Any WordPress blogger at one point in their blogging life has probably obsessed over their Site Stats. I love this part of my dashboard because I get to see Search Engine Terms and Top Posts & Pages. The second all time Search Term that has led to Slouching Somewhere is Akihabara. So to all fellow Akiba fans who stumble upon here, here’s a map my husband and I got from the time we toured Tokyo’s Electric City courtesy of a HIS Experience Japan tour. The tour by Patrick Galbraith in his Goku get-up is no longer available, but you can click on the map for an enlarged view and save it for a DIY tour. (A more detailed and exhausting tale of our day in Akihabara is here.)
The map marked with numbers on where we stopped...
1. Start at the exit of JR Akihabara Station, near Curry Kitchen Spice and Beck's Coffee Shop.
2. Go toward Akihabara Electric Wave Hall. First stop, the radio center where our guide showed us old radios and told us about the history of Akiba.
Of course all the new electronics are also found in Akiba
3. Go through an alley and enter the Radio Kaikan building (across with the K-Books sign). There you can find Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo in the 4th floor and Volks in the 6th and 7th floor.
Kaiyodo is supposedly the oldest store in Akihabara specializing in figurines of animé and manga characters and Volks is a showroom featuring different dolls, action figures, tool and materials. I love it that in their website they claim: Our well-trained staff will switch your "?" to "!" by offering good services. Hehe.
How about some dolls?
4 and 5. Go to the next building where there are other hobby stores and where our guide gave all of us in the group gashapon or capsule toys in vending machines.
6 to 8. We had to cross the main road of Chuo Dori and walked around while our guide pointed out some buildings and stories about Akihabara, the maid cafes, the toys, about otakus, etc. He also pointed out this cluster of vending machines, which had yakitori and all sorts of Japanese food in a can. It was the only thing I tasted in Japan that wasn’t very good.
- Need a drink or canned food, get it in a vendo machine
9 to 11. Mandarake, the manga super store, more maid cafes pointed out and a stop at Houren Park.
12. Moesham, the salon-slash-maid cafe where the prettiest, youngest and inexperienced maids/stylists gave the most expensive services.
13. A peek into the office of Kondo Robo Spot, where a handful of people were still inside (on a Sunday afternoon) working on different robots. Awesome.
14. More walking in and out of tiny streets...
...and a stop inside a maid cafe: Cos-Cha Cafe & Kitchen. (No photos are allowed inside)
15 to 16. After an amusing break at the maid cafe, go inside Art Jeuness, an art gallery if you want some dose of anime with your art. At the time we went, it featured drawings of anime-looking girls and characters, many of whom were in skimpy outfits or lingerie. This one is the more wholesome of the lot.
17 to 19. Go to the top floor of a Don Quijote store where the 48-strong girl band, AKB48 performs during Sundays to see Japanese fan-dom. Pass by a small shrine for some peace and quiet before doing a last stop at the Tokyo Anime Center for more anime girls and don't forget, robots.
Here are other useful links for Akiba info: Danny Choo and his map and tour around Akihabara (love his Culture Japan show) and the Tokyo Otaku Guide.