If there’s one thing that Japan is known for overseas aside from sushi, it’s the otaku culture. Not familiar with the word otaku? Think manga, anime, cosplay, and themed cafés. While Tokyo is most certainly not short of any of this, the number one spot for getting your geek on is hands down Akihabara.
In juxtaposition to Tokyo’s old town, just a stone throw’s away, Akihabara is the height of modernity and Japanese pop culture. Originally gaining the nickname “Electric Town” from its electronic stores that started opening following WW2, it is now hard to find a street in Akihabara that doesn’t house a several-storey electronic store, anime-related shop or maid café.
With an abundance of wacky things to do and see around Akihabara, here is a list of 100 fun things to get you started.
Why would anyone get on the bus when you can discover Akihabara by go-kart? Drive around Tokyo in a little red go-kart and if you feel like going all out, you can even take your pick of a cosplay outfit to put on before you go. It doesn’t get much better than holiday snaps of Little Bo Peep or Mario go-karting around Tokyo.
The go-karts can be hired for up to five hours so explore as much of Tokyo as you like from the comfort of your seat. Be warned that you will need a Japanese driving license or international driving license to hire a go-kart.
Booking details: Rent a Go-Kart and ride around Akihabara, Tokyo here!
Ever wanted to experience a video game but in real life? Akihabara has all the answers. Dress up in camouflage, grab your BB bullet guns and get ready to run! This survival game takes place in an indoor playing field with lots of places to hide.
All instructed in English, you will be briefed on the aim of the game and then sent off to put your game skills to the test. As long as you’re not in a big group, you will be playing with locals and there’s no better way to make friends than a bit of healthy competition.
Booking details: Try a Survival Game Experience in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka
If there’s one type of Japanese themed café you’ve heard about, it is most probably the maid café. Hosted by girls dressed in maid outfits, customers are often looked after by one maid during their stay and served up cute food and drinks all with a big cheesy smile.
Maidreamin is one of Akihabara’s most popular cafés where you can see the waitresses in cosplay posing as popular anime characters. Contrary to popular belief, maid cafés are no longer only frequented by men but are relatively innocent establishments that are also open to women, groups of friends, families and children.
Booking details: Enjoy Maid Cafe Maidreamin in Akihabara
While Akihabara is synonymous with anime culture, that doesn’t mean the area doesn’t have more to offer. Head off the main streets to find one-off shops, handmade crafts and other beautiful areas within walking distance from Akihabara.
If you’re a fan of photography, exploring Akihabara with a pro photographer is bound to inspire you. With the skill of looking at things from a unique perspective, you can see another side of Akihabara as well as discover surrounding areas Ryogoku, Kuramae, and Tokyo Sky Tree.
Booking details: Go On a Deep Tokyo Photo Excursion with a Professional Photographer
Being geeky doesn’t have to be limited to cartoons and maid outfits. Add a new theme into the mix with Akihabara’s train-themed restaurant. Take a seat at a table reminiscent of those from the bullet trains while you are served by staff in train conductor outfits.
The food is a work of art with omelettes shaped into train carriages, seaweed as train windows and salad for the scenery. Drinks also follow the railway theme with a variety of cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Litte TGV restaurant is open for dinner every evening Tuesday – Sunday, as well as for lunch on weekends. As the restaurant is a popular eating spot, it’s best to book to avoid disappointment.
There aren’t many Akihabara experiences more authentic than going to a maid café. But having a tour around Akihabara with a maid is one of the best ways to discover the ins and outs and secret corners of the district.
If a quick chat with a maid in a café isn’t enough, why not meet up with a maid that doubles up as a guide? You will, of course, get a trip to a maid café as well as a tour of the streets and shops. Speaking a range of languages, be sure to make the most of your tour by asking any questions. The maid guides are knowledgeable about Tokyo, otaku culture and experiences dressing up as a maid so you’re sure to hear some fascinating stories. All the maids are extremely friendly so won’t just be your guide for the day but your friend for the day.
The tours go three times a day and are incredibly popular so be sure to book soon!
Booking details: Book Your Akihabara Tour with Your Own Personal Maid!
There are certain places that every otaku wants to hang out in Tokyo. Two of the all-time favourite spots are Akihabara and Nakano. Whether you want to browse the anime, manga, games, figurines or fancy dress, these two areas will undoubtedly have something you’re looking for. Or, in the case that you’re not interested in buying something specific, you’ll still likely be amazed by the range of goods and the skill and detail that goes into making them.
