If anime culture were a religion, Tokyo’s Akihabara district would be its holiest site. With all the maid cafes, manga shops and cute “moe” cartoon girls plastered everywhere, Akihabara is usually a must for visitors to Japan interested in all things geek. However, Chinese netizens recently argued (on a site that hosts pirated Japanese anime nonetheless) that the geek mecca is actually really boring and Japan is using anime to make other countries think it is cool and beautiful. Sharpen your claws and join us after the jump for more.
While most of Akihabara’s fame comes from its anime megastores and maid cafes, there’s one other landmark in the neighborhood that people regularly make pilgrimages to. Wherever you find hordes of young men dropping their paychecks on their hobbies, you can also find cheap, tasty grub, and for years, Mammoth Curry has been the place to get your fill of the spicy stuff in Tokyo’s electronics district.
Unfortunately, much like its wooly namesake, the age of Mammoth Curry is coming to an end in Akihabara, as the eatery is closing its doors for good this month.
We’re well into fall now, and it’s time to start preparing for some horror-filled festivities on October 31. Japan is getting all geared-up with ghosts and skeletons clearly on display and plenty of Halloween parties planned for the days leading up to the turn of the month. But of course, what’s a Halloween party without a good costume? And what’s a good costume without a band of beautiful girls ready to promote it?
Clearstone costume maker recently released a new cosplay series called Tokimeki Graffiti, modeled and promoted by the idol group, DenpaGumi.inc. Already, whether for the quality of the costumes or the influence of idols, sales are really skyrocketing!
This little slice of life in Japan came up on Twitter the other day. It’s a simple photo that really says a lot, or as one local commenter said about it: “Take a good look. This is Japan.”
These days it seems all you can find are mechanical car washes scattered across our urban landscape. Sure they might be cheap and fast, but would you trust your beloved vehicle and decal of Calvin and Hobbs peeing on a Ford logo to the cold uncaring hands of a machine?
No, sir! What you need is the warm and gentle touch that only a woman can offer – a woman wearing a swimsuit since washing a car involves lots of water of course. Also, because school swimsuits offer the most durability they would have to wear those at Swimsuit Carwash in Akihabara.
You see, there’s an excuse reason for everything, including the 10,000 yen (US$100) price tag that comes with the experience.
When it comes to Japan, Akihabara is one place you’ll find on almost every tourist’s map. The name alone immediately brings to mind everything from games, manga, anime, figurines and AKB48 to Gundam, computers and electronics. Still one thing stands out as being particularly iconic: maid cafes.
Most visitors to Tokyo have stopped by one of these cafes at least once, and even if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the concept: cute, young women in fluffy “maid” skirts serving drinks and food while giggling with customers and, often, putting on shows. But have you wondered where these cafes came from? Read More
On 24 April at approximately 9:25 a.m., six people were injured while riding an escalator in Akihabara Station, Tokyo.
All the victims suffered injuries as serious as broken fingers when a piece of metal siding became bent upwards blocking the clearance between it and the rubber handrail.
Sadly, this digital carnage could have been easily avoided if people in Tokyo just stood on the right side of the escalator like normal people.
If you have an eye for detail, you might just recognize the place in the image above. It’s an awesome rendering of Tokyo’s Akihabara. And it’s from the skilled hand of a former quantum physics researcher turned picture jockey.
John Hathway (pseudonym), the Japanese artist who created the picture, is known as a picture jockey (PJ) because he builds images the same way a disc jockey mixes tracks; by improvising with new patterns and arrangements and blending backgrounds to create totally unique and exciting works of art.
Now he’s teamed up with Tokyo Otaku Mode, a popular site for all things otaku, to celebrate their 10 million-plus likes on Facebook. They thanked fans in a unique way, with the release of this gorgeous image, and a rare picture jockey performance.
Sleeping! Hand holding! Awkward conversation and pent-up sexual frustration!
What you’re about to witness, ladies and gentlemen, is “cuddle cafe” Soineya’s new oshiri makura (lit. butt pillow) service; the latest in awkward things that men can pay to do with young girls who don’t actually like them.
The concept is simple: a pretty girl enters your private booth, lies on her front and lets you rest your head on her bottom. But don’t drift into too deep a sleep, there, sonny- just one minute of oshiri makura action will cost you an incredible 1,000 yen (US$11).
Rumor has it that among the numerous maid cafés, manga, DVD, and video game shops in Akihabara, Tokyo, there exists a unique corner full of vending machines.
The machines contain typical fare for Japan – colas, teas, snacks, condoms, and such – but are guarded by savage penalties unbecoming of the general levels of politeness in this country. In fact, often involving dismemberment, these penalties seem more at home in a bleak post-apocalyptic Thunderdome type society than urban Tokyo.
Few know about this legendary group of vending machines outside of Akihabara aficionados. So our reporter, Kuzo, decided to venture up the electric river of Akihabara in search of the Heart of Vending Machine Darkness.
Electronics aren’t the only things coming out of Akihabara these days! If you’re a pudding lover, you’ll be thrilled with this tasty custard dessert, something that karaoke and leisure company Pasela has on their menu at their newest venture, bakery Honey Toast Cafe.
And that’s not all! The custard dessrt is served in the cutest little pottery honey pot which you can take home with you!
With the entire first floor of the giant leisure site being a bakery, you can enjoy a variety of bread and sweet treats- this pudding included- before heading up to the seventh floor to scream into a microphone. Or, if you don’t need to let off steam with a little karaoke, you can remain downstairs and go straight to the pudding! Read More
One of the most common stereotypes of nerds, or otaku as they’re known in Japan, is that they cannot cook and subsist on a diet of instant noodles and soft drinks.
