Akihabara

After my time in Ueno Park the last thing on my itinerary was to meet my friend in Akihabara. Akihabara is a great place for purchasing technology, parts for technology, to play games,  go to a cafe, or shop. The streets will sometimes have girls dressed as maids to try and get people to come to their cafes.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I couldn’t tell which stores were stores and which were other things. So I mostly just wandered around for a couple hours trying to find somewhere I was comfortable going inside to get food. Which I ended up failing at. There were pachinko parlors and ufo games, but nothing I particularly wanted to do or try, especially on my own. I did pass a world yo-yo tournament which was cool to watch for a bit. But when it started to rain I just went  into the mall connected to the train station and sat in their Starbucks until my friend arrived. The starbucks connected to the Akihabara station was packed but I found a little corner and sat and drank matcha.

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When my friend arrived she showed me a couple small stores with anime things. It was interesting to see what they had and what they didn’t. They had stuff for anime that were really old and some that were semi obscure as well as super popular things. But some anime that are being made into movies didn’t even have a section. I got a few things. I got a capsule toy (Gashapon ガシャポン) and a mystery box/ blind box ( also Gashapon) toy. I didn’t get what I was hoping for in either case though I was amused that they both followed a theme. I also tried a lottery while in Tokyo. Lottery’s are where they list different types of items and you take a ticket off the sign to the counter, pay for the ticket and then draw something out of a box. You don’t know what on that list you’ll get. It could be a limited Gashapon, a stuffed animal, or something else. I ended up with folders.

I think Akihabara can be fun, if you know what it is you want to do. There are plenty of popular cafes, like the Gundam cafe near the station. Other places have rotating cafe themes based on what’s out and what is popular at the time. We didn’t go to the Gundam cafe  since it tends to have a long line/wait and can be a bit pricey. If you want to shop for anime or video game things Akihabara isn’t the only place to do it. We found anime shops all over Tokyo and I was happier with a lot of the anime things I found outside of Akihabara then in Akihabara. If you don’t have a plan or even an inkling of an idea of what you want to do it can be overwhelming.

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