Akihabara is a neighborhood in central Tokyo famous for its stores, cafes, and general orientation around anime and gaming lovers. Those who are big fans of Otaku culture visit this area, to really indulge themselves and also have a true tourist experience.
If you’re thinking of visiting the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo, then you’ll want to be able to fill your time with fun experiences.
This article will let you in on the best things to do on your next visit to Akihabara, so you can truly immerse yourself in Japanese popular culture.
Yodobashi Camera is located right in front of Akihabara Station, so you won’t be far to go when you arrive in the area.
Yodobashi Camera is one of the best department stores for gadgets in Japan and boasts over 9 stories of electronics, cosmetics, toys, and luxury brands.
You’ll need to spend a few hours to make sure you get around everything properly and if you need to even take a break, there’s a food court above the main store where you can take a breather.
Not many people can say they’ve spent the afternoon sitting amongst over a dozen owls in the middle of a major city, but now you can!
The Akiba Fukurou animal cafe allows you to interact, hold and have photo sessions with over 20 owls for 2,000 yen ($20).
Notably, the cafe doesn’t serve any food at all and is more so a The cafe is a little hard to find from the street so Google Maps is recommended and to avoid disappointment, you should book in advance as it is very popular amongst tourists.
If you’re looking to nab yourself some goodies to remember your trip to Akihabara, or looking to find some Japanese souvenirs to give to your closest friends when you return, then the discounted store Don Quijote should be on your list of go-to places.
You’ll find everything you could possibly need in this store, as well as a theater that puts on daily performances of the pop girl group AKB48. From sheet masks to matcha kit-kat bars, you’ll find yourself coming out of the store with bags full of stuff you didn’t even know you needed.
The Akihabara store is open 24 hours a day and also offers take-out sushi for those who are passing through.
If you’re after a unique way to see the area, then dressing up in costumes and driving around in a go-kart sure seems about the right way to do it.
Street Kart Akihabara offers guests the chance to explore the city of Tokyo. You even get to record yourself and your party having the best time on the streets and also enjoy your favorite music through the Bluetooth speakers as you drive amongst the locals of Tokyo. You will need to hold a full driver’s license to be able to take part in the activity.
The experience is a must-do if you’re visiting Tokyo and looking to have a fun-filled tour of one of the most populated cities in the world.
Looking to bring out your inner nerd? Then a trip to Super Potato will sure make you feel nostalgic. Super Potato is a chain of retro game stores in Japan, with its flagship store in Akihabara and specializes in retro gaming consoles and games.
The store boasts an impressive library of retro and classic games from every system ever produced and also has a retro gaming arcade where you can play to your heart's content.
The shop is quite hard to find as it starts on the third floor of another building, so make sure you plan ahead so you don’t waste too much of your trip trying to find it.
Maid cafes are a culture that originated in Akihabara and is very popular amongst tourists. Visitors are greeted by women wearing cute maid outfits and are treated like kings and queens whilst they eat and drink in the restaurant.
The maids engage delightedly in conversation with guests and provide attentive service with a ‘moe’ smile (moe is a Japanese term for cuteness or infatuation).
@Home Cafe is one of the most popular maid cafes, and they also offer English-speaking maids. Maidreamin is another hugely popular maid cafe in Japan and has 7 in just the Akihabara area, the establishment is very entertaining and suitable for all the family.
The Kanda Myojin Shrines dates back over 1,000 years and is a change of scenery from all the busy streets and bright lights of the Akihabara neighborhood.
The shrine is a right of passage for technophiles who visit Japan and especially Akihabara. The Shrine has links to popular culture and is visited by anime and Japanese fiction fans from across the world every year.
Many locals also take it upon themselves to visit the shrine to pay for good fortune and health. Admission is free to the grounds of the shrine but the area can get very busy in the summer months so arriving early in the day would be advised.
Pay a visit to the world’s largest anime and manga store - Mandarake. The store is full of hidden pre-owned treasures which span across 5 floors and have everything from toys, books to DVDs.
If you’re an anime or manga collector then this place will be like opening heaven's doors as you’ll only be able to find the rarest of collectible items in Mandarake.
Right next to Akihabara station you find, the Gundam Cafe which is based on the hugely popular anime series. If you’re huge fans of the pop-culture phenomenon, then you’ll spend half your time looking around like a kid in a candy store.
The cafe has a themed menu that serves coffee, meals, and even alcohol during the evening. The food is nothing to cry home about, but if you’re a big Gundam fan then you’ll be amazing at the creative cuisines that the cafe has come up with continuously.
There is also a gift shop next door where you can pick up some cool merchandise to take home. The restaurant can get very busy on weekends and school holidays, so maybe try visiting during the week to make sure you can grab a table.