HOLIDAYS, Japan, Uncategorized JAPAN: AKIHABARA, A MAN’S DREAM 26 February 2010

Akihabara is a man’s paradise.

It’s THE place to go for awesome gadgets and electronics (which, I admit, I go nuts over as well), and.. erm.. girly bars/porn shops 😛 I wonder what came first – the electronics stores and thus the dodgy ones, or vice versa?

We stopped in the largest electronics complex, that had around 8 floors, I think. Each floor was PACKED to the rafters with all sorts of Japanese electronics. They’re fascinating to look at ‘cos of the sheer numbers, but there were very little OMG IT’S AMAZING!! type of electronics that blew my mind. I remember when I was in Japan when I was young, the electronics being sold were beyond my wildest dreams – teeny phones I’d never seen in my life etc. But this time, it was actually a lot of similiar stuff, and stuff that exists in China as well. I guess the Japanese have innovated themselves into exhaustion 😛

I also noticed the Japanese people are obsessed with arcade games. They take it to a whole new level. The gaming complexes are huge, and PACKED with people. They look like zombies – slumped in chairs in front of the machine, and repeatedly adding coins and jabbing at the buttons. (EDIT: It’s called pachinko). It’s quite odd. They looked obsessed and didn’t look like they were having fun?! We also couldn’t figure out what the games were – a really popular one that we saw everywhere was one where you fed in these tiny little metal balls, that zipped around in the machine. That was all we could gather – couldn’t figure out what you were supposed to do and how you could win.

And yes, we did poke around in the porn shops and girly cafes.. all in the name of research, of course 😉 Whoever said Asians were sexually repressed have obviously never been to Japan!


Lots of dodgy girly cafes. We went to the Maid Cafe to check it out – hilarious!

These weird pinball-type machines, that the Japanese are obsessed with

They’re also obsessed with anime – as evidenced here 😉

Playing around in a HUGE complex that sells every type of electronic known to man.

Dinner was, again, a random place we stumbled across. It was the fascinating Curry Kitchen at Akihabara. A no-frills cafe, done fast food style. You go up to the vending machine thing, where you press the button displaying a (small) pic of the dish you want, pop in some cash, and out spits a ticket. Then, you pop yourself on one of the seats by the counter and pass the ticket to the waitress.

She is a total speed demon.

Within 30 seconds or less, your meal is placed in front of you. Basically, the tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork) is already cooked, so she throws it onto a cutter and brings the top-part of the cutter down, immediately slicing the pork into about 8 slices. She whips it onto a plate, pops on a big scoop of rice, and then ladels out a scoop of curry sauce… and that’s it!

It all happens in a blink of an eye. We were all pretty shocked when the food came out so quickly. Even MORE shocked at the speed at which people ate. During the time that we ate, FOUR (!!!) people came, ordered, ate and left, all in succession, one after the other. That means we were eating at four times SLOWER than the Japanese. Unbelievable, considering Chris and I are pretty fast eaters.

The food is soooooo satisfying. Wonderful on a cold night. The rice was Japanese-style rice, slightly sticky, and the tonkatsu pork was crisp and thick. Happily, it’s almost all lean meat and oh-so-tender. But what we love is the curry. It’s a simple Japanese curry, which is sweeter and thicker/creamier than Indian curries. But it tastes oh-so-good and isn’t too salty, and we spoon it heartily over our rice.

Excellent comfort food, so well made that I can’t think of a single thing I’d change. Cheap, super-quick, and satisfying. Now THIS is what fast food should be!


Curry Kitchen!

Selecting our chosen dish via the vending machine

The unbelievably efficient kitchen – get your meal within 30 seconds, flat!

Steak with rice and curry

Pork with rice and curry

Chris and I, fascinated with the super-fast kitchen


28 Comments

  • rongie posted on February 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    those are not arcade games but a form of gambling call pachinko.

    I’m extremely hungry right now and looking at your Japan food photos are not helping me 🙁

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 3:17 am

      Man, good to put a name to it now! SO many people obsessed with it… crazines..

