Akihabara: The Electric Town

While walking around, Mari told me that Akihabara was also called the ‘Electric Town’ because there are a lot of shops which sell electrical stuff such as computers, phones, televisions and so on. In few words, it is an heaven for people interested in those things. Once we were walking, Mari showed me a big colorful building which sells electric stuff. From the outside, it looked like a building different from the standard building. This is because you could see the escalator path way from the outside that looks like a pipe. Something that seams come out from the video game ‘Super Mario Bros’. I do not know if the two main characters (Mario and Luigi) ever lived there, but one thing I realized was that the building surprised me.

Mari asked me if I wanted to have a look inside and so we did. On the ground floor they were selling phones. I was interested to buy a ‘pay-as-you-go’ phone because I knew that I would need it (11 months is a long period and I was planning to make some friends and having a phone would be very convenient to me to get in touch with them). Mari then told me that in Japan they do not sell pay-as-you-go phones and all the phones were with a contract, but we decided to go to the phones department to enquire about the options they were doing. We asked a man there and that man told us that they actually had two phones which are pay-as-you-go. They had one which cost ¥7,000 and another one which cost ¥10,000. The were not fancy phones, apart from calling and messaging it could also take low quality photos and get access to emails. They were not touch screen, but like a shell which when open there is a screen in the top part and a keyboard (not qwerty) in the bottom part, which included a button to access Yahoo! Mail and other buttons for few other functions. I did not buy it because I wanted to have time to think about it and at that point I had only few friends in Japan, all of them Japanese, Mari from Tokyo and Miki and her sister Chise from Nagoya. I had another friend, Noriko, from Kagoshima in the South of Kyushu, but she had been living in Canada for a while and married a Canadian guy and that was it. The phones in Japan differ from those found in the UK, they have a much wider selection of Japanese brands, such as Sharp Aquos, NEC, Toshiba as well as a wide selection of Sony. After looking at the phones we went to have a look around the store and I was surprised at the laptops because they look thicker and much heavier than those found in Europe. I do not know why they are like that, but it is interesting. We stayed in the store only for a short time before leaving to go to Tokyo Tower.

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