Part of what makes Akihabara so great is its wackiness. I like to think of myself as a unique person who likes unique things, and Akihabara sure is that. While I was in Akiba, I saw:
Okay, you probably have to really squint to see the maid in that picture. Truth be told, they didn't really like having their pictures taken. I get the feeling many aren't exactly proud of their job, or perhaps they were told to behave that way by management. Either way, I didn't take many pictures of them.
Actually, those last two pictures are from the same store, which, while lacking the simple charm that the smaller stores on the main street of Akihabara have, is pretty much a one-stop-shop for all manner of technology and nerdy things and pretty much everything else, too. That store is Yodobashi Camera, another chain store whose prices aren't phenomenal, but selections are.
Yodobashi Camera is absolutely massive. And they have everything.
I live in backwater, isolated Utah, so a store that carries computer components is already an unheard-of commodity, but to see them in a multi-story department store like this is even more amazing. An entire half of a floor was dedicated to parts like these, and that may not sound like much, but you have to understand just how massive Yodobashi camera is first. Half a floor is probably an entire city block.
True to their name, they do have cameras, and lots of them. An entire floor is dedicated to camera-related stuff. I could see myself going broke here if I was a camera nerd. Luckily, I'm largely satisfied with my high-end point-and-shoot.
And of course, it wouldn't be an "everything" store without figures of cute anime girls. Unlike most places in Akiba, though, everything is first-hand, brand new, so prices were a little outrageous at times.
They even have a section labeled for Kotobukiya figures. Kotobukiya is another chain store, which could be found just a couple blocks away from Yodobashi, so I thought this a little strange.
Kotobukiya was one of my favorite places, because they seemed to have a higher density of stuff I cared about than other stores. I don't know why.
They had an entire section devoted to Kyoto Animation, which was awesome, but also irked me a little, because the selection was way better than the actual KyoAni shop, which I went to back in Tokyo nearly a month prior.
Their stock wasn't limited to anime stuff, though. There also had Star Wars figures...
And Alien-inspired chopsticks, because why not?
Akihabara is a beautiful place. Perhaps the vibrant colors and glimmering lights of commercialism aren't to everyone's taste, but I constantly felt lucky just to be there, surrounded by everything I love.
On Sundays, the street is closed off and turned into an open plaza where pedestrians can freely walk.
Some of the best times I had in Akiba were just the result of wandering the streets, in and out of stores. The first time I really visited on a Saturday, I was presented with this:
On the side of the street, sellers without shops had setup tents and laid out blankets or tarps to sell their supply of anime goods, among other things.
Halfway through, I came across this display of T-Shirts. After having a conversation with the owner (he wanted me to join his soccer team or something), I bought a couple of his T-Shirts. They aren't Japanese-made, but I still treasure them as an awesome reminder of my adventures in Akiba. This was one of two T-Shirt stores I came across. The other was inside a building near Mandarake.
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