I’ll get both of these done in one post since these two spots are similar in some ways.
Akihabara originally came to be known as a shopping area for electronic goods, but nowadays is also famous for its displays of otaku culture. There are a bunch of shops dedicated to anime & manga, video games, and other electronic goods. The feel I got was similar to Shinjuku, but without the night life. Very busy, lots of shops selling weird and interesting stuff. Definitely worth checking out.
Akihabara also appears to be the central for maid cafes, as you can find them on pretty much every street corner. Certainly an interesting sight to behold, but a bit too weird for me to check out. Oh well.
One reason why I was getting some Shinjuku vibes was the prevelance of…uh…sex-related establishments, I guess. Whether it’s massage parlors (not really sure if that’s code in this case or not), a Dead or Alive beach volleyball ass-cam, or some…interesting shops. Ah, Tokyo…
Harajuku is known as a center for Japanese youth culture and fashion and includes tons of little shops, fashion outlets, and much more. It’s definitely a nice place to visit, as the famous Takeshita Street opens up right outside Harajuku Station, and the historic Meiji Shrine (more on that later) is also next door.
To be honest, shopping really isn’t my thing, so don’t expect any insights into the actual stores or whatever. Instead, I just walked around taking in the busy atmosphere. The place definitely has a very interesting vibe.