Akihabara Shopping

 

Not a lot of people out since it is a weekday. On the weekend you can except to see the crowds come down for some Akiba shopping.

I was in Akihabara the other day to pick up a few items and took some quick shots on the street. It was a week day so there was not that many people out. It was mainly interesting to see which stores had changed recently and take a look at the advertising boards.

There were plenty of girls from the Maid Cafe's out looking for customers. Quite a few of them asked me to stop buy for a drink.

There were plenty of girls from the Maid Cafe's out looking for customers. Quite a few of them asked me to stop buy for a drink.

Final Fantasy XIII due out on Dec. 17, 2009

Final Fantasy XIII due out on Dec. 17, 2009

An amusing look at the Taito Game Center reflected in the building across the street. Taito has about 8 floors of this building for their Game Center.

An amusing look at the Taito Game Center reflected in the building across the street. Taito has about 8 floors of this building for their Game Center.

You can see from the next few photos the Autumn colors in the trees. The photos were taken in the late afternoon with the sun starting to set.

The main road running through Akihabara.

The main road running through Akihabara.

Looking back on the road towards the station area.

Looking back on the road towards the station area.

Plenty of taxis without customers at the moment. The red sign in the front of the taxi says "空車" or empty car.

Plenty of taxis without customers at the moment. The red sign in the front of the taxi says "空車quot; or empty car.

Watch out you don't catch a cold as autumn turns into winter.

Watch out you don't catch a cold as autumn turns into winter.

A number of years ago, the Akihabara area used to be all computer and electronic stores. It was hard to find somewhere good to eat. I don’t remember seeing Ramen on the main street back then.

Hakata Ramen store serving Tonkotsu Ramen

Hakata Ramen store serving Tonkotsu Ramen

Hakata Ramen, pull up a seat.

Hakata Ramen, pull up a seat.

This looks like the place for a quick snack. Sweets Paradise, poweder by PC MAX.

This looks like the place for a quick snack. Sweets Paradise, poweder by PC MAX.

There are plenty of coffee shops and bread shops around the station recently. Years ago, I remember it difficult to find anything decent to eat. Now there is choice.

There are plenty of coffee shops and bread shops around the station recently. Years ago, I remember it difficult to find anything decent to eat. Now there is choice.

Recently, instead of saying Akihabara, most people are just calling this area, Akiba. The kanji is written 秋葉原, which used to be read Akiba no hara, similar to Yamanote 山手, the “no” is not seen but still read. The popular reading changed from Akiba no hara to Akihabara, and now people seem content to just say Akiba.

For a number of years the Yamanote Line was referred to as the Yamate Line, until new signs in English and Japanese made the reading to be consistently Yamanote Line.

The "Cool Old Dude", being of course Asa Taro, former Prime Minister of Japan.

The "Cool Old Dude", being of course Asa Taro, former Prime Minister of Japan.

Most of the girls from the maid cafes don't like their photo being taken. That's cool.

Most of the girls from the maid cafes don't like their photo being taken. That's cool.

Don Ki Hote ドンキホーテ and a mixture of pachinko and games in this amusement store building.

Don Ki Hote ドンキホーテ and a mixture of pachinko and games in this amusement store building.

The Christmas feel in Akihabara.

The Christmas feel in Akihabara.

Lots of advertising on the sides and windows of buildings in Akihabara. At night the neon shines bright as well.

Lots of advertising on the sides and windows of buildings in Akihabara. At night the neon shines bright as well.

Checking out a few mobile phone straps in Yodobashi Camera. Anyone for fried rice?

Checking out a few mobile phone straps in Yodobashi Camera. Anyone for fried rice?

Back at the station area. The station is still under reconstruction. There used to be an old department store above the station. Not sure what this will all look like when finished, but should be interesting.

Back at the station area. The station is still under reconstruction. There used to be an old department store above the station. Not sure what this will all look like when finished, but should be interesting.

Almost forgot, this is what I bought. A small sushi set from Kotobukiya store.

Tiny sushi set

Tiny sushi set

sushi

Are you an Akihabara fan? What is your favorite thing to go shopping for?

23 thoughts on “Akihabara Shopping”

  1. darenothope says:

    The place I stayed at was walking distance from Akihabara. I really liked it there. And that Don Quixote is so awesome but a maze. It took me forever on every level to find the exit and/or the cashier. Loved Yodobashi. Bought my pretty Zumreed headphones from there.

    1. shibuya246 says:

      It’s great to stay at places like Akiba and Shibuya isn’T it. You can slip down from your hotel at any time of the night and check things out. 🙂

  2. Blue Shoe says:

    When I went to school in Tokyo I used to pass through Akihabara everyday on my commute. Sometimes I liked to just walk around Yodobashi and look at all the gadgets. Interesting place.