You can discover all the best otaku shops Tokyo has to offer with a tour of both Akihabara and Nakano with the expertise of a guide who will even take you back to your hotel afterwards.
Booking details: Join an Otaku Shopping Tour!
After a hard day’s shopping and exploring, your feet are sore and you’re in need of some downtime. Why not pop along to get a massage? You can find massages for your feet, head, face, shoulders, hands or back for the perfect unwind. Add in aromatic oils or even try a traditional Japanese shiatsu massage.
While an ear clean may not be something you’ve considered before, Akihabara is home to massage shops that specialise in ear cleaning. Preceded by a relaxing head massage, the gentle ear clean will leave you feeling clean and fresh.
Booking details: Get an ear cleaning and foot massage by an Akihabara maid!
Maid cafés tend to look and act like standard cafés with just one difference – the waitresses are dressed up as maids. However, if you get bored easily of usual cafés there are other activities that can be combined with a trip to these unique cafés.
Most probably not what you’d expect on a trip to a maid café, at one of Akihabara’s cafés you can have a game of Texas Holdem Poker with the maids. You will be provided with some chips on arrival but beware that gambling is illegal in Japan so you won’t be winning any real money during the game.
Booking details: Play Texas Holdem Poker in a maid cafe in Akihabara
If you look around at the men in Japan, you’ll notice that they are often well groomed with well-kept hair and shaven faces. Want to jump on the bandwagon? Then get yourself along to Akihabara to clean yourself up.
Enjoy having your hair styled, your shoulders and hands massaged and your eyebrows trimmed, all performed by maids. Free drinks and snacks are included and you will receive a complimentary photo to remember the experience by.
Booking details: Check Out the Grooming Service by Maid Stylists in Tokyo
After a trip to somewhere as exciting as Japan, it goes without saying that loved ones back home will be expecting to receive some exciting souvenirs. You could try to find some normal gifts to take back but if you’re planning a trip to Akihabara, why not stock up on some unique gifts that you couldn’t have found anywhere else?
Kawaii Guide offers a tour of Akihabara which will take you to hidden shops and corners that you wouldn’t stumble across yourself. Figurines, electronics and vending machines selling all sorts – Akihabara is the place to find all the weird and wonderful things Japan is known for. Since shopping is a tiring sport, you’ll also be taken along to a sushi bar to fuel yourselves for the day.
Booking details: Take an exciting tour in Akihabara with a kawaii guide
You don’t need to be a game expert to have heard of Final Fantasy. The story is set in the fictional city of Gridania which you can visit on your stay in Tokyo at Akihabara’s recreation of the Final Fantasy world.
Greeted into the café by famous characters from the game, you can enjoy themed food and drinks in this gamers’ paradise. Time in the café is limited to two hours and it is required to make a reservation in advance as spaces book up quickly.
Booking details: Reservation ticket for Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe in Tokyo
There are several exciting arcades and game centers in Akihabara including the gigantic Taito Station and many more! For a couple of hundred yen, one of the adorable plushies or gifts inside the locally named “UFO catchers” could be yours. If there’s a particular game or anime you like, you’re likely to find a cute toy dedicated to it! A trip to Akihabara just would not be complete without winning a treat from one of the arcade.
— Alejandro Hdez (@nitr0usmx) November 30, 2015
The best place to buy unusual, rare, or retro video games is one of the many game stores in Akihabara. If you love video games, be sure to see if you can track down some golden oldies such as Nintendo 64 or FamiCon (SNES) games to play or collect. This district is a goldmine for gamers!
Fans of Sega classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog, the Sega building is unmissable! This unusual building is right outside Akihabara Station, and inside you can play games, take purikura photographs, and try to win toys in the UFO catchers. Absorb the thrilling game atmosphere at this exciting building.
No trip to Tokyo is complete without a trip to one of the famous cat cafes! Akihabara has its fair share of wonderful kitty cafes including MoCHA, cat cafe nyanny, and Neko JaLaLa. Be sure to visit one of these charming establishments if you love cute cats and coffee!
Akihabara may be famous for its gadgets, anime merchandise, and games, but that doesn’t mean there are no shrines nearby. For a taste of traditional culture and to bless your IT-related endeavours, visit Kanda Myojin shrine, which is just a ten-minute walk from Akihabara Station. You can get a good luck charm to protect your digital devices!
Rated the number one spot for nightlife in Akihabara on TripAdvisor, the Hitachino Brewing Lab is the perfect place to go for a beer after a long day of shopping and exploring. Visit this little microbrewery for charming Japanese snacks and tasty local beer. You can even brew your own!
