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The beautiful photo of Akihabara above is courtesy of Tsutomu Kuriyama from the Panorama Tokyo Review.

Go to the photo gallery for Akihabara Station.

Akihabara electric town.  The largest single place in the world to buy electronics.  Let's just say that if you are into technology, and new neat stuff that you can't get back home, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, it is definitely worth it to stop at Akihabara Station.  The only thing I found after waking and searching every street in this "Electric Town"  is that it is not amazingly cheap.  You can find good deals but not the best in Tokyo by any means.  What it does have is, literally, everything.  There are well over 600 different shops selling every range of product.  For the tourist, most stores sell the "world model" that will work at home (same voltage rating as home) but the price goes up significantly for these.  I also saw many signs, in English, advertising "duty free" goods.  Personally I saw no need to buy any of these, and I saw it as a marketing scheme to get travelers to shop there, but that's just what I think.  Another thing I should note is that like everywhere else in Japan, stores are most likely NOT willing to bargain, so don't expect to chip away at the price and get a better deal.  It could happen, but it's rare.  There are no other tourist destinations here (the city itself is a tourist destination) and I don't know the historical relevance of the area, but it is a neat place to be.

From Akihabara Station the Yamanote line runs north and south.The Kehin Tohoku line runs north and south.  The Sobu line runs east and west.

The first time I went was to look for a cellular phone-"keitai".  I searched for hours.  I wanted the best phone for me, and the best price.  I almost went to every store in the area that sold cellular phones to compare my options.  Of course I got lost looking at all the other neat gadgets along the way, but that's half the fun.  The area called Akihabara around the station consists of one main street running North-South and a maze of smaller cross streets.  Expect to find all of the bigger department stores along the main drag and the smaller privately owned stores on the smaller streets.  Surprisingly in many of the bigger stores, a salesman will speak English, and be able to help you with anything.  They are quite knowledgeable.  Be warned also, that many smaller stores do not like selling to foreigners that can't easily express what they want.  Speaking Japanese definitely helps here.  I guess I should say everywhere, but almost always you can get by well enough without Japanese I guess.  I just think from experience that generally people will show you more respect and courtesy if you have the language ability.  I'm sure you would find it difficult and a little frustrating to try to communicate with people who are not speaking your language in the country you live in on a daily basis.

NOTE: This information is now out of date. Looking for an internet cafe?  Don't look too hard in Akihabara.  I couldn't find any and I looked on almost every street.  One would think that there would be one there.  Anyway, a good place to go for internet service is "Kinko's Copy Center".  They have locations at JR Kanda, JR Yotsuya, and Subway Yotsuya-Sanchome stations, plus more that I don't know off by hand.

I guess now is a good time to recommend going to Akihabara at night.  It is a beautiful display of neon signs and flashing lights only rivaled by Shinjuku at night time for more neon.  The stores close rather early at around 7:00pm.  So don't go too late.