6/14/13 The day before I leave Tokyo is a fun but somber one. With my great new friends, the three of us venture off to find the Square Enix Store, Artnia, in the nicer side of Shinjuku. We find the store, and in return, they introduced me to Asakusa; a “historic” area of Tokyo, hosting the oldest temple in Tokyo(Sensoji Temple). After our great adventure, we had to part ways: it was there last day in Japan. We walked back to our cozy hostel, that they kindly introduced to me the day before, grabbed their ridocously souvenir-filled bags and said there goodbyes. I hope to one day, meet with these two gentlemen back in the US, so that I may continue to grow my friendships. Out of all of the Gaijin I met in Japan, these two individuals I felt I connected with the most. They reminded me of some of my closest friends back at home, and that right there is just plain lucky.
Although my adventurous buddies have left the “land of the rising sun” back to the land where the sun never seems to go away (Arizona), my thirst for exploration did not cease. And so, that night, I ventured off alone into the world of electronics, robots, and anime; Akihabara. Akihabara is a city in Tokyo. Filled with lights, sounds, skyscrapers, and people, it sounds to be just another part of the bustling city of Tokyo. But as soon as you step into this world of Akihabara, you realize that it is a whole different realm. Goliath-sized pictures of the latest anime posted on the side of a building, Maid Cafes on every corner, and Otakus filling the streets, Akihabra is the nerd/geek heaven.
- Anime: Litteraly meaning “animation” in Japanese, anime is one of the most idetifiable forms of Japanese pop-culture. Everything ranjing from cute-overloaded shows for kids to tear-filled dramas for adults; anime comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes for ALL types of audiences. Howevor one thing is for shure, and that is Anime is ushally a highly detailed, artistic form of animation, unlike the american counter part.
- Otaku: Geek,nerd, dork, a guy who lives in his mothers basement; there are many words that can descibe what an Otaku is, but the best way to define somone who is an Otaku is an obsssed fan. This can range from all sorts of things such as cars, trains, robots, electronics, collectibles, pop-idols, and of corse anime and manga. This is why you can find hundreds of Otakus roaming about on the streets of Akihabara, for it is the home to some of the largest Anime and Manga shops, as well as as other paraphanillia. I do consider myself to be preety nerdy, but an Otaku goes way beyound to the point of no return.
- Maid Cafe: Almost found exclusively in Japan, specifically Akihabara, a Maid Cafe is (almost) exactly what you think, a cafe filled with maids. Howevor, instead of selling “sexiness” of “slut-appeal”, there main targets are Otaku men who adore extreme cuteness, or as the local Otaku call it, Moe. Dressed in frilly maid outfits, cat or bunny ears, and asscerized with everything deemed cute, a Maid at a Maid cafe is extremly bubbly and tries to be as cute as possible, weather its drwing a cat face with ketchup on your omlete, or sining god-awful-high-pitched anime theme tunes, or “blessing” your food by forming there hands in the shape of a heart and putting abouve your food while saying “MOE!” It’s adorable,strange,fun, and slightly annoying, but the best part is, no matter who you are, Otaku or not, you are treted like royalty. Who dosen’t want that?