Akihabara (秋葉原) is also known as Akihabara Electric Town (Akihabara Denki Gai). It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station, Tokyo, Japan. It is sometimes shortend to Akiba by locals. While there is an official locality named Akihabara nearby, part of Taito-ku, the area known as Akihabara (including the JR railway station of the same name) to most people is actually Soto-Kanda, a part of Chiyoda-ku.


Prior to World War II the area was a bustling overcrowded community. A major blaze which nearly destroyed the district brought about the decision to clear the land in order to keep future fires from approaching the imperial residence. It became known as Akihabara (秋葉原 lit: Autumn Leaves Field) during World War II when only autumn leaves were visible.

Modern times

The area is mostly known for its large population of stores selling all kinds of electronic, anime, and adult goods.

It is probably the largest shopping area on earth for electronic and computer goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chuo Dori, with used items of all descriptions (software, hardware, and junk galore) to be found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3 chome. First hand parts for the do-it-yourself PC builder are readily available, with many places around for the best price hunter. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and more are to be found in the cramped (some might say dangerously so) passageways of Soto Kanda 1 chome (near the station). Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other near station speciality shops. The locals of course know where to get better variety and prices a little further away.

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