5 Things You May Not Know About Akihabara
- Maid Cafes
- Idol Concerts
- Video Games
- More Anime
I wonder if I progress further into Akihabara, he'll give me a special item. Or maybe if I take enough photos, he'll finally say something and teach me a special move. Akiba Man, you are a wonder of Japanese Culture. No but seriously, I am honestly fascinated and I always go searching for him whenever I visit. You can try talking to him, but I promise he doesn't say a word. He'll just stare at you with content.
This is pretty self explanatory, but will come in handy to those of you new to Akiba street! If you want to walk around easier without needing to worry about cars and motorcycles passing by, every weekend the roads are closed off so all the tourists and average shoppers can roam around easily. Sometimes there are events that take advantage of this, and so you might even come on a day where a festival may be held! Do keep in mind that it is because roads close on weekends that it only adds more crowds aware of this. Sundays are a good day to go if you'd like to roam the streets and have lesser crowds; the citizens of Japan have work early in the morning, and won't want to waste too much time here. But hey, some days you get lucky and some not so much. This tip will be good for those of you really wanting to run around and I also suggest you dedicate a day to Akihabara. Just going into one store will take up at least an hour depending how invested you are.
Kanda Shrine is a Shinto Shrine dating back over 1200 years that was rebuilt several times due to natural disasters. Today, it is a shrine where locals and tourists can pray to the gods for protection...of their gadgets and business. The shrine has become overrun with a multitude amount of otaku and anime charms. So feel free to come over and pay your respects to best girl at best shrine.
Kanda Shrine used to be a black market for radios during WWII which also came with halls under the train tracks that sold other electronics; and thus, the birth of Akihabara begun! Quite a fun turn of events from such a dark period in history, huh?
There are towers filled with anime figures, doujins, games, and more merch for the average otaku to overdose on. However it doesn't stop there, oh no. Stores also extend below the buildings for those wanting to explore more into the perversion of anime. Clearly I didn't take any photos of these places, because it's quite strict. You will come across stairs that go beneath various buildings you walk into. Watch your step, they can pretty steep, and I think the last thing you want is to recreate every fanservice scene from an anime...in a hentai store of all places.
I must also add, I have never seen another country so open with its erotic business than Japan. Keep in mind, these underground stores aren't there to hide away, but simply to make more room for just how much there is. If they had more room, they'd gladly put it out more. But I think they'd like to still separate the sexual products from the others. Did I mention these stores can extend up to 8 floors of pure eroticism?
Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of places where you can play games, take purikura, maybe some taiko, and a rhythm game or two. But they aren't as popular or packed as you think they would be. One game in particular I hoped I would find was DDR (Dance Dance Revolution); which unfortunately, is pretty obsolete now...even though there's already a new one out in the United States. I am not sure the main reason, but it could be a mixture of how console stores and other forms of entertainment have taken over the scene and made more money, and also people just growing out of games like DDR. This was the only let down I had, but not enough to crush my experience in Akihabara or anywhere in Japan! Just be prepared that pretty much all the arcades are overrun by crane games, purikura, and some fighting games. They're still a popular part of Japan, but not as much as they used to be. I still hit up the arcades if I find a good crane game, though...and never win.
So that was 5 things you may not have known about Akihabara! And if you did, then let me know in the comment section down below of any other experiences, places, or wonders of Akiba you think people should check out!
I'll end this article with a list of tips when you first come to Akihabara.
- Bring more money than you think you'll spend
- Go to Mandarake
- Go to Animate
- Waste Money
- Repeat Step 1
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