One of the things I was most looking forward to in Tokyo was Akihabara. Having heard it referred to as Electric Town, I was thinking it would be the best place to go to indulge in geeky things.
It wasn’t until I visited Akihabara that I realised how dated my anime and manga interests are. Fruits Basket and Soul Eater must be old news, as we struggled to find merchandise for most of our favourite series. I was a tiny bit disappointed by Animate, which was so crowded we could barely move, but the Tokyo Anime Center was well worth a visit (though it wasn’t cheap).
The highlight of Akihabara for me was the arcades. The Club Sega arcade was huge – I lost count of how many floors it had. We played some games in several different arcades, did a little bit of shopping (far less than we had expected though), and decided to hop on a tube to our next destination.
With the afternoon still ahead of us, we headed for Asakusa. Stepping out the station, it immediately felt very different from Ueno and Akihabara, the two areas we had previously visited. Gone were many of the neon signs and talls buildings of concrete we had grown accustomed to.The shops leading up to the famous Sensoji Temple – our main reason for visiting Asakusa – sold every kind of souvenir one could hope for, and as the crowds moved so slowly between the shops, we had a lot of time to look at the goods for sale. I think this was one of the busiest places we visited on the entire trip, but it was worth the queuing and waiting.
The whole area had a very traditional feel to it, and we spent at least an hour just sitting in the temple grounds, soaking up the atmosphere. Afterwards, we strolled along the streets, crammed with tiny little eateries, many only big enough for half a dozen customers at a time.