The Tokyo Experience: Day 3 Part 1
Have you ever gone into a store and said to yourself, "I want everything in here"? On the third day of my Tokyo adventure, this is what I said to myself, only I was not talking about a single store, rather an entire neighborhood. Akihabara is like Mecca for computer nerds and geeks worldwide. It is one of those places that you read about on the internet and everyonce in a while catch a glimpse of on a website. If there is ANYTHING that runs on batteries or plugs into an electrical socket, Akihabara is where you will find it. The gadget burrough of Tokyo is sometimes also rightly named, Electric Town. I was in heaven.
When you get out of the train station in Akihabara you immediately realize this is not your normal Japanese neighborhood. Its noisy, there are people wandering around in cosplay outfits(people dress up like their favorite anime characters), every sign you see has to do with the buying or selling of electronics, and everyone is carrying a shopping bag of loot garnered from one of the hundreds of vendors. Some vendors don't even have shops, they pull up to the curb of a side street and spread out their wares on the sidewalk. I saw one guy doing just that, he had an assortment of power supplies, computer cases, fans, and other doodads spread all over a sidewalk. As I said, if you like electronics this place is a dream.
Come to think of it, if you like porn, this place will suit you too. The Japanese for one reason or another automatically associate anyone who likes computers with porn. In fact, Akihabara has the biggest adult store I have ever seen, it was five storeys or bondage, panties, videos, and anything else you could associate with the act of love making or screwing (there is a difference). You may be asking yourself, "Hmm, why was Tyson in an extremely large porno store?" I have a good reason, one of the others in my group had gone astray and I innocently went in to retrieve him. I gave up this mission once I hit the second floor and realized how huge the place was. Anywho, back to the electronics stuff. :)
Akihabara is about ten square blocks of nothing but gadgets....and porn....and anime/manga. Basically, if you are a nerd in any form, this place will suit your needs. My friends and I spent the entire day here and all of us came away with loot. I picked up a ceramic white PSP and a few games, Karie got a new camera, Ben picked up a PSP game, and Monique grabbed an iPod Nano. All in all, it was a damned good day.
Several funny things about Akihabara:
First, it gets so busy during the afternoon that they actually close down the streets to car traffic for several hours every day. Second, when Ben and I were wandering around we saw a huge group of people gathered in the middle of the street taking pictures with their cell phones and cameras. We thought that maybe there was a fight underway and went to investigate. What we found was a pair of scantily clad bunnies, two sexy police officers, two French maids, and one random girl in latex posing for the cameras. Needless to say, I did the right and mature thing and started snapping pictures as well.
Here are some of the pics from the day's Akihabara adventure, sorry they are all jumbled up, Blogger has weird CSS templates for these that don't work well with a lot of pics being displayed at once: