We can finally visit Akihabara again.
As an anime and game fan, I of course have a special relationship to Akihabara. Because of the situation in the past months I couldn’t really visit Akiba for a long time. I missed it, with all it’s themed cafes, second hand stores for anime goods and the arcades.
Now that the state of emergency has been lifted I really want to go again.
For me, as a European, the style of the arcades being in several floor high buildings, with colorful and modern machines is just something from another world. Claw machines in Europe, for example, are a total rip off, no matter how many times you try, you won’t succeed. Unlike here, it is much easier and if the plushie you are aiming for is currently not displayed you can ask a staff member to put it out for you, so you can try your luck. That is amazing! The price for arcade and claw machines usually start around 100 to 200 Yen, but they can be more expensive.
One of my biggest weak spots I developed here in Japan are Gachapons (capsule toy machines). They still do exist in Europe but are very rare and not really popular and the stuff you get is really old and of bad quality. Unlike here where you have a huge variety and can collect the toys which frequently change. So you have to stay up to date! From miniature figurines from various anime shows, to hats for cats and key chains, you can get it all. I can only recommend that you try your luck. It usually costs between 300-500 Yen.
Also if you have the chance try and go to one of the themed cafes around the area. You will find anime themed cafes, maid cafes or animal cafes. It is an interesting experience, but please choose your animal cafe wisely and do your research beforehand. I personally have only been to cat cafes, where the cats have the possibility to go into a private area whenever they want and where staff is always around. In my opinion cafes with nocturnal animals should be avoided as they are open during day time and the animals are being kept awake to please the customers.
Another great thing about Akiba is that you can do Purikura (pictures in a photobooth). I absolutely love it and enjoy it every time. No matter who I’ve done them with, we ended up having a great time and laughing a lot. Some even offer costumes which you can wear on top of your normal clothes. Just check it out. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to have a unique souvenir.
As soon as things have settled and seem safe to be visited I will definitely return to you, my dear Akiba!