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A Video Guide To Akihabara 121

freaklabs writes "Tokyo Hackerspace just put up a video guide to Akihabara in Tokyo, an area that's densely populated with electronics components shops. We get a lot of questions about where to go over there and also requests for guided tours so we figured it's probably best just to put up videos, descriptions, and Google map markers. It was always difficult to tell people where to go, since the places are hard to find, so we're hoping this makes it easier for visitors to Tokyo that want to get their geek on."
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A Video Guide To Akihabara

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I went; it is fucking awesome!

    • by object404 ( 1883774 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:39PM (#33701018) Homepage
      For those who want to live a little more dangerously, you should try Shenzhen, right beside Hong Kong. It's the new Akihabara and all the new bleeding edge mix & match gadgets the rest of the world hasn't seen before is there. It's now also the electronics manufacturing hub of the world since Everything now's made in China :)

      Check these sites out for some of the goodies:
      http://shanzai.com [shanzai.com]
      http://micgadget.com [micgadget.com]
      One of the most interesting non-knockoff gadgets to come out of there last month is the Apple Peel [micgadget.com], a smart jacket you can slip over an iPod touch that turns it into an iPhone.

      Not everything over there is fake knockoffs and Shenzhen China's Shanzhai [wikipedia.org] garage hardware hacking & remixing culture is very interesting.

      You should also check out the blog of Andrew "bunnie" Huang [bunniestudios.com], said to be the first guy outside Microsoft to hack the X-Box & wrote the book on it. He co-founded & created the Chumby [chumby.com] (open source hackable hardware gadget) and his adventures in Shenzhen [bunniestudios.com] are pretty cool.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        mod parent up. Lived in Tokyo, live in China.

        Shenzhen godzilla stomps Akihabara on everything geek except girls dressed as Sailor Moon and Manga. Google "SEG Market Shenzhen"

        Even most East / Northern Chinese cities put on a better geek gadget market than Akihabara these days.

        Sure - there is plenty of shanzai, but there is just as much wierdtech you wouldn't have seen online, or in a western city, or thought you needed. Ironically, the lack of IP protection, safety code enforcement, and easy access to manufa

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

          Ironically, the lack of IP protection, safety code enforcement, and easy access to manufacturing is spawning a world of innovation that just wouldn't be possible elsewhere.

          There's nothing ironic about it; that stuff was DESIGNED to retard progress for specific financial gain, by making it harder to sell small improvements to the designs of others. Go sit in the corner with Alanis.

        • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

          Shenzhen godzilla stomps Akihabara on everything geek except girls dressed as Sailor Moon and Manga.

          Akihabara has girls dressed up as books? Hurray! /Zoidberg

  • From the third video, I wouldn't mind doing a tour of those maids myself...
  • Is there an American Equivalent to this place? I feel so third-rate here in the USA :-(
    • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

      After going to Tokyo a few times, and living in Canada, the fact that North America sucks becomes pretty apparent. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Canada and the US has its moments too, but the sheer amount of technology and the railway infrastructure in Japan, along with the fact that you can find something to do at any moment there is kind of.. well, it just really puts things into perspective.

      • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:34PM (#33700990)
        But why do we need a big electronics bazaar nowadays? You can buy anything anywhere, including from home.

        When I went to Disneyland recently I was disappointed all the Main Street shops are just the same, full of Disney trademark Chinese-made trinkets, with little differentiation even between themselves. I thought, 'is it just that I'm a grownup now?' But no, my kids didn't care for it either. Why? Maybe because they're a Disney store at every local mall, and because searching 'Disney' on ebay [ebay.com] returns over half a million results. I really think physical location has become less significant in the last 30 years.

        Similarly, when I visited the Guang Hua Market [slashdot.org] in Taipei, I saw nothing I couldn't have shopped for much more easily online.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          The problem with online retailers is shipping.

          Not only do you have to pay more for shipping it takes forever. Returns are also a pain, plus there is more of a chance that something could go wrong with shipping. Even with the best online retailers, returning a defective product could take a week or so, rather than just a few minutes with a physical store.

          If my HDD suddenly dies in my desktop, I'd like to have a place to go to in order to pick one up that evening and be up and running by the next day
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by timeOday ( 582209 )
            Certainly waiting for shipping can be inconvenient - then again neither is shopping at Akihabara :)

            But OK, everybody has his price. I admit to spending the saturday before the Super Bowl last year scouring every big box store in town for a nice flat screen at a competitive price. I really wanted one THAT DAY. But I didn't find one, and got a really good deal on a refub Sony Bravia from ebay instead. It was still an enjoyable game on the old Trinitron, and I saved something like $400 on the new LCD.


