While I don’t claim to be a custom keyboard expert, I do type a lot. While I’m traveling, most of that typing is done on some form of the magic keyboard by Apple, but when I’m at home I use my incredibly annoying Cherry MX Blue switch keyboard. Technically it’s supposed to be good for typing, but my goodness does that sound drive me mad.
So, I’m sort of in the market for a new keyboard and when I realized that perhaps one of the best custom keyboard shops in the world is only a short train journey away from me, I decided to check it out!
Located just a few minutes walk from Akihabara station and its many retro game stores, Yusha Kobo Keyboard Specialty shop is any custom keyboard nerd’s dream (mine included), stocking everything from switches, artisan keycaps, accessories, and fully built boards. If you’re in Akihabara and you love keyboards, this is a must-visit destination!
Interested? Me too! Let me show you way too many pictures and hopefully convince you that it deserves a place on your itinerary!
Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop Location
While this custom keyboard shop in Akihabara is set back from the main strip, it’s still very easy to get to. The closest station is Suehirochō, though for most people walking from Akihabara will be the easiest route (plus you get to pop into these Pokemon stores too!).
Five minutes walk from Akihabara station and if you haven’t got lost, you’ll find yourself down a fairly unassuming back alley with a shop displaying and selling some of the coolest custom keyboards you’ve ever laid your eyes on.
Before you even get inside the store, if you take a look in the shop windows you’ll notice a number of pretty cool-looking keyboards. Although I don’t know about you, but a literal fidget spinner attached to my keyboard is likely going to be the worst way to increase my productivity…
Of course, there are a lot of experimental keyboards in Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop, but there are also things like the N64 Keyboard, a genuine piece of history!
Fancy a board full of almost every switch known to man? They’ve got you covered!
What does Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop sell?
If you were hoping for an article that goes into all the technical aspects of each keyboard, this probably won’t be for you. I heard a few people talking about this stuff in the shop and it went way over my head. I love keyboards like this because of how they look, and how they feel to press, that’s it!
If you were hoping for loads of pictures of all the custom keyboards and other funky bits that Yusha Kobo sells, you’re in luck!
Inside this custom keyboard store, you’ll find absolutely loads of Japanese keyboards (Not quite as many as Yodobashi down the road, but far more custom builds), mouse pads, keycaps, cables, switches, and practically anything else you need to build your very own custom keyboard.
I’ve seen these keyboards around before, but actually trying to type on one that’s split in half is extremely tricky. Technically they’re actually really good for you if you orient it in the correct way, but I would imagine it takes quite a lot of getting used to.
I’m way more of a fan of these smaller keyboard builds, and I’d love to buy something similar in the future. The only issue with the keyboard above is, where the hell is the spacebar?…
Too high profile for my taste, but I do dig the random icon of Saturn. No idea what that button would do, but I felt a burning desire to press it and find out…
I LOVE the color palette on this one but I’m not quite ready to commit to a split board. With the amount of writing I do, even a single day of learning how to type on it would be valuable time lost.
I’ve never seen one of these out in the wild, so make use of it if you come here! One of the biggest issues with building or buying your own keyboard is that you can’t actually feel those new switches and keycaps you want to buy.
Yes they look nice, and that person on YouTube said they’re really good, but if you haven’t personally tried them out then you’re still taking a gamble.
Pressing any of the switches here ‘switches’ the page on the iPad to the switch you’ve just pressed. If I were you, I’d spend some time going through all of them and writing down your thoughts.
Perhaps, if you’ve got time, record yourself and the sound they make. That way, you’ll remember what you thought of all of them, and when it comes to buying new keyboard switches further down the line, you’ll be prepared.
As you might have guessed, Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop doesn’t just sell custom keyboards, but they also sell a range of other things as well. For instance, if you look at the photo above, you’ll see it’s the fluffy face of a dog on top of a keycap.
Is it a great idea to use these for FPS games on the WASD keys? Almost definitely not. But shove him on the ESC key, and you’ll get to boop this dog’s head every once in a while.
A number of mouse and keyboard pads were also available as well. I wasn’t a fan of the designs and don’t use these anyway, but you’ll find a few unique designs here for sure.
Make your way toward the cashier and you’ll see a glass cabinet that’s full of Artisan Keycaps, hand-crafted designs that all have Japanese themes. I love these and will almost certainly be buying one soon!
If your keyboard isn’t as extra as it can be, buy the one with the red T-Rex on it. And send me a photo too, I need to see it!!
The top corner of the shop is home to the more experimental builds. Other than a few numberpads, I don’t have any clue what a lot of the keyboards in the photo above and below are. Of course, that didn’t stop me from playing…
Again, shelves and shelves of stuff if you’re looking to make your own board. If you’re coming to Japan on holiday, make sure you’ve got enough space in your luggage to take it home!
I think this was full of keycaps, and as you can see there were absolutely loads to choose from!
Is it worth visiting the Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop?
Yes. Easily one of the coolest shops in Akihabara for me, though I suppose I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to things like this. Its incredibly convenient location means if you’re in the area then there’s really no reason not to visit.
Even if you aren’t as much of a keyboard addict as you think you should be to visit Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop, it’s worth going to because there’s absolutely nothing like this anywhere else (as far as I know). Tap some keyboards, do a bit of research, and you’ll be incredibly thankful when you come to buy or build your first custom keyboard!
More interested in gaming than building your own keyboard? The most expensive games in Japan can be found in a store about 10 minutes walk from Yusha Kobo Keyboard Speciality Shop, so make sure to check that out if you’re interested in going bankrupt extremely quickly 😉