Tokyo 1 - Akihabara
For my last vacations, I'll start of course with a tour of Tokyo since I spent 5 days there. I certainly have a very distorted and naive view about the city because I only had time to scratch the surface (basically, I went once to each major area), but at least you'll get my tourist's point of view.
I'll start with Akihabara because that's where I stayed the first couple days, at that capsule hotel. Akihabara is the place to go for everything related to electronics and, as most everything in Tokyo, it is totally huge: a neverending line of shops that range from the tiniest, one-room shop, to the huge, 10-storey department store!
Obviously, the choice is unbelievable: to put it simply, whatever you're looking for, chances are you'll find it in Akihabara. PC, hifi, photo and video, etc etc. On the other hand, you need a good deal of energy to check out all shops and compare prices!
But it's not all, there are also figurine shops:
This one says "DVD, videos, books, games", but apart fro, the first floor that actually has a few games, the other 4 floors only sell porn DVDs:
And probably quite a few things I can't even imagine...
On the other hand, it's not a very lively area at night: no problem to find a place to eat or a game center, but I don't think you will find any romantic restaurant for a date...However, its central location in Tokyo makes it a good base to visit the city!
And I recommend you read the related wikipedia article, indeed the district's history is particularly interesting.
And do you know many places where they show; in the street, special programs about the 20-year old "Ghosts'n goblins" series:
They even explain techniques to defeat the infamous red demon, one of the hardest ennemies of the whole video game history, those of my generation who frequented the game centers in the 80s will understand what I'm talking about...The game used to be one of the hardest, but hard doesn't rime with Japanese player and I saw a guy in Nagoya completing the game while smoking his cigarette...he wasn't even looking like he was trying. OK, I'm done with my old video game memories, the next post will be about Harajuku!