          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Shipping is one of the biggest problems with online retailers, but the other is knowing what you want to buy.

            Try shopping online for something that you don't know the technical term/trade name for.

            Try comparing different items online when you don't know what the difference in the specs translates to in real world performance.

            Sometimes you need to see the selection in person to know what it is you actually want to buy.

          • by Hooya ( 518216 )

            Another drawback is just plain browsing..

            With physical stores, if you went browsing, you'd see a lot of shit that you wouldn't otherwise. Maybe that'd even give you an idea or two. With online stuff, while it seems counter-intuitive, you only get what you search for - in other words, you don't get exposed to things you didn't think to look up.

        • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by veganboyjosh ( 896761 ) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @01:05AM (#33701302)
          Sure, you could buy anything from anywhere from the comfort of your home. Isn't there something to be said for browsing? How much inspiration comes from looking at that bin of wiring harnesses and realizing this other harness that you hadn't thought of would allow you to solve some other problem...allow your project to do more?

          I've about given up on being able to go to a hardware store (in my local town, USA) and asking the hardware store employees for help solving some problem that requires thinking outside the box. If they don't sell some product that solves my problem, they don't carry it.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          But why do we need a big electronics bazaar nowadays? You can buy anything anywhere, including from home.

          Probably because if you wanted to, you could hop on transit and pick up the parts and build your project over the weekend. Fresh idea + Momentum = Exciting!

        • People are quick to hate on their cities here but are you SURE that there isn't a big electronics shop? There actually is where I live. Place is 100% DYI stuff. You need some parts, caps, resistors, etc they got what you need. Big warehouse of a place. Not as cool or famous as this, but there. So have you looked for local places that might be what you want? If not, don't bitch.

          Also don't bitch if you love somewhere small. Please remember this is in TOKYO. The population there is north of 13 million people.

          • A majority of the Fry's Electronics are in California. Lucky we have one here close to Chicago, but not every American city with 1 million + population has a Fry's Electronics. And no, Best Buy does not qualify as a DIY store.

      • Yeah, that's why the two most popular smartphone platforms in Japan were developed by American companies, ditto for the most popular portable music player, the list goes on. Yeah certainly the selection and service at Japanese big box stores dwarfs those in the us and Canada, but so do the prices. You'd better prepare to pay out the ass for a lot of this stuff.
        • That's also why every processor in every desktop PC in the world is designed by American companies, and many of them manufactured here too. But that's it. Oh well and graphics chips, every one of those, PC, or console, from the highest end workstaiton card to the lowest end integrated is designed in North America (US for nVidia and Intel, Canada for AMD). But nothing else... Well except airplanes. The US has one of the two major commercial plane manufacturers (Boeing) which are designed here. ...getting the

      • Have you considered the effect an EMP has?
    • Once upon a time there was NYC's "Radio Row" near Cortland and Canal streets, but that started dying out when the WTC was built and the whole area got turned into yuppie hell. Several blocks of stores selling all manner of electronics, parts, military surplus, tubes, etc.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Row [wikipedia.org]

      All that remains of this history nowadays are a couple stores selling crappy car stereo junk.

  • Great Guide (Score:5, Informative)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:21PM (#33700954) Journal

    I've been to Akihabara before and it's extremely confusing, much like the rest of Tokyo, so I'm really happy about this guide. I watched a few clips from it and it's easy to follow and the google maps addition is great. My only request is if you can do it for the rest of Tokyo :)

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you can find a phone in Japan that can access Google map that is. Japan does not want to sell you one, they can rent you one, but it may not be a smartphone that can access Google map. Besides, Japanese roads has no name and no number, their addressing scheme is a suburb-partition-sector-building number scheme: so several shops can share a single address and building number. Worst still, the building number on the same block of buildings are totally random. Whichever building was constructed first get

      • Re:Great Guide (Score:5, Informative)

        by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:41AM (#33702098)

        Even if you can find their shops, you may be greeted with "NO FOREIGNER ALLOWED" thing, lovely huh?

        In Akihabara? No. In a district famous worldwide for selling electronics, with extremely expensive rent, you are not likely to find a place unwilling to sell to foreigners. That would be a bit like a bar with a sign "No drunk people allowed." In Tokyo, the only place I ran into a "no gaijin" policy was a love hotel in Shibuya.

        • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

          Yea I agree with you. I've been around Tokyo quite a few times and I have never ran into a no foreigners thing. I've even been to places in Tokyo most foreigners never go. I have heard that outside of Tokyo it's not nearly as foreigner friendly though.

          • "I have heard that outside of Tokyo it's not nearly as foreigner friendly though."

            If outside of Tokyo is not as friendly to foreigners, I never experienced it during the two weeks I was traveling around central Japan. People were very friendly helpful, including one instance when a convenience store clerk walked a couple of blocks with me to guide me to a post office as soon as I asked for directions. I never saw any "no foreigner" signs. (Before you ask, I was not doing the "tour group thing".)

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I have spent quite a bit of time there, buying electronics, components, computer hardware, arcade accessories etc. I speak Japanese (not fluently, conversational level) and find the staff there very helpful. There are no signs about foreigners anywhere, no racism I could detect.

          Japan is a welcoming place. Sure, if you act like a dick then people will avoid you, but that is just normal Japanese culture and applies to drunk businessmen as much as it does to foreigners.

          Actually, for anyone going here is the on

  • Third Rate Shopping (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dorpus ( 636554 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:21PM (#33700956)

    Having lived in Tokyo before, I've never understood what the fuss is about. Most stores in Akihabara are tiny, amateurish ratholes run by guys who have no idea what they are talking about, but act snobbish to cover for it. They sell obsolete software for hundreds of dollars, out of torn boxes in poor condition. Most of the stuff will only work on the Japanese electric grid, on Asia-encoded DVD players, or on computers with Windows Japan installed on it. Despite the sales clerks' insistence, it will have problems in the USA. And cameras, they will act like they never heard of a camera that costs less than $300. If I tell them I just want something simple, that doesn't have a million buttons and strange features on it, then they are deeply offended and just turn their back to me. It is the last place I would want to go to buy anything. Between Wal-mart or ordering off the internet, these kind of places serve no particular purpose anymore.

    • by bakarocket ( 844390 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:57PM (#33701076)
      That's because it's essentially a tourist trap, both for tech nerds (who live outside of the country and don't know any better), and for anime geeks (who know better but can't stop themselves). There are good shops there, though. It sounds like you went to a bunch of shops that had "Duty-Free" written on the signs. Just like everywhere else, those types of shops are the worst to buy from. You need to hit the backstreets that run parallel to the main drag to find good deals. That being said, anyone who's looking for electronics buys online from kakaku.com now. It's cheaper, and you don't have to run the manga-nerd gauntlets surrounding every cosplaying female-equivalent in Akiba.
      • by ncrypted ( 9589 )

        Wait....I'm supposed to AVOID the cos-playing female types in Tokyo? Why the hell else did I go all the way to Japan, then? To buy electronics hardware that I can get way cheaper in Shanghai? I think not!

        Next think you know, you're going to be telling me not to go to a ramen shop because you can get packaged stuff cheaper at the conbini.


        For the record, the "cosplaying female-equivalents in Akiba" are pretty and they smell nice...even the dudes...(Don't ask, it was a

      • Well, if you don't go in *both* the tourist trap duty-free shops *and* the backalley places where you can barely turn around, you haven't really gone to Akihabara. I was stationed near there for a few years, and loved it, just for the coolness factor. I liked the little warren of components and tool shops, but I also liked the high-end stores with $40,000 (in Yen equivalent) speakers. I thought it was cool to see the bleeding edge stuff. I remember reading about a new 50" LCD TV on a blog somewhere, a
    • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:59PM (#33701084)
      So your complaint is that shops in Japan sell tings to the Japanese market? That they sell things designed to work in Japan? That they sell computers with a Japanese-localized OS on it?

      Wow, the shops in the US are crappy! I mean, this game is designed to work with NTSC consoles and not PAL consoles! This toaster only has a US outlet on it and won't work with UK power! And I mean, they spell colour without the U! Its like the people in the US are self-serving and cater to people who live in the US and not people visiting!

      I really don't see your complaint, people in Japan sell to a Japanese market, people in the US sell to a US-centered market, people in the UK sell to a UK-centered market, etc.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        And in Akihabara it is not even true. There is plenty of "export model" PAL and 240V equipment in the shops around there.
      • So your complaint is that shops in Japan sell tings to the Japanese market?

