Monday, 20 October 2014

Akihabara Aint All That

I am now home from Tokyo but before I put that horrible memory behind me I want to tell you a little about a place called Akihabara and how it isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Just in case there are people who aren't clued in on their Japan shit, Akihabara is a bit like nerd Mecca.  If you're into manga, video games or weird shit like maid cafes then people will tell you that Akihabara is THE place to visit if you go to Japan.  This might be the case if you're a hardcore anime fan, but for a gamer Akihabara is a bit of a disappointment.

It's not a shitty place by any stretch and there are a lot of things to like about the place.  For example it doesn't matter if you're into new games or retro games, chances are that if you want something you WILL be able to find it in Akihabara.  The selection on display in some of the stores in this area is nuts, it's the only place I've seen a fully stocked shelf of MSX games and that's just one thing of many.

However, as good as all this may seem, Akihabara is massively overpriced ESPECIALLY if you're into your retro shit.  I found games for 1000, 2000+ that I bought in Nagoya for 100s of yen.  The arcades are overpriced too but not the kind you might think.  Modern games are the same price as they are everywhere else but Akihabara has a pretty extensive collection of cabinets running older games.  In Nagoya, cabs running older games are 50 yen a pop but here they were your usual 100 yen, which is a little bit BS to be honest.

In it's defence, I didn't have a lot of time to truly bury my fangs in and really explore the place so I'm sure that there are places that are actually really good.  That said, there's no way you're going to find these places without a full day to explore and some command of Japanese to help get you round.  So if you're a resident of Akihabara or a nearby area, feel free to comment and call me an idiot but if you're a tourist making a pilgrimage to what is essentially nerd capital, then you may feel a bit let down.

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