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Akihabara - The Electric Town

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Most phones are pretty chunky but packed with technology

Sleeping in a dormitory with 7 oher people is not the best choice for a light sleeper, it’s hard to get a good night rest when the record is constantly playing a symphony of snoring, farting and twitching of covers.  The morning was probably the worst part because every day there was a keen traveller who got up at the crack of dawn to visit the tuna auction at Tsukiji market, which starts at 3 in the morning!!

 

So this morning I got up early and set off on my first mission, buy a subway and railway card.

Laox shopping centre, good place to buy overseas goods.
  Public transportation in Tokyo is excellent, it’s clean, most signs are bilingual, the trains are always bang on time and there’s lots of machines to buy you ticket so you hardly have to queue.  However there are several companies running the trains and when you change from one to another you have to pay a transfer cost, this can get a bit confusing.  A Pasmo card solves every problem (note not a Suica card as mentioned in my travel guide, which caused lots of confusion).  It has worked in most cases with few exceptions, still not sure why but I played the part of the dumb foreigner (which I’m getting very good at!) and the barrier inspector sorted me out.  I don’t think it helps to put the card with your credit cards, maybe it affects the magnetic strip?!

 

Ok, with my new card and a big smile of achievement I went off to visit the place I read the most about:  Akihabara, or the Electric Town.

Tiny laptops for tiny fingers
  If like me you are a bit geeky, you have an electronic feeder for you fish tank, remote controlled lamps and you never miss an episode of the gadget show, Akihabara is the place to visit.  No kidding, the are hundreds of shops selling every possible and imaginable electronic gadget.  Simply put ‘if it has a power supply, you’ll find it here!’.

 

I spent all day in Akihabara and visited many of the biggest stores, Yodobashi camera and Laox are amongst the best.  I played with the latest phone sets, with TV, GPS and super duper camera as standard features;  I took photos of sexy Japanese shopping assistants with shit-hot cameras; I browsed the web with tiny little laptops and checked my email whilst I could - bit cheeky I know :-) and at the end of the day I walked home with a tidy Toshiba laptop and a Casio Exilim 8Mp camera.  Just what I wanted to document my trip and keep in touch with my old buddies.

Akihabara at night
  The price was good at 650 squid for both and I didn’t pay tax by showing my passport as proof that I wasn’t staying in Tokyo for more than 6 month.

 

Beer Buddies!!

 

By now I had been away from Wales for 3 days so I was looking forward to a nice beer in the pub.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone in the hostel keen to join me, so I wondered by my self in the Asakusa district.  I walked for ages but all I could see were those now familiar small diners.

Very expensive washing mahcines
  It seems like most pubs over here are tucked away in the upper levels of buildings.  Eventually I followed a sign for the tip top sports bar – sounds good to me.  I entered the lift, pressed number 2 and when the doors opened I stepped into what looked like someone’s broom cupboard!  Seriously, my toilet is bigger than this bar.  There were two electronic dart boards on the walls, counting for the ‘sports’ element of the bar, one slot machine, two tables and four chairs.  Three Japanese were sat on stools, squeezed up shoulder to shoulder at the bar, well… a wooden plank 2 metres long!  Just like in a movie the place went totally quiet.  One of the chaps got up and kindly gave me his seat, so I sat down in the middle, rubbing shoulders with the other two and looking like a right lemon pointing at the only beer pump at the bar.

 

It was quite embarrassing at first, but the night did get better.  After a beer I joined the guys for a game of darts, they explained the rules in Japanese, I nodded like I knew the game and I was the first one out!  Later a couple turned up and the chap spoke good English, we had a long chat, watched Japanese tv on his girlfriend’s phone, had a few more beers and I went home at 3am – pubs here don’t seem to have a lock up time.

john1112 says:
great blog!
having a great time reading it.

:D
Posted on: Nov 11, 2008
babyaly1 says:
I hope your automatic fish feeder works all year while you are gone !! Your fish may get hungry :o)
Posted on: Sep 12, 2008
alicegourmet says:
That's fun to check on different hi-tech gadgets! I think I can spend half a day in that area! :p
Posted on: Jul 31, 2008
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Most phones are pretty chunky but …
Most phones are pretty chunky but…
Laox shopping centre, good place t…
Laox shopping centre, good place …
Tiny laptops for tiny fingers
Tiny laptops for tiny fingers
Akihabara at night
Akihabara at night
Very expensive washing mahcines
Very expensive washing mahcines
Selection of water filters
Selection of water filters
This is a typical scene on the st…
Ok this isn't so impressive but I…
Tokyo
photo by: maka77