Previously we were at Icho Namiki, the ginkgo avenue at Aoyama (Tokyo Day 5 Part 1). After that, we visited Akihabara Electric Town or Akiba. Train Station: Akihabara
Lunch at a Busy Food Court
There is a food court in JR Akihabara station and you can use your Suica card to pay for your food there. 99.9% of the customers were salary men (SM) in their 30s and 40s. In fact, when I first got in, I thought the place was meant for men only. I was looking out for a sign that said “Women Prohibited” but luckily we saw two ladies walking in to buy some food (they didn’t eat there though). -_-”
As it was lunch hour, it was quite stressful eating there as people were breathing down your neck waiting for your seat to be empty. We had hot soba noodles again! 570 yen a bowl.
We noticed that Nintendo DS Lite is very popular here, even with adults (I saw a SM playing with his while eating in Akiba food court). DS Lite is slightly cheaper than PSP in Akiba (16800 yen for DS Lite, 19800 yen for PSP, even cheaper when bundled with an internet service provider package).
It seemed that everyone in Tokyo was also carrying similar-looking phones. The phones sold at most of shops were all of similar size and boxy style with different finishes, patterns and colours. I’ll take one in Pantone 9042.
Laox Duty Free
Laox Duty Free shops are electronic stores which have floors dedicated to made-in-Japan goods at affordable price. Do check them (there are a few Laox stores in Akihabara) out if you’re looking for traditional souvenirs. Their employees speak English and they will also gift-wrap your purchases in Japanese-themed wrapping papers of different patterns and colours. Lovely! ^_^
We thought it was a shop selling anime games and DVDs but when we got inside we realised that it’s actually selling Japanese Idol and other erotic DVDs. -_-”"”
Don Quijote (Donki) is a chain of discount stores carrying a wide range of products from handbags to chocolates and electronics to adult costumes. I love Akiba Donki. There were so many things there -– including a 99yen family-sized chocolate bar! The store is identified by its huge blue penguin.
French maid costumes at Donki — 6990-8990 yen.
Tokyo Anime Centre at UDX
We took a break from shopping to visit the Tokyo Anime Center at UDX. The place is much smaller than we expected and neither as informative nor interesting as some guides make it out to be. But we were surprised however, to find a number of restaurants offering affordable dinner menus at UDX (around 700-800 yen).
There were many types of snacks in colourful boxes like these one in Akiba. They sell for about 500-800 yen and would make cute gifts.
For most of these cakes and cookies though, the content is not as cute as the packaging. Like this politician Taro Aso’s Milk Castella.
We tried to visit nearly all the gift, adult, electronics and manga stores in Akiba– a very tiring feat- but we didn’t visit a maid cafe. We bought some cookies called Maid in Tokyo though. ^_^