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Bringing a bit of culture and class to Akihabara
I've been to 2K540 AKI-OKA on a couple of occasions now. Actually, it's not really my kind of thing but I appreciate what they are doing and especially where they are doing it.
If you tire of Akihabara's, well, weird atmosphere, then 2K540 AKI-OKA could make for a welcome break. It's nice to have a bit of a look around here and see how creative people can be. 2K540 AKI-OKA could also be a good place to get some gifts to send back home.
Thing is though, there's nothing here that you actually need although if you are an art / craft collector then you'll probably get a lot more out of it than I did. Another problem might be that there aren't many places to eat here so it's no really the best place to come and hang out.
As I remember there is some kind of regional supermarket / emporium little further down the street towards Akihabara which could be good to get some novelty food items.
There's not much else in the immediate vicinity of 2K540 AKI-OKA but it's not so far to walk from Akihabara Station.
Again, I like what they are trying to do, especially in Akihabara but I wouldn't say that it's worth going out of one's way for.
Artisan shopping resource in unlikely Akihabara
2K540 AKI-OKA Artisan is an 'artisan' shopping arcade located under trains tracks that link Akihabara with Okachi-machi. It's easy to find from either station, just follow the tracks!
I felt like 2K540 AKI-OKA is really one of those places that you go to browse, and feel like you're more cultured that the mob who are charging into Yodobashi Camera just down the road. I mean, there's nothing here that you actually want, let alone need.
It makes for a pleasant stroll though. Despite being limited to the width of the train tracks above, the 'arcade' feels spacious and airy. Actually, it should be airy, as the entrances to AKI-OKA are all open, so in winter this isn't a place to escape the cold!
There are some interesting stores here, arty and crafty stuff, where you might find yourself tempted into picking up a few bits and bobs, probably in the form of trinkets to kit out your abode. There are some interesting places to eat, too, including a cafe that sell pancakes (which is the reason why we paid a visit). However, the queues for the 'pancake place' were too long, so we gave up on that.
So, in terms of shopping expect lots of traditional fabrics, patterns, woods, jewellery, and the aforementioned bits and bobs for the home. Most of the stores here are small, and the potential for kids to pick, prod, and knock stuff off shelves, I would say, is high. Better to keep a close eye on them if you're coming with the family.
There are toilets at AKI-OKA, and of course, all the chaos and convenience of Akihabara nearby.
As for the name, 2K540 AKI-OKA Artisan, the number bit if 'railway' parlance for the distance from Tokyo Station; 2 km 540 m.