50 shops join hands to show what otaku culture Akiba can offer

January 06, 2012

By KAZUYA OMURO / Staff Writer

About 50 business operators in Tokyo's Akihabara district, including anime shops, maid cafes and railroad model stores, are joining hands to stage a festival on Jan. 8 and 9 in a bid to show the essence of the otaku town in one look.

Akihabara is home to a wide variety of specialty shops crammed in multi-tenant buildings.

The chaotic appearance is a charm of Akihabara. But there are also some voices from visitors who say they can't grasp what kind of shops operate in the district.

To promote otaku-related shops in Akihabara in a comprehensive manner, local business operators will offer visitors a chance to experience many kinds of hobbies in a single visit.

The "Akiba Daisuki! Matsuri 2012" (We-love-Akiba! festival 2012) festival will be held at the Belle Salle Akihabara event hall in the Sotokanda area of Chiyoda Ward.

About 50 shops for idol goods, radio-controlled mini helicopters, anti-crime items, fake swords and many other products will set up their booths at the venue.

Live concerts of Akihabara-related local idols will add excitement.

Miyuki, a one-year-old female pony from Kanda Myojin shrine that enshrines the patron deity of Akihabara will also make an appearance.

The area around JR Akihabara Station was turned into a burned-out wasteland during the World War II. Street stalls dealing in vacuum tubes and other radio parts illegally brought in by U.S. military personnel sprung up in the area, supposedly resulting in the early development of the fabled "Electric Town."

In recent years, the district serves as a "holy ground" for anime, video games and other pop culture trends.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.

For more information, call 03-3346-1398.

By KAZUYA OMURO / Staff Writer
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About 50 shops in Tokyo's Akihabara district, including anime shops, maid cafes and railroad model stores, will stage a festival on Jan. 8 and 9 in a bid to show the essence of the otaku town in one look. (Asahi Shimbun photos)

About 50 shops in Tokyo's Akihabara district, including anime shops, maid cafes and railroad model stores, will stage a festival on Jan. 8 and 9 in a bid to show the essence of the otaku town in one look. (Asahi Shimbun photos)

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  • About 50 shops in Tokyo's Akihabara district, including anime shops, maid cafes and railroad model stores, will stage a festival on Jan. 8 and 9 in a bid to show the essence of the otaku town in one look. (Asahi Shimbun photos)

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