本日より、ドラゴンクエストＸコラボが始まりますよ〜･:*+.\(( °ω° ))/.:+
— sqex_cafe (@sqex_cafe) November 10, 2017
Square Enix brought us some game masterpieces such as Nier Automata, Deus Ex, and the Final Fantasty franchise. With Square Enix decor, themed food, and a goods store, any gamer would love to visit for lunch!
Harajuku is the leader in Tokyo for crazy costumes, but you can also buy great cosplay and Halloween costumes, wigs, accessories, and makeup in the mecca of Akihabara. Great shops for costumes and the like include COSPATIO and ACOS. Pick out the perfect outfit and accessories for your next cosplay convention or Halloween party!
— アニメプラザ秋葉原店 (@anipla_akiba) November 13, 2017
Anime fans can’t miss the Anime Plaza Building! With a constantly changing themed cafe, a gallery, and a merchandise store, you can spend hours in anime heaven. Any “otaku” would adore this place.
Not keen on cats? Animal cafes’ popularity has exploded in the past few years, inspiring the creation of animal cafes beyond the feline variety. If you love birds, why not pop into an owl cafe during your trip to Akihabara? Popular choices include Akiba Fukurou and Owl no Mori.
You may have heard of Don Quihote, the chain store of virtually anything. This shop is stuffed full of things to buy including clothes, household items, makeup, costumes, accessories, furniture, bedding, unique items, and much more all at discounted prices. Any shopper would adore this crazy shop where you can get some great bargains.
AKB48 are a famous J-pop group in Japan, and the “AKB” stands for “Akihabara!” Fans of them and their songs, which include Kimi wa Melody and Heavy Rotation cannot miss a live show at their theater where they originated and continue to perform today. Check out the website below for details!
Akihabara caters to collectors of games, anime merchandise, and accessories. Looking for a retro original game? Searching for a particular character figurine? Longing to expand your collection of Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards? Akihabara is a treasure trove of collectible items that you might not be able to get in your home country. You can spend hours and even days collecting and discovering new things. Just be careful not to spend your entire budget!
Purikura is a type of photo booth where you can edit and decorate your pictures and create little stickers out of them. Commemorate your trip to Akihabara by visiting a purikura booth (they can be found in most arcades) and taking some cute pictures with a bright and Akihabara-themed background!
They don’t call it “Electric Town” for nothing! Akihabara is heaven for those who are crazy about electronic gadgets. In this district, you can find computers and computer accessories, video games, electronic beauty products, household items, phones and phone accessories, cameras, and more. The three best places to check out electronics in Akihabara are Yodobashi Camera, Yamada Denki, and Sofmap. Japanese gadgets also make great souvenirs!
Anime goods on sale at the Mottainai Flea Market behind the Taito Game Station in Akiba. pic.twitter.com/gbHEqG5ERI
— Theodore (@tono_Theo) January 1, 2014
The Mottainai Flea Market is must-visit for anybody who likes a bargain! This market comes to Akihabara around once a month on a weekend (check the website below for schedules), and is situated at Akihabara UDX. You will find mainly second hand clothes but also books, DVDs, and CDs. Also, you can come here to recycle your own old clothes!
This great little izakaya offers high quality sushi, drinking, and friendly service in a great atmosphere! This place is very popular among both Japanese and foreigners because of its friendly and welcoming staff and amazing food. Visit this place for a top-quality dining experience.
— くろさび (@chromless) July 2, 2017
Visit this small and hidden shrine in Akihabara, often missed by tourists! Known as one of the least visited shrines in Tokyo, this hidden treasure is located in the back alleys of Akihabara but close to Akihabara Station. Try and find it for yourself!
— オオカワ (@huntinggirled) September 16, 2017
This cosy space is located in the red brick viaduct which looks beautiful and has been around since 1912. In the venue you can find boutique shops and cafes which have unique touches to them. You will love the gorgeous architecture here and can relax by the river after a day of sightseeing!
— ガンダムインフォメーション (@gundam_news_bot) November 10, 2017
If you are a fan of Gundam, or even if you are not, you will find more than just a cafe at the Gundam Cafe! This immersive space serves lunches and dinners with fresh ingredients and wacky designs, including Gundam shaped ice-cream balls! You can also find some merchandise in the gift shop, and make sure you visit the restrooms which are fascinating!
