Japan: Modern Paradise


Leo Chung, Staff Writer

During Presidents’ week, I went to Japan and stayed in the bright and always active electric town, Akihabara. From my trip, I have discovered that this area never fails to leave any tourist amazed and overwhelmed with the number of shops and activities you can do. It was impossible to visit everything there in one week since there were just so many shops and establishments.

At night, you can see the full extent of the number of shops and places there are. Most of the time your eyes are greeted with a never-ending exposure of bright lights and labels. In the second picture, you can see two popular visits of Akihabara.

The large building on the right is chomp chomp Akihabara, a ten-floor building dedicated to housing restaurants and cafes to serve all types of tastes. In there, you would find traditional Japanese cuisine as well as western food such as hamburgs and steaks. Each floor houses two restaurants which are accessed by elevators which are found directly at the entrance.

The large building on the left is Yodobashi-Akiba, a nine-floor mall with a primary focus on electronic goods of all shapes and sizes. This building can be the sole provider of small devices like phones to large appliances such as refrigerators. Each floor is dedicated to a specific category of electronics like sound or cameras and equipment.

The selections for each category is unbelievably gigantic. Compared to an electronic store you would find here in the US,  Yodobashi-Akiba is nonuple the size. Using this display of lenses as a reference, you would find several hundreds of these displays on each floor. Navigating these floors becomes a maze as you are constantly surrounded by products and price tags, making for a consumer paradise. There also dozens of salesmen on each floor, available to help with technical questions and transport with huge items like the refrigerator. The mall also includes its own food court, found in floor eight, which offers similar food as chomp chomp Akihabara.

You can also move beyond and into the center of the city, where you’ll be immediately be greeted by too many things that want your attention. 

For any visitor, this is a shopping district that never rests to display everything. Whether it’s games, cards, movies, anime, this city never fails to have it. During the mornings and especially the afternoons, the sidewalks get crowded fast and move like a busy street. When taking a walk down the streets of Akiba, it’s always an interest to look to your right while doing so as the storefronts have something for everyone. Even the alleys in between the large buildings have dozens of stores.

The odd thing I found was that restaurants become pretty sparse but compact. One or two buildings in a block are actually collections of restaurants separated by floors. The restaurants that you do find here are pretty interesting nonetheless, especially the restaurants that feature tickets.

With a lot of people coming into one restaurant, a process was made to make everything as quick as possible for these restaurants. First, you order your meal by buying a ticket from a vending machine. You then sit at one of the seats at a counter. People take your tickets and soon you have your meal hot and ready. There are no waiters and no tip; it’s just you eating your food like everyone else around you.

So, all in all, going to Japan was definitely a fun trip. Just know that when you go there, especially to Akihabara, you’ll be met with a lot of things at once. I couldn’t cover all the aspects of Akihabara since there was so much. But, it’d be better if you found out the marvelousness for yourself.