Friday, March 24, 2017

An Afternoon in Akihabara, Tokyo

Before hubby and I moved home from Japan last October, my brother flew out to hang with us for about 10 days around late September. Free place to crash in Tokyo, so why not, right? When he was there for the holidays season 2015, he got the explore the city a little bit. The second time around he was a lot more comfortable venturing out by himself, knowing how the subway system works, how much things cost, etc.

One Sunday he convinced us to go with him to Akihabara, or Akiba for short. We both have been once, though only briefly a long time ago, back in 2010-2012 when we were living in Yokohama. So hubby and my brother went out there after breakfast, and I joined them after lunch.

Like Ginza, traffic was blocked off of sections of the main street until 6pm, so it was really nice to be able to wander all around without fear of getting hit ^.^" It was a lovely and sunny afternoon too, and wasn't too hot. Perfect weather for strolling about town.

When I got out there, the two guys had just spent a good few hours exploring the floors of Mandarake, one of the top must-sees in Akiba for otakus of all genders and inclinations. My words won't do this shop any justice so read more about it from this Huffington Post article, and also here and here. There was one particular floor hubby and my brother said they'd peeked in and got skeeved out and left pretty quickly, I think it was floor 4? Make no mistake, neither dudes are innocent but be forewarned that Japan is the original land of tentacle porn, so proceed at your own risk. Hell, the first time our friends J. and W. encountered shunga, they were totally skeeved out. And although they'd braved a trip with us to the shunga art exhibition back in January, they left the museum pretty quickly then too. So all that is to say there are certain floor(s) in this shop that are not for the faint of heart.

Interestingly enough, right outside of Mandarake was a tonkatsu restaurant with a gigantic line that wrapped around the block. And that was already 2-3pm in the afternoon! Crazy!

The three of us spent the rest of the after just walking around and snacking.

Yup, had some grilled beef on a stick and then ice cream. Not exactly healthy but whatever.

And of course there's the Gundam Cafe, another top must-see for any Gundam fan and thankfully none of us was ^.^" Read more about the Gundam Cafe here, here, and here. Frankly, the place is more of an experience and you don't really go there for the food, sort of like the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku's Kabukicho.

Phew. Now that we've got Akiba out of the system, we won't be going back there for a while.

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