Akiba (abbreviation for Akihabara, Tokyo)

★Akiba (Akihabara)(秋葉原)★
May. 2008

Going to Akiba (Akihabara, Tokyo) is not a long distance that is to be called “travel” to me.
It’s only an hour or so from my place. But hanging out there is a fresh experience to me, as I don’t know Akiba world very well. Akiba has been so popular internationally for its otaku, anime, manga, maid cafe, cosplay, game, moe, whatsoever called “subculture” but I have never been inside it. To explore Akiba means something like I try to talk to a person who I don’t know what topic I should speak to. This first brings me an awkward air and I may immediately regret what I have done, but later I will find that was interesting…

Well, whatever, here’s a post from my former blog.

akiba souvenir

akiba souvenir

The other day I went to Akiba (Akihabara, Tokyo) for the first time in several years with my partner. I found it much fun with surprise, because I thought Akiba things such as “maid” “moe” “otaku” “cosplay” “game” “dojinshi” “manga” “anime” etc. were not exactly my taste and so, I didn’t even have any specific reasons to visit that place in my life except for buying electric home appliances for a low price.

What’s surprising to me was that Akiba is no longer as it used to be. It was famous as electric goods and anime 10 years ago, as it is now, but it was not like a sightseeing area where you can buy Akiba souvenir as in the photo.

Exploring Akiba was fun! Of course I couldn’t make it without my hubby, because he sometimes visits Akiba for electrical parts or computer parts shopping.

Below is “moe” socks. The Kanji (Chinese character arranged from original and used in Japanese) stands for “moe”. “Moe” is sort of a feeling that is very difficult to be described.

I don’t even know exactly how this feeling actually is, but it’s some sort of feeling like an adult man falling in love with a female anime character or a young little girl…well, something like that, I guess…, sorry I cannot explain this well. But these sox are kinda cute, I would say kawaii, as long as I forget about what “moe” means.

moe socks

moe socks

maid cosplay girls on the street

maid cosplay girls on the street

I cannot stop writing about what I have seen in Akiba the other day, as it was sort of a fresh experience to me!

Right out of the JR Akihabara train station, there were several cosplay girls, who’d supposed to be called “maid” passing out flyers. I got some from them. The flyers were about maid cafe, maid dating service, Akiba guid by maid, maid casino etc., etc…
Mm…Akiba has been transformed into an amusement place with fantacy!?
Maybe as milkberry comments at my previous post, Akiba is not restricted to otaku people.
I was actually so surprised to find myself feeling like cosplaying myself when I was in Akiba.
This feeling may be similar to the action we would buy Mickey Mouse hat in Disneyland which we will never really wear in our daily life, once we are a step out of the magic land, or once we get on the train, having enough distance from it, surrounded by people nothing to do with Disney.

So it is openly regarded as normal in Akiba wearing cosplay garment.
I saw an ad like “rental cosplay dress 3000 yen (about US$30) for 90 min.”

maid club, a cosplay shop

maid club, a cosplay shop

I could have tried cosplay inside this “MAID CLUB” but I finally didn’t.

It would be fun with some girl friends if I might try, not with my partner.
He said “It’s OK you try it out, but we seem to be a otaku guy dating with a maid, you know.”

I don’t care, because here is Akiba. I may reserve that for the next time I visit.


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