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Published on 03.31.2016
There is only place in the world like Akihabara which deserves its rightful place in being in the top 5 places to visit in Japan. This is a place where a person suddenly enters a new world. Drawings its roots in low-class samurai during the 18th century, Akihabara has changed drastically over time to the point that there are no similarities with its previous population.
The current day Akihabara, a mecca for anime, manga, retro games and electronics lovers, began during the post-world war era when it was a hotspot for buying radio components in the black market. Since then, it gradually turned into an electronics hub where any kind of electronic device can be found at cheap prices. The next wave of change began in early 2000s as the Internet became common place enabling people buy cheap electronic devices online. This didn’t translate into complete change of the environment, but instead resulted in many shops specialising in specific components that are very hard to find online. Many young readers may not understand this example, however, if your VCR has a faulty component, then this is where you can definitely find a new replacement for it and keep on the old times living.
The biggest electronics attraction in Akibahara is the Yodobashi store. It is a shop on a scale that cannot be found anywhere, with eight floors of electronics. With such a size, anything can be found there in endless varieties. Aside from its size, its prices are also a point of amazement for anyone. However, care should be taken with buying electronic devices as certain features may not match your local requirements, the most important of which is the voltage.
With the reduction of shops selling electronic products, came in the introduction of many anime, manga and game related shops. Today’s Akihabara, which is also called Akiba for short, is an otaku heaven. An “otaku” means a fanatic about a particular topic, however for many outside of Japan it refers to someone who loves anime and manga, and this is the place that many otaku consider their delightful heaven, where every inch of any building hangs huge colourful posters of the latest anime products. Being a haven for otaku, Akiba showcases the latest trends in the anime/ manga world. The latest trend being 18th century Victorian and French style maid dresses, Akiba’s streets are abundant in such cosplaying waitresses. Cafes with such themes are called “maid cafes” and are definitely worth a visit. Aside from maids, butlers have also become popular recently, and as such, butler cafes can also be found.
On Sundays, the main road in Akiba is closed during the afternoon to allow for visitors to walk around freely. Although the area caters to anime, manga, gaming and electronics otaku and not everyone may find them interesting, yet alone know what they are, Akiba is a must-see place for all it has to offer differing from any other places on earth.
Source: Happy in Japan (Youtube)