Otaku Meccas Are More Than Video Games

In Japan, the two most famous geek districts are Akihabara (in Tokyo) and Nipponbashi (in Osaka). Just their names alone conjure up notions of cute anime characters and old Famicom consoles. Yet, these areas aren't only for gamers or folks into anime/manga.

Take my father-in-law. He has zero interest in video games, comics, or cartoons. Yet, he loves going to Nipponbashi to check out speakers, amps, and old vinyl LPs. He's a huge audiophile, subscribes to multiple high-fidelity mags and regularly goes to audiophile-type meet-ups. His set-up is quite impressive — nothing crazy expensive and much of it is decades old, but still wonderful sounding.

I was never really interested in audio equipment. I've always loved music, but I've never been picky about how I hear said music. My father-in-law has always been quick to loan amps and speakers under the pretext that he doesn't want his grandchildren growing up, listening to music from crummy audio equipment.

Sometimes I go with him to Nipponbashi — which is always interesting, because, as I previously stated, he's totally not interested in games and whatnot. Yet, he has a great time there looking at stereo equipment. It's a bit like when my brother-in-law goes there; all he ends up buying are model cars. That's one of the great things about these two districts in particular. They cater to a wide range of folks, not just the stereotypical "otaku".

Postcard is a daily peek behind the Kotaku East curtain, whether that be game-related or, most likely, not.


    Postcard is a daily peek behind the Kotaku East curtain, whether that be game-related or, most likely, not.

    Cue the rage. . .

      "People are complaining about the articles on this video game site not being video game related. We need to do something about it."
      "You mean like tell the authors to straighten up and fly right?"
      "Nah, I was thinking just appending a sentence to the non-articles."

      And I thought we all had a deal that we'd stop giving Bashcraft articles any attention.

    This article would've been a whole lot better if it actually said something other than "my father-in-law is an audiophile". I'm not one of those guys who bash all Ashcraft articles but, really? I was expecting a bit more especially given the name of the article. Would've been interesting to see what sort of stuff they sell there.

      Did you read the article at all?

      He clearly explains that his father goes to Nipponbashi for old vinyl-lps and stereo equipment. His brother goes there for model cars.

      The point of the article was to inform us that Nipponbashi offers more than we might know. I was under the impression that these districts catered specifically to otakus, but now I know a bit more.

      Considering that the article is described as a 'daily peek', I'm not offended by the lack of an in-depth analysis on Japanese socio-cultural patterns and trends.

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