The first thing that greeted me when I stepped out of Akihabara station wasn't a thing at all, but a girl - a cute girl in a maid outfit handing out flyers!
She happily allowed me to take her photo. What a wonderful introduction to Akihabara!
Here's the street right outside the station:
You can see a guy in the middle of the shot wearing a facemask. Lots of people wear these In Japan. Is it to prevent themselves from getting germs or prevent others from getting their germs? Did this start after the Tokyo subway gas attacks by Aum Shinrikyo or did they wear them before?
Here's another street scene. Big anime banners on light poles - who needs Disneyland when there is a place like Akihabara?
This friendly fellow was using a rolled up magazine to amplify his voice, and as a kind of telescope. I was made to feel welcome in this place :]
And this place. Eight floors! Check out the sign, levels 2 and 3. They split the games between TWO FLOORS.
I couldn't seem to open my eyes wide enough to take everything in. It was all so wonderful!
This store, Gigo, was full of 'UFO Catchers'.
Outside Gigo were these capsule machines and I went into the store to use the change machine to stock up on 100 yen coins.
Here's a Haruhi Suzumiya UFO Catcher that was just inside the front door of Gigo.
This is across the road from Gigo (Sega Gigo, I should say!) Also notice the boxy little vans? They were everywhere.
And in the middle of all this, a small Shinto shrine with torii gate. I came across many of these during my trip, and every time it felt like a rare and special discovery.
A little further on I bumped into that girl again, but this time she had a hat and a signboard, and she was with a friend!
This is the capsule shop, outside and inside, where I deposited handfuls of 100 yen coins into various machines (including Haruhi Suzumiya, Dragon Quest and Zelda) in a state closely resembling acute euphoria.