-Welcome to Akihabara!
Akihabara, also known as Akihabara Electric Town, is an infamous place within Tokyo filled with electronics, video games, and various otaku merchandise. During my visits to Japan, I have gone to Akihabara multiple times. The intrigue of having an entire section of Tokyo dedicated to such things were too good for me to pass up.
The merchandise initially drew me to the area, but the different shops and the people who frequented the area is what kept me coming back.
Read on to get a glimpse of this town!
The buildings were decorated with bright colors and ads— usually littered with video game or anime characters pasted on the side. The side streets may at first glance seem a little shady (rows among rows of stuffed shops, only a couple of people trickling in and out) but they are actually quite interesting to look at. Nearly every store was tightly packed with all things electronics or otaku-related. Whatever you might be looking for, Akihabara probably has it somewhere.
One of the best buildings, in my opinion, is Radio Hall, a multi-story building right near the train station (Electric Town Exit). Floors upon floors of otaku, videogame and electronic merchandise— I always spend at least a good hour or two there.
There are also a number of stores that sell many current, tech gear— cameras, laptops, DVD players, cell phones, etc. Many of them are out on display as well, so you can freely try them out.
If you’re looking for fan-media of your favorite Japanese pop group, Akihabara is also a good place to look (or Harajuku, especially for male groups such as Arashi). During my latest visit, there were quite a few stores that seemed to only sell AKB48 fan products (including, literally, a fan product. They sold fans of various AKB48 member’s faces on them.)
As a side note, a small warning: They do sell hentai in many of the stores there. Sometimes they’re sectioned off, sometimes not. There are also a good number of stores that cater exclusively to hentai and hentai-related material as well. As long as you’re comfortable with it, these stores are actually quite interesting to look at. Rows of glass cases filled with naked figurines in various poses — a unique site you won’t see anywhere else, that’s for sure!
Akihabara holds many fascinating and interesting sights and experiences. I would definitely recommend visiting there! It’s easily accessible as well, so it’s not too far out of your reach if you decide to stay in Tokyo. If you stay in the Osaka area, check out “Denden Town” which is basically the Kyoto version of Akihabara.