“Spring Street Mosaic” by HorsePunchKid – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spring_Street_Mosaic.jpg#/media/File:Spring_Street_Mosaic.jpg
Similar to Japan’s vibrant array of trains and buses, one feature of New York City is its public transportation system. New York City’s subway has the distinction of being the second oldest running subway system in the world, and is one of the few that runs on a twenty four hour schedule.
Waku Waku +NYC is located near the G train, which is the only train line in New York currently connecting the borough of Brooklyn to Queens. With the exception of the G and the Staten Island train system, nearly every other train line has to run through Manhattan for travel between the five boroughs. There is a shuttle running between the convention locations (http://wakuwakunyc.com/locations.html), but for visitors who want to also see more of New York City before or after Waku Waku +NYC, the subway and bus are great options.
The base fare for the subway is $2.75 and there would be a $1 surcharge for a new Metro Card. While there is no unlimited day pass, there is a weekly pass for $31. Savvy riders should know that you can make one free transfer between bus and subway within a two hour period.
Have a subway map either in paper or electronically, and be aware that on the weekend, New York City has the weekender service (http://web.mta.info/weekender.html) in effect. The subway system is generally under repair overnight or during the weekend to repair an aging transportation system that sustains six million+ residents and visitors.
If you’re visiting beyond this weekend, and may not want to head to the regular tourist spots, consider these other Japanese/Asian interest spots that entertain the locals.
Lower East Side
Meow Parlour: This is New York City’s first cat café. This place very often does not allow walk-ins, but you can pass by and take a peek in at the cute kitties that reside here. Closest subway station is either F train, East Broadway or D train to Grand Street.
Baby, the Stars Shine Bright/Tokyo Rebel: This is the New York City Location for this sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita boutique. The closest subway to this location is either the F train to Delancey Street or the J, M, Z to Essex Street. If you’re okay to walking, the East Village is within the area. Don’t forget, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright will be holding a fashion show at Waku Waku +NYC!
Around St. Marks, there are plenty of Japanese eateries and ramen spots that include restaurants like Ippudo NY and Spot Dessert Bar. The closest stop is Astor Place on the 6 train. This area is often referred to as Little Tokyo.
Many places of interest can be accessed by either N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, 7, and S (the S stands for Shuttle) lines to Time Square, the B, D, F, M, and 7 lines to 42nd Street Bryant Park, or the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S lines to 42nd street Grand Central station. In addition to Midtown Comics (http://www.midtowncomics.com/), there’s Muji (http://www.muji.com/us/) which is a Japanese lifestyle store.
Across the street from Bryant Park, there is Kinokuniya Bookstore, the world’s premiere Japanese bookstore, and within walking distance is Lady M, noted for their lovely Mille Crepes cakes. A couple of blocks away, there’s BookOff, Japan’s largest used bookstore, and walking further north there’s Nintendo World and Uniqlo around Rockefeller Center. Down south in Times Square, there’s a Sanrio Popup store (http://ny.racked.com/2015/8/5/9100287/hello-kitty-pop-up-times-square) around 47nd street as well as the Disney Store, where you are bound to find Tsum Tsum products.
While this list of places is focused more specifically on lovers of Japanese culture, this is only the tip of the iceberg to what New York City has to offer. So enjoy Waku Waku +NYC and travel a bit around New York City if you have the time!
Waku Waku +NYC is a brand-new Japanese pop culture festival in Brooklyn, NY this August 29th to 30th that celebrates video games, anime, manga, music, food, art, and more. Tickets are on sale now!