Akihabara and cute, useless things

cute toys from a gachapon capsule knick- knacks machine

From our tiny, tatami room, I hear sounds of things happening outside – a bubble of laughter from a nearby bar, the occasional siren, Japanese words utttered in the universal language of drunk. It makes me fear I’m missing something, but the outside is so cold, and this room is so warm.

Freshness Burger for breakfast

Besides, we walked almost 10,000 steps today, the pedometers tell us, deserving of a long sitdown. The day began with a Freshness Burger, then onto the electronics district of Akihabara (Akiba), and bloody freezing Ueno.


Akiba Den Den Town was, most remarkably, a city for geeks. If you like anime, games, toys, electronics, collectibles, novelties and maids, there’s a lot here for you. I don’t know what I expected, really. This is exactly as everybody described.

Sega building in Den Den Town

a store selling cables

a model tank


Akihabara sidewalk

ad for a popular maid café

We visited SUPERPOTATO, a nook of a shop, boasting 3 floors of retro gaming stuff. There was Mario everywhere, Megaman from way back, Game Gear stuff, Game Boy stuff, Game & Watch, old arcade things, my favourite Twin Bee!!! and heaps of other bits and pieces. The uppermost floor served a gaming arcade and a variety of cheap Japanese candy.

Twin Bee

tabletop machines at superpotato retro arcade

superpotato gaming arcade

retro game machines

candy for sale

Rastan staircase

signs for superpotato

superpotato from outside

I must admit, I have a thing for gachapon right now. Those are the little capsule toy machines that take your money and give you balls.

This is the gachapon shop we went to – I say ‘the’ shop, but I’m sure it’s one of many, as quite a few shops had an impressive quantity of machines.

gachapon arcade

wall lined with gachaponmachines

gachapon machines along another wall

a narrow room of gachapon machines

We also saw a happy Freddy Krueger. I don’t understand.

happy Freddy Krueger

What I most wanted from Akiba was some time at Yodobashi – a massive electronics and homewares store. We sat outside for 20 minutes, eating 7-11 snacks and picking up heaps of StreetPass hits on our DSes. Apparently Yodobashi-Akiba is the hotspot for DS nerds to hang out and Pass each other.

Yodobashi-Akiba building

enjoying a tea outside Yodobashi

streetpassing outside Yodobashi

I’m pretty tired right now, and I want to go play games. Will leave you with some photos of my gachapon trinkets and some snacks we got for the night.

my gachapon balls

cute cat charm on handbag

coin purse


space bread from science museum in Ueno

tasty edamame chips

interesting vegetable juice

Oh yeah, I bought some warm fuzzy shorts last night. They appear to have a front pocket. Hmm.

my fuzzy shorts with front pocket