Anime, Manga, Video Games:

Anime, Manga, Video Games - We went to Tokyo’s nerd paradise Akihabara and found ourselves in a digital wonderland

Whoever ventures into the depths of the electronic city of Tokyo, in the east of the Yamanote ring line, is engulfed by total modernity, an apocalyptic future that is in…
Anime, Manga, Video Games

We went to Tokyo’s nerd paradise Akihabara and found ourselves in a digital wonderland

Whoever ventures into the depths of the electronic city of Tokyo, in the east of the Yamanote ring line, is engulfed by total modernity, an apocalyptic future that is in absolute contrast to peace of mind, an idyll that we often wish to come back. Akihabara is a place permeated with technology, lights and sounds. Nobody finds peace here and everyone is distracted by everything.

Countless multi-storey shops full of electronic achievements share the narrow space around the train station in Chiyoda. Washing machines, televisions, smart phones. It’s really hard to not get distracted by the colorful billboards and the loud J-pop songs, which simultaneously scream from all the more or less hidden speakers. Akihabara is a place full of well-hidden and often delicate treasures.

You only have to venture through the small and large doors, into the backyards and onto the stairs. It’s not uncommon to stumble into wonder worlds isolated from the outside world. In gigantic halls where you can only buy board games. In shimmering reddish passages, where DVDs with naked girls are piled up around you. In small cellars where only small plastic figures are sold.

And of course anime, manga and video games. Everywhere, whether old, whether new, whether rare, whether mainstream. If you have a heart for nostalgia, it will simply melt away in Akihabara. Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, Game Boy. The colorful characters from your childhood smile at you and you just want to buy them all and bring them to your home, to your life. In Akihabara, your childhood is still alive.

Past cafés, in which cute girls sell coffee and cake in even sweeter costumes, into the comic cellars, from which there is no escape. Here’s something for every taste. For the adventurous, for the lovers. For the technology fans, for the music enthusiasts. For the funny ones, for the perverts. Various fantasy worlds wherever you look. Japan needs that, today more than ever.

If you still have a few yen left, put them in one of the cute looking slot machines that lure with high scores, noises and winnings. If you stay brave and focused, a soft toy finds its way into your own arms. Or a mask. Or a little mascot that is supposed to bundle happiness. Money is converted into goods in high-rise buildings faster than you can say “Arigato”.

Akihabara isn’t meant to be a place where people feel comfortable. It’s a consumer tsunami that makes your brain go insane. It’s a well oiled machine decorated with lights and sounds. And yet you roam the blazing streets of this monster with a strange kind of satisfaction if you think about the importance of this unique place. Akihabara is a dream come true for everyone who still believes in magic.

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