There is a stereotype that I love about Japan; it is the world leader in tech. Cameras, video games, computers, you name it and Japan prides itself on being the first to push the limits on what’s going to be next. I absolutely adore technology, maybe it’s because I’m from Gen Y but technology is in my blood. So where do you go in Tokyo to find this magical land of technology? You go to the Akihabara district.
Akihabara is all about tech. Everything you can think of that requires computer chips, LED lights and “nerdom” factoids is found in this part of Tokyo. The sheer number of store dedicated to tech was astounding and somewhat overwhelming. Back home you have shops like Best Buy and Memory Express which are the only retailers for tech (there are a few others but not on a large platform.) and they are self-contained units. Whereas in Akihabara you could spend days jumping from shop to shop. One of the biggest stores we went into was the Yodobashi store which is essentially 8 floors of tech, music, movies and gear. If I wasn’t on such a tight budget I think I would have spent several hundreds of dollars in that store. Lucky for me my suitcase was another barrier in preventing me from spending an absurd amount of cash.
After we were done in Akihabara we traversed the Tokyo metro to find our way back into Shinjuku. This is where we filmed the 3rd and final piece to Kaz’s short film. Joe was the talent, Kaz was Dp, and I directed. What I loved about this part of the film was that I got to showcase the atmosphere of Tokyo. Honestly guerilla shooting is nerve-racking you never know who’s going to tell you to stop filming, which was the case on our very first shot. A security guard for one of the office towers we were shooting beside caught us on their property and Kaz was able to talk with him and explain our circumstances. After a brief discussion the guard advised us to just move locations (about 20 meters away) and we shouldn’t have a problem. From that point forward we made sure to quickly and discretely setup our shots.
Our last stop of the day was in Shibuya to see the district crossing (yes another Lost in Translation spot.) It was an interesting place. Lots of people, and a lot going on. Besides our tech purchases the 3 of us aren’t huge shoppers so we only spent 30 minutes in the area to grab photos and experience the energy.
Overall this day was the tech experience I wanted. Got to see what Tokyo had to offer and it was amazing. Every time I think about new technologies being released I know that the people of Tokyo are some of the first to ge their hands on it. As a Canadian nerd, I’m jealous!