Akihabara-Ochanomizu Pt. I

Now that I’ve finally finished up the Great 2008 Cross Japan Autumn Road Trip series, it’s time to try and make a dent in the massive piles of other pictures I have piled up.

akiba-ochanomizu walk

First up are some random photos from the area between Ochanomizu and Akihabara. I think that when a lot of people visit Akihabara, they tend to stick to the main streets in the areas immediately surrounding the 電気街 (“Electronics Town”) exit of the JR station, or (increasingly, these days), just plop straight out the station and over into the massive Yodabashi Camera store that dominates the landscape outside the 昭和道り (“Showa Street”) exit.

akiba-ochanomizu walk

And as for poor little Ochanomizu – I’m not sure that anybody (or at least foreigners) who doesn’t have a specific purpose for being there actually ever bothers to stop by this particular part of Tokyo. It’s a shame, really, because there are lots of great used book stores and musical instrument shops in this area, as well as the stunning glass and steel facade of the towering Meiji University in this neighborhood. But when you’re sandwiched between Akihabara and the home of Thunder Dolphin, it’s hard to compete, you know?

And while I have been to both places quite a few times (the former because I have an obsession with cameras (like this one, for example), and the latter for business), I had actually never walked between them – which seems a shame, given that they are located right next to each other. Plus, in most big cities, the most interesting spots are not necessarily those right in front of the major train stations (since that landscape tends to be dominated by the same homogenous chain stores that can afford the pricey real estate), but rather in the areas just outside or between the “station zones.”

akiba-ochanomizu walk

And so, when I found myself with some time to kill last summer (seems so long ago, given that I’m currently sitting in my apartment freezing and unable to feel my fingers) I decided to randomly walk between the two stations to see what I could see. Nothing too fancy, but here’s some pictures.

(More pictures after the jump)

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

akiba-ochanomizu walk

Okay, that’s it! Thanks for reading!

Now listening to: Sunlounger feat. Zara – “Talk to Me”

3 Reactions

  1. kori

    wow, akihabara in black and white seems so much more… post apocalyptic or something. beautiful though.
    so yeah, I was in chiba (funabashi) am now near Fujisawa but will move somewhere not in the middle of no where in March before I start my new and more awesome job.

  2. felix

    yes! i love the interstitial, both in space and in life.

  3. michaelpanda

    @kori: yeah, actually some parts of it are quite run down, especially when you move towards the back streets between Akihabara and the surrounding stations.
    Also – fujisawa!! My god, isn’t that out by Kamakura? Quite a hike to Tokyo! *laughs* Must be quite beautiful though ;)
    @Felix: yes, this is one of the reasons why I love shooting up at the sky between buildings. I love the contrast and the negative space between…