Maybe the one good thing is that they opted to close rather than turn into Radio Shack, converting from an electronics tinkerer’s paradise into a Brookstone that happens to sell coax cable.
I sorry we missed that shop when we visited the Akihabara, but we were impressed by all the poo porn.
This place was awesome. It is really sad to see it go, but not altogether unsurprising since Akihabara hasn’t been a place to get cheap electronics for 10 years or more (thanks to Korea’s improved technical manufacturing). The other thing is that you’d rarely get much cheaper prices there than at a Bic/Odabashi Kamera anywhere else in Tokyo.
@PrestonSturges is right… it’s now just basically the best place to go for sex toys, pr0n and anime/manga. Oh and yes… they do seem to have a disproportionate level of defecation/vomit/enema pr0n in Japan. For those who are curious, the letters “JAV” will be helpful for your searching.
The Radio Store building will be sold to the East Japan Railway Company that operates Akihabara Station.
Fuck that shit. (no pun intended)
It’s not just electronic specialty stores in Tokyo that are disappearing. We lost one in a neighboring town several years ago, which looked like a time warp into 1981 and at which I found some hard-to-find components. Another nearly got literally washed away by severe flooding two years ago. Fortunately, its customer base got behind it and it recovered.
Support your local independent electronics store, because you don’t wanna be stuck waiting days for online orders to arrive, or be forced to patronize that pitiful den of dysfunction known as Rdio Shck!
I was there in 1985 or so. Even though I’m not an electronics hack, it was marvelous to walk through the place and see all the parts available. Years later, I suggested that such a store would be a great addition to Central Square in Cambridge, an ongoing version of the monthly (in season) MIT Swapfest. Still a good idea but at least we have a number of maker spaces in the area now and Danger Awesome with their laser cutting and 3D printing services. If he survives the recounting of ballots, Nadeem Mazen, the owner, may be elected to the City Council (and another Occupier in political power).
OT1H its a shame in terms of nostalgia for the Akihabara that was but OTOH that Akihabara has really been gone for years.The days when you could find ¥5,000 SGI workstations or obscure half broken but still serviceable drum machines for ¥1,000 are but a distant memory. As for these places, they’ve been selling the same trays of gubbins at high retail prices forever despite all those gubbins being available at half the price online.
Sad to see this go. Went there once in the 90s and it was awesome. We’re lucky here in Toronto to actually still have 3 mom-and pop retail electronic components shops in the downtown core, each with their own unique quirks.
This is one of the things I miss most about living in China. I lived near a street with a number of large 4 story buildings full of this kind of stuff - computers, electronics, camera equipment, modelling, gaming, hardware etc. Not so much for collectors, but great if you wanted to build a computer or find a part for something you were working on. Stuff like cables were loose and dirt cheap, while in the US they were in a plastic shell and 10 times the price.
I’ve been there about 5 years ago; I remember being the only bit of Akiba which sort-of matched the image of the area that I had in my mind before the trip. The rest was anime-anime-anime-porn-porn-porn-porn and a bunch of generic electronics retailers with ware that you could easily find on the internet 30% cheaper. (well, and a delicious arcade museum of sort, marked by a huge Mario mural – but it was well hidden and quite empty of patrons).
Sad to see it go, but then again, Japan today is very different from the '80s, the electronics market has moved to China and Korea.
This post is a little late: its last day was Saturday, and yes, I went up there for a last look. I’d wandered through it occasionally over the years: even though I have the construction skills of a drunken chimpanzee, it was fun to imagine what I could put together. I mean, there were stalls that sold RADIO TUBES, for crying out loud.
I took a few photos – along with many others – and wound up buying a microphone cable, because, well, I DID need a microphone cable.
And there’s still little shops in the back alleys – go west and north from the station – if you still crave a DIY taste. Who knows, maybe the stall owners will relocate there.
And yet another place I’ll never get to see because it will be gone forever by the time I finally get there. Time to reverse the list again.
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