5 Things You May Not Know About Akihabara

5 Things You May Not Know About Akihabara

By Aki D | 2017-06-13 | 5.8k views
Akihabara, also known as "Electric Town" is a famous city in Tokyo known for its 
  • Maid Cafes
  • Idol Concerts
  • Electronics
  • Video Games
  • Cosplay
  • Anime
  • More Anime
Typically when tourists come, they often want to hit up any of these attractions, which is great! But come here enough times, and you'll start seeing more parts of Akihabara you didn't notice before. Photos taken by Merryweatherey and various websites.
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I've been to Akiba numerous times and it wasn't until my friend told me about this guy. When you exit Akihabara, just as you're about to go on a shopping spree, you'll see this man almost everyday who just stands by the street near the Sega building standing in silence wearing oddly fashioned clothing. The days I tried finding him were hard, because he didn't show up on days where it was the busiest. I suggest if you want to catch him, don't go on a weekend or when there's a festival. Chances are he's hidden away in his chamber. When I took a photo of him, he just stared at me and looked away doing his thing; just standing there. I have not found anything on the internet about this guy, but if there is a special name that Japan has given him for those who have noticed, please let me know in the comments. I am quite curious, and to be honest, I felt like he was one of those rare characters in a video game that is about to play an interesting side quest for you where you'll get a rare item. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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 a hentai store of all places.

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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?
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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.

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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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    Evie Teacup
    2017-06-12 07:01:05

    Hi Aki, I love your blogs they're awesome and just as interesting as your videos, you have a great way of communicating your thoughts and ideas and I always enjoy tuning in to your content! As a blogger and aspiring vlogger, I only hope to be as awesome as you one day! I look forward to more of your blogs in the future! P.S. Maybe the oddly dressed man is the no face of Akihabara!

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    Jasmine Mo
    2017-06-19 03:54:10

    I like how you chose to write an article about the lesser known things about Akihabara. When seeing that name, most think about anime, manga, and overall what we call "otaku culture" in the states. Seeing this, it really gives me more incentive to come back to Tokyo and explore this neighborhood again. The "odd man" gives me NYC vibes, since we have some interesting characters here too. I would've liked seeing such a colorful character while abroad! The roads being closed on the weekends sound great too. My bf and I got some good shots in Akihabara, but knowing of the clear roads could have led to even more photo opportunities. That, and visits to Akihabara on the weekend. Seems like you get a sense of how many people really commute through the area. What I really appreciate is you informing us about the Kanda Shrine. Something that I find really appealing about Japan is that often times, the traditional coexists with modern culture. The way you described the shrine shows one of these moments where this happens. Traditional architecture coming into contact with anime is quite cool! Lastly, the arcades... Agreed. You have a point there too. I feel like arcades were more populated at other neighborhoods (i.e. Tachikawa, maybe Shibuya), mostly with students after school hours. Claw machines definitely dominated Akihabara, and that's where a lot of my yen was spent. You know that there's a 1% chance of winning, but something about them makes you want to keep trying. Also, nice little fact about Kanda Shrine's WWII history that you threw in there. You gotta love history! Sorry for typing so much. In short, I find this article very helpful! It is something I'll keep in mind for the next trip to Tokyo!

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