  3. whipcracker says:

    RT @Shibuya246: Akihabara Shopping, Japan shopping | Shibuya246 http://bt.io/BPOd Never been to Japan, so never been to Akihabara. But really would like to see what it’s like at least once. From all the pics I’ve seen it really looks different during the week compared to the weekends when everybody is out and about. That advert about Akihabara is neat. To bad the new Pm stopped the funding for the museum for anime and manga. It would have been a great addition. Did you stop for a drink at the maid cafe? But there sure seems to be plenty of places to get a bite to eat there. What does PC max have to do w/sweets, do they own the company? I remember when the 1st final Fantasy came out, my son couldn’t stop playing it, that seems like a long time ago. I thought that the LLaox electronics had closed up shop, just read about this the other day, but can’t remember where.
    And that sure is 1 tiny sushi set, where are you gonna put it. It’s just the right size for Rilakkuma 🙂 Hope he doesn’t get hungry and try to eat it,hehehe.
    Well it late time for bed
    oyasumi nasai.

  4. Orchid64 says:

    Great pictures, as usual!

    Your explanation about Yamate/Yamanote and Akiba/Akihabara is a good example of why Japanese can be such a challenge to learn in terms of reading, particularly when it comes to names. Even Japanese people aren’t sure how to read certain characters. 😉

    1. shibuya246 says:

      That’s true, but it can also make for some interesting discussions. Many younger Japanese don’t know about the history of name places, so you can take them by surprise when you explain things.

  5. salvidali says:

    wind has blown down all the leaved in the mountain kingdom – winter is here. 2 degrees C outside at the moment.

  6. lithiumangel says:

    Great pictures ! Most notably the 50 1.4 ones, getting great sharpness and color depth on that lens; you should abuse it more 🙂
    Tough I can understand grabbing the 300 one for maid shots hahaha, even if you ask politely in Japanese it’s a no go for picture taking unless you know them !

    Your right, you can really eat properly in Akihabara, there are lots of restaurants in the UDX building including a great Okonomiyaki place, Go! Go! Curry is quite nice; as they have gigantic meals there called after military ranks (Major, General etc.) so if your *really* hungry that’s great – i’m sure you’ve walked infront of it , it’s full of people and most usually a line to get in.
    If you just want the plain standard curry, then skip Go Go curry and go to the one that’s in the street next to Club Sega (the orange sign, in the top picture of this post) Tastes the same as the Go! Go! curry plate except it’s 395 yen instead of 600 (brand pricing here) plus one of the female chefs is so cute there 🙂

    My favorite place to visit in Akiba is not really a shop but it’s Taito Hey, that’s the best game center in Akihabara; they have some really great old games in perfect condition; even the Darius 2 machine that uses not one but two gigantic widescreen project TV’s for some amazing horizontal scrolling action, but they also have the latest games such as Border break (i’m addicted to this haha) and there’s so much variety due to the clash of oldskool meets new. And if you’ve been in enough game centers in Tokyo; you’ll know that not all of them are as equally maintained as others, the machines can be really roughed up or lacking elements like headphones etc.

    If I must pick a shop as my favorite shopping place in Akiba it *has* to be Super patato; it’s the best retro game store in Tokyo, it even beats Nakano’s Mandarake with price/choice by far ! The super retro arcade center on Super Patato’s 3rd floor is a good laugh too; for 100 yen you can have the novelty of playing on the original super mario brothers arcade cabinet; it’s a sit-down type. Really weird ! You can read manga’s there too or sit on the throne made out of old gaming cartridges – the window is usually open there so you have a good sniper view on the street below with all the maids .. 300mm lens action 🙂 (pro tip :P)

    1. shibuya246 says:

      Thanks. Yes, these were a mix of the 70-300mm and then the Sigma 50mm. I am working out how I can get my EXIF data to show on the blog when you hover over the photo image. I was a bit disappointed with the f1.4 60mm shots, but then gave my camera to a friend to take photos of her sister, who was being camera shy. She took some great photos of her sister buying some goods in Yodobashi Camera that give a super nice bokeh effect to the rack of keitai straps they were looking at. I haven’t checked whether it’s ok to show them do didn’t upload them here, but they were really good. I think her sister went from camera shy to “wanna be a model” in 1 shot.

      Next time, I’ll visit Go Go curry and check out the chef 😉 Also that snipers alley from super patato sounds like a good spot to hang out. thanks 🙂

  7. Irit says:

    When I visited Akiba, I wasn’t on the lookout for any electronics, which is fortunate, as there were too many for me to choose from.

    I went to Yodobashi Camera, and lo and behold, they had an eyewear shop! I picked out a funky pair of glasses for only 2300 yen, and while they were preparing them, I enjoyed an hour long reflexology session. It was much needed.

