Thursday, December 06, 2007

Will success ruin Japan's Geektown?

File this story under Say it ain't so.

In the 1960s and '70s, electronics manufacturers congregated in Tokyo's Akihabara district. It wasn't long before the area became proliferated with discount electronics shops supplied by these manufacturers, making Akihabara the place to go for incredible bargains on all devices electronic.

Later, because of this electronics connection, the area transformed into a veritable geek paradise, filled with video game arcades, manga book stores, and even cosplay restaurants.

Naturally, Akihabara is a great place to people-watch. Even foreign tourists make a special trip there to see the show—or to parade around in their own costumes.

But then Akihabara got a little too famous for its own good: it became trendy—and you know what that means.

Even now, as you read this, upscale businesses are moving in, rents are going up, and the funky stores that gave the place its charm are relocating. So Japan's otaku are looking for a new place to hang out.

(Monkishly deep bow to Planet Japan for the news.)

Like a kid in a candy store.


—Mellow Monk

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