Akihabara Hokousha Tengoku to return this Sunday01 July, 2011 by Chad
Three years after the fatal Akihabara massacre, the world famous otaku paradise will return to being a Pedestrian Heaven starting this Sunday, 3rd of July.
Since 1973, Akihabara was one of Tokyo’s Hokousha Tengoku (歩行者天国). Hokousha Tengoku are streets which are closed to vehicular traffic during weekends to facilitate shopping and activities, thus the name, which literally translates to “Pedestrian Heaven (or Paradise)”. Other Hokousha Tengoku include Harajuku, Ginza and Shinjuku, the later two of which are still active. Activity had ceased in Akihabara after the shocking events in June 2008.
Ever since, locals had been pressing the Tokyo government to reopen the Akihabara for the longest time. They finally gave in to the pleas earlier this year and had been staging heavily policed trial runs since. But starting July 3rd, otaku can rejoice when the Pedestrian Heaven fully returns each Sunday from 1 to 6 PM.
In the past, it was common to see all manner of otaku engaging in all manner of sub-culture interests publicly on Akihabara’s streets. The closure of the Hokousha Tengoku and the global recession the same year lead to the halt of Tokyo’s “otaku boom”, with a steady decline in activity in Akihabara since. Hopefully, the return of the pedestrian heaven will revive the otaku mecca’s former glory.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.
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