Translated by Michiyo Nakashima
The Creators’ Community: 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN
Incredible handicrafts and made in Japan items are available at 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN, where you can also talk to the artisans' responsible for the pieces.
Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki
Okachimachi used to be a haven for artisans in the Edo era. Today this haven is heating up again as creators and artisans gather together from all over Japan to display their artwork under the viaduct of the JR Yamanote line. It’s called the 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN.
The space is based on a black and white theme, and about 50 restaurants, galleries, and clothing shops are lined up under the viaduct.
By the way, this place has a pretty weird name, huh? In fact, the name is divided into two separate meanings.
This is a technical term used by train staff to determine their distance from Tokyo station, where it is set as the rail head.
AKI stands for Akihabara and OKA stands for Okachimachi, the station next to Akihabara. It was named with hopes that many people would come visit this place and create a community.
The word "Craftsman" in French.
The artisans at these shops are very welcoming and excited to talk to visitors. If you get tired walking, you can find a café to get some rest. The Café ASAN that we introduced before on MATCHA is also located at this street.
Enjoy Conversations with Artisans
What is really attractive about this place is that visitors are able to communicate with local artisans about the products in front of you. Knowing the background of their products also gives you a taste of artistic appreciation. In a mass consumption society, people should know the facts behind producers’ efforts behind their products. The invisible effort makes the products more valuable and becomes a part of the history of traditional art and craft. This is a unique and modern place to visit and also a good place to make connections with artistic people!
2k450 AKI-OKA ARTISAN
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno 5-9 (Under the viaduct between Akihabara and Okachimachi St.)
Hours: 11:00~19:00 (Depends on stores)
Closed: every Wednesday
Access: 6 minute walk from JR Akihabara Station, 4 minutes walk from JR Okachimachi Station, 3 minutes walk from Suehirocho Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)