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    That’s pachinko, kinda like a cross between pinballs and pokies. You can’t exactly gamble with cash legally though so you exchange the balls you win for worthless prizes that you can then bring somewhere else to exchange for cash.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:31 am

      Finally I find out what it is! So interesting that they do that.. but man, the number of people playing that…

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Did you go into a cosplay shop? You would have fit right in there with your sailormoon outfit. 😉

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:33 am

      Hrmm we went into these costume stores, are they the same?

      A lot of it was WEIRD though, super frilly like little bo peep… i think I prefer my sailormoon one instead 😛

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Yes, I thought it was Pachinko. They *aren’t* doing anything much because it’s just gambling, and the funny thing is that gambling is illegal so you have to take your tokens elsewhere to get them exchanged for money.

    It reminds me of people playing the pokies in Aus… the blank faces always make me so sad!

    – Hannah

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:35 am

      Very clever of them to figure a way round the “no gambling” law.. heh.
      It was very surreal to see – all of them staring blankly, like you said. It didn’t even look very exciting to play…?

      Reply
  • rollagirl9 posted on February 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    The pinball machines threw me as well, especially when we found arcades of them in small mountain communities. WTF?! Crazy!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:37 am

      Haha totally out of place! SO many people are into them though.. for me, I was just fascinated with the little steel balls and wanted one as a souvenir 😛

      Reply
  • rongie posted on February 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    those are not arcade games but a form of gambling call pachinko.

    I’m extremely hungry right now and looking at your Japan food photos are not helping me 🙁

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 3:17 am

      Man, good to put a name to it now! SO many people obsessed with it… crazines..

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    That’s pachinko, kinda like a cross between pinballs and pokies. You can’t exactly gamble with cash legally though so you exchange the balls you win for worthless prizes that you can then bring somewhere else to exchange for cash.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:31 am

      Finally I find out what it is! So interesting that they do that.. but man, the number of people playing that…

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Did you go into a cosplay shop? You would have fit right in there with your sailormoon outfit. 😉

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:33 am

      Hrmm we went into these costume stores, are they the same?

      A lot of it was WEIRD though, super frilly like little bo peep… i think I prefer my sailormoon one instead 😛

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Yes, I thought it was Pachinko. They *aren’t* doing anything much because it’s just gambling, and the funny thing is that gambling is illegal so you have to take your tokens elsewhere to get them exchanged for money.

    It reminds me of people playing the pokies in Aus… the blank faces always make me so sad!

    – Hannah

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:35 am

      Very clever of them to figure a way round the “no gambling” law.. heh.
      It was very surreal to see – all of them staring blankly, like you said. It didn’t even look very exciting to play…?

      Reply
  • angelnotes posted on February 27, 2010 at 1:53 am

    30 seconds is just unbelievably fast! Did they predict customers’ orders? ;P

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:41 am

      Well they basically could cos they’ve only got maybe 5 items on the menu, and everything’s all set up so they can dish it up within seconds. Awesome fast food!

      Reply
  • rollagirl9 posted on February 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    The pinball machines threw me as well, especially when we found arcades of them in small mountain communities. WTF?! Crazy!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:37 am

      Haha totally out of place! SO many people are into them though.. for me, I was just fascinated with the little steel balls and wanted one as a souvenir 😛

      Reply
  • angelnotes posted on February 27, 2010 at 1:53 am

    30 seconds is just unbelievably fast! Did they predict customers’ orders? ;P

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 4:41 am

      Well they basically could cos they’ve only got maybe 5 items on the menu, and everything’s all set up so they can dish it up within seconds. Awesome fast food!

      Reply
  • joejunior posted on February 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    i was very surprised they had 7 levels of porn/gear there!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      yeah it was everywhere.. pretty crazy!

      Reply
  • joejunior posted on February 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    i was very surprised they had 7 levels of porn/gear there!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      yeah it was everywhere.. pretty crazy!

      Reply

    Leave a Reply