        They sell all kind ting!

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you don't want things with a million buttons, then what are you doing in Akihabara...?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      Having lived in Tokyo before, I've never understood what the fuss is about.

      OP is (currently) modded as a troll. Anyone who's lived or been there and isn't a fanboy knows that the OP is /not/ a troll.

      • I wouldn't call it a troll, but I certainly wouldn't call it informative either. The OP implies that he/she actually knows quite a bit about the area, when the information in the post shows otherwise to anyone who lives in the area AND speaks Japanese.

        "Most of Akihabara" is certainly not overpriced stores with snobby sales staff. I'm sure some shops are like that, particularly the duty-free rip-off shops, but nowhere else I've been is. It is a specialty area with specialty goods for - as was so eloquent
      • by crossmr ( 957846 )

        you feel this is a fair non-troll assessment about shops in japan serving the locals?

        Most of the stuff will only work on the Japanese electric grid, on Asia-encoded DVD players, or on computers with Windows Japan installed on it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dorpus ( 636554 )

      I love how people assume I only went to the duty-free shops, or that I don't speak Japanese. I was born in Japan and it is my native language. I've been to shops in both the back streets and forward streets. I wasn't impressed with any of it. If some people see the point to spending $200 on a plastic bikini doll, $400 on some draft sketches of an obscure anime series, or $800 on a camera because the lens can move forward and backward like some unfulfilled manhood fantasy, then I suppose they stay in bus

      • Now, I don't want to seem confrontational, but your initial post implied one of two things

        1) You had gone to the tourist traps, and therefore didn't actually see any real stores, or

        2) You went to Akiba - an area famous for anime, games, and nerds - expecting to find a deal on a big-screen TV that was usable in the US, and when people looked at you funny because you were trying to buy (in Japan) a big-screen TV you could use in the US, you got annoyed that they thought you were kind of silly to expect tha
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by dorpus ( 636554 )

          I was there at the opening of the Yodobashi Camera store, where they made a big fuss of how it was supposed to be the new wal-mart of Akiba. Like every other store in Tokyo with the kushidango architecture, it was small, cluttered, and overpriced; the escalators/elevators seemed to take up more floor space than the merchandise. And yes, I was taken to the smaller stores in the back streets, with their random assortments of wires, diodes, screws, and other junk. And the anime fetishist stores with their o

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by bakarocket ( 844390 )
            I don't know what I wrote that gave you the impression that I am a Japanophile. That sort of name-calling seems to be used not just people who worship the place (which is undoubtedly weird), but for anybody who defends the place. In fact, you should have got the opposite impression due to the fact that I already wrote that I dislike going there (for the reasons I wrote above).

            Your impression of the area smacks of "ex-foreigner who never really fit in" rather than "savvy Japanese dude who saw through the
            • I agree with your assessment of dorpus. Seems he completely missed the point (not that I've been there myself).

              Regarding Uniqlo, though, the thing that's "revolutionary" about them is not that they are cheap but that they are cheap *and actually quite stylish*, with decent quality to boot. They're becoming *hugely* popular in the few places outside of Japan where they've opened shop. They sell very good clothes for cheap.

              In other words, they're not the Salvation Army of Japan. Besides the fact that a lot of

              • You're right, I shouldn't have said "cheap crap". (Especially considering that almost all of my clothing comes from Uniqlo.)

                I meant that it is comparable to the SA because of its price and selection.
    • by treeves ( 963993 )
      Yodobashi Camera seemed like a pretty nice store when I was in Akihabara. I admit I didn't get to spend much time or money there. With eight floors, I could have spent a lot more of both.
  • Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:28PM (#33700972) Journal

    It's like Digikey, Mouser, a hamfest, Radio Shack and Best Buy all mashed up together. Awesome.

  • Electronics Paradise (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is a place right smack in the middle of Sao Paulo, Brasil called Electronics Paradise that is just like this

    I go there often and it is just as confusing

  • Does anyone know of any good, similar shops in Kyoto or Osaka areas?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Earyauteur ( 1142601 )
      Try Nipponbashi in Osaka. It is sometimes pronounced in Tokyo by native speakers as Nihonbashi.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wikipedia to the rescue! :-)


      I've visited Den Den town a few times and bought a few items there, such as a copy card for my DS...:-)

      Not as large as Akihabara, but adequate and interesting.