— らしんばん秋葉原店新館＠中古買取販売 (@lashin_akiba2) November 29, 2017
If you are looking for second hand manga and anime, make sure you pay a visit to Lashinbang, which is the largest second-hand shop in Akihabara. You can browse the shelves for cheap cosplay goods, comics, DVD’s, clothes, and figurines. You can find some really unique collectible items here, too.
みんな大好き大人のデパートM’s AKIHABARA pic.twitter.com/ijvGkw3sH1
— 🤓TKC🗾 (@Mr_sawachan) June 14, 2017
If you are looking for a range of adult products, come to this huge seven-floor sex shop located next to Akihabara Station. This well-known shop has DVD’s, costumes and lingerie, and a wide range of toys. This store does have some unique and somewhat unusual items as well as fairly mainstream ones, but generally it is a popular store which is safe and enjoyable to stroll through!
— Travel Pockets (@TravelPockets) February 23, 2017
Gachapons are popular Japanese gaming machines in which you insert one coin and can receive a prize which is usually a figurine or a keychain. At this popular gachapon venue you can find some very high-quality items in the machines. It is popular for adult and children, and a cheap way to get some unique souvenirs, too! Good luck!
おみやげにPABLO mini ( ˙꒳˙ )🍰 かわいい♡ pic.twitter.com/t4eJRVvLUW
— Naaatsuki♡ (@naa_rbn) November 23, 2017
Pablo has many stores in Japan, serving up their signature cheese tarts which have become a huge hit in the country! This Pablo Mini store in Akihabara has offerings including cheese tarts, cheesecake, matcha tarts and limited edition flavors. The cafe is bright and friendly, and a perfect place for a delicious snack in the area!
— モスコミュール (@Rossa0124) November 17, 2017
This fascinating art space is located underneath train tracks between Ueno and Akihabara. You will find craftsmen at work, regular workshops where you can try making crafts, art pieces, exhibitions, and cafes on site. Art lovers shouldn’t miss this innovative space which is attracting many crafts people and artists to showcase their work and encourage others to get involved!
— スーパーポテト通販|スタンプ販売中 (@super_potato7) December 19, 2016
Did you play Sega and Nintendo games growing up? Do you remember the theme songs to Legend of Zelda and Mario? If so, Super Potato gaming arcade is a must-visit for you. This arcade features old games you can play including Street Fighter, Pac-Man, and many other golden oldies! You will also find retro candy and sodas and a great selecton of merchandise here!
Carl’s Jr is a hugely popular burger chain which originated from The United States but now has franchises in Japan. Its restaurant in Akihabara is very well-known and will often attracts lines of people waiting. However, if you are looking for a guaranteed amazing and filling burger, this is surely the place! Portions are big, so bring an appetite!
— ｲｴﾛｰｻﾌﾞﾏﾘﾝ秋葉原本店ｽｹｰﾙ (@YS_SCALESHOP) November 13, 2017
At Yellow Submarine, you can find an array of RPG’s, board games, figurines, collectible items, and comics. You can also watch or take part in live gaming events! This place is an otaku heaven and attracts both young people and adult gamers alike, but is enjoyable for any visitor!
— ▷ りさ は余韻組 (@arycd1939) September 14, 2017
This maid cafe is much more than just a cafe, and is a unique experience for any visitors in the area! This popular and established venue features food that looks so cute you won’t want to eat it, games, photo opportunities, live musical shows, and of course cute and funny ‘maids’ to talk with and generally have an enjoyable time. There are so many maid cafes in Akihabara, but this is regarded as one of the best for visitors!
— まんだらけコンプレックス6F(映像音楽) (@complex6fufo) July 16, 2016
Anime fans will not want to miss the huge Mandarake complex in Akihabara. This huge eight-floor store houses a vast collection of comics, toys, games, anime, cosplay goods, rare artworks, dolls, video games, consoles, and figurines. You could easily spend an afternoon here browsing the shelves. The store also has English-speaking staff to assist you.
— Umberto Moioli (@U_Moioli) September 13, 2014
Commonly regarded as the best gaming arcade in Akihabara, Taito’s popular Hey! arcade sits on the central Chuo Street, and features both modern state of the art games and retro ones, too. It has a really vast selection of games to suit all ages and tastes, and is reasonably priced. You can also be entertained by watching some amazing gamers showing off, here!
There are an almost infinite number of ramen shops in Akihabara. You will be spolit for choice, but for a visitor is can be difficult to know which places are the best to try! Kasugatei is one of the most recommended in the area, and serves up hot and delicious abura soba noodles and fresh toppings to add. This makes for a cheap and filling lunch to energize you for all that gaming!
