Now I’ve posted in the past about Akihabara. I’ve discussed it’s influence as a business cluster, posted about Otaku videoing the screen on a building, a livestream from a hobbyshop window and posted a 4K video. I’ve never delved into the place in detail, until now.
Akihabara is important because it’s one of those places where the creative drive is let loose. This especially important in Japan where conformity is perhaps too much a part of the culture. For about a century now Akihabara has been a place where the fringe elements of Japanese society can come together and be creative and not worry too much about the disapproval and cultural pressures.
Danny Choo has a good history of Akihabara.
The Wikipedia entry for Ahikihabara covers the same material, but with not as many details.
I’ve been to Akihabara on each of my trips to Japan, but for various reasons didn’t give the place the attention it deserved. Two of my trips were with tours and you more or less go where the tour goes, so I couldn’t spend the time I really wanted and when I was on my own, I budgeted half a day which was adequate to get a start on the place, but not enough to go beyond focus shopping very much.
In 2005, when I went to japan for the first time, I didn’t have the online resources that are available now. So getting the information on what was where was far more difficult. Still I did find some sites that listed most of the hobby stores that I was interested at the time and Radio Kaiken is right across the street from the station exit.
My Akihabara album.
An Akiba Otaku Map.
Akihabara, a beginners guide.
With Akihabara as seen through the Stein’s gate anime.
while most of the stuff on Akihabara will concentrate on the anime and Otaku goings on, along with the consumer electronics the real business side is the availability and sale of electronic components.
These components, ranging from the oldest vacuum tube to the most modern processors and displays are sold in a warren of tiny stores underneath the tracks and across Chuo Dori in the back streets behind the glitzy anime stores and maid cafes.
It’s these that I think that I need to explore more than I have. Of course in my previous trips my electronics interest was long dormant and I was not too concerned with looking at electronics. That’s changed and next time I’m going to look for project and supplies
And I’m going to good look at what a flourishing electronics and surplus market looks like. I wish that I had more of that where I live, but who knows how things change.
A video shot on New Years.