1. February 2019. My day in Tokyo’s Akihabara Electric Town stands as one of the most memorable during my ten-day stay in the Japanese capital! There is SO much to see and do it can be overwhelming, but boy oh boy did I give it my best shot! The day kicked off with breakfast at the Maidreamin’ Maid Café, before an hour hanging out with Akiba Fukurou’s rare owls. Later on I managed to pick up some T-shirts at Don Quijote, climb all eight floors of the anime-manga wonderland Mandarake Complex, reconnect with some cherished childhood memories at Super Potato and grab a steak dinner at Pepper Lunch. After that there was anime-adorned coffee at Gundam Café and a manic evening at the high-octane Sega 1 and 3 Arcades. And those were just the highlights! In this article I’ll attempt to mop up some other cool bits in between. I must have dipped in and out of a dozen little stores that day and the above photo, taken in Liberty Anime, was just one of them. This is one of their glass cases featuring models from the legendary Japanese manga series One Piece. The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy (far left) whose body gains the properties of rubber after eating a devil fruit. I hate it when that happens.
2. February 2019. Another very cool store is EpiXis Akiba, described somewhat vaguely as a “merchandise, media and adult chain store”. There are some fascinating and downright bizarre products here, like this menacing-looking “bloody bath time” box. No longer do you have to suffer the inconvenience of taking a bath without the fantasy of submerging yourself in thick, red, scented blood-like foam.
Elsewhere there were key rings, posters, coloring books and stickers dedicated to the worshipped Japanese girl pop idol group AKB48 and some really cool manga adaptations of Hollywood movie franchises. The stylish and beautifully illustrated Back to the Future compendium particularly caught my eye.
3. February 2019. I’d kind of forgotten about Pokemon GO. but Tokyo clearly hasn’t and there are some pretty big gyms scattered around Akihabara. This one, right outside the landmark Square Enix Café, had around fifty trainers clustered together to battle each out and of course remain eagle-eyed for new, exotic beasts to add to their roster.
4. February 2019. While I made my way through countless Akihabara stores, Wonderboy spent the lion’s share of his day in the massive Radio Kaikan Building, a one-stop-shop bursting with electrics, anime, manga, collectible models and idol goods. Open daily from 10:00-20:00, there are twelve floors to explore, two of which are underground. You can find it looming large over Akihabara Station’s Electric Town Exit (South Side).
5. February 2019. Don’t leave Tokyo without trying a delicious Taiyaki or three. This traditional Japanese dessert is a waffle-like creation designed in the shape of a fish. Customers can choose their desired filling, from traditional red bean paste to custard, chocolate, sweet potato and even cheese. This Taiyaki stall is on Akihabara’s main avenue (Chuo Dori) in front of the entrance to Pepper Lunch and directly opposite the road from Sega 1 Arcade. I went for chocolate (200JPY/£1.60/€/$1.80) and it was damn good!
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