Akihabara, affectionately known by the locals as Akiba, famous for its electric town which is filled with electronics shops that attract foreigners looking for cheap deals, and its anime/manga-related shops that attract the Japanese geeks - otaku.

I first visited this place seven years ago, and have come here a couple of times a year while I was living in Japan. In the beginning I bought a lot of things: dvds, figures, Transformers, Gundams, art books and the occasional manga. My buying craze has gone down since then, but I still love to visit Akiba and stare in wonder at the awesome geek toys on display.

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I'm amazed by the changes in Akiba. Not so much in terms of shops and merchandise but in terms of people walking around. I distinctly remember the place with only Japanese otaku and foreign tourists walking around, but today I saw a lot of Japanese otaku + girlfriends, not to mention regular Japanese people. Geek has gone mainstream, Akiba is the proof.

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