Category Archives: akihabara

Japanese Arcades and the iPad Invadercade

Taito recently announced their own joystick accessory for the iPad, the Invadercade. The case features Space Invaders artwork, one joystick and one fire button. It’s sole purpose is to house an iPad running Space Invaders. That’s why this accessory reminds me more of the golden age of arcade games than the iCade does. Arcades are one of many entertainment options in Japan and even though the arcade’s hardware is not advanced as it used to be, many new games are first tested in arcades before ported to consoles.

The Invadercade “designed for one game” case is reminiscent of early arcade machines. Back in the day, a machine was designed for one game only with not only specific artwork but specific controls as well. Read the rest of this entry


A different view of Akiba


One thing that I didn’t mention yet on this blog is that I own an iPhone. I bought it mainly for it’s capable web browser even though Safari crashes much too often. The camera has the same megapixel count as the one included in my last cell phone. Still, the one in the iPhone is much better.

It still is only a two megapixel cam that only does decent picture under very good lighting conditions. After trying out the Street Fighter IV arcade machine (Sagat is as mean as ever – no chance against him with Chun Li), I experimented with an iPhone application called “CameraBag”.


What CameraBag does is changing the photo after it was taken. Ironically, it tries to make the less-than-impressive pictures from the iPhone camera even worse, by simulating vintage or toy cameras. I think it works quite well, even if some pics still look too clean. Some of these simulated cameras have a cult following, such as the Holga. These and other cams can still be bought new for reasonable prices at stores like Village Vanguard here in Tokyo.
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Toys toys

Sushi USB sticks

Today I spent some time in Akihabara, the “Electric town”. There is a new toy shop near the train station which sells all kind of Ghibli merchandising, anime figures and some small kitchen/house stuff. The latter one would be cool for a new stop-motion film but I don’t want to buy things before I write the script. One thing that could be very handy is the Star Wars light saber. I could definetely use one during the morning rush train ride from Tabata to Shibuya but then I do use the back of some unknown Japanese to read my books during the train ride. Therefore I may need this rush hour scramble after all! 😀 Read the rest of this entry

You have to photograph that!

akihabara-doubutsu-shrine-5.jpgAfter Nakano, I went to the other side of Tokyo – Akihabara. Walking around outside the electric town, I found an office equipment store named “Arigato” (thank you). Isn’t that name a bit unpractical when you are working there and picking up the phone? I also found a small shrine/temple where various animals were shown. It looked quite insteresting and the elderly Japanese man was eager to show me around making sure that I would photograph everything. The place is surrounded by ordinary offices and therefore not very easy to find.

On my way back to the station I saw a Heidi Club. Brings back childhood memories 🙂



Today I had two plans: to go to the supermarkt and go to Akihabara. Needless to say, I went for the latter first and the area around the train station has changed since my last visit. Today I was looking for an A/C adaptor for my Nintendo DS and I found a cheap one in a second-hand store. I also grabbed a copy of the japanese Kawashima game (the second one). They also had Sim City and a curling simulator available. After that I looked around in Akihabara, found some small Apple shops, visited another store which somehow looked like an otaku’s paradise (they sold some costumes on the fourth floor). I bought the Kanken kanji trainer there – maybe I once will get crazy enough to do the level 1 test, hahahahaha 😉

For more pics, click below.

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Apple in Japan

Apple in Japan  PowerMac G5
This isn’t a post about the Apple Store in Ginza, I’ve covered it in an earlier post. Walking around Akihabara, I’ve noticed many smaller Apple stores. Maybe the iPod halo effect is working here?

One of the biggest Apple resellers seems to be Mac Collection. They had the PowerMac G5 on display outside. Many of the electronic stores here are open to the outside presenting some of their goods there.

Apple in Japan  iPod mini

The iPod mini must do very good in Japan, since it’s available in different colors. Japanese customers like to have a choice of various colors. Read the rest of this entry


Akihabara  Tokyo 2004  11

I actually went to Akihabara more than once during this trip. Akihabara is also known as Electric Town and is a major shopping area for electronic and otaku goods of all kinds. Most of the Mac stores are also in that part of the town, while the Apple Store is in Ginza.

Akihabara  Tokyo 2004  05

I bought an electronic dictionary and a talking clock here. My Japanese teacher has one which announces the time in Japanese language. I wanted one too!

On Sunday, the big street was blocked for car traffic. Space was definitely not an issue on that day, although most people still preferred walking on the sidewalk.

Akihabara  Tokyo 2004  16

Transportation Museum (Railway Museum)

Railway Museum  Tokyo 2004  01
Walking through Akihabara, I came across this small museum called the Transportation Museum by Japan Rail. One locomotive and the Shinkansen was on display outside.

Inside their weren’t many big exhibits except the third class trains. Trains in Japan as well as other countries previously had more than two classes.

Railway Museum  Tokyo 2004  09

Since they don’t have enough space, they concentrate on model trains. This staffer who is fixing a train looks like a giant walking in a miniature world.

Railway Museum  Tokyo 2004  04 Read the rest of this entry