Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ultra Machi, Part 2

Back a while ago, I wrote up a little piece on Ultra Machi, which at the time I thought consisted solely of the statue outside the station, pictures from the Ultraman movies on the pillars in the train station, and some banners on the street.

A couple of weeks back, I was visiting my favorite Kaldi import shop and coffee roaster, just outside the station, and as I strolled a little farther along the street I noticed Cafe Melody Shot M-78, a coffee shop that billed itself as an authorized Ultraman goods store. Naturally I had to go inside to check it out. The people were friendly, but a little hesitant to speak to a foreigner since they didn't know if I'd understand their answers. At the counter, they have an old map that shows the various Ultraman-related spots in the area, although some of them no longer exist. The map is also out of print and there hasn't been a newer version issued yet.

Turns out that the reason Soshigaya-Okura took on the name "Ultra Machi" is because Tsuburaya Productions, which produced the TV shows, was located about 1 mile away. However, they moved elsewhere and now there's nothing at the site to show that the studio had existed. At the moment, the primary attractions are Shot M-78, the Ultraman-themed street poles along the main street running in front of the station, the statue and banners, of course, and the 3 Flying Ultraman figures at the far ends of the streets around the town.

(Fliers advertising the December, 2009, movie.)

To find the flying figures, exit the station. A short jog to the right will take you to Kaldi. Now, from the station if you go down the main street to the right, the first figure will be a 20 minute walk away. Taking the main street left from the station will bring you to the second figure in about 10 minutes. If you take the short jog to Kaldi, then keep walking forward, Cafe Melody Shot M-78 will be about 3 minutes farther down the street on the left, and the third figure will be about another 5 minutes past M-78. I'll post more pictures in the next entry.

Cafe Melody Shot M-78 has a wide food menu, including curries and pastas, drinks and desserts. I ordered a blend coffee and a chocolate cake. The coffee came in a small cup, but was thick and strong, as was the small slice of chocolate cake. Both were 350 yen a piece, which is a good price by Tokyo standards. It was mid-day on a Thursday and I was the only one eating. But, there was a constant flow of mothers with small children coming in to look at the toys and occasionally buy an Ultraman book. I expect that they're busier during the weekends.

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