Akihabara is known as "Electric Town" - it is here that the biggest
concentration of electronic stores in Tokyo is found. The competition is cut
throat and prices generally much lower than elsewhere in Tokyo. Few Tokyoites
will consider a major electronic purchase without first visiting Akihabara. It is also the place to go for the latest in anime and video games.
In Japan a new model of a kitchen appliance comes on the market at least
every year. For televisions, video cameras, video machines and stereos, a model
is old after six months. For PC and PC peripherals the lifespan is even shorter
and for some cellular phones it can be as short as five weeks! You may find
electronic cheaper back home but unlikely newer. In large stores, which often
have several branches in Akihabara such as Llaox, Sato Musen, Yamagiwa and
Ishimaru, you can see and compare the latest models from all major Japanese
The love for the new often means that the old can be had for a song.
Literally thousands of smaller stores sell these "last year’s models" for
much cheaper than the flashier stores with the up to the minute models.
Right in front of JR Akihabara station is a kind of component market.
Hundreds of minute stores, some not bigger than a seat for the owner and tens of
boxes with thousands of small components are squashed in together in a small
crowded area. Aisles are narrow and with stuff hanging from the ceilings taller
people have to duck from time to time but you can get practically anything used
in any electronic or electric device here. Need an adapter for a Dell notebook
cable to plug a small South African standard three-point plug into a Japanese
two-point outlet? Email me - I can cut your search down from more than 20 stalls
that I had to visit to just one!
Shops in Akihabara tend to open late - at 10:00 am the place is still
virtually dead. Best is to arrive at 11. Shops stay open until about 20:00. Like
the rest of Tokyo
Akihabara is best reach by JR Chuo or Yamanote lines. There is an Akihabara
subway station but it spews you out at the wrong end of the JR station and you
are in for a long walk on pedestrian unfriendly roads. Best is to use the Ginza
subway line to Suehirocho Station, which takes you to the computer shop end of
Akihabara. Consumer electronic and electric devices dominate the area closer to
the JR station.
People go to Akihabara to shop not to eat so the choice of restaurants in
this area, although improved the last couple of years, remains dismal. Apart
from some fast food outlets and a few coffee shops the choice is pretty
unappetizing and it is better to head elsewhere at meal times.
Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Metro Manila, Philippines
April 9, 2012
From journal 10-day business trip to Japan
May 11, 2007
From journal Visiting Tokyo
October 27, 2006
From journal So, What Else is in Tokyo Besides Disneyland?
August 23, 2006
From journal Visiting Akihabara: The Electric City
August 28, 2005
From journal Trapped in Tokyo
Mexico City, Mexico
March 25, 2002
From journal Tokyo - bargain shopping and dining