Tuesday, 6 August 2013

IPP33 - Day 0 - Friday 2 August

What: IPP33 (International Puzzle Party 2013)

Where: Tokyo, Japan. Held at the Hilton Narita, 15-20mins from Narita International Airport

Day 0- Friday 2 August 2013 (Free & Easy)

This was my first ever IPP! I had arrived in Tokyo the previous evening and Wil Strijbos had suggested the few of us to head to town for a Karakuri exhibition and sale at a large local department store called TOBU at Ikebukuro, Tokyo. As we were all staying at the Narita Hilton (which is a short distance away from Narita International Airport, Japan's main airport), we took a shuttle bus from the hotel to the airport and caught the Japan Rail express train to Ikebukuro, well over an hour away. And being puzzlers, we all promptly started puzzling away to pass the time during the ride.

Allard Walker laughing at George Bell's struggle to solve one of Neil Hutchison's wooden puzzles
Wil Strijbos & Hendrik Haak
John Moores all smiles after being the first to solve the Star puzzle

Me trying to find my way with the Screw Cube Puzzle by Roger
...still couldn't solve it by the time the train reached the station
Arriving at Ikebukuro station, we promptly found our way to TOBU and headed to where the Karakuri display was. It was not at all what we expected. Instead of an exhibition of hundreds of Karakuri boxes and puzzles we were hoping for, it turned out to be only small display of around 30 or so items, all which were for sale. The good thing was that all on display were samples one could play with before buying. Very rare indeed where sale of puzzles are concerned.

The Karakuri display puzzle samples at TOBU department store, where 
customers can play with them before deciding to buy
Everyone trying out the puzzles. From left George Bell, Hendrik Haak,
John Moores, Allard Walker and Marc Pawliger
The cosy (and inexpensive) sushi joint where we had lunch
Dessert time: Look at all the plates of sushi consumed! Hendrik Haak all smiles
after eating raw fish for the first time
After lunch we headed for Tokyu Hands, an amazing store that not only sells puzzles and toys but a huge number of other items including electronic goods, gadgets, puzzles, science project kits, household, outdoor, hobby, health & beauty and lifestyle products, many of which all of us have never seen before elsewhere. Their slogan is "When You Visit, You Find What You Want". A real gem in the city and a definitely "must-visit" place if you ever come to Tokyo. Here, several of us bought some Hanayama Cast puzzles including the recent Cast G&G as well as other items before heading back to our hotel for the IPP33 Founder's Reception in the evening. More to come.....

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    I'm selling my 'shaker' made by Roger from Germany , and I'm wondering if you might be interested.
    Here is the link to the auction :

    many Greetings