Tokyo, Akihabara - Electric Town (Day 3 Part 4)
One of my biggest regrets of this recent trip is that I did not go back to Akihabara for a second visit. This place is Electric in every sense of tyhe word. Even after a long day of walking around Asakusa and attending the Jidai Matsuri the mood of Akihabara gave me energy to buzz around the many stores.
I had very good timing for my arrival. On Sundays, Chuo Dori which is the main street in Akihabara, is closed to car traffic from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It had an almost festival sort of feel with music playing and tons of people walking randomly through the street.
I had read a lot of various guides and websites describing the area but to me nothing really captured who walkable the area was. The sites made it seem much larger and more confusing than the area really was. It is actually really easy to navigate. The later in the evening it got the more lively the area became.
I could hear the sounds of AKB48 (Japanese JPOP music group) playing at nearly every single shop I entered. AKB48 originated from there so it certainly makes sense and also they had just released a popular new single too.
Otaku is the Japanese word for Nerd or Geek and this is land of the Otaku for sure so I felt very at home. Endless amounts of electronic gadgets, toys, video games, models, music, anime and manga and very cute girls dressed up as maids promoting the many maid cafes located in the area. What is not to love?
Yodabashi Camera is just huge. I am convinced if it is electronic and in current production it can be found there. I have been to the one in Osaka and Kyoto also and I am always in awe when I walk around the store. I picked up an extra memory card because of course you can't have too many of those while travelling in Japan.
After Yodabashi, I had to visit Don Quijote AKA Don-ki which carries a little bit of everything from clothes and groceries to music, toys, costumes and electronic goods. On the top floor they have a place where the Jr members of AKB48 play daily. Sadly I was not able to get a ticket at the time but I enjoyed looking around a lot.
I hit several other popular stores in the area (Sofmap, Laox, Akky etc.) and decided to get something to eat. Being a foreigner some of the people handing out fliers kind of ignore you because they assume you do not speak Japanese and you are not their target demographic which was pretty much spot on in my case. That being said one of the girls promoting a local maid cafe who was dressed as appraoched me and gave me a flyer with her name and number and showed me to a local maid cafe. It was a wonderful experience. Sorry no Photos allowed but my maid was extraordinary. She was so cheerful and the Latte and om-rice were excellent. They draw a little face in ketchup on it for you.
To see or purchase more photos of Akihabara (Akiba) please visit my set here http://kfrates.zenfolio.com/p905428565
After being pampered and having had a busy day it was time to head back to my room and get ready for another big day the next day going to Kamakura for the first time.
Keywords: AKB48, Akiba, Akihabara, Anime, Asia, Blog, Bloggyness, Culture, Electric Town, Geek, Japan, Japanese, Maid, Maid Cafe, Manga, Nerd, Nihon, Nippon, Otaku, Photo, Photography, Sega, Street, Tokyo
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