Geek World. Akihabara is synonymous with otaku (geeks) but you don’t have to obsess about manga or anime to enjoy this quirky neighborhood. Near Akihabara Station you can find an old-school radio center under the tracks or along the neon lights you can find French maids trying to entice customers into a local maid café. Electric town holds a huge concentration of electronic shops, DVD retailers, and figurine sellers. You can expect squads of geeks on the lookout for the latest anime goods, but it also draws shoppers from across the world.
As the afternoon is the prime time to walk around this city to catch the bustle of this electronic city, we made a quick stop in the evening. Akihabara has turned to the boom market in cartoon manga, often pornographic, to round out its fiscal activity. We caught many advertisements showing the types of electronics and manga that are found in this neighborhood.
However, there was one particular reason that we went to Akihabara:
AKB48 is a Japanese idol girl group that consists of about 89 girls, ranging from their teens to early twenty’s in age. They are like the Spice Girls of Japan. They have one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, and have achieved such popularity in Japanthat they have been “characterized as a social phenomenon”. These girls are huge beyond words. AKB48 is named after Akihabara (Akiba for short), the area in Tokyo where the group’s theater is located. AKB48’s producer Yasushi Akimoto’s idea was to create a girl group that, unlike a regular pop group, which gives occasional concerts and that is mostly seen on TV, would have its own theater and perform there on a daily basis; the fans would always be able to go and see the girls live. AKB48 still performs at the theater daily, with tickets distributed by lottery. Akimoto has also expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups throughout Japan, and all over Asia.
Not only do they have their own theater in Akihabara but the girls have their own café! It’s a little cliché but I had to check it out! They have a café area, providing a menu of all of the pop stars favorite foods, as well as an area to sit and watch the singers’ music videos on a big screen. We didn’t care for the food so much, but it was neat just to visit a place and be immersed in the Japanese pop culture music scene.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!