Japanese just noticed Akihabara train station building looks as flat as paper

The Akihabara train station building appears flat-looking to some Japanese.

Last month, Japanese netizens could not decide on the name of a colour. This time, the Japanese are confused by an actual building looking two-dimensional, with seemingly no depth at all. To top it off, people did not notice earlier — especially when it is the building of a popular place, Akihabara train station!

Akihabara is well known for selling household electronic goods and is considered a haven for the anime, manga and video games otaku. You can also find quite a number of maid cafes around the area. But a dull-looking, “flat” building seems to have gone unnoticed in this vibrant town.


One Twitter user @g_yotuya said, “This is the first time I realised it, but is this a dummy wall? (lol)”

The photo in a tweet by the user showed the building taken at an angle. But there seems to be nothing where the building’s rear should have extended out, except for clear blue sky. It looks as if it is just a really high wall.

Other Twitter users who saw the post also commented in disbelief. “Is this for real,” one said. “I’ve been to Akihabara so many times but have not realised this,” said another.

So, what is this sorcery? A quick check on Google Maps revealed that the building is constructed with a sharp angle. Instead of the usual rectangular shape, the building actually looks more like a trapezium. When viewed from a certain angle, it gives off an optical illusion of a flat wall.

Photo: Google Maps

On the upper floors of the building is a shopping mall called Atre. Apparently, they have caught wind of this phenomenon and decided to provide more insights, from their “angle”.


“We saw the rumoured photo. It is a miracle shot. Based on that photo, Atre does seem flat. But, here’s the view from top right window of the building,” said the mall in a statement.


Atre then followed up with a view inside the building, which showed the walls coming together at an acute angle. As the top-most floor is used as a warehouse, Atre recommends making use of the narrow space by storing items upright. They even highlighted that you can “experience” this narrowness in a cafe on the fourth floor.

Luckily for us, we need not go all the way to Japan to see this optical illusion. We have one right on our shores if you haven’t noticed — The Gateway!

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