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Encyclopedia > Akihabara
Akihabara in 2007

Akihabara (秋葉原?), also known as Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原電気街 Akihabara Denki Gai?), is a neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station. Its name is frequently shortened to Akiba in Japan. While there is an official locality named Akihabara nearby, part of Taitō-ku, the area known to most people as Akihabara (including the railway station of the same name) is actually Soto-Kanda, a part of Chiyoda-ku. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 510 pixels Full resolution (3618 × 2308 pixel, file size: 4. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 510 pixels Full resolution (3618 × 2308 pixel, file size: 4. ... Tokyo ), the common English name for the Tokyo Metropolis ), is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and, unique among the prefectures, provides certain municipal services characteristic of a city. ... Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station Tokyo Station ) is a train station located in the Marunouchi business district of Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace grounds and the Ginza commercial district. ... Location of Taitō-ku in Tokyo. ... Akihabara Station (秋葉原駅; -eki) is located in Tokyos Chiyoda ward. ... National Diet Building, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Yasukuni Shrine, Kudan Kita 3-1-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Otemon, the Great Gate of Edo Castle (Kokyo) Chiyoda (千代田区; -ku) is a special ward in central Tokyo, Japan. ...


Akihabara is best-known as one of the largest shopping areas on Earth for electronic, computer, anime, and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. First-hand parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme (near the station). Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics. The main cast of the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998) “Animé” redirects here. ... Otaku ) is a derisive Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests in manga, anime or hentai. ... The Japanese addressing system is used to identify a specific location in Japan. ...

Contents

Otaku culture

Maid in Akihabara
Maid in Akihabara

Otaku culture in Akihabara represents one aspect of the people who shop and 'hang out' there in the recent years. Some people there have unique lifestyles, centered on technological enterprises and an obsession for Anime/Manga, that have made them outsiders in other sections of Japanese society. These otaku are given the chance to gather here and to meet others who share their specific interests. Akihabara is currently seen as one of the shopping districts that represents a 'mecca' of sorts for otaku, as well as to the term Akiba-kei, or Akiba-type. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (2544 × 1696 pixel, file size: 552 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (2544 × 1696 pixel, file size: 552 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Otaku ) is a derisive Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests in manga, anime or hentai. ... Akiba-kei are people who frequent Akihabara in Tokyo where many kinds of electronics can be bought. ...


Recently, with increased exposure of "otaku" culture in the Japanese media, new buildings, and the opening of another new railway line, Akihabara has seen a boom in popularity and is a popular destination for many young people interested in its unique atmosphere.


