Akihabara and PSP


One of the reasons, sorry scratch that, the main reason that I chose to stay at Asakusa was its close proximity to Akihabara, the one place where electronic, games, and anime fans gather to satisfy their expensive hobby. If you already have an addiction to any of the things mentioned above, it’d take a lot of willpower and restraint to stop yourself from going on shopping spree. I don’t know what actually stopped me from blowing all of my budget at once but I’m glad I managed to restrained myself.

On the weekend, some streets are purposely off-limits to cars so pedestrian can run around the area safely while spending their hard-earned money. This place is simply *unbelievable*. Here we have an entire suburbs dedicated to selling electronics, games, and anime. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this anywhere else in the world. Hell, there are many buildings that has nothing from its first to sixth level but anime, manga, and character merchandises.

AkihabaraAkihabaraMai Hime

The best thing about the place is that if you look hard enough and have enough luck, you can probably find one of those ‘limited edition’ anime box/DVD that the Japanese online retailers don’t carry any longer. Strangely for some reason there’s nothing that I want to buy at that point. I saw some Mai Hime DVDs but there’s nothing unusual about them so I don’t want to waste money buying them. I also think that this is because my mind was mostly on a ‘find the cheapest PSP available’.

So in the end I ended up getting a PSP and a game. I have to say that this thing unbelievably good-looking. I love the sensation of playing Ridge Racers on a moving Shinkansen. It has to be experienced to be believed. I also managed to re-encoded some of the anime that I have and put it into the memory stick. And the result, as you can see in the picture above, is quite stunning. It’s really fun to be able to watch Tsubasa Chronicle or Speed Grapher while I’m at a food court, etc.


18 Comments so far

  1. Tisha April 16th, 2005 9:33 am

    Thanks to you I’m definitely going to allow myself a lot of time in Akihabara when I’m in Tokyo. I had heard that there were some anime stores there but I didn’t know there were so many.

    Have you happened to see the Bleach PSP game at all? I told my brother I’ll look for it and I’m just hoping it’s sort of cheap. ^_^

  2. KyoshiroM April 16th, 2005 2:02 pm

    So you ‘re staying close to Akihabara huh? You are one lucky guy!!! :D So, I wanted to ask someone and since you managed it I’ll ask you: what do you need to re-encode the .avi files into playable-on-PSP clips? That’s one of the main reasons I’ll be buying the PSP when it comes out in Europe. I like all the things you can put on the memory-sticks and transfer them to your PSP to carry around and show them ^_^ In which format do you need to encode them?

  3. Menouthis April 16th, 2005 6:29 pm

    Tisha, I see Bleach PSP in every electronic shops that I go to. So yeah, they can be easily found. I think the price is around 4300 Yen (around 43 US Dollars).

    Kyoshiro, I used this program called PSP Video 9. It’s a free software that you can obtain from this place:


    The format is MP4 or often known as 3ivx format. This format can be viewed on your computer using Quicktime. If you use PSP Video 9, you don’t have to worry as to which format to use because it’ll convert it to MP4 automatically. You simply have to choose the size and quality of the video.

  4. Melissa April 16th, 2005 7:28 pm

    That area looks huge and there is a lot of colorful signs and ads all over the place, I would feel very bewildered walking around there alone. Wow, thats one big tv on that building in the second picture, I know they probably have those all over the place. SPeaking of models (yeah I know jk) I forgot what they are called but there are these models who dress very… well I don’t know if outrageous is the right word, but they like tan their skin and wear a lot of makeup and colorful clothes (kind of lookin americanized). Isn’t there like days over there where you see a lot of interestingly dressed kids or I should say ppl? (like when they aren’t all dressed in suits, I know I heard about this in some show,hopefully you can figure out what I mean.)

  5. Menouthis April 16th, 2005 10:48 pm

    Melissa, do you mean Ganguro gals? I haven’t seen any of them since I didn’t have the chance to go to Shibuya or Roppongi area, where these girls usually hang out. I did see a lot of high school girls everywhere and much to my surprise, their skirts really are very short just like in the anime.

  6. Mentar April 17th, 2005 9:35 am

    Yo boss ^_^

    Hmmm…. it’s the encoder in me now, but you’re using some of the technical terms very freely, it’s slightly confusing. MP4 != 3ivx != Quicktime. You still DO have to transcode the video after all, right? Too bad, without that, I’d be interested… but I guess it’s only a matter of time until portable players have the necessary horsepower to display generic videos including the resizing.