      Kyoto has almost nothing. It used to have some interesting stuff on the south side of Shijo, on Teramachi, but I visited again this year, and many of the stores have relocated/closed.

      Also try Yodobashi camera in Osaka near the Hankyu/JR railway stations (Umeda). Carries many, many e

  • I just made my fifth or six trip to Akihabara over the weekend.

    Stay away from any store that says "PC game" (in Katakana). Chances are, by "game" they're referring to softcore-porn DVD roms... They're usually B1 level and full of otaku perverts. I went into a few looking for a specific PC title and it took me a bit to realize what was actually going on.

    I highly recommend taking a couple thousand yen to a big arcade like Club Sega. Fun times.
    • They need to do this to evade police detection. You know the code, you get the stuff. It is designed for a specific group of people knowing exactly where they need to go.

  • Have not been back in years since the whole Otaku scene crap took hold.

    I can appreciate the guide to cut through the crap though!

  • mostly pointless (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:50PM (#33701058)

    I watched this when it was posted on HackADay earlier. It was largely a waste of time, because there's not that much to see. Most of what I saw looked remarkably similar to some ham-friendly electronics stores in Boston, like You Do It Electronics (there was another great hobbyist store chain that went out of business, I forget the name.)

    The video is shot without any stabilization, handheld, by someone who had a little too much caffine, and who points the camera at Interesting Things for all of about, oh, a tenth of a second. This combined with Youtube's low bitrates = blurry, compression blocks of Fail. Seriously, you can tell the place is amazing visually, but because Cracky McCoffee The Cameraman can't hold the camera still or stop to pause on something, all you see is a blurry mess. And it's all out of focus, too, because it was shot with a dSLR, and this one apparently can't autofocus while shooting video (or Cracky McCoffee bumped the MF/AF switch), and CMcCTC didn't realize that indoors, he has such a large aperture that there's zero depth of field. At one point, the guy is standing in front of the camera talking for a good 30 seconds, completely blurred out, until he steps closer to the camera to get out of the aisle, and then poof! He's out of focus again.

    Most of the "cool stuff" seems to consist of enclosures. The guy leading the tour has a borderline fetish for enclosures. Here, let me blast right past these meters and industrial automation gear. Now, check out this enclosure! Wow, it's hexagon shaped, see that? And it's metalic! This one has a stand. Now, pay no attention to those robotics...here's my other favorite enclosure store! This one can silkscreen graphics on the front. WOOOOOOOW. Oh that, those are nuclear-powered minisubs. Waaaaaaalking....

    • Hardly pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @01:47AM (#33701418)

      Perhaps you didn't see any products of interest to you, but I know of nowhere in the US or London that even comes close in terms of diversity of components for the do-it-yourselfer. Perhaps, things are picking up in Hong Kong.

      If you actually go there, and you know what you are looking for and are willing to learn a little Nihongo, it is awesome.

      For a quick non-professional filming effort, it more than served its purpose. My congratulations on developing a very interesting tour.

      Anyway, I really appreciated the tour. We'll all be looking for SuperBananas awesome video of his local Akehabara on a future slahsdot post so we can make a fair comparison.

    • Ya (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

      Looks like "Family vacation," quality camera work. Ummm, that may be fine if you are just shooting something to preserve memories but if you are trying to make something as an online guide/information site, take more time. As you noted, image stabilization is key. Best idea is just a camera with simple optical image stabilization. You don't need an expensive one to get it these days and it works great. Then take some time on shots and frame them. Let people get a look at what you are showing them, in partic

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by freaklabs ( 1359341 )
      Hee hee hee...yes, I love enclosures. But perhaps you missed the FPGA development boards, the canine robot, 300 yen 5.6-inch LCDs, induction motors, wall of thermocouples, wall of tweezers, wall of heat sinks, wall of fans, airwolf RC helicopter, EL wire vest, RGB acrylic panel, surplus components, and the giant Mario statue.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The moderators seem to be appreciative of your dismissive tone. It sure sounds like you could do a lot better.

      But until you do, this is actually pretty fun to watch for some of us that have never been able to make it to Japan yet.

    • you see it on the subject of movies, books, fandom... the mindlessly extremely negative person

      is it some sort of personality problem?

      what exactly do you think you achieve unloading with such negativity on efforts which you have no investment in?

      what motivates this completely irrational negativity?

      it's an honest question

      surely you realize your negativity is way out of proportion, right?

