Fa So La Akihabara, or as everyone I have ever talked to has called it, Akihabara, is a basic duty free shop in Narita Airport. Whenever I go to Narita, I skip everything and just do what needs to be done before getting a beer. I really hate going to the duty free shop but sometimes you just have to in order to buy presents for some people. The last time I was in Narita Airport, this was the case.
When I first saw Akihabara many years ago, it was just a basic shop. Nothing too special, but in the last couple of years it has improved. The space is just as cramped and it is just as busy, so if you do plan to visit and do some shopping there, you had better be ready for fighting all of the tourists. I had a mission to find just one gift, some mochi for a friend. I looked all over and found some nice mochi from Kyoto; a typical gift from Kyoto. For me, trying to lug around my hand luggage was not so easy when you get cut off by people who are aimlessly walking and trying to talk to their friends. Sometimes I wish they had a “singles only” duty free shop or an express shop for people on a mission.
Akihabara is the most popular duty free shop in Narita Airport because it is where you get the standard gifts. Unlike the high end places where the prices are also high end, Akihabara has all of the standard Japanese gifts and standard prices. It is your last place to do reasonable shopping before leaving Japan. I understand it is a necessary evil so that people can get their last second gifts as well as have that one last grasp of “Japan”. While I would not recommend this place for most people, especially people who live in Japan, if you are visiting, it is a good place to get your last kick of Japan.