When you talk about Akihabara AKA Akiba, a few things come to mind, from electronics and electrical hardware to anime goods and video games. The world’s number one hobbytown welcomes foreigners and Japanese alike!
Akihabara started of as a street full of shops selling junk goods and soon grew into a hub for home electronics stores. After the economic boom in the music industry, Akiba also became linked with specialist music shops dealing in records and CDs. Later with advent of the video game boom, game shops also joined in the action. Once video games became mainstream, hobby shops and anime shops started popping up in response to the growing fondness for virtual space. Today, Akihabara has become a tourist attraction and is popularly called 秋葉（あきば）, アキバ or AKIBA.
In recent years however, rather than having the image of an “Electronics town”, Akiba is more popularly associated with anime, video games or manga. It is seen as the holy land of the “Otaku culture”.
However, even that image might change as well because Akiba is also an upcoming Ramen battleground in Tokyo as well!
Anime, manga and game shops are not the only things Akiba is famous for though. The AKB48 Theater, Gundam Cafe, Maid Cafes and shops selling unique and peculiar goods are also part of Akiba’s image as “the holy ground of pop culture”.
Due to urban development projects in recent years, different types of buildings have come up thereby causing people of different age groups to visit Akiba.
For years, foreign tourists interested in the latest electronic gadgets have flocked to Akiba’s duty free shops. Nowadays large tourist buses packed with tourists are a common spectacle. One can also see a lot of foreigners buying anime goods and figures as well.
Eventhough Akihabara exists in the world as “Akiba” today, it is still chaotic and continues to change. In that there is no mistake. But the fact that Akiba is everchanging is also what makes it charming.
The time it takes to Akihabara Station
JR Sobu line:From Shinjuku about 16 minutes
JR Keihin Tohoku line:From Tokyo about 5 minutes
JR Yamanote line:From Tokyo about 5 minutes
From UenoAbout 5 minutes
From Ikebukuro about 20 minutes
From Shibuya about 30 minutes