Akihabara 2010 August. Chuo Dori is the large main road that runs through Akihabara. Be sure to explore all the streets that branch off Chuo Dori and also make sure to keep looking upwards as each building more often than not contains several different shops.
Many many moons ago during the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), Akihabara was a a huge flat land - 30,000 square meters was cleared to prevent fires from reaching Edo Castle. With nothing to catch fire to, fires would die out in the huge field.
During the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912), a shrine called "Chinka" [鎮火社] was built in Akihabara where the deity "Hibuse" resided. The deity existed to ward away and extinguish fires.
If this all sounds slightly familiar, its because our anime title "Chinka" is the same kanji as the shrine meaning to "extinguish a fire" and "Hibuse" is the name of the resident cat. There's quite a bit of history going into Chinka which I will talk more about in a few days - although if you read the Japanese anime mags then you may already know ^^;