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Tech geeks around the world should add Akihabara, Japan to their bucket lists. Known as the tech capital of the world, this Tokyo district is one of the most exciting tech destinations across the globe. Immediately upon arrival, travelers are overwhelmed by the vibrant, tech-enhanced area. Offering a huge choice of tech stores, exhibitions, and super-cool experiences, there are a plethora of things to keep entertained here. We’ve rounded up the top reasons to visit Akihabara, Japan:
Huge, High-Tech Gaming Centers
No matter where you turn in Akihabara, you’ll come across huge, high-tech gaming centers. These centers host an incredible number of games, spread across practically every genre. You’ll get to enjoy the newest releases, alongside retro classics.
What’s great about these game centers, is that they often include more than just gaming. Many of them have entire floors dedicated to novelty photo booths, and in some cases, outfits are even provided so you can enjoy a cosplay photo shoot. These gigantic gaming centers alone are worth the trip to Akihabara.
Countless Electronic Stores
Found on almost every corner of Akihabara, are electronic stores. The district’s main street, Chuo-Dori, has a particularly impressive selection of electrical stores offering practically every type of electrical gadget and appliance you can think of. Even if you’re staying in Akihabara for a whole week, you’ll struggle to browse all of its electrical stores in one trip.
The Radio Centre
If you’d like to learn a little more about Tokyo’s underground culture and how Akihabara started out, head to the Radio Centre. There’s a brilliant atmosphere here, along with great narrow alleyways, through which you’ll discover an endless number of electrical components. Those who aren’t particularly interested in electronics are still likely to find a trip to the Radio Centre fascinating.
Cheap & Delicious Cuisine
Of course, a trip to Akihabara isn’t just about the electronics. You’ll also get to tuck into the mouthwatering and exotic food. Commonly referred to by locals as B-Grade cuisine, you’ll find an enormous selection of dishes available. As well as affordable restaurants, there are additionally tons of street food vendors, offering everything from Ramen to Japanese curries. If you’re a bit of a fussy eater, be sure to do some research before heading out for B-Grade meals.
Awesome Vending Machines
Vending machines may be pretty commonplace in the U.K and America, but they have nothing on the machines you’ll find in Akihabara. Here, visitors can come across some of the most unusual vending machines in the world.
If you want to see some of the strangest, make your way to what is commonly referred to as “Vending Machine Corner”. It can be found just a couple of minutes from the Akihabara station, and it’s the signs on these machines, rather than the contents that are strange. The flurry of bright signs on the machines read things like “Warning. This is not a toilet” add to the bizarre yet intriguing atmosphere. In terms of strange things to purchase from the vending machines, expect foods like Ramen, phone accessories, and a huge variety of Japanese toys.
These are just some of the reasons to consider a trip to Akihabara. If you’re really into your tech and gadgets, no other place in the world can compare to this tech capital. Before you go, it’s worth planning an itinerary in advance and checking out the vacation rentals in Tokyo — with so much to see and do, you’ll want to narrow down your options and ensure you leave with some futuristic experiences.
Akihabara even has an animation series themed café! The show began in 1979 and is one of the most popular media franchises in Japan. The anime tells the story of giant robots piloted by humans and if you are a fan of comics and anime culture, you’ll certainly love the Gundam-themed food and drinks (as well as souvenirs), served by Gundam-dressed staff. If you don’t feel like sitting, you have the option of getting a takeaway.
Although not tech-themed per se, visiting a maid cafe is a true Japanese experience. These are themed cafes with all the personnel dressed as butlers and maids treating the customers as a “master” in a private home. While costumes vary from café to café, the majority of them are dressed as French maids and have accessories such as a dress, a petticoat, a pinafore, a matching hair accessory. While maid cafes are expanding internationally, Akihabara still offers the top choices!
These are just some of the reasons you’ll want to consider a trip to Akihabara. If you’re really into your tech and gadgets, no other place in the world can compare to this tech capital. Before you go, it’s worth planning an itinerary in advance. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to narrow down your options.
About the author: Vlad Rasate is a Leeds University graduate and a former slave of the 9-to-5 regime. One day Vlad had enough and plunged into the unknown in pursuit of his wanderlust desires. He has been roaming (and sometimes writing about) the world ever since.