Tokyo, Japan - Traveling and buying electronic components

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Whoops

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Hello,
don't know in which section would this post fit, but the LAB seems the most related.

I'm at the moment on Tour in Japan and while visiting Tokyo I decided to look for a place to check out electronic components.
I like to check local electronic components stores when I'm traveling to another part of the World, and maybe some of you like it also.

A nice place in Tokyo to loose yourself and check a lot of small electronics component stores is called Radio Center in Akihabara.
Akihabara was once the hearth of Tokyo electronic parts shops, nowdays it's full of Manga and Animé shops, video game Arcades, computer and phone shops, it's a nice place to visit, and it still keeps a small part of it's past in what's called the "Radio Center"

The Radio Center is a complex of small shops, in tight streets and alleys under the Akihabara train station. It looks like and underground Market from other times.
Some of the shops are specialized just in one type of components, for example there's a shop that only sells transformers and another shop that only sells capacitors.

Here is the address:
Akihabara Radio Center
1 Chome-14-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021

It's open everyday of the week and opens at 10AM and closes at 7PM

To get there you go to Akihabara Station and leave in the Electric Town Exit, from there it's easy, it's under the rail track.
here is a photo of the complex:

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here you can seen the small streets and alleys inside this complex, looks a bit like the old Kowloon walled city


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Whoops

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You will find a lot of Old Stock there, and I spent a few hours adventuring in this place and buying some parts.
The nice thing is that there's a lot of NOS Japanese made components, which are normally of very high quality, unfortunately that's changing a bit and more and more they are replacing those stocks with lower quality parts from other countries in Asia.

Still there's a lot of good stuff and a lot to be found

Store Dedicated to all kinds of Wires

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Rusan

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Drool, drool, drool.... That's AMAZING!!!!

I'm glad they don't have stores like that here, or I'd be spending all my lunch money there.
 

Whoops

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In the middle of the Market complex there's some stairs that go to the first floor, don't miss those stairs because there's a really nice store on the first floor and actually that was my favorite shop.

These are the stairs

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When you go up there's some items of the Left side store most radio and hi-fi stuff

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But the best shop is on the right side of the stairs,
it has a lot of different components.
One thing that I love about this place is that you have the components in front of you, they're not hidden away, so you can see them and touch them, that is great to help the creativity and be inspired to build something and have ideas of what to use.
Something that you can do with Mouser or Farnell

here is the Store and it's items:

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Very high quality multi-pin connectors, I never seen those ones before and don't know their name or designaton

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You put your components choice in the small buckets and then take them to the counter

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Rotary swithes

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Other variety of Multi-pin connectors, never seen these ones before also

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Very High Quality Japanese made Potentiometers:

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High quality japanese made DB connectors:

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switches

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POTS

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Overall the prices are not cheap, don't expect you will make any bargains there, Japan is an expensive country and the items reflect that.
But the fact that you can see and touch the items and the part of just buying adventures and having fun while discovering new stuff makes the visit totally worthwhile
 

Script

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Great picture report :)

Yes, generally not cheap. Some rare NOS stuff still around, I can tell. And as an experience one of a kind.

Akiba still is THE place to visit for DIY in Tokyo. Haven't been myself for years now, although I live in Tokyo.

They no longer have garage sales, being one reason. And my trusted tube seller closed a couple of years ago. Also, a lot of it is online these days, saving me the train fares.

Unfortunately, many owners are all elderly guys, and when they finally retire for good, their store is gone too. Also, manga and anime has taken over a lot over the last ten to fifteen years.

But still a lot to see ;) Should go myself again some time.
 

Rob Flinn

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Interesting. If you are into film cameras I believe there are some great shops for that too. Would love to visit Tokyo. I think the biggest problem would be ones luggage allowance on the way back ...
 

mobyd

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Jan 27, 2006
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Auckland NZ
Looks like Shenzhen (HK) used to be 15 or so years ago, before it filled up with lots of flashy LEDs and junk. South of San Francisco used to be an electronic bits mecca 30 or so years ago but now nothing left. Dunno how the big tower in Singapore is going. Edgeware Rd in London is totally stuffed. Treasure the Tokyo place while it is still there. DIY electronics is highly unfashionable these days.
 
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