Toire wa doko desu ka?

Tokyo and Fuji – 2013

Day 13 – Kappabashi Street and Akihabara

The next day brought us to another day of visual over-stimulation, but in a good way.   Just a few streets to west of where we were staying was Kappabashi-dori, which is a long street filled with mostly kitchen items, most notably:  fake food!

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This is the same fake food that you see outside of many restaurants in Japan, which is very helpful for those of us who cannot read Japanese.

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The fake food, though incredibly tempting, was also incredibly expensive.  You have to really be ok with paying $20 for a realistic piece of tempura shrimp, or $90 for an udon bowl.  There are some cheaper fake foods, but the truly realistic stuff is expensive.

After we got our fill of looking at fake food and restaurant items, we headed back down deep underground to take the Tsukuba Express back to Akihabara.  Akihabara is known for it’s maid cafes, and its anime scene.

It is considered rude to take a picture with the maids without paying for it (which you can do at the maid cafes).   So you can get an idea of what they look like here.   They hand out flyers that look like this:

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There were many multi-leveled stores which sold anime items of all kinds, and all levels of appropriateness.  Many of the anime displays like these were at eye level for a small child, right next to other figures clearly intended for small children, and there were kids running around everywhere.  It was odd.

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Rocky has seen better days.

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We had a great time just wandering around and looking at what was in all of these stores.   We bought some fun charms for ourselves, as well.  We reached a floor at the top of one of the buildings where there seemed to be some sort of odd art exhibit, involving a cartoon character in various photographs.   There were several men in suits lingering around.  However, as we couldn’t read any of the writing explaining what we were looking at, we really have no idea what that was.

The highlight of Akihabara trip came when we stopped into one of the arcades, and we ran into this never-ending attempt to get this shirt.   We actually went upstairs, looked around, and came down, and these guys were still trying to win!   This video is just of the end of that.  At 100 yen a pop, they probably paid at least $50 for this shirt.

After Akihabara, we headed back to Asakusa to see the sights in that area.   We started by checking out the nearby amusement park (Hanayashiki), which looked pretty closed down.  It is the oldest amusement park in Japan, but we didn’t see any of the rides going while we were there, so maybe they were on a break?

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These awesome buses were next to it, and behind them, a super-awesome hotel.

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After we passed the amusement park, we were at the doorstep of the Sensō-ji Temple, so even though it was getting too late to take good pictures (we thought), we decided to go check it out.   It turns out that night is actually a wonderful time to go there, as they light the whole temple up beautifully.

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After that, we headed through some of the shopping streets (mostly already closed) and back to our hostel.   This is a shot of the street K’s House Tokyo Oasis is on.

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5 comments on “Day 13 – Kappabashi Street and Akihabara

  1. tcklisa
    August 12, 2013

    I don’t know if you guys noticed this, but Japan has an infatuation with “limited editions” even with UFO catchers; so I’m assuming that’s what was going on with the T-shirt. I happen to be at one of those where I won several of the items that were in limited edition. The scary thing about Japan is that most of the products-cute and efficient- are either discontinued or recreated to something way better which makes it impossible to find the ‘same’ product when you visit Japan again.

    • buddyling
      August 12, 2013

      That is kind of sad. There are many things I wanted to buy, but only so much space in the suitcase. What are UFO catchers?

      • tcklisa
        August 12, 2013

        UFO Catchers= claw cranes/catcher; the machine those guys were playing to get their prizes.

    • buddyling
      August 12, 2013

      Why do they call it that?

      • tcklisa
        August 12, 2013

        cuz if you look at the “claw” or catcher… it’s typically shaped liked a “ufo” You can see it if you google “ufo catcher” and look at the images 🙂

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