Club Sega Sofmap Akihabara Tokyo

Japan: Tokyo – Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Date: March 21, 2015

After spending way too much time at Yodobashi Akiba, I moved further into the heart of Akihabara district.

Akihabara underbridge Tokyo Japan
Ahh, wide footpaths
Gundam Cafe Akb48 shop Akihabara Tokyo
Yup, that’s a Gundam Cafe and next to it the official AKB48 Cafe & Shop πŸ™‚ For the uninitiated, Gundam is a popular mecha manga/anime/videogame franchise and AKB48 is the biggest (literally) girl group (literally) in Japan. And both cafes had long lines outside.
Akihabara building Tokyo Japan
Akihabara maybe the home to otaku/nerd/geek culture, but there are plenty of offices around
Akihabara Road Tokyo panorama
When I reached the main road, I just stood there with a smile πŸ™‚ An area with so many videogames, anime, gadgets… couldn’t believe such a place exists, but hey, I’m finally in Akihabara!
Club Sega Sofmap Akihabara Tokyo
I was tempted to enter Club Sega, but I turned around instead
Akihabara electronics store Tokyo
This was a complex of stores selling spare parts, electrical components and retro gadgets
Electronic components market Akihabara Tokyo
Definitely a place for electronics hobbyists
Wires spare parts Akihabara Tokyo
I just wonder how many still build stuff from scratch in the days of easy consumption
Cosplayers Akihabara Tokyo Japan
I crossed over to the main hub of Akihabara district
Akky One Gigo Sega Akihabara Tokyo
There were so many enticing buildings, but I had to get around quickly
Doner kebab Akihabara Tokyo Japan
I knew it was time for lunch, but I somehow thought I’d finish walking around Akihabara first
Hirose game Akihabara Japan
Lot’s of girls trying to entice men (mostly) to enter maid cafes
Street sale Akihabara Tokyo
A few stores had street sales but I didn’t find all the prices as low as they were claiming it to be

Computer parts PC store Akihabara Tokyo
Most computer stores look like this and advertise product prices as such
Kotobukiya Akihabara Tokyo Japan
This is the famous Kotobukiya store
Kotobukiya Studio Ghibli toys Akihabara
Kotobukiya is a popular retailer and manufacturer of licensed collectible toys, model kits and other merchandise
Inside Kotobukiya Akihabara Tokyo Japan
Kotobukiya is five floors of anime, video game, and manga pop culture goodness (Floor guide)
Kotobukiya anime toys Akihabara
I wasn’t familiar with some of the anime and manga
Kotobukiya figurine floor Akihabara
I went to the 4th floor to check out the action figures and model kits
Kotobukiya figures toys Tokyo
It was pretty awesome to see some of the figures!
Pacific Rim comic action figures Kotobukiya
It’s not just Japanese characters too. You got Western pop culture favourites too, but the figures are mostly created by Japanese companies
Transformers figures limited edition Kotobukiya
Like these really detailed limited edition collectibles based on the Transformers movies. Super expensive too!
Ultraman action figure Kotobukiya Tokyo
But you still have famous Japanese characters, like Ultra Man and Gojira
Metal Gear Solid action figures Kotobukiya
Lot of models from the Metal Gear Solid games
Metal Gear Solid snake Raiden Kotobukiya
Really wanted one of these Raiden figurines, but a lot of the models on display have already been sold out
Armored Core toys Kotobukiya
These mecha were from the Armored Core videogames. Awesome, aren’t they?
Anime exhibition display Kotobukiya
The 5th floor is an event space for exhibitions and live events
Anime girls Akihabara street Tokyo
I left Kotobukiya after realizing I spent too much time in there
Animate shop Akihabara Tokyo store
Animate is a large manga and anime store
Maid cafe Akihabara Tokyo
Maid cafes are all over Akihabara
SSD hard drives Akihabara shops
I was checking out prices for SSD and laptop hard drives. Prices weren’t that much lower than what it costs back in India.
Taito game station Sofmap Akihabara
I wanted to spend more time in Akihabara today, but i knew I was going to be back here towards the end of journey

It was already well past what is considered ‘lunchtime’ so I had to eat something, but where? There weren’t too many restaurant options in Akihabara and so where did I end up for my first lunch in Japan?

McDonalds prawn burger Tokyo
McDonalds. I know. But I didn’t want to spend time wondering where and what to eat when it was already late. So I had a prawn burger meal, costs Β₯650 (Rs.350/$5/€4)
Live stage Akihabara Tokyo
As I sat above and ate my meal, I noticed a stage show going on across the road
Teenage DJ girl Akihabara Japan
I had to check it out. It looked like some teenage DJ playing some tunes and her fans were doing co-ordinated dances.
Feather stage show fans Akihabara
There was another stage show happening further up ahead for the same promotion. It was for something called Feather. I don’t know if it was an anime, manga, or a video game? But still, funny to watch otakus dance in solitude with so much fervour
Model flyers Akihabara Tokyo
And they had all these girls dressed in white sweaters and tartan skirts giving away pamphlets and buttons
Tokyo Anime Center Akihabara Japan
I made a quick visit to the Tokyo Anime Center
Akihabara map anime center Tokyo
You can get free maps of Akihabara, guidebooks and even hire English-speaking tour guides from here
Inside Tokyo anime center Akihabara
Besides that they also sell merchandise and souvenirs at this store
Kirin vending machine getting refilled
I didn’t feel like leaving Akihabara just yet, so I walked around some more
Trader Akihabara Tokyo Japan
I entered Trader, another popular Akihabara store. Trader, as the name suggests, specializes in second hand video games and DVDs. That said, you do get the latest stuff on the ground floor.
PS3 Dreamcast Gameboy games Trader Akihabara
The upper floors are where the real gems are. Old games, all neatly packed, from the previous generation of consoles. Sega Dreamcast, NES, PlayStation 1 to 3, Sega Mega Drive, Nintendo 64 and many more!
Videogame cartridges Trader Akihabara
They also had tubs of cartridges for NES games and Game Boy/GBA. I spotted a Captain Tsubasa game (Captain Majid in the Gulf) πŸ™‚
Classic DVDs Trader Akihabara Tokyo
The floor above it was full of anime DVDs, both classics and recent shows

