So, this Sunday we decided to continue our exploration of Tokyo, moving to the last stop on the TX line: Akihabara (秋葉原) or “the field of autumn leaves”.
In fact, such a poetic name is not really fitting for the place. That’s why it is also known as Denki Gai (電気街) – the electric town.
It all began after the second world war when local students started selling the radios they assembled using material coming from the surplus of the Japanese army. Now you can find literally everything. Together with huge electronics shops on multiple floors, there are dozens of smaller shops crammed with every possible electronic component (while we were looking for a transformer to use our electric toothbrush we even found transformers from 220V to 240V). Most of the shops are literally overflowing, with stuff just packed into open boxes on the sidewalk. And in front of every big shop, a girl screams the latest offers for mobile telephones into a microphone.
The crowd was quite impressive, too. I don’t think I’ve seen that many nerds all together (we were told that people dressed as Manga characters can be encountered in the neighbourhood, but we must have missed the right spot).
It won’t come as a surprise to those who know me that I felt like in the land of the play (it: paese dei balocchi).
Oh, and in case you were missing it, here’s our daily little language corner. After strolling in the electric town we decide to have something to eat. So we stop at this stand that sells small sweets which turn out to be filled rice cakes (mochi). They come provided with a short notice on “how to eat” (we managed, don’t worry). Problem is that, as it had already happened before, only the title is in English, the rest in Japanese. It looks a bit like they do it on purpose. “See, this is what you want to know: we even write it down for you… Oh, sorry, you don’t know the language. Too bad”