Our last stop in the central Tokyo area was the Akihabara district, also known as the electronics capital of Japan. It. Was. Crazy. I cannot overemphasize the sheer number of electronics stores lining these streets. I have absolutely no idea how they all stay open and manage to make money, but there was an endless supply of TVs, computers, cell phones, video games, washing machines, batteries, etc. Peter and I weren't shopping, but this would have been a convenient trip on which to forget a phone/camera/computer charger. Alas, for once, we remembered everything. Go figure.
The Akihabara area is also a hub of the gaming culture, something we aren't familiar with, but were nonetheless fasciated by. There were entire stores dedicated to anime, manga, and various collectibles that I couldn't identify but assume have a huge and dedicated following in certain parts of the world. We had no idea what 99% of the stuff was, but it was really interesting to walk through some of these stores and witness die-hard fans in their element.
We were there in the evening, but it was still plenty crowded. Apparently on Sundays, the entire main street is closed to traffic, so if you want to witness Akihabara in all its glory, I'd imagine that's the day to do it! Below is one of the side streets, which generally featured the smaller retailers.
Also, a note about the below photo: plaid is apparently all the rage in Tokyo.
If you want to experience the electronics and gaming culture of Tokyo, Akihabara is definitely a must-see. I enjoyed our experience primarily because there weren't tons of tourists when we were there, especially in the Sega center, and I like feeling as if we are seeing a culture as it really is. All in all, it was a really fun way to spend the last couple hours of the day!