    There was also an whole aisle of gashapon machines on one of the floors, and I immediately got out coins to try them all. 🙂

    1. lithiumangel says:

      You must’ve had a whole bag full of coins ! There’s way too many gachapon machines there hahaha !
      Tough I don’t dare enter that place without my own MP3 player; it’s so loud with all the various personell shouting specials and discounts on megaphones whilst also audio and/or commercial is being played over the central speaker system O_o argh !

      What I also love about the Akiba Yodabashi compared to say it’s Ueno counterpart is the top two floors 8 and 9.
      On the 9th floor you can practice your golf swing; very cool atmosphere at night.
      And on the 8th floor the Yodabashi foodcourt; which is absolutly amazing !
      There’s two especially very good ramen places there, exit the elevator to your left; it’s across Pepper lunch.
      They have this amazing spicy miso soup for starters; and exit the elevator, walk right and past the italian place is another great ramen joint. HMMM . Well worth to stop by those two places if your in Akiba and hungry.

      Getting hungry myself too thinking about it.

  8. Neksus says:

    Maids are scared to be framed on some Otaku site… Trying to find the perfect pilot for EVA?

    I see that trees still have green leaves, here today I can see frozen streets even if the sun is up an the sky clear.

    Great pics.

  9. micky2be says:

    Aaaaah Akiba! It’s a lovely place, I never get sick to go there.
    Most of the time I just go there just to walk around checking new technology, price of electronics and goods.
    You have here really nice photos, beside last time for the Otacool event I never bring my camera there.

    1. shibuya246 says:

      Thanks. Next time I will get off the main street a bit and take some photos of the action deeper inside Akiba.

  10. alafista says:

    I loved your photo with the many taxis and bicycle by the side of the road.!

    1. shibuya246 says:

      Thanks. I wasn’t going to put that one up as I thought it was a bit off focus. I think my eyes have spent too long in front of computer monitors ^~~^

  11. Exiv96 says:

    I went to Akiba a month ago, on a weekday afternoon. In spite of my Canon camera having suffered a nasty fall earlier, I didn’t have the time and the energy to look after a replacement. So I just took pictures of the buildings, bought a few scale car models at Donki, had a look inside Radio Kaikan, and finished off with a short visit to the monster-sized Yodobashi-Akiba store.

    But if I’m going to Tokyo again, I’d definitely spend more time in Akihabara.

    By the way, did you notice the “no photo” sign on the PC Max Love Café Sweets Paradise ?

    1. shibuya246 says:

      I only noticed that after I got home.

      1. lithiumangel says:

        I wouldn’t worry about the “no photo” sign … if you are being technical about it; just about _all_ your pictures are illigal.
        You need the explicit permission of the persion or the owner of a store to take pictures of them, even if they are tiny people in your frame of a street with their back to your lens ….

        There are quite a few horror stories of photographers getting picked up by Japanese police on Flickr forums; but I haven’t seen any indication of that kind of extreme nor felt that threatened myself.

        1. shibuya246 says:

          Thanks. I have heard that said before, but then wonder how TV cameras can show video of streets, people walking and not have to get releases from everyone in the shot. I did find a couple of articles that give some useful info, but no definitive answer to the question of what is allowed, what is not.

          More a US perspective, but many example photos are from Japan http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html
          Blog Article http://tonymcnicol.com/2009/01/26/photography-in-japan-what-are-your-rights/
          A note in Japanese about copyright issues from the Japan Professional Photographers Society http://www.jps.gr.jp/rights/pdf/127_30-31.pdf

          My general policy is to not take pictures of people in situations/poses I would consider embarrassing or potentially harmful to them. If possible, i prefer to take a side shot where the person is not clearly recognizable, but more just a part of the scenery. I try not to associate the image of people with any comment or association which appears as if they are endorsing a product.

          I have had a few people say “no photos” to me, including Michael Moore’s film crew, despite him filming with NHK on a public street, getting many people in the shot and talking to people on camera without getting releases or telling them how the film was going to be used.

          As soon as anyone says “no”, though, the camera is put away. I understand what camera shy is and don’t want to impose.

          1. whipcracker says:

            Here’s an article I found about someone painting his view on Akihabara http://tinyurl.com/yh7hxdb. I know everyone is entitled to his opinion, but shouldn’t be so negative. 🙁

  12. Chlose says:

    Wow akihabara is more flashy then i thought, thanks to the variety of photos from all around the place. This post makes me only want to go there even more!

  13. fotoamater.com says:

    Great photos, dude, thanks for following me and the tweets.

    I think the maid girls are told not to allow their photos to be taken by their bosses, that would hurt their business as maids on the street would be posing for tourists 99 % of the time…

    Luckily, a longer lens always helps 😉 😉 ;)…

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