Akihabara is the part I like the least from Tokyo. It’s too crowded, too noisy, and too full of colorful signs. Of course this description would suit most of the city, but to me, the land of Densha Otoko contains no beauty among this chaos. There are people to watch in Shibuya/Yoyogi/Harajuku, amazing buildings in Shinjuku, interesting shops (and gelato!) in Asakusa, but Akihabara… I always want to give it a second chance, but it’s like a screaming psychedelic whirlpool between Ueno and Ochanomizu.
Today I went shopping there. It wasn’t a proper shopping spree, but it was very special, considering that I gathered courage to go out in the freezing rain to get a cheap 2GB memory card for my camera at a place I like to compare to Bogota’s San Andresito at an exponentially larger scale.
Contrary to what would be expected from an inexperienced foreigner like me, I didn’t go to Yodobashi nor any of those huge duty-free shops on Chuo Dori (the main street). Instead, I took the time to search for some hidden basement on some hidden street (given previous Internet research). I didn’t even take a map with me, trusting my memory and the accuracy of the map on the website. I felt somewhat geeky, going out all by myself to this little hole reeking of videogame music and spare computer parts, but maybe the only geeky thing about this plan was the fact that I went there instead of buying online.
Now I feel that limiting one’s shopping and sightseeing to Shinjuku and Shibuya is a huge waste of time. I still don’t like Akihabara, but I’ve certainly taken a step towards grasping this infinite city before I get kicked out of it.