Super Potato wasn't the only place Ashcraft took me in Osaka; no, that was just one small taste of our tour. We explored all of Den Den Town, which is Osaka's version of Akihabara: a geek center full of electronics, manga, and video game shops. And unlike Akihabara, it hasn't sold itself out to tourists.

There were human-sized Gundam models for sale in a store full of all sorts of robot-themed toys (the "no photography" signs didn't deter me, obviously), there were weird little hole-in-the-wall shops that only sold screws or engine parts or things of that nature, there were, of course, adult bookstores, and there were Crazy Eddie-style electronic warehouses full of every type of device under the sun. The neighborhood was chock-full of socially-awkward-looking dudes thumbing through PS2 games or Hentai books, totally in their element. It was awesome.

Not all of the photos are from Den Den Town proper; the Apple store, for example, is on Mido-Suji, a posh street full of fashion boutiques, high-end department stores, and the like. Think of it as Osaka's Fifth Avenue. Apple's too cool for Den Den Town, apparently.

Advertisement

But Den Den Town is really where it's at: a proudly geeky neighborhood that hasn't been overtaken by tourists or girls dressed up like French maids like Akihabara apparently has (I'll investigate that for myself in a few days). Thanks again to Ashcraft for the walking tour, and stay tuned for more reports from Japan in the coming days.