How to Find the Best Gadget Shops in Tokyo

Akihabara Radio Center | Img. By : Aimaimyi (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Heading over to Japan? Then you definitely need to stock up on some pretty rad futuristic gadgets and practical inventions. After all the country is well reputed for its collection of cool inventions and quirky little gadgets, that help in daily chores or are simply fascinating to own. If you are now considering acquiring some of these trendy innovations read on and discover the best places in Tokyo for buying ‘gadgets’.

1. Check out the City’s most Popular Hobby Store — Tokyu Hands
This is the kind of store you can spend hours at exploring the quirky little gadgets thinking “hmm this could come in use”. On sale are novel camping gear, creative paper modelling kits, unique ‘one-of-kind’ cell phone pockets and bento dividers that look like lettuce cups. The store has a few branches spread across Tokyo but for the best experience you should check out the Shibuya mega store.

2. Yamada Denki LABI
Before you even set foot within this shopping centre the exterior is sure to awe. Visible along the sides of the building are futuristic looking escalators that are cocooned in plastic shells that kind of give the place a hamster cage effect. Yamada Denki LABI is where one would go for any gadgets related to computers and cell phones. There you can find all sorts of computer and cell phone parts, electronic accessories, wires, plugs and other gadgets you may not even know exist. Located in Chiyoda under half an hour from Somerset Ginza East Tokyo this place is ideal if you are on the scout for innovative accessories and additions.

3. Akihabara Radio Centre
This place will turn out to be a very interesting browse especially since most of the stores are owned by independent merchants that have been engaged in trade since after WWII. The concept came about when after the war unemployed engineers converged and created a centre to buy and sell their products. Today you can shop for electronics and a host of other devices at the Akihabara Radio Centre. On the second floor, you will find a fine collection of antique gadgets that will prove to be quite a score. Shopping is off the conventional scale at this mall where corresponding batch locker numbers need to be called out when making a purchase.

4. Thanko
This is a super place for acquiring all those quirky little gadgets you see on TV and in the movies. Located in Chiyoda-ku and easy to access from any one of the well-located Tokyo serviced apartments, Thanko has a fine collection of devices that include glasses with built in cameras as seen in the movies, discreet spy ware and even spectacles that let you watch TV while lying down. A place for outlandish thingamajigs that are sure to pique the interest this store is a must visit if you are intent on taking back some outlandish devices.

5. Yodobashi Akiba
If you love electronic gadgets then do pay a visit to Yodobashi Akiba. All kinds of appliances, video games, TV’s and cameras are available at this mall. In fact, Yodobashi is credited with contributing to one third of Japan’s SLR camera sales. Located in what is popularly known as the ‘electronic town of Tokyo’ — Akihabara, this place is an iconic one-stop mega shop for all kinds of innovative products.