If you are looking for a relaxed and fun bar in the Akihabara area, why not try somewhere out of this world? At LOOP Bar, the theme is outer space! The fascinating venue serves a variety of dishes, cocktails and beers, and has a private karaoke room with cosmic interiors and friendly staff! This sort of themed bar sums up the uniqeness of Japan that you likely won’t witness anywhere else in the world!
AKIHABARA Radio Center 2nd Floor(2). April 24, 2014. pic.twitter.com/nQ2EuLsspi
— 恩谷シノブ (@akiba_holic) April 24, 2014
The historic Radio Center, clsoe to Akihabara Station, is known as a parts market which has been around since the late 1940’s! Here you will find numerous small retailers selling electronic parts, DIY tools, digital instruments, and discounted items. You will be sure to find that obscure cable or gadget that you are looking for, here! Even if you aren’t looking for anything, it’s fascinating just to walk around this place!
If you want to go to a real Japanese izakaya with great food, drinks, and service, try Sakura Suisan in Akihabara. This popular and lively place serves common Japanese dishes such as grilled meats, fried potatoes, and seafood. The atmosphere is welcoming and energetic, and is a great place to relax with friends after a busy day of exploring the city!
Hakata Fuu Ryuu in Akihabara serves mouthwatering tonkotsu ramen, which is a flavour made from boiling pork bone. This tasty variety of Japan’s famous noodle dish is a popular choice for residents and visitors alike, and at Hakata Fuu Ryuu, you can get a tasty bowl for just 500 yen as well as free noodle refills. If your stomach is rumbling and you’re craving ramen, don’t pass this restaurant by!
Karaoke is a popular pastime in Japan, and in Tokyo, you’ll never be short of glamorous, affordable, and insanely fun karaoke parlours! Rent a private room and sing songs in Japanese, English, and other languages (depending on the establishment) including Chinese, Korean, and Tagalog. If you need to take a break from the crowds, want to spend an evening in Akihabara’s colourful district, or want to sing while you eat and drink, karaoke is a great choice.
Akihabara is one of the hottest places to get interviewed for TV! With some nice clothes, a sharp lookout near Akihabara Station, and a bit of luck, you might be able to see various TV stations interviewing foreigners for their opinions on anything from Japanese food, culture, anime, or any upcoming celebrations such as Halloween or Christmas. There’s a chance you might get on TV, so if you’re interested, hang out at the popular spots around the station and give it a try.
There are people out there who spends thousands of yen and hundreds of hours becoming the best of the best at Taiko drumming, UFO catchers, kart racing, or another arcade game. While you’re waiting to play, you may be lucky enough to see one of these experts in action! It’s amazing seeing them do seemingly impossible sequences with perfect timing only gained from hours and hours of practice. See if you can spot an expert in action!
Akihabara UDX is a fifteen-storey multipurpose building hosting restaurants, galleries, and cafes. In UDX’s car park, you can spot some coolly unique cars featuring anime characters, video game patterns, and more. You can also see some incredibly expensive or retro cars there as well. Petrol heads would love a stop here!
— AKB48カフェ＆ショップ秋葉原 (@akb48cafe) December 2, 2017
AKB48 is one of the hottest J-Pop groups and “AKB” stands for “Akihabara”! If you’re a fan of this group with catchy songs and large amount of members, don’t miss this special AKB48-themed cafe. Not only can you get cute and delicious meals and drinks, but there is a great view of on-screen converts and music videos of the band while you eat. There is also a merchandise shop for die-hard fans.
Internet cafes can be found all over Japan as places to connect to the internet, read comic books, and have soft drinks. Akihabara, of course, offers great internet cafes such as iCafe’s Akihabaraplace, which is open 24 hours and has phone chargers, a free-flowing drink bar, and even showers. It’s the perfect place to take a nap, refresh, and even stay if you missed the last train.
— K-BOOKS秋葉原本館 (@kbooks_akiba) December 8, 2017
K-Books is the place to be if you love Japanese manga comics. Browse the discount section, grab the latest of your favourite series, and start a collection of a new genre. K-Books also has merchandise such as plushie toys, action figures, and music CDs, so it’s a heaven for manga fans!
The parks in Akihabara parks might not be as large as the ones in other areas, but they’re a good place to sit with a coffee and take a breather after navigating the crowds of the popular district. Horin Park, Ochanomizu Park, and Izumi Park are all small but refreshing little getaways within walking distance of one of Tokyo’s busiest areas.
