Akihabara

Old Apr 5th, 2006, 09:17 PM
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Akihabara

I have heard that Akihabara is a must see .

If we arrive by bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo, is it reasonable to store our luggage at the station and go on to Akihabara on a Friday ?
We will be in Tokyo, probably Shinjuku ,for 2 nights. I am imagining spending the second day shopping in Shinjuku . I have two teenagers who would enjoy some excitement after the tranquility of Kyoto.

An alternative would be to send our luggage from Kyoto to our hotel in Shinjuku. We will only have carry-ons. Is this worthwhile ? Thanks
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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Yes, it is reasonable to store your luggage at Tokyo station and go to Akihabara. There are probably lockers at Akihabara.

When you get your ticket in Kyoto, tell them that you are going to Akihabara, not just to Tokyo. You'll get an extra ticket good for the JR line to Akihabara (it will probably be a general 'tokyo ward area' ticket and you could use it to get to a different JR station, if you choose). Stashing your stuff at Tokyo would be on your way to Akihabara and picking up the stuff would be on your way to Shinjuku, so it is a fairly efficient plan (there may be a better station for your hotel than Shinjuku, though).

Your locker charge will be 300 to 500 yen. I would guess that shipping your bag would cost 2000 yen, maybe 3000 yen? I think it is worthwhile, for another 1600 yen or so over the locker cost, to have the bag shipped as I think it is a great bargain and a service that can't be had elsewhere. But multiply that by four and the extra cost of shipping (6400 yen or more) is not insignificant.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 10:14 PM
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Why not just go directly from your hotel in Kyoto to your hotel in Shinjuku? You can than unpack, freshen up, and go to Akihabara. I do not have my Japan books as I lent them to my sister last month, but I cannot imagine you would save much time in your vacation by doing what you propose.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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Bonjour Okoshi,

If you really want to visit Akihabara, I second mjs' suggestion: go first to your hotel, leave your luggage and then board a JR Yamanote loop line train to Akihabara. It will beat having to return to Tokyo station to get your bags and then to Shinjuku.

BTW, you will find most of what is sold in Akihabara in Shinjuku at around the same prices (look for Yodobashi camera store, for example). IMO, Akihabara is overrated as a tourist attraction, since there are very few shops selling international models, and you need good Japanese language skills in order to find the real bargains.

You teenagers might find much better excitement in Shinjuku or in Ginza (Sony showroom, for example, where you can actually try the latest models). BTW, try to get your hands on the book "Tokyo for Free", by S. Pompian, and look for showrooms.

In Kyoto, excitement (teenagers friendly) can be found in Teramachi arcade and adjacent streets between Sanjo, Shijo, and Karasuma streets.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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Hi okoshi. I highly respect Florence and her extensive travel expereince in Japan (much greater than mine in scope) and I frequently seek out her advice. But I want to give you a different viewpoint about the attraction of Akihabara over some other areas of Tokyo for a teenager.

My son and I went to three hopping areas, Shinjuku, Shibuya (at night) and Akihabara (at night). Akihabara was his favorite. At the time (last spring) the Sony PSP had not been released in the U.S., but there were stations all over Akihabara in the stores where he could try it out. He must have taken 20 pictures of the PSP, himself w/the POP, etc. to bring back to show his friends how he had put his hands on one months before they did. There are some very cool attractions other than the electronics stores. There is a very cool multi-story Sega game arcade (where he won some cool items and promptly gave them to me, ) a new Tokyo Anime Center, a Gee capsule toy store w/over 300 machines (and a collectables store above it), and multiple anime/manga stores, all packed into one long very manageable block. We found this a much different kind of excitement than Shibuya or Shinjuku.

I recommend trying to be in Akihabara at nightfall or after. The neon is very cool then. Depending on what time you arrive in Tokyo, going to your hotel might afford you the time to then be in Akihabara later in the afternoon and at nightfall.

mrwunrfl, that is great info re getting the JR pass for the train to Akihabara or Shinjuku when you buy your ticket to Tokyo, if that is the route they choose (going straight there). I didn't realize you could do that.

Florence's suggestion about the showrooms is a good one.

Just a thought: have you thought about Odaiba for an afternoon or evening w/the teens?
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Ascribe my opinion of Akihabara to my old age
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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All of your suggestions are just priceless ! Thank you everybody.

I gather that everything is open until late at Akihabara and Shinjuku, and that travel by train through Shinjuku Station can occur all night long ?

Please enlighten me re Odaiba.
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