Akihabara

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Akihabara (秋葉原?, "Field of Autumn Leaves"), also known as Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原電気街 Akihabara Denki Gai?), is an area of Tokyo, Japan. It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station. Its name is frequently shortened to Akiba (アキバ?) 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.

Akihabara is a major shopping area 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.

Contents

Timeline

  • 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 from getting 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").

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