SHOWA SNAP: Akihabara, Tokyo, circa 1971

Akihabara, also known as Electric Town, is Tokyo’s epicenter of electronics, old school video arcades, and hobby shops with enough miniature cars to fill an ocean. Back in 1971, it wasn’t quite the otaku paradise yet, with Meiji Era buildings advertising Sanyo color televisions and electrical cables criss-crossing the sky. For comparison, here’s what this area, where the Mansei Bridge crosses the Kanda River, looks like today. The parapet is still there to the left, but everything else is gone. Sadly, that includes the S50 Toyota Crowns, first-gen Mitsubishi Galants, and Hakosuka Skyline Vans rumbling down the street.

Image: 2ch.

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6 Responses to SHOWA SNAP: Akihabara, Tokyo, circa 1971

  1. Lee L says:

    It’s always interesting seeing old pictures of Japan or anywhere else that involve cars. You see people going about their everyday lives not really caring about the cars driving by. Those cars were just normal cars back then and now when we see them we get excited.

    How many cars made in 2020 will be that cool in 2070? Not many IMO

  2. MikeRL411 says:

    The stores under that rail line were fantastic. I bought my reel to reel tape deck there in 1962. It still works ! Basically a scaled down Ampex 100 mechanics with really outstanding electronics [much better than the Ampex electronics].

  3. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    In HS, I was a electronics nut. I used to skip school with my buddies to go there on the Negishi Line. Electronics is now a bit relegated to the back by Anime stores. Still fascinating to go though. It’s a popular destination for the Mario Go-Kart swarms.

    • MikeRL411 says:

      About 20 years ago I was working on a Com Satellite that used very high speed memory chips. We ran short of chips with the right speed for Engineering model experimentation. I was on vacation in Tokyo and hit Akihabara.. There I found memory chips [not space qualified] with the right specs and brought home a quantity of them which kept development on schedule. I should have charged my plane tickets to the company.

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