  • wow, much brighter in there now...

    we went on our senior trip to japan 23 years ago.... visited there..

    just think of all the projects i could start and not finish!!!!!!!!!

  • subject (Score:5, Funny)

    by Faux_Pseudo ( 141152 ) <Faux.PseudoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @01:04AM (#33701300) Homepage

    It's a trap!

  • A video catalog of the various shops in a tinkerer's paradise!

    That was an awesome little tour. I think every city has a few electronic parts stores, but I've never seen anything so extensive or well-categorized. I seem to recall a lot more cardboard bins and chaos. The thing which surprised me the most was that it wasn't shoulder-to-shoulder madness. I've been in cities with a lot fewer people and you barely move around in shops like that, but in Japan (of all places), there was permanently enough room

    • Yeah, actually we shot it on a Tuesday afternoon because the weekend would have been mayhem. A lot of the shops had no camera policies so Patrick filmed it all on his D-SLR hung at stomach level so that he just looked like a tourist rather than someone filming footage.
      • Yeah, actually we shot it on a Tuesday afternoon because the weekend would have been mayhem. A lot of the shops had no camera policies so Patrick filmed it all on his D-SLR hung at stomach level so that he just looked like a tourist rather than someone filming footage.

        You know, I wondered about that. Everybody you ran into seemed so totally un-obsessed with camera fear that I thought, "Sheesh, maybe Japanese retail vendors are simply happier and less paranoid than everybody in the West?" The camera work was good enough for me to think that it wasn't being done on the sly. Nice job! -Oh, and of course, all your dialogue would have seemed normal to anybody witnessing because they would have simply thought it was being directed to your 'tourist' friend. What a clever se

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just try to keep in mind that it's really more suited to the geek culture of Japan rather than the geek culture of America. Maid cafes and AKB-48 [wordpress.com] might have international appeal, but it's hard to imagine there are many slashdotters who wouldn't be surprised by Oimoya [oimoya.jp], self-described as the world's first idol-only shop, where—for a price—customers can talk to and take pictures of teenage and pre-teen girls who feature in DVDs that might best be described as soft-core porn plus clothes. (Not that
    • by hson ( 78256 )

      Wow, that's a really old pic of AKB48. Like, half of those girls are no longer members.

  • Even when I lived 15 minutes away every visit was confusing because everything there changed so often.
    And it's not as diverse and interesting as it used to be anyway. Things are moving online or into super-stores like Yodobashi.
  • Scale (Score:3, Informative)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:42AM (#33702492)
    Just so people don't get the wrong impression. This video since it is basically done indoors doesn't begin to show the immense scale of this place. Closer to the main strip all buildings are 10~20 stories tall filled with stuff. The sides of buildings are TVs. 16wheelers come through but instead of towing a shipping container they have a bunch of 50" TVs playing anime. On certain days you may see >100 people cosplaying while just passing through. And this guy totally focused on things he likes, if you didn't see what you are looking for in his video it isn't because its not there. Its because he skipped it. The fact that they had parts to set up your own bio-lab was telling.
    • "And this guy totally focused on things he likes, if you didn't see what you are looking for in his video it isn't because its not there. Its because he skipped it."

      Note, I have only been to Akihabara once, but I agree this was a limited view of the place. This guy seems to really be into electrical engineering and gives a great tour of that aspect. (Still well worth watching. It showed me that I only scratched the surface of the Labyrinth.)

      Think about most of the other stuff a geek might be interested

  • I used to live in Kanagawa. Kanagawa is the prefecture bordering Tokyo. I was studying at a university in Tokyo. As such, I had the opportunity to shop there a few times.

    Call me a buzzkill, but Akiba is not that impressive in my opinion. The arthouses along the border of the sub-city (??) were way more impressive.

    Akihabara just feels like a city made out of Fry'ses.

    • And this is a bad thing? I make it a point to go to a Fry's every time I go out west. We don't have them here :(
  • So much better to read about than Lindsay Lohan!

  • the one in new york city was demolished in the 1970s when they built the world trade center

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Row [wikipedia.org]

    • Bog, I remember those places as a kid. My father used to drag me around every time we went into the city to visit relatives (fortunately infrequently). Lots of great stuff, very seedy even in the 60's.

      And I'm still sad that all I've got is Radio Shack. I'm sorry, the Internet just doesn't cut it for walking along dusty aisles looking at stuff that you have no idea what function it's supposed accomplish but might be fun to take home and see what you can do with it.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI