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Store closure marks the end of an era in Tokyo's Akihabara

Nayalan Moodley | Dec. 2, 2013
Tokyo's world-famous Akihabara district lost one of its signature stores on Saturday, and with it a piece of the area's rich electronics history faded away.

"When I came to Tokyo for university I was here every day," he said. "We could talk to the clerks and other radio fans about the latest technology developments and we would all always be saving for next new component. I moved on from receivers to amateur radio operation, so naturally I built my own transmitter. It opened me up to the world."

He remembered how the Radio Store's success led to the building of the nearby "Radio Center" and from there more buildings started to pop up housing similar component vendors.

"It was always busy," he said. "It would take a few hours to move around and wait in line to shop at the popular vendors. Often the best components would get sold out very quickly."

The Radio Store building will be sold to the East Japan Railway Company that operates Akihabara Station. There have been no announcements as to what the building or land will be used for in the future.

The closing of the Radio Store signals the end of an era for Akihabara. While neighboring buildings and the component vendors therein will continue, the steady decline in customers in this now niche market could see more of these iconic Akihabara landmarks following suite.

 

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