Akihabara is a sacred place for otaku and technophiles. Massive department stores stocked with electronics, maid cafes, street performances, video game stores, dozens of shops offering anime merchandise etc. It’s a place I have always dreamed of visiting and will be the main stop for a day or two (or three?) when I get to Japan in mid 2011.
Just over two years ago Tomohiro Kato drove a truck into a crowd in Akihabra and proceeded to stab others. When he was finally stopped seven people were killed and ten were injured. Since then the pedestrian area has been closed as the authorities blamed otaku and the area suffered backlash from most of the wider Japan.
Pedestrian Zone to Reopen
Come Sunday January 16 a section of the Chuo-dori street in Akihabara will become vehicle free again on a trial basis. The authorities will also be stricter on street performers and security cameras in the area will be used to monitor the crowd.
One of the funniest Japanese dramas I have seen is called Akihabara@DEEP a hilarious tale of a group of Akihabara based otaku. I am about 80% of the way watching another popular Akihabara related J-dorama called Densha Otoko or “Train Man”. Look out for write-up of that series in a few days.