The infamous Akihabara, home to electronics shops, video games, manga, women in French maid outfits and a lot of single men. We decided to head there one afternoon with the boys. The word “subculture” does not do it justice.
Akihabara (Japanese: 秋葉原?), also known as Akihabara Electric Town (Japanese: 秋葉原電気街 Hepburn: Akihabara Denki Gai?), is a district ofTokyo, Japan. It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station. Its name is frequently shortened to Akiba (アキバ?) in Japan. While there is an official locality named Akibahara, which is also 秋葉原 in kanji, nearby (as part of Taitō-ku), the area known to most people as Akihabara (including the railway station of the same name) also include Soto-Kanda, a part of Chiyoda-ku.
Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, games and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. New parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme (near the station). Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics.
The first billboard to attack us. Celine .. really? There is no accounting for taste. On behalf of Canada, I apologize to Japan.
The street was closed (it was the weekend) and the throngs of predominately male shoppers crowded the streets (insert “very single males” joke here).
One of our first stops was a “hobby shop”. How do I know it was a hobby shop? The sign said so ….
In a Canadian hobby shop you would buy RC cars or models or maybe a model train. In a Japanese hobby shop you buy manga (graphic novels that are for every age .. it is still odd for me to see a 50 year old man reading one on the subway) or these, which I assume are some form of collectable.
This one made me laugh. Yes, she is wielding a broom. I wondered, why are they all white and blonde?
Candidly, we all found the overt sexuality of the manga and cartoon characters disconcerting and more than a little bit creepy. It was everywhere and clearly targeted at an older male demographic.
These three men were playing a dancing game together. I don’t think that you would see that in Canada. For the record, they were having a ton of fun and quite good at it.
This sign made me wish that I needed a new computer. After all, who can resist 4% off?
I assume this is Japanese English … see you on the fripside …
We entered a multi-story tourist shop. Swords, dolls, rice cookers, chop sticks, you name it.
And of course, cartoon dolls that danced.
My last shot as we left. He looks happy.
Another Japan top to-do complete.