Japan: Akihibara and Some Observations

Akihibara, Tokyo

Today we quickly visited the reception hall we’ll go to after the wedding and then went on to Akihabara. Akihabara is the electronics and toy district in Tokyo. It’s a little bit of everything; there’s discount consumer electronics and toys, but also electronic components, comic books, “big kid” toys like figurines and expensive RC cars, and tons more. It’s sort of like an anime con held in the world’s biggest Radio Shack. Unfortunately it’s so overwhelming, with so much visual stimuli, that I didn’t even think to take pictures until we were ready to leave. One picture is up of a street, but it doesn’t do this frenzy of mass consumption justice. I hope to go back later for some souvenirs and to take some photos.

Crazy Toilet, TokyoOverall, Japan is not that different from the U.S. Of all the Asian countries, it’s the most westernized, and it’s actually not too hard to get around without knowing any Japanese other than arigato (thanks). But there are some differences. Most of the toilets are western style, though in some places you’ll find traditional “ground toilets” that are sort of like a urinal laid flat in the floor. More importantly, the toilets that are western style have amenities, almost always heated seats and sometimes additions like bidets, automatic flushes, and even automatic lid opening and closing. Plus, they have two flushes, a “strong” flush and a “less strong” flush.

There are other small differences like this, but I’ll explain them in a later post. It’s 12:30AM right now and I need to sleep for the wedding ceremony tomorrow!

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