Posts Tagged geek culture

May 31, 2004 pt2 – Games and porn?



After spending a few hours in Asakusa, Team Awesome Sauce and I went to see Akihabara, the famous electronics district of Tokyo and centre of geek culture in Japan. None of us had ever been there before, but we expected to find lots of electronics stores, duty free shops, video games and anime models.

Akihabara is served by several JR lines as well as the Tokyo Metro. Since we were coming from Asakusa, we were on Tokyo metro. Subway stations in Tokyo are huge and can sprawl under several city blocks. If you don’t know which exit you need to take, you can end up a long way from your destination. That’s exactly what happened to us.

We came out of the subway in an area that didn’t have any of the brightly coloured stores that we were expecting. We wandered around for a few blocks while I took some abuse over not knowing where I was going. Eventually we found a movie and book store. Most stores in Akihabara are in tall narrow buildings, with different things on each floor. The first and second floor of the building had lots of cool looking movies. The third floor had porn. Lots of porn. The fourth floor was also entirely filled with porn, but not your typical, every day, conventional porn. There were several things that I will choose not to describe here. Let’s just say that you should love your pets, but you shouldn’t LOVE your pets. Japan has some strange obscenity laws that allows porn to contain all kinds of things that would be considered illegal in other countries, as long as the genitals are blurred out. After escaping the fourth floor we found that the fifth floor also contained porn, this time discount porn of a more conventional variety.

We left the store and eventually found that the electronics shops were conveniently located around JR Akihabara station. If we had taken JR instead of Tokyo metro we would have found them easily. I lost track of how many electronics and games stores we went into. Most of the electronics stores sold both Japanese models and export models of their goods. All of the game and toy stores had porn.

Akihabara is a really cool place to explore if you are into anime, video games, or electronics. You should never bring kids to Akihabara. Ever.

(2014 update) It’s amazing how much Akihabara has changed in the past 10 years. In 2005 the Yodobashi camera mega store opened in Akihabara, giving the other electronic chains some serious competition. In addition to game and electronics stores, the streets are now loaded with maid cafes. The area is always busy and crowded. Also, the porn is still everywhere.

So. Much. Porn.

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