Chuo Street is the centre of Akihabara and where the best stores are located. You’ll see many colourful characters on this street, incuding otaku nerds, excited shoppers, cosplayers, and pretty maids. Take the time to people-watch and you might meet some unique people!
Hobby Tengoku is an otaku and shopper’s paradise! This three-storey store sells figurines, robot toys, original Volks items, tools and materials, and even railway models. Those who are collecting or shopping for children would adore this store. On the third floor, there is a photograph space as well as a collection of dolls.
Because it’s Akihabara, of course there is a large range of anime-related products, too! Visit Volks Hobby Tengoku for all your hobby-related needs.
Hungry but not in the mood for ramen? Go Go Curry Akihabara is a delicious alternative. Japanese curry is generally sweeter and less spicy than Indian, and feature delicious toppings such as katsu pork, katsu chicken, fried shrimp, vegetables, and even “kara-age” fried chicken.
Akihabara is also alive at night! Mogra is a nightclub that reopened in 2015 and is the hottest place to be at night. What makes Mogra special is that it is especially fun for fans of anime and video games; you’ll see a lot of cosplayers here partying and the DJ will often play remixes of video game music!
The club is opened all night so you can stay, drink, and dance until the morning train. If not, there’s always a capsule hotel or internet cafe if you need to crash. Don’t miss out on Akihabara’s exciting nightlife!
This Shinto shrine, meaning “Willow Forest Shrine,” is right next to the Kanda River and a short walk from the craziness of Akihabara. Here, you’ll see a special statue of a racoon, locally called “tanuki,” and his giant “kintama,” (testicles in Japanese). It’s a very peaceful respite with an interesting history where you can take a rest from shopping.
Mother Farm milk Bar sells refreshing and delicious ice cream sundaes that you can’t miss if you’ve got a sweet tooth! It’s the perfect treat if you’re visiting Tokyo in the summer and need cooling down. Mother Farm Milk Bar is located in Akihabara’s Atre store and offers some gorgeous flavour combinations such as chocolate and nuts, vanilla, green tea, berry and cheesecake, honey, caramel, red azuki bean, and more!
BookOff is one of the nation’s favourite stores for old and new books, textbooks, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and video games. You can get great bargains here and you can also sell your old books and games. Find your next bargain or even make some money here at Akihabara’s BookOff store.
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Tokyo is a city of businessmen, and businessmen need a place to get a sharp suit! Browse some seriously good-looking attire at Aoki and maybe grab some souvenirs such as ties for special men back home. Aoki also has items on sale for women.
If you’re staying in Japan for less than three months and you’re on a tourist visa, you’re entitled to being tax excempt at certain stores. LAOX in Akihabara is one of these places! If you take your passport with you, you can get 8% on your purchase if you spend more than 5000 yen.
Just a six-minute walk from Akihabara Station is Yushima Seido, a Confucian temple form the Edo period. It stands as an important part of Chinese influence in Japan. This pretty temple is a great respite from the crowds and is a place for reflection while you stroll and absorb the tranquility.
Comic and manga enthusiasts can’t miss out Melonbooks from their itinerary! Japan is a comic-loving country, and Melonbooks is chock full of series old and new. Give this exciting store a visit if you’re looking to expand your collection of your favourite series.
Nagano Prefecture is famous for unagi, or eel, but you can get it in Tokyo as well! Kubota offers delicious unagi dishes that are popular to eat in summer. It’s surprisingly meaty and comes with a very tasty sauce. Give it a try!
— フルーフ デゥ セゾン (@fruitsdesaison1) February 10, 2017
After your unagi meal, why not grab a delicious and fruity dessert? Fruit de Saison has impressive fruit parfait with fresh cream and fruits such as strawberries, kiwi fruit, mango, apple, and banana. Visit this charming cafe less than ten minutes on foot from Akihabara Station for a delicious fresh treat.
Tempos is the perfect place if you’re looking for Japanese bowls, plates, cups, and other kitchenware products. For those interested in Japanese cuisine and cooking, you can find equipment to make dishes such as sushi here. You can also pick up some great souvenirs for cooking enthusiasts back home.
— 株式会社アニメイト (@animateinfo) December 7, 2017
Animate is another great place to be for anime products. Hunt for your favourite anime and accessories such as keyrings, phone accessories, collectible stickers, badges, posters, and more. It’s a haven for anime lovers! Add to your collection or find the perfect souvenir for an “otaku” type.
