Some of you might have visited Akihabara Radio Store (ARS) in Akihabara, a downtown in Tokyo, famous for radio parts shops. That store has rows of small branch stores along narrow walkways beneath the railway of Chuo line. It has been established 64 years ago. Many hams have gathered there for radio parts. Whenever I went there, I found a lot of people around there. There have been such radio stores all around Akihabara. They have been downsized owing to the prevaing computer shops.
In 1960s when I was a newcomer in ham radio, I used to go there once a month looking for some parts. I used to make a single 6BA5 receiver for the very first home made one in my life. When I turned it on, the tube suddenly exploded. What a scary event! I didn't know why. Maybe, the high voltage DC was wired to the heater of 6BA5. I have made all my equipments by myself later on. All the parts were purchased in Akihabara.
I have often attended the other radio store named Radio Department Store close to ARS in Akihabara. In my low teen days, I have known to one of the personnel, a young man, who has kindly helped me to collect the parts I needed. Almost twenty years later, when I was a postgraduate student at my mother school, I needed a radio part and went to the same store. I found that person working at the same branch there. He has not recognized me, of course. I felt it went back to my kid days then. That Radio Department Store was replaced to a computer shop not so long after that.
Recently, the news said that ARS would be finally closed by the end of this Nov. One of my memorable places, or I should say, the last place in my good old days will be gone away soon. Shall I visit there again before it is closed?