11 Feb
A visit to Tokyo is not complete without a stop at Akihabara, the electronic capitol of the world ! By day it’s a bustling sea of people, with shops and department stores selling all range of electronic gadgets. At night the neon signs shine bright with just as much pandemonium and bartering occurring in street stalls and big department stores. Near the station you will find back streets crammed with vendors selling everything from cameras, watches and handycams to minute gadgets and electronic parts. I’ve often sat down amongst the sea of people and imagined what this place would’ve been like, say 20 or 30 years ago, with the stock on display telling a tale of how technology has changed….ie street sellers trying to offload the latest TVs back in 1970, or a walkman in 1981. Nowadays it’s MP3 players, USB storage devices, DVD recorders, cell phones, digital cameras etc. I like to check out the large electronic department stores in Akihabara where the volume of items on sae is overwhelming. Floor after floor of computer software and hardware, digital and audio devices; if you can’t find what you are looking for here – they don’t have it. To give you an example, mouse mats – not just one – but a whole row of the things ! Same goes with laptops, clocks, MP3 players and the like. Same goes with mobile phones here – the range to choose from is mind boggling. Do you homework before you arrive here – be prepared to shop around and then haggle on the final price; with competition from other retails so fierce, you will be surprised what a bargain you may walk away with. I’ve always wanted to find a TV wrist watch but am yet to locate one. Oh and if girls in french maid outfits is your thing – they are usually found outside the station most evenings.

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