Washington Hotel is where we stayed in Akihabara. Located beside Akihabara Station, it is literally a minute walk from the JR Central Gate exit. Opposite the hotel is Uniqlo & Book-Off and you’ll be passing Family Mart on your way to Yodobashi Akiba which is also within a minute walk from the hotel.
Advanced booking for our room has been made months earlier. We’ve opted for ‘High Floor Room with Small Double Bed‘ which turns out to be a rather compact room. You can hardly open two luggage at once.The room rate was considered reasonable when taking into account the hotel is right smack in Akihabara, Tokyo and is just besides the train station. However this room, pale in comparison to Red Roof Plus Hotel we stayed in Osaka earlier.
Check-in time is 2 pm which is an hour earlier than most other hotels. Check-in counter is on the 3rd floor and you can leave your begs there if you’re early. Two key cards to your room will be issued, per-programmed for your floor. Just tab onto the card reader, no need to push buttons in the elevator. The room was very quiet and totally dark when the drapes are pulled. Window has been soundproofed effectively to block outside noise. The bathroom is of good size, comes with a small bath tub & stand-up shower as well as a WC with bidget. Although the hotel being located beside an elevated and underground train tracks, no vibrations were felt.
For Muslim guests staying at Washington Hotel, there is a Halal kebab stand diagonally opposite the hotel (right from exit). At Aslan Kebab, you can eat there or take-away. The kebab is reasonably priced and tasty. Alternatively, walk a few minutes to Halal Coco Curry House for a taste of Japanese curry or Google for a couple more kebab outlets near-by. Family Mart is in-front of the hotel and further up is 7-Eleven.
Views From Our Room
Views from our room on the 13th floor faces LAOX department store to our right and to the left are office buildings beautifully lighted at night. Looking downwards, part of Akihabara Station comes to view. The best part is seeing the Shinkansen trains passing every 5-10 minutes. Never have we thought, the Shinkansen tickets being expansive, it would operate this frequent. Sadly, the Shinkansen do not stop at Akihabara. The nearest station it stops is Tokyo Station, 2 stops away.
Train lines serving Akihabara Station.
The various shapes, colours and combinations of the Shinkansen.
Akihabara Electric Town
If you are looking to buy electronic goods, head over to Akihabara. Arguably the best place to shop for high-tech electronics and latest gadgets. Not only are the selection of products are huge, they are competitively priced as many shops compete among each other here. Big name retailers are Yodobashi Camera, BIC Camera, Laox & Labi among others. In-fact, Yodobashi is home to one of the largest electronics stores in the world. It has nine floors full of everything and anything electronics, camera, audio & video equipment, mobile phones, beauty gadgets, toys and the list goes on.
Large stores like these accept credit card payments and offer tax free purchases for tourists provided you bring along your passport. Most of the electronics on sale are intended for domestic use that comes with Japanese manual and limited warranty. So be sure to check the voltage compatibility for use in your home country as Japan is on 120 volts. However, several stores do feature selections of international models running on 220 volts intended for overseas use.
Akihabara ‘Electric Town’ features hundreds of small electronics shops clustered together ranging from tiny one-man stall for the hobbyist and enthusiast to large electronics retailers for commercial customers. You can find electronics parts, components, LED lighting, ham & 2-way radios, air band scanners, test & measuring equipment, tools, etc to second-hand goods and electronic junk.
Akihabara is not a place for everyone. For the rest who are not electronic geeks, come for a quick visit and experience the dazzling lights (Insta worthy) during the night and do a little window shopping. For souvenirs head over to the five storey Don Quijote for a maze of varieties. If you are into electronic gaming, SEGA Gaming Center awaits you. There is also a huge Anime/Manga store and you can find people dressed up in maid and anime outfits ushering you to stop at their cafe.