Brief history

Between stores in Akihabara
Between stores in Akihabara
Akihabara Dell Shop
Akihabara Dell Shop
Akihabara
  • The area was just out of Sujikai-gomon city gate (present Mansei bridge) which was one of the city gates (Mitsuke) of old Edo (Tokyo). It was the gateway from inner Edo to northern and northwestern Japan and Kan’ei-ji temple in Ueno. Many dealers, craftsmen and relatively lower class samurai lived there.
  • 1869: A major blaze destroyed the area. It brought about the decision to clear the 30,000 square metres of land in order to keep future fires into inner Tokyo city.
  • 1870: In this cleared land a small Shinto shrine once in old Edo Castle was built. The shrine’s name was 鎮火社, which means "the extinguisher shrine").
  • But many downtown Tokyo residents misunderstood the shrine. They thought that the deity Akiba or Akiha (秋葉) which was the most popular fire-controlling deity in central and eastern Japan must have been enshrined in it. They also called the cleared land "Akiba ga hara" or "Akibappara" which means "the deity Akiba’s square".
  • 1888: The shrine moved to Matsugaya, near Asakusa.
  • 1890: Extension of the rail line (now the JR Tōhoku Main Line) from Ueno to Akihabara. At first there was no passenger service, for south of the station was the Akihabara cargo docks, where goods from all over the world would flow into Kanda by river and be hauled up the east bank of the canal to be ticketed at the central cargo transport window.
  • From the Meiji to the Shōwa period, as the electric railway improved transport to Akihabara and the surrounds, and especially due to the growth in dealerships, the district was designated as Seika Shijō (青果市場: vegetables and fruits market).
  • 1925: Akihabara-Tokyo station connection opened as the Tohoku line extended to Tokyo.
  • 1932: As the Green Line station opened with an interconnection, Akihabara became an important transfer point.
  • 1935: Official establishment of Seika Shijō. (Kanda Seika Shijō).
  • 1936: The site of Manseibashi Station was closed (later the Transportation Museum—now closed). Railway mania had reached its zenith. The area became the number one place for electrical supplies.
  • Circa 1945-1955 After World War II, a black market at Kanda developed around the first school of electrical manufacturing (now the Tokyo Technical College). Clustered around the Sobu underground line, what began as a host of electrical stores selling vacuum tubes, radio goods and electrical items to the students, has today come to be known as Electric Town. Called "musen" or "wireless" shops, they were the first to begin selling radios. With the advent of wireless and radio goods, people came to be much more connected.
  • 1960s: Thanks to advanced technology, the rival Nipponbashi district of Osaka took its position as an equally prominent Electric Town, selling vast volumes of household consumer durable goods such as televisions, refrigerators and washing machines.
  • 1980s: Accompanying the spread of the personal computer in family homes ("Famikon"), local shops increasingly began to deal in computer games, and major gaming chain stores appeared on the market.
  • 1989: Kanda Seika Shijō moved to Ōta-ku, south district of Tokyo.
  • 1990s: With the Yamada and Kojima household chain stores appearing throughout the suburban outskirts of Tokyo, the sale of consumer durables at Akihabara was greatly reduced, however the sale of computer goods increased in equal measure.
  • 1994: The PC boom and accompanying computer store growth began.
  • It was also during the 1990s that the anime craze grew out of computer games, and the youth group known as otaku began to pour into Akihabara.
  • Since 2000, with name-brand computer sales in decline, anime shops have arisen in their place, selling to the otaku crowd.
  • Since 2005, major redevelopment and modernization of the station and surrounding area. Tsukuba Express, Tokyo's fastest private railway, opens in Akihabara.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x1792, 394 KB) Akihabara in 2006. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x1792, 394 KB) Akihabara in 2006. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x1333, 1112 KB) Akihabara_japan photography day, 2006. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x1333, 1112 KB) Akihabara_japan photography day, 2006. ... Dell Inc. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1080x720, 250 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1080x720, 250 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Brama MÅ‚yÅ„ska in Stargard SzczeciÅ„ski one of two water gates in Europe. ... After the 1943 closure of the JR Manseibashi Station, the lot was used for a museum and for parking trains. ... Edo (Japanese: , literally: bay-door, estuary, pronounced //), once also spelled Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo. ... Shinobazu Pond and Bentendo Hall in early spring Tokyo National Museum Pagoda of Kaneiji, now in Ueno Zoo Rodins Gates of Hell in front of the National Museum of Western Art Ueno (上野) is a district in Tokyos Taitō Ward, best known as the home of Ueno Station... For other uses, see Samurai (disambiguation). ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Edo Castle (江戸城 -jō) was built in 1457 by ÅŒta Dōkan in what is now the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, but was then known as Edo, Toshima District, Musashi Province. ... Sensoji Temple The Kaminarimon is the outer gate of the Sensoji, Asakusas famous temple. ... Japan Railway, more commonly called JR, is a collective term for the privatized descendants of the former Japanese National Railways, formed when JNR was divided into seven parts on April 1, 1987. ... Tōhoku Main Line (東北本線 Tōhoku-honsen) is a 631. ... The Meiji period ) denotes the 45-year reign of Emperor Meiji, running from 8 September 1868 (in the Gregorian calendar, 23 October 1868) to 30 July 1912. ... The Shōwa period (Japanese: 昭和時代, Shōwa-jidai, period of enlightened peace) was the time in Japanese history when Emperor Hirohito reigned over the country, from December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989. ... After the 1943 closure of the JR Manseibashi Station, the lot was used for a museum and for parking trains. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Sobu Line/Yokosuka Line E217 series train Sobu Line 113 series train at Naruto Station Sōbu Main Line ) is a railway line between Tokyo and the east coast of Chiba Prefecture, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. ... Structure of a vacuum tube diode Structure of a vacuum tube triode In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube, or (outside North America) thermionic valve or just valve, is a device used to amplify, switch or modify a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space. ... Denden Town For Tennoji Denden Town For Nanba Gundams Osaka at Denden Town Den Den Town (でんでんタウン) is a shopping district in the Nipponbashi district of Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Japan, famous for its wide variety of consumer electronics stores, and especially famous for its... Osaka )   is a city in Japan, located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, in the Kansai region of the main island of HonshÅ«. The city is the capital of Osaka Prefecture. ... Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. ... A car (Toyota Corolla S) is a durable good in economics. ... “Freezer” redirects here. ... Front-loading washing machine. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... This article is about the Tokyo ward, for other uses, see Ota. ...

