I wasn't in the mood for anything too unknown due to my sorry state (lack of sleep is affecting my health) so I decided to go to my favorite spot: Akihabara. I needed some exercise to help make certain I would sleep well so I walked down to Sugamo station to get onto the Yamanote line. Managed to snag a seat so I wouldn't have to stand and risk making my feet hurt earlier than normal. While we stopped at the station before Ueno station and annoncement came over the intercom. I didn't understand what was being said but I gathered from the reaction of the other passengers that the train was going to be delayed. I hopped off the train with many other passengers and got onto another train that runs on a line that, at least until Akihabara, runs the same route as the Yamanote.
When I arrived at Akihabara I found there were far more girls dressed up in costumes than normal, all of them trying to get customers interested in their cafes or whatever. There were also some men dressed up although I think they were part of a band that was trying to promote somethingn and I arrived at the end of it. The newest thing that I noticed were two girls dressed up as schoolgirls, short skirts and all. One of them had a skirt that was so short that if a mouse a farted you would have been able to see the color of her underwear and if she was wearing a thong or not. I was taking pictures of everyone because hell, why not, this is an trip after all. Just after I took a picture of the schoolgirls this guy (looking at photo, you can see him moving towards me) jumped in front of me trying to tell me no photos. Hah, yeah right. I went to the 4th floor of a nearby building and took a few more shots before becoming bored and started wandering Akiba.
This time around the back streets I took my time wandering into the little random stores. Many guide books will tell you that if I have electricity running through it you can find it in Akihabara. They aren't lying. Old hardware, curcuit boards, LEDs, breadboards, processors, IO chips, you name it you can find it. Was tempted to get a multimeter but decided it can always wait. Chewed up quite a bit of time doing that. Paid a visit to the Potato retro gaming store again to see what was going on there. Even more things that I'd like to buy were there but I'd bankrupt myself trying to get everything. Finally got hungry enough and went to my usual Ramen shop to get some food. After filling my belly I wandered around some more before finding my way into the arcades. Spent the next few hours playing some games but mostly watching. In Japan, arcades are mostly a spectator sport for me. The time, money, energy and effort that has to be put into playing most of the games is far beyond what my lazy ass is willing to spend. Didn't play my Gundam game due to insane lines and the players already in line to play. Most of them had a look about them that suggested they were not to be trifled with, at least not digitally.
After about 10pm I decided that it was best for me to go home and try to get some sleep since I was finally starting to wind down. On my way to the station I saw a crown of people gathered around this one corner. Two girls, dressed as (suprise!) schoolgirls had setup a music box with a speaker and microphone and were singing songs, trying to get people to clap in time. I certainly hope they made at least some money. Before you judge them, just remember that we all sell ourselves in different ways. Got on the train home and hopped off at Sugamo to ensure that I would have another long walk to get some more exercise before I went to bed. Finally got close to home and found that the supermarket near the subway station was open past 11pm so I ducked inside and did enough grocery shopping for at least 3-4 days. Good to have food available that I can cook. If I go without cooking for too long I start to feel... strange. Got home at about 11:30pm and after some typing and some talking online, went to bed.
Photos for January 27th, 2007