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What the Tsukiji Central Fish Market is to the food trade, Akihabara is to Japan’s legendary electronics industry: bustling, busy and fun to watch, and you don’t have to get up early in the morning to catch the action (afternoon is prime time). Akihabara can no longer claim exclusive rights to the title of the city’s electronics centre (thanks to increased competition from denser hubs like Shinjuku and Ikebukuro), yet it is still quite the scene. Akihabara is where many items are market-tested, so even if you have no intention of shopping now, it’s worth a peek to see what you may be buying two years hence. As the electronics business has moved elsewhere (Korea, China and Taiwan), Akihabara has turned to the boom market in cartoon manga, often pornographic, to round out its fiscal activity. If you like your pornography of the PG-13 variety, don’t miss the opportunity to have a cup of coffee and curry rice in any of Akihabara’s unique maid cafes. Superfans might consider visiting Tokyo Anime Center, a rather underwhelming exhibition hall that springs to life when there are anime related special events.
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