and expression of artists everywhere is a fantastic thing to experience.  The next event this 2013 will see more than 10,000 artists from around the world.
Anime Contents Expo
Right now there are two big anime trade shows that happen in Japan.  Anime Contents Expo (ACE) is the new kid on the block that was originally supposed to have started in 2011, but was cancelled due to the great earthquake that hit that year.  The event occurs for two days in late March at the Makuhari Messe and was very well attended in the two years it has been running.  Many new anime announcements and all of the great trade booths with your favourite show are here.  This seems to be the show set up by manga and anime companies for anime companies to show off their work.  This expo started out as a protest against a new law regulating manga that passed in 2010 for Tokyo when a boycott of the Tokyo Anime Fair was organized.  I think I would attend ACE over the Tokyo Anime Fair if I were to take one of these shows in myself.
Exhibition Hall, Makuhari Messe International Exhibition 1-5 (2-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture  261-0023) 

Tokyo Anime Fair

This is one of the largest anime trade fairs in the world that takes place in March at the TOKYO BIG SIGHT 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 http://www.bigsight.jp/english. The first few days happen during the week and are for industry members only, then the last two days happen on the weekend when it is open to the public.  The Tokyo Anime Awards are given out here.
International Tokyo Toy Show
This looks like a fabulous show to see toys from all over the world.  See the newest and best stuff before Christmas and be prepared to corner the market on the next big thing!  Seriously, this would be awesome to attend just to see all of the toys!  This event happens in June at the Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba.
International Robot Exhibition
Wow!  I love robots.  I've seen the Asimo at the Miraikan in Odaiba and that was pretty cool, but a whole trade show for robots - that would be awesome!  The International Robot Exhibition is held every 2 years and 2013 marks its 20th anniversary.  Robot manufacturers from all over the world and Japan hold this event as the best robot fair on the planet I think.  It takes place in 2013 from Nov 6 to 9 at Tokyo International Exhibition Center, Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba.  From industrial robotics to the latest in robotics technology - it all seems to be here.

That's all for now!  Already too much to see - you'd have to live in Tokyo!