    Hope you have a good time over there! Keep on shooting these pics, I’m seething with envy! Looks awesome :)

  7. Melissa April 17th, 2005 2:53 pm

    Yup, those are the ones, my friend thinks that they’re cool and once had a banner and avy of one of them girls (it was cool in a weird way ^_^). Already like every kid in my school has the psp now. I know like 5 ppl with it. I’m thinking of getting one, but I’m broke for now. I think it’s really cool. It’s dvd, music, games, and etc all in one (plus I can put shows on it, r u serious, thats cool. Rhetorical btw, ne wayz, I’m lookin forward to getting it)

  8. Epi April 17th, 2005 3:25 pm

    Wow Akihabara looks awesome. Is your hostel good? Would you mind posting some info on it if it’s half decent (website maybe), I’m planning to go to Japan, sounds like a good place to stay!

  9. Menouthis April 17th, 2005 3:45 pm

    Mentar, you still have to transcode your avi into MP4 but it’s not that much of a hassle.

    Epi, I don’t know if I would recommend my hostel. One the on hand the service is quite good (525 yen for one day internet access sounds like a steal to me). On the other hand, the room is quite pricey in comparison to other hostels since it’s a single room type of hostels. Plus it’s quite far from the train station. So it’s rather uncomfortable if you have to carry a lot of luggage. I can’t recommend enough that you get a map of Tokyo before deciding which hostel to stay.

    Anyway, I chose that hostel because because with the other hostels you also have to pay almost the same amount but have to share with at least 6 other people in the room. It was my first time in Japan and I was afraid of having my luggage stolen so I figured a one person room will be safer. But either way, I’ll let you decide for yourself. You can find this hostel along with other hostels run by YHA at:


    Just select a country, then the hostel that you want. Mine is called Skycourt Asakusa.

  10. Epi April 18th, 2005 2:23 pm

    Cool thanks!

  11. moyism April 19th, 2005 11:57 am

    Still looking through your pics and entries, but sounds like you’re having a good time in Japan! LOL, thank god there is no such Akihabara type place in the US or I think many anime fans would be constantly poor ;)

  12. Hephador April 19th, 2005 3:06 pm

    Menouthis, your pics rule! Glad you’re having a great time. Where else are you heading to in the next two months?

  13. Menouthis April 19th, 2005 4:08 pm

    Hephador, I’ll be settling in Central Japan (Okazaki City) for the next 2 months so during weekends my destinations will be the nearby cities (Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Gifu, etc). After that I’ll probably go see Hiroshima and then back to Tokyo.

  14. Onimusha April 22nd, 2005 10:49 am

    When you say 43 us dollars, do you mean the PSP or the video? Because if is the PSP, then I’ll be buying one over there instead of us… I really like to believe is the PSP…

    Have you see any Hentai yet? I have never seen one before, but my friend did. He got scared when the first time he went there, and found a whole store full of them. lol.

  15. Menouthis April 22nd, 2005 3:55 pm

    I meant the Bleach PSP game. Not the console itself. And yes, most audio/visual stores here sell hentai quite openly.

  16. Onimusha April 22nd, 2005 10:12 pm

    Just as I thought, actually I’ll know it can’t be the PSP, I’m just too poor so I like to believe is 43 dollars. Then how much is the PSP in Japan? And do the PSP plays the UMD that sold in US and Japan or anywhere else? Like do the UMD you buy in US work on the PSP you buy in Japan.

  17. Menouthis April 23rd, 2005 2:18 am

    Normal PSP bundle (without the earplug+softcase) will cost you around $20,500 Yen (around 200 US Dollars). The PSP value pack will cost you around $25,000 (around 250 US Dollars). So far people have reported that Japanese PSP does play US UMD games but not US UMD movies. So if you’re buying the Japanese version you have to be aware that you won’t be able to play UMD movies from US because it’s region coded. I personally bought Japanese PSP because I want to get the Japanese Final Fantasy: Advent Children on PSP. Apparently the PSP version will come out first before the DVD version.

  18. Alisha Cox October 5th, 2010 12:46 pm

    PSP games are time consuming but very entertaining`-’

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