Aki-Oka: Akihabara
Aki-Oka
03-6806-0254
Akihabara / Shopping complex
Open 11am-7pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Free admission
Average visit time: 15-45 minutes
Ueno 5-9.
1 minute from Suehirocho (Ginza line)

Officially known as "2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan," this is a complex of galleries, boutiques and workshops for artisans of both traditional and modern crafts. Lined up under the JR railroad tracks are some two dozen shops selling (and often making on-premises) leather goods and jewelry, hats and umbrellas, wooden crafts, ceramics, fabrics and toys.

Right at the entrance is a catch-all shop called Nihon Hyakkaten (03-6803-0373) carrying tin toys, ceramics, glassware, and food products from around the country. Tokyo Noble (03-6803-2414) makes umbrellas in 77 colors, and Onimaru Setsuzan Mamoto (03-6806-0256) sells gorgeous pottery from Kyushu.

Hacoa (03-6240-1538) specializes in wooden toys, tableware and computer accessories such as wooden mice. Studio Uamou makes cute devil-like character toys, and attached sister shop Boo (03-6240-1220) serves coffee by day and an eclectic food menu until midnight. An odd little cafe called Asan (03-6803-0502) provides tablet computers and free wi-fi to use while you lounge around in hammocks.

The corridor between the rows of shops is usually occupied by temporary stalls run by crafts vendors, giving the place a livelier flea-market atmosphere during busy times.

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