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“Disappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Akihabara

Sotokanda, Chiyoda 101-0021, Tokyo Prefecture (Ochanomizu / Akihabara / Kanda)
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Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa and Central Tokyo...
Ranked #4 of 105 things to do in Chiyoda
Activities: Shopping
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Owner description: Every electronic gadget imaginable can be found in the stores of this hi-tech, neon-lit neighborhood. The Sony Plaza is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the district.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

I expected to see streets full of manga books and characters with Cosplay of all forms being worn. Really nothing new here mostly what we would call pound shops so plenty of tat as for gadgets nothing I can't already get elsewhere, couldn't even dins a cover for my mobile (Samsung galaxy note) We did see some maids encouraging you to spend some time at the cafe's but over all I cannot recommend it. And I'm a self confessed gamer/manga/anime addict!

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Blue Mountains
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“Akihabara hobby shops”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Akihabara is a shopping district of Tokyo which seems to be fairly well known as 'Electric Town' by its regular clientele. It is apparently so named because it is something of a centre for sales of computers, other electronics (both new and used), as well as video-type games. Other hobby related equipment and gadgetry including cameras can also be obtained here. As it happens it is also something of a major centre for hobby shops - the kind that stock plastic kits, die-cast vehicles, model railways and so on.

I'd recommend that any tourist interested in scale models, if visiting Tokyo, should at least include the shopping district of Akiba (as it is also known) because of the quality of its shops and the sheer quantity and variety of hobby related stock.

There seems to be a sort of formula where many of the hobby shops choose to sub-divide by floors with each floor specialising in some particular theme. Examples include "Tam-Tam" hobby shop, "Asobit Hobby City", the "Yellow Submarine" shop and "Volks" hobby shop but there are several others worthe visiting - all are within walking distance and all seem to be well patronised by local modellers. Most carry a very large range of plastic model aircraft, armoured vehicles and ships, with figures, trains, cars and a host of other kits available. While pricing seems fairly consistent, some specials and bargains can also be had. Most seem to focus on the latest kits but a few also stock older favourites as well. A reasonable range of paints, tools, decals and other after-market accessories can be obtained in most of the shops.

The staff I encountered seemed uniformly polite and helpful, although English speaking tourists may find some slight difficulties communicating a specialised request. The language of scale modelling is pretty universal though so I had no insurmountable troubles in the end.

There seem to be a number of reasonably priced hotels in the area, as well as in the nearby Ueno district (also walkable - about 20 minutes away on foot). Several JR train and subway lines are nearby, including Okachimachi, Akihabara and Suehirocho stations. My main problem was that I found it difficult to stop buying items I was unable to obtain back home so be warned!

Visited September 2012
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“Hundreds of stores with the same products”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012 via mobile

This place was a bit of a let-down as the gadgets were of poor quality and no cheaper than anywhere else. Every shop seemed to have the same stuff with the exception of a few 'adult amusement parks' and themed cafes. My gadget-obsessed husband was not impressed.

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London, United Kingdom
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4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

The area where all things electric and beyond can be purchased. New cafes such as the Maid's Cafe bring a bizarre neo-Japanesk feel to this area of town. Bring your passport for duty free discounts and don't be afraid to bargain for anything electronic.

Visited November 2012
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Senior Reviewer
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5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Aweome place for window shopping”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I've been shopping here for years. Great place for electronics and games that arent in the U.S. yet.

Visited August 2012
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