I was in the electronic mecca of Akihabara this weekend. I remember my previous trip as one where the streets were filled with foreigners and foreign-worshipping Japanese, all of whom were milling around the elecronic goodies prominently displayed. However, I was surprised to find that Akihabara has changed rather drastically.
In the streets, were legions of the sub-group known as 'cosplay', folks who dress up in anime- or manga-inspired costumes and who seem to have become more intense about their hobby with each passing day. The amount of money and detail contained within many of these costumes was startling. Then it also appears that the 'companions' who hawk various merchandise and/or services become younger as well. I could have sworn that this trip they appeared to be around high-school age!
Finally, there is a dearth of low-price options. Japan was never known as a bargain-hunter's paradise, but I did not notice any deals that particularly caught my eye. However, I shall be taking another trip this week, and this time I shall take my camera to provide some documentary evidence. In the menatime. Japan has definitely changed- I am not yet sure if that is for the better or not