Yodobashi Camera is home to a wide range of interesting technological gadgets and doo-hickeys, varying from the perfectly sensical to the rather qwerky.
A prime example of the often cutesy nature of Japan’s consumer electronics industry is the Sandisk ‘Sushidisk’ sushi-themed USB flash drives. Coming in all your favourite sushi shapes and sizes (such as ebi, salmon, and tuna), these USB sticks are sure to be a constant reminder that you should put down the cup noodles, put on some nice clothes, and go out to the ever-famous Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant for once. Sadly, these flash drives only come in a measly 4GB form, which is quite the small number when one takes into consideration today’s ever-growing file sizes.
Fortunately, Yodobashi Camera also offers a more professional line of USB flash storage options, such as the Buffalo 64GB and 128GB Value models. ‘Value’ is certainly the object of their existence, as Sandisk’s Sushidisks come in at a pricey 5,120 yen or more while the Buffalo Value models are often cheaper, yet 32 times the storage capacity.
Another interesting set of devices to be found at Yodobashi Camera are digital memo pads. As today’s smartphones and tablets have advanced considerably, it truly is a wonder that products such as these still exist, even if they are merely a remnant of a past time. Albeit slightly outdated, these digital memo pads will perhaps be found useful for the simpler folks who desire the same smartphone-esque friendly user interface, but with functionality that is not overshadowed by various newfangled bits and bobs.
One category of products that I find particularly interesting is smartphone accessories. Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara boasts what I can safely say is the broadest range of smartphone cases, all in one retail shop, that I have ever seen. HTC, Windows Phone, iPhone, Nokia, Samsung, Sony; you name it, they have a case for it. Coupled with these are a bunch of other accessories, such as mobile phone camera lenses, portable instant printers, creatively-designed headphones, controllers, and cradles built specifically for mobile gaming.
On a visit there not too long ago, I spied out of the corner of my eye a strange looking rubber nub sitting in a clear box on a shelf. Curious, I picked it up and attempted to read the Japanese text printed on the back, only to discover that it was in fact a suction-cupped smartphone joypad. Yes, you read that correctly, a joypad used for mobile gaming that attaches itself right onto your device's touch screen. For less than a thousand yen, I couldn’t refuse picking it up, and I’m very glad I did. The buttons are rubberized to absolute perfection, and it works like a charm. Playing PacMan has never been easier, and platforming games are even possible with some clever placement.
So whether or not you are coming to Yodobashi Camera with the purpose of finding something specific, it is safe to say that you will never leave empty handed or teary eyed.