Monday, July 22, 2013

Tokyo, the otaku (nerd) heaven

If you want a school uniform with a very very short skirt, they were on sale.
When I booked my tickets for the Tokyo meeting trip I still did not know when the meeting would end, so I booked a return flight fairly late so I would be sure not to miss it. As it turned out, the meeting ended earlier than I had expected, and I had a few hours in Tokyo.

Tourists in Harajuku
One of the slightly strange fashion trends from Harajuku is these kind of doll dresses. Though I saw only a few people wearing them (excepting staff in shops selling such clothes). They mostly show up on weekends.

I went to Harajuku and Akihabara. These two districts are both Meccas of nerds, though nowadays there are more tourists going to check out the nerd culture than there are nerds. In Harajuku you have the "dress like a doll"-fashion girly nerds. This is also were I buy my weird t-shirts.

Tourists in Akihabara
Anime t-shirt, colored hair, nerd souvenirs in bag; a typical group of westerner anime nerds.
In Akihabara you used to have the electronics nerds (and there is still some of that left) but now it is mostly anime/manga nerd stuff there. And "maid cafes", which is closely related to anime nerd culture. Cafes or bars (or brothel type places) where girls work wearing the Japanese interpretation of a French Maid costume, speak with very high pitched voices, and act very subservient.

I saw lots of tourists, and some nerds.

Electronics sold by the kilo etc.
Girls trying to get customers to different Maid Cafes.
Akihabara is also home to AKB48, a music/dance group of young girls (like 16 to 24 years old?) singing and dancing in very short skirts and showing their panties. Very popular and selling massive amounts of CDs. They have a cafe and a shop in Akihabara, and there were lots of people waiting outside.
There was also a Gundam cafe, next to the AKB48 cafe. Gundam is an old and very famous manga and anime series (though I have not seen it myself). There was at least a small line waiting outside this place too.

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