For Anime and manga lovers and computer geeks(We call them Otaku in Japanese),Akihabara is like a heaven.
The area is full of Japanese electronics, anime, and manga products.
I grew up in Tokyo but even now I still feel that I’m on a different planet in Akihabara area. It is that unique!
The lively music and lightings never stop all day, all night.
Tall buildings with colorful ads of so many anime characters welcome you right after exiting the station.
You can’t really see/experience everything there within a few days but here are 4 major place that you don’t want to miss in the area!
1.Maid Café (and other uniqueCafés)
Akihabara has many interesting (and very weird if you do not anything about our culture!) cafes that will surely make your visit memorable.Among them, maid café(a cosplay restaurant) is widely known even to a lot of foreigners.At the café, maid girls act as servants and serve customers as masters.Food and beverages are decorated with cute designs on the table.You will see some young girls dressed up and handing out coupons/flyers of their café on many streets of Akihabara.Note that they are just entertainers and maid cafe is not a place to hook up.Also, in most maid cafes, taking pictures of maids or interior is forbidden.Please pay respect to maids there.
Hours: 11:30 to 23:00(Mon to Fri)
10:30 to 23:00(Sat, Sun, and holiday)
Hours: 11:00 to 22:00
Gundam café is another popular café in the area.Gundam(giant robot, or mobile suit) is one of the most popular Si-Fi anime in Japan.Gundam café is an anime café for giant robot fans, and the interior and the design of menu are based on the characters/robots of the anime. Even if you don’t know about the anime, it is a good place to visit to enjoy the atmosphere.
Hours: 10:00 to 22:30
There’s also AKB48 café. If you like Japanese idols, it is a nice café to stop by.
Though taking pictures is not allowed inside, you can enjoy colorful items and sweets. Stationery and other items are on sale as souvenirs.
Hours:10:00 to 22:00 (Sun to Thu)
10:00 to 23:00 (Fri and Sat)
There are a lot of anime shops in Akihabara as well as figure shops, video game stores, and arcade centers. In fact, it is so full of them that I can’t even tell how many there are…!You can find your favorite anime character goods and costumes for cosplay by just walking around, but here are some of the most popular places.
Open: 10:00 to 21:00
Open: 11:00 to 20:00
Tokyo Anime Center in DNP plaza
Open: 11:00 to 20:00 (Closed on Tue)
Akihabara has varieties of electronics stores from a big store like Yodobashi Camera(it has as 9 floors and each floor has full of latest gadgets, it is near the station) to small shops that sell niche products for computers.It is very easy to find good electronics there, and I would say there’s nothing you can’t find to build or customize your computers.Do you need a different type of LED light? They have it.Are you looking for a crazy colored buttons for a controller? They have it.Here are most visited electronics areas
Hours: 9:30 to 22:00
4.Kanda Myojin shrine
It is a shrine located about 5 min walk away from Akihabara.Even a traditional shrine like this one has Otaku influence inside.You can buy good luck charm(Omamori) for IT workers.Most Omamoris that you can get at a shrine are made to protect the holder from having bad lucks, but this one is believed to protect the holder’s computer from virus attacks.You will also find a lot of anime/video game characters on Emas, wooden plates where people normally write wishes. It is also a popular spot as a place that was featured in the anime called “Love Live!”
Kanda Myojin shrine
（Open 24 hours）
If you like anime, manga, or electronics, Akihabara is a must-visit place.
Even if you are not too crazy about those things, you can still enjoy watching Otaku guys and cosplay girls in the area.
I remember going to a maid café with the bass player of my band a long time ago.
It was quite an interesting experience to be said “Welcome home, master!” and watch them dance and sing. My country really is a strange island!
From Shibuya:Take JR Yamanote Line Bound for Shinagawa, Tokyo
From Tokyo: Take JR Yamanote Line Bound for Ueno, Ikebukuro
Where’s a strange/interesting spot in your country?
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