Kitchen a la Mode is a new cooking school in Akihabara that hopes to get otaku off their chairs and into the kitchen by providing simple, hands-on cooking lessons with cute girls.
You may remember reading about Kitchen a la Mode on our site last month. Curious as to how the school has been doing since opening, RocketNews24 sent its handsomest American correspondent (me) to Kitchen a la Mode to experience moé cooking firsthand. Check out his (my) report below!
Despite their irrepressible desire to rip off and devour our flesh, people love zombies. Zombie movies, zombie books, zombie games, zombie theme park events… people are just as obsessed with “consuming” zombies as they are with consuming us.
And now, with Halloween just around the corner, there are more ways than ever to get your zombie fix. In Japan, for example, you can even sit down and have cute zombie maids serve you coffee at the zombie maid café, Maid of the Dead.
Akihabara; world-famous home to everything otaku! Cosplay, electronics, comic-books, videogames, maid cafés, pop idol pubs, trading card stores; Akihabara- or Akiba to the locals- is where it’s at.
For years, swarms of young men with poor social skills (and cool folks like you and me, too…) have been heading into Akihabara to buy figure models of girls in bikinis with disproportionately large breasts, locate hardware for their new gaming PC, or spend an hour in the company of cute girls dressed as maids who giggle as they put “love spells” on guests’ food before sending them home more frustrated than ever.
As reported by Hamster Sokuhou earlier today, a fun new establishment has recently thrown its doors open to Akihabara’s masses, inviting them to come and cook with their cast of female chefs, each ready to guide the hands of young men who, until now, were perhaps too shy to touch a woman’s measuring jugs for real.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Prepare yourselves for the next level in awkward interaction with females in exchange for cash!
Sometimes, after a long, stressful day, there’s nothing more comforting than crawling into bed with your significant other and falling asleep in their arms.
But what if you don’t have anyone to cuddle with in the first place? If you’re in Japan, you might think to go to a soapland or some other kind of brothel, but then you’d have to deal with all that sex when you really just want to close your eyes and rest in the warmth of another’s body.
But wait! Before you resign yourself to another lonely night of shedding tears on your Rei Ayanami dakimakura, why not stop by Soineya, Japan’s first “co-sleeping specialty shop,” where customers can pay to sleep in the arms of a beautiful girl—with no strings attached!
Let me describe a scene for you: a crowd of Japanese are gathered around steel drums in a little shanty of a building open to the summer air. Some are drinking beers in plastic cups, others disposable one-cup sakes. Most are eating from unheated cans of food with plastic cutlery, chasing it with sips of their chosen brew. Around them are shelves of unfinished wood, stacked high with a stupendous assortment of cans, probably enough to last several months. Think this is a scene from a disaster shelter in Tohoku? Perhaps an end-of-the-world movie? Think again. It’s Saturday night at one of Osaka’s most unique “restaurants”, the long-standing and popular Kanso, where there’s no menu except the cans on the shelves. Try to contain your excitement, because this monument to apocalypse-chic may be coming to a city near you. Read More
This is an exhibition you won’t want to miss, particularly if you have even the slightest artistic inclination. 3331 Arts Chiyoda is hosting a collection of renowned manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s original drawings. Read More
Tokyo’s electronics and pop culture mecca Akihabara is a land of strange fantasies. And nothing spells business opportunity like strange fantasies.
For example, take Noodle Café, a recently-opened restaurant where real Japanese female idols poor hot water into a cup of instant ramen for you. For 800 yen (US $10.30).
Many Japanese restaurants serve a “yama-mori,” or “mountain-sized,” serving of rice and other main dishes, but Adachi’s in Akihabara may boast the biggest one in the country.
Adachi’s claim to fame has always been its large portions. The first Adachi’s operated out of the Kanda Market, and its clientele were people who worked in the fruit and vegetable market. They worked up huge appetites by performing manual labor from the early morning hours, and regular portions would not fill their bellies. It was then that the elder Adachi decided to provide huge portions.
The affable younger Adachi told me all about it during my first visit to the restaurant. The restaurant is famous for letting its patrons eat to their hearts’ content, and anyone who has ever dined there knows that the “regular” portion of rice is five to six times larger than normal. Read More
It seems like there is no stopping the phenomenon that is Japanese female idol group AKB48. The group’s popularity continues to snowball in both Japan and overseas, they recently launched their own sketch comedy program, and just about everywhere you go you’ll find merchandise labeled with the girls’ smiling faces.
Keeping up with this unrelenting march is AKB’s newest attraction, the AKB48 Café & Shop, which had its grand opening September 29 in Akihabara, Tokyo.
The venue, located right outside the Denikigai Exit of Akihabara Station, is a large, one-floor space that holds a theatre area with regular showings of AKB48 concert videos and a buffet to eat while you watch, a shop stocked with exclusive AKB48 merchandise, a private event room where it is said members will come and visit, and a café.
Customers may enter the café portion without reservation and entrance to the shop is limited to café customers. The theater area and private group room require reservation and cost 2700 yen and 10,000 yen respectively.
On opening day eager fans waited to get in the cafe in a line that didn’t get any smaller even after it turned dark.
To be honest, I only know about AKB48 as the average person. However the café is about much more than just eating and does an excellent job at providing an enjoyable experience – even if you aren’t a die-hard fan. Read More
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