Japan - Akihabara

We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. The Japan list of contents so far can be found here!

First up is Tokyo! Tokyo is divided up into districts and wards. To keep things all organized we kept all the districts and wards of Tokyo separate, even though some of these locations we visited days and sometimes weeks apart from each other. The districts and cities we visited in Tokyo are:

* Ginza (Imperial Palace)
* Ueno Park
* Akihabara
* Nakano (Nakano Broadway & Sunshine City)
* Mitaka (Ghibli Museum) & Sumida (Tokyo Skytree)
* Shinjuku
* Shibuya
* Harajuku
* Odds and ends and final thoughts on Tokyo

Akihabara is probably the one place in Japan that you should have a general idea of where you want to go if you are limited on time, otherwise you might end up walking away seeing very little. There is so much to take in it is easy getting a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out what is what. Like most of Japan, the stores go up and not out, so knowing which stores are worth exploring upwards, could also save you some time.

On the other hand, if you have a day to kill, just setting out to explore with no plan in mind works.

The highlight for us in Akihabara was Super Potato, this vintage video game multi level store that had on a tv was running a game I spent hours upon hours playing as a kid.
A must have for any Karaoke enthusiast!
You can find a pretty big variety of things in Akihabara....
from Star Wars...
to Ultraman...
to Deadpool eating a chimachanga...
to things that really have no explanation.
Akihabara is pretty interesting, but a lot of the items showcased are found in multiple stores, which makes it hard to figure out where the unique items are without general knowledge of the area. We were a bit pressed for time during our visit, so perhaps there is much more to Akihabara that was left undiscovered. Overall however, we were a bit disappointed that there was not more variety in what we saw.

The best part about being in Akihabara is that you are in walking distance to what we thought was the second best ramen shop (OF THE ONES WE TRIED!) in Japan. Kikanbo Ramen (aka Devils Ramen)! Please don't kill us for that statement, as we didn't try every ramen shop in Japan of course, but compared to the ones we did try, Kikanbo offers a nice spicy broth, and delicious Japanese marinated soft boiled eggs (ajitsuke tamago).
The piglet isn't a fan of eggs, but me, I love them, and ajitsuke tamago is the best way to enjoy tasty eggs and my favorite part of ramen. They are made by marinating soft boiled eggs in a soy sauce.
During our time in Japan we noticed a place called Royal Host that can be found almost everywhere in Japan. We saw it in Tokyo and as far South as Hiroshima! It appeared to be the Japanese equivalent of American Denny's. We popped into on to check it out and rest our feet. We ordered desserts as not to seem like free loaders.
While it was great to relax for a few minutes, Royal Host should be avoided unless you love the Denny's. The experience was a bit tainted by the fact that our waitress continued to sniff and snort her nose the entire time she was assisting us, as if she had a cold. In Japan, blowing your nose in public is considered rude. Sniffling and snorting is considered acceptable in Japan, so those who travel to Japan from overseas may be a bit grossed out if you happen to be around someone who is congested or has a runny nose. On the very, very, very short list of things that we found unpleasant about Japan, the nose sniffling was number 1, and intensified by the fact that this person was handling our food. Luckily we didn't catch whatever she appeared to have.

That was the end of our day trip to Akihabara, worth a visit if you do a bit of research first, but if you just want to browse and explore we highly recommend going to Nakano Broadway instead! Nakano Broadway is coming up!