Home > Japan > Japan Trip Day 3: Akihabara

Japan Trip Day 3: Akihabara

I’ve been going over the stats on my blog for fun, and found that there are many people interested in looking at my Japan trip posts.  They might have just stumbled upon my blog when looking for information regarding those areas, but since there seems to be continuous interest, I will continue with writing about my trip.  It’s been half a year though, so a lot of things have become vague to me, but I’ll finish it to the best of my abilities.  I’ll start to separate the food from the rest of the blog, since that’ll make it more organized as well.  I’m too lazy to go back and change the rest of my post, so please bare with me on this.

The most anticipated part of my Japan trip, Akihabara! It’s a nerd’s dream come true.  There are anime and game stores as far as the eye can see.  Not to mention computer electronics and model kits shops.  And who can forget, Maid’s cafe.  I can’t quite remember the path we took, so I’ll just list the stores I visited and what I think of them.  I think that’s easier on the readers anyways.  It was a shame that I didn’t get much pictures for inside the stores though.

Yodobashi-Akiba

We started our day in a mall, Yodobashi-Akiba.  We thought we’d get a sense of how much things cost around Akihabara before venturing into the smaller hobby shops.  Yodobashi is a chain store, and their pricing is fairly standard.  They do carry pretty much all of the latest models, games, animes, CDs, etc, so it’s a good one-stop place to go for all your nerdy needs.  They also sell other things.  It’s like Bic Camera or Best Buy.

Lamtarr

This is a chain adult store.  I saw two (or maybe three) of these in Akihabara alone.  It’s around 5 stories high, and every level besides the first is 18+.  However, I really have to say even the first floor is not kid-friendly.  The store is pretty well-organized though.  Most notable thing is that the higher you go, the worse it gets… It starts out with swimsuit, celebrity, and model photos.  It’s crazy how a pack of photos can cost $100+!!.  Makes you wonder why can’t people just go online for these things.  The second floor have the popular DVDs and releases from popular AV stars.  The third level starts to get a little weird, you’ll see cosplay, and different “categories” of porn.  The fourth is already too intense for me, with S/M, and other crazy fetishes.  The fifth, I didn’t even go into.  The poster leading up the stairs already made me lose all interest in finding out what’s up there.  But I’m sure it’s filled with “two-girls-one-cup” type of things…

Kotobukiya

(Not the picture of Kotobukiya but the building where it’s located at)

Decent-sized store that sells mainly gaming goods, and some anime goods.  When I visited, Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy XIII, and Mega Man X items were pretty hot, so there were a lot of merchandise dedicated to those games, but you can find all sorts of goodies here.  There are also a few things that I did not find in any other store, so it’s definitely a good place to go if you want to find some rare items.  However, this is also the most expensive store I visited in all of Akihabara.  So I would probably visit this place last.  After you have already looked through the other places and bought what you want from there.  That’s when you should visit Kotobukiya and see if there is anything you haven’t seen elsewhere.

Maid Cafe

There are many maid cafes in Akihabara.  You can see maid’s passing out fliers at most of the intersections.  Those girls are pretty cute, but don’t be fooled.  It’s no where as good when you visit the actual store.  And they are usually situated on the second or third floor, some only allow you to enter via elevator.  The moment that elevator door opens, you will enter the Maid Cafe’s world.  They’ll address you as master ,wear maid outfits, just like how you’d imagine it to be.  I saw many people who went alone, but I also see groups of businessmen, so it seems like a place people go to do business as well.  I went to two, one was a nightclub-ish type of place.  It was dark with a disco ball, and the first thing I saw was a guy in horse costume on stage dancing with a maid… We left right away since there is no non-smoking section there, and it looked kinda crazy.  The second one was more ordinary, like a regular cafe but with maids.  It’s really a shame that my Japanese is so poor.  You will only get the full experience if you’re fluent in Japanese and can communicate with the girls there.  English is no good.

Softmap

Another chain store, Softmap sells a variety of items.  There are probably around 5-6 of these in Akihabara, each store sells different things.  There are stores that mainly sells anime goods, while others sell computer parts, etc.  I didn’t go to all of them, just a few, and it was very impressive.  Well, I think my main focus this trip is to find anime/gaming goods, so this place didn’t have as much.  But it’s a good place to go nevertheless.

Food – Soba place near Asakusabashi Station (not sure how to say the name)

A pretty typical soba place.  I ordered cold soba with Inari (one had wasabi, the other had sesami). It was a good, light lunch.  It’s nothing special though, and pricing is fair (around 700 yen).  3.5/5

Food – 松屋

This is a huge chain, selling cheap rice bowls.  Very similar to Yoshinoya, and it taste pretty similar too.  I wouldn’t come here on a trip to Japan, but we were hungry and didn’t want to look further.  I ordered a beef bowl,and it’s just that… a beef bowl.  The vending machine outside sells tickets for dishes, and you just bring them in to trade for food.   Pretty convenient.  2.5/5

Food – Pronto Il Bar

A classy bar near Akihabara.  The atmosphere is pretty nice, kinda crowded, and smoke-filled like every other place in Japan.  Their menu didn’t have much selection.  I didn’t try to order anything outside of what’s in the menu, but I’m sure you can ask for other cocktails.  It’s no where as good as Sasakura’s cocktails, but it was still decent.  What’s on the table is Gin Tonic, Jack and Coke, and Moscow Mule.  What I wanted to note is that bronze glass.  That’s Moscow Mule, and it seems to be a staple in Japan.  I see it almost everywhere.  Definitely should try that out if anyone ever visits.

Categories: Japan
  1. Lucky Hex
    October 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Cool stuff, it’s loads of fun reading about people’s trips so please do keep up with what you can remember!

    • October 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks Lucky Hex. I’ll try to keep it up this time. hahaha, 10 more days to go!

  2. October 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Haha, nice.

    My trip was less intensive as yours, we only went for half a day and only to the big department stores near the subway stop. But I managed to score an authentic Sephiroth ring for 30% off XD

    And the vending machine ramen shops were my favorite 😛 Though I remember the bowls being much larger. How much did you pay for it? If you remember? I remember spending about 600-700 yen and getting a nice meal.

    • October 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      The beef bowl was about 400-500 yen. It’s definitely cheap, but you get what you pay for.

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