Shopping: What and Where?
There are not only lots of shops in Tokyo, but there are so many shops, that often there are districts for certain types of shopping.

Shopping Districts     (under construction)
- Akihabara(Electric Town): Electronics, photographics, computers, anime.
Akihabara covers about 6 city blocks with shops selling all sorts of electronic devices, games, computers, photographic gear, anime and gadgets. 
You can buy all sorts of inexpensive goods, but you need to know your prices.  In some cases, it can be more expensive than in your home country, if you choose the wrong place or the wrong product to buy. For example, you may want to buy a product, but you can't assume that it's cheaper.

Cameras and lenses.
Firstly, check some web prices in your home country. Then check Yodobashi Camera (www.yodobashi.com) or Bic Camera(www.biccamera.com). Finally, check http://kakaku.com/camera/, past into google and hit "translate".  Kakaku lists the cheapest prices in Japan, and in many cases, the prices can be 10-40% cheaper than Yodobashi or Bic in the smaller stores around Akihabara. .. but use kakaku as a guide, and see if you can find the store form the map page in Kakaku.  However, make sure you also go into the big Yodobashi on the east side of Akihabara Station, and the Sofmap main store to the north west of the station (on Chuo Dori). They will often have big discount specials not listed on their website. Generally, prices for cameras are more expensive than the USA, but less expensive than most other places.  Be aware that while the domestic cameras are cheaper, most of the time, the "export model" cameras are expensive. Also, Panasonic & Sony digital still cameras have Japanese ONLY language. Check the warranty, as these will usually be Japanese as well (except for Olympus, which has world wide warranty on all of its cameras)
There are also many second hand cameras and lenses sold at Akihabara. Most of them offer good, honest deals on second hand gear.


Electronics
Akihabara has just about every sort of electronic device you could want.  TVs, DVD/BluRay players, video cameras, amplifiers, AV receivers, headphones, electronic parts & instruments, etc.  However, you need to check a few things first:

Voltage:  Check that the voltage is compatible with your home country. (they will often have 100-240V AC these days, but check first)
Region coding:  DVDs and BluRay discs have region coding. For DVD Japanese discs are Region 2. (Same as Europe, USA is Region 1) BluRay region for Japan is Region A (same as US), Europe, Africa, Middle East & Australia are Region B, Asian mainland is Region C.
Check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc     While some cheaper no name brand DVD players have "Region free", not many of the Japanese brand players do.  Almost none of the BluRay players you find at Akihabara will be Region free.
TV format:  The two main standard definition TV standards are PAL & NTSC. Japan uses NTSC (Same as US) while most other places use PAL. Make sure you choose the right format, or a "multi system".  This applies to both TVs and DVD players. So for example, if you buy a Japanese DVD, play it on an NTSC DVD player, but have a PAL only TV, it will not play properly(or at all). In this case, make sure the DVD player is able to play NTSC, but convert to PAL output.
Step Up/step down transformer:   If you buy something with the wrong voltage, you can consider a Step Up or step down transformer. You can find these in the electronic parts shops under the railway lines near Akihabara Station (see map)


Mobile phones / Cell Phones 
Japan has a thousand varieties of mobile/cell phones.  You can get iPhones, but these are not that cheap at Akihabara.  However, there a lots of places to buy phones if you know what you are looking for.  There are generally two types of phone systems: 2G and 3G(and also 4G).  The main types of 2G phones use the GSM system or CDMA. Almost all places in the world use the same 3G system these days.
But there are things to look out for when buying phones in Japan:

Phone system:  DoCoMo and Softbank use the 3G system WCDMA. These are compatible with 3G systems around the world.  KDDI (AU) uses CDMA2000, which is not compatible, so don't buy these phones and expect them to work outside of Japan. 
Locked phones:
  These days, most providers(in Japan and elsewhere) lock their phones to a particular network (SIM locked). So if you buy a Softbank phone, it will be locked to the Softbank network. Same with DoCoMo. However, if you buy a DoCoMo 3G smartphone, you can take it to DoCoMo and they will unlock it for 3150yen. Make sure you get the unlock code for your phone form them, because if the phone at some stage gets reinitialised, it will be locked to DoCoMo again.
Frequency band: Check the frequency band for both your home network and the phone you buy in Japan. For example, Softbank use 2100MHz 3G. You only need 2100MHz in your home network for the phone to work. A typical specification for a smart phone might be 3G 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100MHz. (plus GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
Renting a SIM or buying a prepaid SIM:  If you try to use your compatible 3G phone in Japan, find out what the roaming charges will be for you home network. I've heard in some cases of people using their iPhone in in Japan for two weeks, forgetting to turn off their data enabling, and going home to a $2000 charge!!!  If you want voice or data on your own phone in Japan, there are options. Firstly, you can get your home network provider to unlock your phone.  Then you can rent a SIM in Japan (at the airport, for example). However, if you're in Japan for more than a couple of weeks, it's better to buy a prepaid SIM.  Softbank will sell prepaid SIMs in some of their shops: Airport, Roppongi shop. Also, if you need data only, you can get a one month prepaid SIM from B-Mobile using the DoCoMo network. If you then install Skype on your smartphone, along with skype on a PC/smartphone back in your home country, so you can then make voice calls!!!
Tablets/Pads:   These CAN be cheap in Akihabara, depending on the type. Ipads are not so cheap if you want a 3G enabled, unlocked one. However, there are other tablets/pads which are 3G enabled that are cheap. These can also be unlocked or bought SIM lock free.

Where to buy?  Iosys at Akihabara is the best place to buy phones, smartphones and tablets/pads. They have 4 stores there.











- Sports Store area:

- Musical Instrument store area:

- Book Shop area:

- Fabric store area:




For hotels and what else to do in Tokyo:
http://www.hoteltravel.com/japan/guides/activities_sports.htm



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