Previously, we’ve discussed about the Electric Town of Akiba and Gadgets. This time, let us take a look at another popular reason to visit Akihabara: anime and games. Akihabara or more commonly called as Akiba has been strongly identified with anime and games in recent times, mostly because of anime, TV shows and movies that takes place in the said area. Akiba is also home to legions of otaku that flock its streets everyday. It is mainly thanks to them that Akiba is what it is now.
Akihabara is best known as a Gamer’s Mecca, no one can possibly miss the huge towers of Sega and Taito, along with other amusement centers in the area. Akiba is home to numerous eighties games which can be found in the amusement centers all over. The skill level of people playing these games are very high. It is sometimes more fun to just watch these pros play than to actually play. Akiba also boasts a cadre of shops that sell console games. All games that have ever been made can arguably be found in Akiba. Game prices range depending on the rarity of the game. One store worth noting is Super Potato, the three floor shop is stacked with games (some of which are from more than a decade ago). The first floor is mostly dedicated to the games of the past, from the game and watch, NES, NEO GEO and other old favorites. The games are very organized and looking for a particular game is very easy. If you are looking for any particular game, Super Potato probably has it. The second floor of the shop is devoted to more recent consoles like the Playstation and Dreamcast, but it also features a lot of fun (albeit useless) stuff you’d want to buy. I mean, who can resist a two meter tall Mario or a lifesize statue of Naked Snake? The last floor offers arcades so gear up for some competetive action. If you ever get the urge to take trip to your childhood and re-visit old but favorite games, stop by and relive the countless hours you spent playing Galaga or Super Mario 3.
Another thing that Akihabara is most associated with is anime. Anime is a big part of Akiba. Akiba even has The Tokyo Animation Center which offers information, film showings and demos that focus on animation and gaming. This center can be found by heading out the right side of the Akihabara station. They are open from eleven in the morning up to seven in the evening, admission is free. I recommend visiting this place when you are in the area. In Akiba, you can find anime in all its forms, from DVDs to action figures and every merchandising any anime franchise has probably released. Shops that specialize in anime goods are abound. And where there are anime there are bound to be toys. Toys from plastic models to action figures to figurines can be found for sale or on display in the many specialty shops of Akiba. There are toys for all ages and for a more mature crowd. Just walk around and you’re bound to see these stores. Whether you’re into collecting toys or not, you will probably enjoy these shops since it is not only visually pleasing but a fun place to take pictures of the various toys.
If you’re into cosplaying, Akihabara also has some costume shops that are worth checking out. They offer various ready-made costumes from sailor uniforms to plugsuits (Neon Genesis Evangelion). If you’re not into cosplaying, it’s also fun just to check them out. Games and toys are not just for kids. There are also specially made ones called eroge or erotic games and adult toys. Inflatable dolls or action figures of your favorite game, anime or manga character are also available.
When you’re in the Tokyo area, don’t hesitate to drop by Akihabara. Even if you are not into the things that Akihabara offers, it’s guaranteed that you’ll still have a great time. Take a trip back to your childhood. Let the kid inside you indulge, if only for a little while.