The birth rate keeps lower number in Japan, which causes more elementary and junior high schools to be shut down across the nation. Especially in the highly populated areas, these ex-school buildings turned to be used for artist’s studios, SOHO for tech entrepreneurs and coffee shops filling the lessee’s stomachs with great meals.
In mid-May, at 3331 Arts Chiyoda[J] which used to be a junior high school in Akihabara and has been renovated, there will be “The Soldering Cafe (Handazuke Cafe) [J]” where people can enjoy their e-craft kitting and communicate with another companions having the same interest. In the future, the cafe’s founder and e-kit online retailer Switch Science[J] (frequently witnessed at O’reilly’s Make: events) expects to provide tools like a 3D printer and a laser cutter which are too expensive to be owned by individuals. It is expected anyone is allowed to use the facility by paying the admission fee for as little as a buck.
The cafe has not yet been opened, but a CCTV camera installed there is already Ustreamed 24 hours a day. (probably for preventing on prowlers and sneak thieves.)
Author’s note: The Soldering Cafe introduced above can be considered as a place for kit assemblers in Akihabara. In Tokyo, there’s another place for more general purposes in the stylish district of Shirokane, which is called Tokyo Hackerspace where a number of tech and social events are being held mainly by Western people and multi-lingual Japanese.
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