I’m surprised more sites aren’t talking about this since it was talked about on Japan Probe. Google’s street view is now available for Tokyo!.
I almost instantly started to search around Akihabara to see what I could find. It seems the Google street view car cruised around Tokyo during the mornings to avoid traffic. Sadly, many of the shops that it caught are still closed. However, here’s a random virtual tour around shops and places that I recognized.
Click the pictures for a larger version, or click the “Google street view” link to see the building in google (so you can rotate on your own.)
Akihabara’s Vehicle Free Street
This is the heart of Akihabara on the vehicle free street. Before the stabbings, this street was shut down on Sundays and filled with cosplayers, bands, and performers. This intersection is also where those fatal stabbings took place. (Google street view)
Tora no Ana
I wrote about Tora no Ana a little while ago. If you have never heard of Tora no Ana, its one of the iconic shops in Akihabara. They have a series of stores that specializes in anything from anime and manga, to doujinshi and adult items. What’s interesting is in my post about Tora no Ana, there was no building to the right. Now Tora no Ana has 2 buildings side by side. (Google street view)
Mister Donut actually started as an American chain. However, it could not compete with the bigger chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, and now mainly operates in Japan and across Asia. Mister Donut now the largest donut chain in Japan, and is based out of Osaka. (Google street view)
Sofmap Main Store
Whether you are otaku or not, you will find Sofmap a must visit store. They specialize in new and used electronics. You will be able to find anything from air conditioners and massage chairs to TVs and DVDs. Think of it as a Akihabara’s Best Buy. (Google street view)
Akiba is also known as Denki Gai, or electric town. So it’s only right that there will be computer shops to help keep Otaku connected. This shop is called Akibakan, one of the better known computer shops in Akihabara. (Google street view)
Now, at some time or another in Akiba, after a long day of searching for rare figures, and other otaku goodness, you’re going to need a quick pick me up. Assuming all the maid cafes have closed, a quick stop into this pharmacy might be what you need.
I know everyone who visits Japan at one point or another wants to eat at a real ramen shop. So here’s the obligatory ramen shop in Japan! (Google street view)
Akihabara Station Square
Here’s Akihabara Station Square. The is another entrance on the other side of the building. On Sunday’s this area is filled with cosplayers, bands, and performers. (Google street view)
This is the official Mac store of Akihabara. Just a few weeks ago, this area was camped by people waiting for the IPhone. (Google street view)
Miko-san Maid Cafe
I wrote about the Miko-san cafe back in June. This unique cafe features shrine maidens that not only serve delicious meals and snacks, but on the top floor, will sing your favorite JPop songs. (Google street view)
Cafe Jamaica Udon
This stop goes to Jamaipanese.com who is always on the lookout for Jamaica references in Japan. Upstairs of this building is home to Cafe Jamaica Udon. Not quite in Akihabara (Shibuya actually), but still in Tokyo. (Google street view)
Curious Japanese Police Officer
And lastly on our trip around Akihabara, we have a curious police officer wondering what that long ball on a stick is doing on top of the Google street view car. (Google street view)