Yamanote Line

Image by Gaijin Camera

Akihabara Station

19 秋葉原

Akihabara, which is also known as Akihabara Electric Town , is the neighborhood of Tokyo considered to be the largest single place in the world to buy electronics.

Akihabara Station秋葉原駅・あきはばらえき (秋葉原: 秋 – autumn 葉 – leaves 原 – fields) is one of the most famous and popular stops on the Yamanote Line. It is home to a large number of electronic and gadgets stores and in recent times have become popular with manga and anime otaku.

After a massive fire in 1869 decimated the area of present day Akihabara, the 明治めいじ・Meiji government ordered the area cleared as a fire break and built a 神社じんじゃ・shrine on the cleared land.

The shrine was eventually moved to Asakusa浅草・あさくさ, and in 1890 as railways improved access to the area, which was being used to grow fruit at the time, it became an official fruit 市場いちば・market.

The fruit market eventually moved to Kanda and, just before World War II as railroad building was reaching its peak, the Akihabara area became the number one place for 電化製品でんかせいひん・electrical supplies. After World War II the present day Electric Town sprang up to serve the needs of the students and faculty of the First School of Electrical Manufacturing, the predecessor of the Tokyo Denki University東京電機大学・とうきょうでんきだいがく.

Electric Town grew from there into what it is now.

Electric Town is a short walk away from Akihabara Station’s west exit. The main street of the area, the 中央通りちゅうおうどうり・Chuo-Dori, is lined with a great number of large retailers selling all varieties of new electronics. You can find everything from old school Nintendo Entertainment Systems to the latest in 3D TVs in this area.

Akihabara has also become the center of animeアニメ・あにめ culture in Japan. There are hundreds of stores specializing in video game, anime, mangaマンガ・まんが and goods related to those things, as well as cosplayコスプレ・こすぷれ cafés where the waiters and waitresses dress up as anime characters. 漫画喫茶店まんがきっさてん・Manga cafes, where one can read comics, watch DVDs, surf the internet or play a variety of games while enjoying something to eat or drink are also extremely popular.

If you are interested in anime then a visit to the Tokyo Anime Center東京アニメセンター・とうきょうあにめせんたー is a must. It’s events gallery holds screenings of the latest anime shows, serves as a recording studio for some of those very same shows, and hosts talk shows with the voice actors.

Finally, Akihabara is an enclave for arcade gaming with hundreds of large ゲームセンターarcades spread throughout the area. There are entire floors dedicated to every variety of game and several classic consoles and games, like Galaga, Tekken available for you to play. Need a dose of gaming nostalgia? This is the place to get it.

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