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NEWS: Otaku Culture Co-Credited for 3M More Foreign Tourists




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Iritscen



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 790

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:29 am Reply with quote
Hmm, I guess I will play the skeptic and say that I don't see otaku making up more than several hundred or a couple thousand of those visits a year, if that.

I'm no expert on Akihabara, thus perhaps rendering my opinion worthless, but I'm pretty sure they sell a whole heck of a lot more than animé and manga. Wouldn't you also go there if you wanted the latest Japanese tech, so you could show off to your friends when you get back home and say, "Look what you'll be getting five years from now?" Since the yen dropped from 1/104th of a dollar at the start of 2005 to 1/117th of a dollar a year later, to 1/119th of a dollar when 2007 started, I imagine people started noticing this monetary advantage when '07 rolled around and were more likely to want to go on a shopping spree while in Japan. That's all I see here, just a general tourist buying up-trend with an expected one-year delay in response to the more-favorable exchange rate. Since tourists usually don't monitor the international markets minute by minute, only when they start thinking about vacations, they starting responding in '07 even though '06 was about equally favorable.

Or maybe I just made all that up and I'm totally wrong.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1568
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Iritscen wrote:
Hmm, I guess I will play the skeptic and say that I don't see otaku making up more than several hundred or a couple thousand of those visits a year, if that.

I'm no expert on Akihabara, thus perhaps rendering my opinion worthless, but I'm pretty sure they sell a whole heck of a lot more than animé and manga. Wouldn't you also go there if you wanted the latest Japanese tech, so you could show off to your friends when you get back home and say, "Look what you'll be getting five years from now?" Since the yen dropped from 1/104th of a dollar at the start of 2005 to 1/117th of a dollar a year later, to 1/119th of a dollar when 2007 started, I imagine people started noticing this monetary advantage when '07 rolled around and were more likely to want to go on a shopping spree while in Japan. That's all I see here, just a general tourist buying up-trend with an expected one-year delay in response to the more-favorable exchange rate. Since tourists usually don't monitor the international markets minute by minute, only when they start thinking about vacations, they starting responding in '07 even though '06 was about equally favorable.

Or maybe I just made all that up and I'm totally wrong.

If you are going to Akihabara to get the latest gadgets you will be sorely disappointed.

There are still plenty of discount computer parts stores but they're all branches of chains or online stores, nothing special.

The only parts of Akiba that remain that keep the original "electronics" feel are an unground arcade of tiny stores that sell wires, capacitors, radios, outdated cameras and spy-type equipment, WWII era surplus part type things... It's fascinating, but more nostaligic than state of the art. The type of thing you'd love if you wanted to build your own radio.

There are a bunch of large electronics department stores in akiba (Laox, Soft-something, Yodobashi camera, uh, one other I forget), but they all have multiple locations around tokyo and their Akiba ones are no cheaper than any others (or anything special).

Akiba is 85% otaku-orieted at this point, with the other 15% an overlap with gamers (lots of used video game stores) and PC bargain hunters.
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rti9



Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 1240

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:43 pm Reply with quote
This isn't just about anime and manga. It's about (pop) culture. It's about food, fashion, and lifestyle. The world got it's eye at Japan just like France in the beginning of the 20th century. Anime and manga are merely a small fraction of the Japan that fascinates the world lately.

The only merchandisable technology Japan has that is really advanced compared to the rest of the western world is mobile phone - most of which can't be used outside of the country. And maybe toilet seats.

The thing to be concerned here is how to read the word otaku in this case. The professor merely acknowledged the importance of Akihabara because it is easy to pinpoint, but it isn't the main cause. As the title says: "co-credited".


Last edited by rti9 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3485
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:35 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
If you are going to Akihabara to get the latest gadgets you will be sorely disappointed.

There are still plenty of discount computer parts stores but they're all branches of chains or online stores, nothing special.

Does that mean no people selling old graphics cards out of cardboard boxes in poorly-lit alleys?

Quote:
high-speed Beetle boat service

What is this exactly? I'm hoping the image I currently have in my mind is an accurate one.
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Chiaki777



Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 64
Location: Bay Area, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:50 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
The only parts of Akiba that remain that keep the original "electronics" feel are an unground arcade of tiny stores that sell wires, capacitors, radios, outdated cameras and spy-type equipment, WWII era surplus part type things... It's fascinating, but more nostaligic than state of the art. The type of thing you'd love if you wanted to build your own radio.

There are a bunch of large electronics department stores in akiba (Laox, Soft-something, Yodobashi camera, uh, one other I forget), but they all have multiple locations around tokyo and their Akiba ones are no cheaper than any others (or anything special).

Akiba is 85% otaku-orieted at this point, with the other 15% an overlap with gamers (lots of used video game stores) and PC bargain hunters.


The original Akiba is still vibrant though, to people who use those stores, it's a real god send. I feel that the new fancy Yodobashi-Aiba and other stores are what seems to have killed off the original Akiba community (that and Internet sales).

On the increase of tourism, especially to Japan, you'd be surprised at how many more non-Japanese Asians now visit there. The big name in tourism is currently the Chinese. As they approach affluence levels that they had not seen in previous years, they begin to travel more and more with disposable income. Japan is an easily accessible 1st world country that they can come to spend money at, that's what caused the increase in the flow of tourism. Or so I'd like to think.
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TokyoGetter



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 413
Location: CA. You can tell by the low moral standards.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:03 pm Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
What is this exactly? I'm hoping the image I currently have in my mind is an accurate one.


Hi-speed ferry service between Busan in Korea and Fukuoka or Osaka in Japan. Took it in the summer. Nice way to travel.

Unfortunately it does not transform. Wink
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