Global Geek Tour: Yongsan electronic component stores

We’re computer geeks and gadget freaks like anyone else, but we always make a beeline for the component stores. It’s the stuff with the most serious geek factor, and the kind of thing we don’t have at home.

The basement floor of ETLand is a maze with 50 or 60 component shops. All were in small glass offices with bags and boxes of parts everywhere. In most shops the inventory is on display in the glass walls, and you ask for the stuff you need. Nothing is clearly priced. This can be a bit tough on foreign visitors, but everyone seemed patient while we communicated using a calculator.

There’s tons of through hole parts and connectors, like in Akihabara. Unlike Akihabara, the selection of surface mount parts is immense. Not just reels of passives, but reels of connectors, chips, microcontrollers, and more.

Prices are comparable to your local electronics shop, and not as cheap as Mouser, Digikey, or eBay. Go to get instant gratification or hands-on time with parts, don’t expect a bargain. Best time to visit seems to be 10-5 Monday to Friday.

More about ETLand’s basement electronics shops below the fold.


A window display with the parts on offer at a shop. These are all surface mount inductors.

A larger shop. This one specializes in reels of surface mount parts. Through hole stuff is on display in the window.

Most shops have parts in kilogram bags, stacked here in the windows. A central display shows the inventory, ask for what you want and they pull it from these bags.

At this store you could actually pull some parts yourself. Through hole on display below, SMD reels above.

A shop with tons of SMD reels.

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