Akihabara Crossfield consists of the UDX Building and the Akihabara Dai Building. They’re both ultra-modern buildings with shops and restaurants on the lower floors and office space and showrooms on the higher floors. It’s good if you’d like to take a break from the otaku craziness.
E-Earphones has a lot of products related to music, particularly headphones and earphones. Browse music hardware from your favourite brands and accessories or grab a souvenir for someone who uses headphones a lot with music production or gaming.
Have you seen the many “gacha-gacha” machines at various shops and stores in Tokyo? Akihabara is a great place to get these sweet little toys and figurines! Put your coins in, turn the machine, and see which pops out. Try and collect all of your favourite anime or game characters during your Japan trip! They make near litle souvenirs or ornaments.
As well as Shinto and Buddhist buildings, Japan has a few churches and cathedrals, too! This pretty building is still a place of worship for Orthodox Christians and is worth visiting if you consider yourself part of that faith.
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♡〜٩( ╹▿╹ )۶〜♡ pic.twitter.com/P48yxKxqeo
— 🏝👽NESIN/ネ申👽🏝 (@_NESIN_) December 11, 2017
At NESIN, a clothing store for women, you’ll find Harajuku-style fashion that’s crazy, cute, and unique! Shop here for clothes, shoes, and accessories that are slightly different to what you’ll find at H&M or Forever 21. You may even find something anime or video game related here! If you’re interested in Harajuku clothing and you’re in Akihabara, give this shop a visit.
— JAM AKIHABARA (@jam_akihabara) December 6, 2017
This cafe is open until late at night and is a combination of “cute” and “classy.” JAM has been open since 2004 and serves delicious meals such as pasta, salads, and pizza, as well as a variety of cute desserts. You can also get the maid experience without the crowds or over-the-top “kawaii” atmosphere you’ll find in other establishments.
This charming izakaya-style restaurant not only serves tempura, one of the nation’s favourite fried dishes, but also other pubs treats such as sausages, tamagoyaki (pan fried rolled egg), fish, yakitori and, of course, alcoholic beverages. This ia a great choice for an evening in Akihabara.
This gorgeous cafe in Akihabara is worth a visit if you want a sweet treat that’s a little special. Here, you’ll find tempting cakes, pancakes, pastries, ice cream, as well as great coffee. You can also get some savoury dishes such as curry. Take a break at Marufuku, located inside the Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Akiba.
The DoCoMo store is in Akihabara UDX and here, you can get all sorts of accessories for your phone such as covers and headphones as well as practical items such as chargers.
Ginzo Akihabara is a great place to try one of Japan’s most well-loved dishes: sushi! Grab lunch here for various kinds of sushi such as eel, salmon, ikura, and maguro tuna.
— AKIHABARAゲーマーズ本店 (@akiba_gema) December 22, 2017
Gamers is a hobby store filled with treasures such as anime goods and even voice actor goods as well! In Japan, voice actors are more glamorous than voice actors in the west, and the actors’ merchandise is almost as popular as the loved characters they portray. At Gamers, you can also get magazines, CDs, novels, and anime-based stories. This shop just screams “otaku” culture!
This jazzy cafe opened in 2007 and is decorated with themes from all over the world. There are over 50 dishes available and you’re welcome to browse the treasures collected from different countries. Visit this friendly establishment for some food and drink and to meet some awesome travellers!
The Radio Kaikan building is an easily recognisable landmark in Akihabara and is home to some of the shops mentioned above. You can spend hours browsing figurines, gachapons, audio and surveillance equipment, spare Gundam parts, manga comics, and more.
Buckwheat noodles, locally called soba, can be eaten hot or cold and is a fantastic and healthy dish. Kanda Matsuya specialises in soba and has an authentic Japanese feel to it. It’s a great place to grab a Japanese lunch that is affordable as well as delicious. Better get there early, though, as it’s a popular restaurant!
Unlike the previously mentioned internet cafe, men are welcome at Monkey-Net as well. It is open 24 hours a day and has ice cream, free wifi, iPhone and Android chargers, and there is also a small shop selling snacks. This place is perfect if you miss the last train home or urgently need to use the internet.
Marugo Tonkatsu opens in the evening and serves mouthwateringly juicy tonkatsu, which is deep-fried pork cutlet. This is another popular dish in Japan. Feast on some delicious pork cutlet as well as soup and healthy vegetables. This restaurant is just a few minutes from Akihabara Station.