Access

Akihabara Station is served by JR East (Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line and Chūō-Sōbu Line), Tokyo Metro (Hibiya Line) and Tsukuba Express. Akihabara Station (秋葉原駅; -eki) is located in Tokyos Chiyoda ward. ... Yamanote Line, Tokyo JR Yamanote Line train in Tokyo, Japan Above Yurakucho in Tokyo East Japan Railway Company (東日本旅客鉄道 Higashi-Nihon Ryokyaku Tetsudo or JR東日本; JR Higashi-Nihon) (TYO: 9020) is a Japanese private railroad company, the largest passenger railway company in the world and one of the seven JR companies. ... A Yamanote Line E231 series EMU on the left departs with a 205 series on the right Passengers prepare to board a train on the Yamanote Line 205 series 6-door car before the morning rush Display within Yamanote Line car shows next stop and route map. ... Rush hour at Ueno station, Yamanote line and Keihin-Tōhoku line The Keihin-Tōhoku Line—Negishi Line ) is an 81 km railway line in Japan that connects the cities of Saitama, Warabi, Kawaguchi, Tokyo, Kawasaki, and Yokohama. ... Chūō-Sōbu Line train at Ochanomizu The Chūō-Sōbu Line ) is part of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) network in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, Japan. ... new Tokyo Metro sign and logo This office tower, above Tokyo Metro Ueno Station, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metro. ... Hibiya Line (Click on image to enlarge. ... Trains of Tsukuba Express (Type TX-2000) The Tsukuba Express (Japanese : つくばエクスプレス) is a railway line of the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company (首都圏新都市鉄道, Shuto-ken Shin Toshi Tetsudō) that links Akihabara Station in Chiyoda ku, Tokyo, and Tsukuba Station in the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. ...


Suehirochō Station on the Ginza Line subway and Iwamotochō Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line subway are also within walking distance from Akihabara. Suehirochō Station platform. ... Ginza Line (Click on image to enlarge. ... The Toei Shinjuku Line ) is a subway line in Tokyo, Japan operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. ...


See also

This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Akihabara Official website (Japanese)
  • Akihabara Official website (English)
Articles
Media
  • Photos of Tokyo and Akihabara
  • Map of Akihabara's anime and manga related stores:
Akiba Walker WEST (Japanese)
Akiba Walker EAST (Japanese)

Coordinates: 35.69844° N 139.77222° E Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikitravel is a project to create an open content, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tokyo Travel: Akihabara (775 words)
Akihabara (short: Akiba) is a district in central Tokyo, famous for its many electronics shops.
The result are several new buildings such as the Akihabara Dai Building (opened in spring 2005), Akihabara UDX (opened in spring 2006) and Yodobashi Akiba Building (opened in autumn 2005).
Akihabara Station is a busy station on the Yamanote Line loop, served by the JR Yamanote Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Sobu Line, the Tsukuba Express and the Hibiya Subway Line.
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Join him this week as he takes a peek at Akihabara’s latest fad through a tradition of the past.
An unlikely combination for sure, but that was the recipe that blended culture past and present in a promotional event at Tokyo’s electronic paradise of Akihabara last Sunday.
Akihabara is hardly known as a place for person-to-person contact.
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