In the Meiji Era (1868 to 1912), Akihabara specialized in domestic goods and accessories, in the inter-war years it was bicycles, but now, it’s gadgets galore – from the latest most useful to the latest most useless – Akihabara is the electronics capital of Japan.
Electronic retailing began in Akihabara just after World War II when a large demand for radios spurred the growth of a black market. At that time, the main customers were students. They found that by building and selling radios they could make a lot of money. Today the market occupies the alleyways close to JR Akihabara Station. (“Electric Town” Exit).
The larger shops are located along Chuo Dori Avenue. With a good range of export models and some English speaking staff, for computers head for T-Zone. For general items try Laox or Ishimaru (which, by the way, does a very good line in electronically sophisticated toilet seats). To check the voltage requirements for your home country check this Wikipedia page.
Competition is fierce between the shops and prices can vary quite substantially. A good website to check prices on is kakaku.com, although the site is all in Japanese. Many of the shops listed on kakaku.com are located in Akihabara.
Maid Coffe Shops
Maid Kissa are a new phenomenon in Tokyo. “Kissa” is short for “kisaten” in Japanese which means Japanese. They are mostly found in the Akihabara…read more on Maid Kissa
Yodobashi – Akihabara Store
Yodobashi have stores all over Tokyo, but the new store in Akihabara has to be one of the biggest electronic stores in Tokyo. The store has 9 floors with over 23,000 square metres of floor space, featuring over 600,000 items. If you can’t find what you are looking for here you, probably will not be able to find in Tokyo.
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Featured image in this article by Mathieu Thouvenin, CC 2.0