— N3331 (@N3331com) November 11, 2015
How many cafes do you know where you can watch the trains go by at close proximity while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee? N3331 is a unique cafe and bar where you can do just that! A little way out of Akihabara and next to the Kanda River, and is nestled between two train tracks. Watch the local trains pass as you enjoy a hot vegerage, a light meal, a dessert, or a beer!
Fuwat is a hair salon that specialises in reflexology and hair dyeing. They do some seriously cool anime-esque har styles and colours, so head here if you’d like a look to match your trip to Akihabara!
— ツクモRobot王国 (@TSUKUMO_ROBOT) December 21, 2017
As the name suggests, this shop has everything to do with robots and computers! If you’re mad about technology and gadgets, be sure to give this exciting store a visit to pick up some parts or toys, or simply see what new items they have.
Just across the Kanda River from Akihabara is the wonderful Cafe104.5, where you can get gourmet-quality dishes, great beer and cocktails, and splendid desserts. It’s perfect if you feel like wandering away from the madness of Akihabara and would like to get a light snack or a meal before heading back to your hotel.
Right next to the station, Akky is a great place to shop. The home appliances you can buy here are especially catered to tourists, which means it’s easy for you to take them home for yourself or as souvenirs. Here, you can also get unique items that you can only get in Japan. Multilingual staff work here too, meaning you can get advice before you buy if needs be.
— 麺処 MAZERU (@mazeru_) November 8, 2011
Mazeru, which is also the Japanese word for “mix,” sells fantastic amen noodles with toppings such as beansprouts, cabbage, fried egg, and thick slices of pork. This hearty dish will warm you up on a cold day and keep you full for a long time!
Vault Coffee is a stylish cafe offering delicious iced coffee drinks, cream soda, cheese on toast, taco rice, and yummy desserts that are affordable as well as yummy. It’s a great place to relax after a long day of shopping.
— カードキングダム秋葉原駅前店 (@ck_akihabara) December 15, 2017
Card Kingdom is a place where you can get collectible cards such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and many more. Here, you can get rare finds and find people to trade with! If you or someone you know is a collector, this building is worth a visit.
Only adults can try their hand at the gambling craze in Japan: Pachinko! You’ll find these brightly coloured parlours all over the country, and they resemble Las Vegas-style slots. If you’re feeling lucky, head to Big Apple Akihabara to try your hand at winning some tokens, which can then be exchanged for prizes.
Around Akihabara, you might catch a glimpse of “yakai imo” vendors. Yaki Imo is baked sweet potatoes cooked over a wooden fire and sold as street food. This is a culinary culture that is rapidly dying out, so be sure to try and experience this delicious snack while you still can.
A night out in Tokyo is, of course, a must but without knowing the right places it can be hard to know where to go. Many visitors to Japan will find that there’s little problem finding somewhere to eat, but where are the pubs and bars? Most drinking in Japan takes place in izakayas, which are traditional Japanese drinking establishments that serve up tapas-style dishes.
If you’re struggling to work out the difference between an izakaya and somebody’s basement, maybe you need some help from someone who knows what’s going on. This private pub crawl will not only take you on handpicked tours to suit your drinking desires but also give you the chance to meet a friendly local with all the inside knowledge on Tokyo.
Booking details: Join hidden Izakaya ＆ Sake Pub Crawl Tour in Tokyo
There is no better way to appreciate the extreme contrasts of Japanese culture than by visiting two different spots in one day. After discovering the maid cafés, toy stores and robots of Akihabara, head over to the more traditional area of Kanda where you can find shrines, traditional cafés and sacred halls. If you’re there at the right time of year you can even experience the Kanda Festival which takes place at Kanda Shrine biannually in the month of May.
Booking details: Explore Akihabara and Kanda in a 2-hour tour with a local
If you want to visit Akihabara while also getting a quick overview of the rest of Tokyo, why not take a bus tour around the some of the best sights the city has to offer? Stop off at Akihabara as well as Meiji Shrine, the Imperial Palace East Garden, Asakusa Kannon Temple and even take a cruise down Sumida River. Take the hassle out of travelling around on busy trains by popping on a bus that does the hard work for you.
If you’re arriving into Haneda Airport, you can be taken straight to the Akihabara area with an airport transfer shuttle service. A feast for the eyes and inner otaku, Akihabara offers at least a day of entertainment that epitomises the unique pop culture of Japan. Whether anime’s your cup of tea or not, this wacky district is a must-see and promises a good dose of the bright and colourful high-rise buildings we love Tokyo for.