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Welcome to Akihabara! (Or Akiba for short.) Japan and Tokyo's largest cluster of electronics shops.
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JR Akihabara Station
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Always a crowd in front of JR Akihabara Station
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Here's one reason for the crowd...
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And another one. Young pretty/cute girls in costume pass out flyers, but end up being street models for amateur photographers who have no girlfriends to shoot.
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They are happy to pose...
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The maid costume is all the rage in Japan, for several years now.
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Santa suit appears in Dec.
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Coming out of Akihabara Station
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Main drag of Akihabara
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Train bridge
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Train bridge
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Train bridge to Akihabara Station
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Under the train bridge is "Radio Center," a cluster of many little stalls selling electronic parts.
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Inside Radio Center, where many teens (and future electronics engineers) bought their parts to build their first radio or motor or whatever.
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One stall in Radio Center.
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Other side of Akihabara Station
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Going down the main drag (Chuo-dori) of Akihabara.
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Large and small electronics shops line the main drag on both sides.
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In autumn, we see fall leaves, a most appropriate sight in Akihabara because "Akihabara" means "Autumn leaves field."
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Akihabara has undergone a few transformations over the decades. From general electronics, to computers, and now anime and video games.
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Akihabara is also undergoing a major physical transformation with the new Tsukuba Express train line, a revamped Akihabara Station, Yodobashi, and several skyscrapers.
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Akiba Square in the new Akihabara UDX (Crossfield) building next to Akihabara Station.
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Robotics exhibit in Akiba Square
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Near JR Akihabara Station is a new building called Akihabara UDX (Crossfield). On the 4th floor is this Tokyo Anime Center which has anime displays, a theater, and voice acting recording studio. Free admission.
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Display case of dolls and cells
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Anpan Man
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Anime film
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Maids to greet you
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Maids, the costume rage in Japan for several years already.
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Welcome!
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Tokyo Anime Center
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Many life-size costumed characters on display.
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Tokyo Anime Center, Akihabara
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Big expressive eyes.
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Straight black hair is pretty too.
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Blue ponytails
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Silver hair
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Goldilocks?
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Space teen?
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School uniform
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Redhead in school uniform
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Anybody who knows the names of these characters are welcome to enlighten me...
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Sakura
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Merry Christmas
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Pikachu, Astro Boy, Doraemon
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Former site of Mitsubishi Bank to be transformed soon. This is also the intersection where Tomohiro Kato ran a truck through to hit and kill three pedestrians and went on a street rampage with a knife killing four others on June 8, 2008.
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Don Quixote in the huge building which used to be Minami Denki.
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Inside Don Quixote, Akihabara store
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More fall leaves in Akihabara
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On Sundays, the main drag is closed off to vehicular traffic, allowing us pedestrians to walk on the road.
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It's also when some street performers start to sing.
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Here's a cutie trying to gather attention.
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Another one is happy to sing while a horde of amateur photographers click away.
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They sing on the street to advertise something, usually a night club where they appear.
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The ever-popular maid outfit.
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Maids attract much attention so they are used as living billboards for stores and whatever needs to be advertised in Akihabara.
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Cosplayer teenager posing on the road.
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The problem is that the police patrol the main drag to expel these street performers. It is not allowed. It would be the Japanese police to try and kill Japan's street culture.
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Developed area next to Akihabara Station. Once upon a time, this used to be a wholesale area for fruit. Then an outdoor basketball/skateboard court.
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JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance faces Yodobashi camera shop.
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JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance (Yodobashi on the left)
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Inside JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance. Very nice, very spacious.
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Bus stop near JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance
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Yodobashi-Akiba, the largest store in Akihabara. Major camera, computer, and electronics store. A favorite store for photographers in Japan.
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Crosswalk to Yodobashi
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Street singer in front of JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance
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Street singer in front of JR Akihabara Station's new Central entrance. A cute face and miniskirt really help to gather a crowd.
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Her setup is simple. A portable and battery-powered amplifier connected to a microphone. The amp is on a luggage cart. When the police comes, she can pack up and leave within 5 sec.
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These girls usually have a lookout man who watches out for the cops. As soon as he sees one coming, he runs up to her and gives the "Outta here" signal. They're gone before the police can even see them. It's a constant cat and mouse game
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She says that it was her first "Street live performance" (rojo raibu).
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Street performer
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Street performer near Yodobashi-Akiba, the largest store in Akihabara.
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A miniskirted pair
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Sign says "No street performances allowed."
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Yodobashi-Akiba, the largest store in Akihabara. Major camera, computer, and electronics store.
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Yodobashi-Akiba at night
   
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