When I was in Japan, I of course made a point of visiting the Akihabara district of Tokyo. The sheer volume of stores was staggering, and many of them, like the monolithic Tsukomo, were seven or eight stories tall. Having a store footprint of only perhaps a Subway and catering to the tastes of the most desperate of computer otaku, the multiple levels were necessary.But the clientele is increasingly moving online, and what with economic problems over there as well, Tsukomo is going bankrupt.
An electronics store in trouble always gets me right here, but this one is particularly affecting because it’s in, perhaps, the most gadgety square mile on Earth. I’d like to think it’s an isolated case, but I’m afraid it’s probably more an indicator of things to come. Next time I’m in Japan I’m going to make a point of patronizing these fantastic shops, because apparently they’re an endangered species now.
[image credit: Akihabara News (nice picture!)]