AUDIO EXPERIENCE FROM FRANCE
Tokyo’s Akihabara District is also known as “Electric Town.” As you exit the subway, you are immediately surrounded by massive buildings that remind you that Tokyo is also a Mecca for “gamers,” in case you had forgotten. Along the district’s avenues, these temples dedicated to video games rub elbows with electronics shops of all types. However, all it takes is veering down one of Akihabara’s many narrow side streets to discover an entirely different facet of the district: an abundance of retailers that sell everything an electronics buffs could desire. You can find almost anything: individual transistors, vacuum tubes, capacitors, cables, and much more.
To get your hands on HIFI equipment, though, you have to go to one of the district’s high-end shops or head for Yodomashi, the largest electronics store in the world. At Yodomashi, the audio “aisle” takes up a whole floor, and different brands have their own dedicated sales counters. I did find few Atoll amps and some focal speakers tucked away on a span of shelves that must have contained well over a hundred products. While the quantity of items on display is enough to make your head spin, it is proportional to the size of the country: there are 35 million people living in the Greater Tokyo Area, and Japan contains 126 million consumers.
Here are some photos taken during my visit to Akihabara’s area :