Akihabara is a frenetic Tokyo neighborhood where Japanese art, Otaku culture and electronics collide in a melange of sight and sound.
We interrupt our culinary tour of Tokyo for a brief break – an intermezzo if you will. By now, you’ve digested the first two courses of our Japanese epicurean odyssey. So, we want to give you a brief break from the food photos so that you didn’t get too full too quickly.
When eating so much great food while traveling, it is highly beneficial to let some of that awesome food digest while taking in the sights and sounds. Plus, you can see so much while on foot, both at eye level and by looking up.
Tokyo’s Akihabara District
A great place to walk around and absorb the sights and sounds is Tokyo’s Akihabara district. Just two stops from Tokyo Station, Akihabara is a neighborhood known for its electronic superstores. There’s a reason that it’s known as Electric Town, but the neighborhood is so much more.
You could say that Akihabara is the world capital of geek boy culture. The neighborhood provides a one stop shopping experience where a teenage boy could buy a whole bunch of anime videos and manga comic books along with the audio-visual system to watch them on while fantasizing about the scantily clad maids who inhabit the street scape.
The Otaku culture which encompasses those forms breathes Akihabara with life. There is kitsch everywhere from the multi-story stores like the Mandarake Complex to the store fronts with touts hawking their wares.
The neighborhood is known for the maid cafes where you can get some entertainment with your snack. We have mixed views about the maids Cute and fun OR sexualized and creepy? – you decide. Either way, the maids certainly add character to the neighborhood.
Where to Stay in Akihabara
We spent the first part of our trip at the Dormy Inn Akihabara. The hotel was a perfect spot for us – conveniently located, modern room and a wonderful rooftop onsen with indoor and outdoor hot springs and saunas available all day and night.
Dormy Inn Akihabara is located at 4 Chome-12-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan.
As an added bonus, this hotel is less than a block away from 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan, a new shopping area under the JR train tracks. It’s a fun place to look at locally made crafts and also to buy earrings.
Unfortunately, we weren’t in the market for new electronics during our stay in Akihabara. But at least now we know where to go the next time that we are. It’s too bad that we’ll need to take a long plane ride to get to Akihabara!