Trader also had a floor for adult DVDs but no photography allowed there.

Club Sega Akihabara Tokyo
I couldn’t leave Akihabara without checking Club Sega, a massive arcade
Hatsune Miku UFO catcher Akihabara
Hatsune Miku UFO catcher πŸ™‚
UFO catchers Club Sega Akihabara
In fact, they had several themed UFO catchers
UFO catcher stuffed toys
All those stuffed toys waiting to get picked
Girl playing dressup game Tokyo arcade
They had all sorts of unique arcade games. This was some sort of dressing up game?
Wonderland Wars arcade Akihabara Tokyo
This was a MOBA called Wonderland Wars, in which you use a stylus and touchscreen
Project Diva Club Sega Tokyo Japan
More Hatsune Miku games, this one in the Project DIVA rhythm game series
Mai Mai Taiko drums arcade Akihabara
Taiko Drum Master (right) still going strong. To the left was this fast-paced rhythm game called Mai Mai.

Check out how well some girls play this game:

Arcades Club Sega Tokyo Japan
The top floor was mostly filled with arcade games that make use of readable cards
Card strategy arcade game Tokyo
I don’t know how the games work… ‘cos it was all new to me. I have never seen arcade games like this before.
Fighting games Club Sega arcade
That said, you still have you popular arcade classics, and it’s not all by SEGA

I got to see Tekken 7 in action:

Mario Kart arcade Club Sega
Mario Kart, 4 player arcade
Afterburner Climax Club Sega Tokyo
SEGA’s classic Afterburner
House of the Dead arcade Club Sega
And The House of the Head railgun shooter. Man, SEGA should revive Virtua Cop and The House of the Dead franchises for VR devices!
Akihabara shops Tokyo Japan
Alas, it was time for me to step back out into the light
Akihabara open space Tokyo Japan
It was time to finally leave Akihabara. I did visit some more stores but didn’t photographs because there wasn’t anything new in there. I didn’t find Super Potato, a famous store for retro videogames.
Subway Ginza line Tokyo train
I hopped on the train and decided to go to Ginza
Kabukiza theater Ginza Tokyo Japan
I came out the exit near the famous Kabuki-za theater, where a Kabuki dramas are staged
Kabuki theater Ginza shows
Ticket prices aren’t cheap
Ginza buildings Tokyo Japan
Not that I came to Ginza to watch a Kabuki play
Seiko clock tower Ginza store Tokyo
Ginza is the premier shopping district in Japan
Ginza shopping street Tokyo stores
You can find the flagship stores of many of the world famous brands here. But I wasn’t here to shop at Prada.
Uniqlo flagship store Ginza Tokyo
I came to Ginza mainly to check out the 12-storey Uniqlo store here, which is the largest in Tokyo

Tokyo was a lot colder than I thought, and so I came looking for more clothing to keep me warm throughout the rest of my journey. I ended up buying a fair bit as the sale was pretty damn good and I got a clothes (including a pair of winter pants, two sweatshirts, a shirt and a pair of socks) all for Β₯4405 (Rs. 2420/$36/€32)!

Uniqlo Ginza store Tokyo Japan
This was the top most floor, which was for co-branded Uniqlo clothing
Abercrombie & Fitch store Ginza Tokyo
Abercrombie & Fitch’s flagship store
Ginza shopping district Tokyo
There was a Citibank branch here, so I made the most of it and withdrew some money without any transaction fees charged to my card
Dior Giorgio Armani store Ginza Tokyo
I did walk around Ginza a bit and visited the GAP and Zara stores, but didn’t end up buying anything. I quite liked the architecture of some of the premier brand stores.
Ginza subway station Tokyo
But it was time to head back to Ueno
Ramen shop Ueno Tokyo
Near Kinuya Honkan was a ramen shop. Saw it packed with people, so I figured the food must be good.
Food order vending machine Japan
You pay for your meal using these vending machines

You first pay an amount based on the food prices. For example, I wanted a spicy pork ramen which was Β₯650 (β‚Ή350/$5/€4). After you put in the Β₯650, the buttons for all the dishes that are priced Β₯650 light up. The machine accepts coins and notes. You then select the dish you want, collect your change and the token. You just hand over the token at the counter and they prepare the ramen. It’s quick and served piping hot.

Pork ramen Ueno Tokyo Japan
It was delicious, and I was quite satisfied!

Back in Kinuya Honkan, I re-packed my bags and called it a night after a hot bath. Tomorrow I was going to leave Tokyo and head to Kyoto. My first journey in a bullet train!

Next posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo β€” and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku β€” views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015 – Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji β€” and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport β€” and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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