Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An Afternoon In Akihabara Part 1

I went visit Akihabara in the April of 2015 on a beautiful Saturday morning.  I started off the day at Kanda Myojin, the Love Live Shrine (I wrote about that here), then went on to have a nice afternoon in Akiba.  It had changed a fair bit since I visited in 2013, and the new Radio Kaikan building was now open too!  While I didn't visit any maid cafes (I kind of figured it would not be as good an experience as I didn't speak enough Japanese and was on my own), I did see a great deal of this wonderful anime neighbourhood. So, here is a walk around the area in pictures and a bit of commentary.

South End of Chuo Dori, down by the river, with the orange Sega building.  Just one block north of here you can still see the Gamers sign on top of the corner building and the Mai Dreaming Maid Cafe signs in the blue building.  To the right of that building is the main Akihabara Electric Town exit street (from Akihabara Station), Gamers, and the Radio Kaikan Building. 
One block west of Chuo Dori is the main Akihabara side-street full of shops and Kotobukiya way down there.
Honey Toast Cafe Sign.  One floor up was the Final Fantasy Cafe.  Need reservations from what I gather.  This is also at the south end of Akiba near the river.
Honeytoast display.
Capsule machines at the cafe and some bread bowls in the sign next to it.
I wanted to go to Denny's but the smell of cigarette smoke was pretty strong just inside the door so I just figured I'd skip it.
Closeup of the Sega Arcade.
Gundam Game
Gundam Pod machines for networked battle inside the Sega.
Border Break Machines.
Another game.
And yet another game that I've never heard of.  It is interesting that the arcades even have pamphlets explaining how to play some of these.
Walking down the side street.  All the pictures for the next while are down this one side street!  Lots of see on it, with a KFC, Kotobukiya, maid cafes, Akiba Culture Zone, etc.
Anime pictures everywhere.
Oddball vending machine with a weird variety of prizes and it isn't cheap either! No thanks.
KFC right under the train tracks.  You can eat up on the second floor.
The Colonel himself explaining where the chicken is sourced from.  No imports!
Tasty looking menu.
I just needed a sit down and a quick snack.  I thought I would try the chicken as I have never had it in Japan.  The ladies inside the KFC even had someone that spoke English to help me.  They were super nice!
Kentucky grilled onigiri (rice ball).  It wasn't bad with a bit of soy, and it was something I wanted to try.
Just a boneless piece of chicken.  Was tasty and I almost wished I had ordered more/
Outside this pachinko parlour are these coin lockers that sometimes get branded with anime overlays.  Nothing too interesting while I was there.  The Evangelion coin lockers were my favourite.
Still walking north up the street.
It's Sword Art!
Maid Cafe Banner and the maids sometimes come out on the balcony to call out for customers.
Pretty much the end of the street with the Animate in the back of the Akiba Zone building.  The street continues north, but this is the main part of it.
Maid!
Some UFO catchers.
The Kotobukiya Store
Lots of Danboard merchandise inside Kotobukiya.
Love Live figures.
Tales of ... figures.

Look at all the Cardboard Cutout figures.  They were everywhere around the escalators.  Lots of stuff to see and buy in this multi-level store.
Girls und Panzer.  One of my favourite anime.
Ghost in the Shell Arise.
Frame Arms.
Special exhibit on the top floor with some awesomely crafted large figures of Ninja Turtles and Transformers.
Ninja Turtles.
Optimus and I forget who the silver dude is.
Bumblebee.

Optimus
The Akiba Zone building.  Multiple floors of used and new anime goods, with the Goodsmile Cafe on the top.  As luck would have it, the cafe theme was more for the ladies when I was there. 
Live sized Hatsune Miku
More gashapon machines.

Snack gift goods.
Figures for sale.
Display of used figures for sale.
Missing something from your gashapon set, get it here. Thousands of bags of figures.
Finally, across the street, just north, from Akiba Zone are the original vending machines selling canned oden.  Japanese stew.  This was the orginal location for the machines, but the machines are newer and the area around them has changed.  No electronics store anymore for example.
Canned oden machine.
Stew anyone?

Here is the building with the machines to the side.  Full of UFO catchers.
That's all for part one.

Here is another post about Akihabara I did awhile back.
A Morning At Kanda Myojin Shrine before visiting Akihabara
An Afternoon In Akihabara Part 1
An Afternoon in Akihabara Part 2
An Afternoon in Akihabara Part 3

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