When people think of anime shopping in Japan they immediately think of Akihabara in Tokyo. Akihabara is the largest and most famous in Japan, but Den Den Town in Osaka rivals it. Den Den Town is located in Nipponbashi in Osaka and is known for its stores full of electronics, video game arcades and tons of anime merchandise. It has everything you want and more, minus the huge crowds! When I went anime shopping in Den Den Town I ended up getting some of the best deals of the whole trip and had to send boxes of figures and merchandise back home. The reasons I love anime shopping here are because:
- 2nd hand and discounted anime merchandise stores
- Easy to navigate area with no large crowds
- Shops are smaller, focusing on niche anime
Are you as big of an anime fan as I am? Then anime shopping in Japan is an essential part of your trip. My Ultimate Guide to Anime Shopping in Den Den Town, Osaka will provide you with the perfect itinerary and budget to satisfy all your anime needs!
Buying anime figures and merchandise is going to vary between each person and what they want to buy, but I thought I would give you a basic guide of how much you should save and bring with you shopping.
One of the first things I did before we visited was that I wrote down a list of the animes and figures I would like to buy when I’m in Japan. My heart had been set on getting the complete K-ON! Figure Set which I had seen on eBay retail for around $350AUD/30,500 Yen. This gave me a guideline for pricing and I knew that I should aim for lower than 30,500 yen. I recommend researching the prices for figures that you would like on eBay or online.
If you don’t have an exact figure or set in mind and want to browse once you’re there then this a good budget:
- Train ticket to Namba Station – 210 Yen
- Arcade Games – 2000 yen
- 2 x Large Anime Figures (2nd hand) – 6000 yen
- 3 x Small Anime Figures – 6000 yen
- Anime Tshirt – 2500 Yen
- Gachapon – 500 Yen
- Anime Poster – 1800 Yen
Total = 19,010 Yen/ $222AUD
Below is the map for you to use to navigate your way around Den Den Town. I will go into more detail of each store below.
Starting Point – Destination A: Namba Subway Station
or Destination B: Namba Train Station
Japan is really great at confusing travellers especially when they have 6 of the same station! I’ve only put in two because these two are the most likely you will use. If you are using the Midosuji Line, Sen-Nichimae Line or Yotsubashi Line you will get off at the Namba Subway Station which is Destination A. Stay in the underground walkway and go towards Destination B: Namba Train Station. It’s about 10 to 15-minute walk in the underground. There should be signs showing the direction to Nipponbashi/Den Den Town or alternatively follow the large crowd. If you took the Nankai Line, Nankai-Koya Line or Nankai Limited Express line then you will come out at Destination B.
Destination C: Taito Game Station
Let’s start your day off right at Taito Station, a huge arcade game complex with your favourite video games, prize games, virtual games, photo booths and anime merchandise. You can use your Suica card to pay for the games, or alternatively get all your coins out! This Taito Station is over 4 levels so there is something for everyone.
Destination D: Gee Store
Look for the store that has the cosplay window display because it’s time to start shopping! Gee Store is a great place for getting t-shirts, key rings, bags, posters, dolls and cosplay of the most popular anime. The store is set up in different sections for each anime so it’s easy to browse and find your favourite. When we visited they had merchandise for Love Live!, Yuri on Ice, Attack on Titan, K-On, Detective Conan, Fate/Zero and Haikyuu!. From this store I ended up buying a K-On Azuya t-shirt, a New Game Wall hanger and my partner got the coolest Attack on Titan shirt. The prices are on the higher end but the quality of the t-shirts and merchandise makes it worth it. If you want to see what kind of merchandise they sell inside the store click here.
Destination E: Yellow Submarine
The Yellow Submarine store is super easy to spot as it’s giant, yellow and has a submarine on it! This is a hobby based store and will have heaps of board games, trading cards and miniature figures.
Destination F: Sofmap Namba
Let’s head over to Sofmap (Giga Store) where you will find over 7 levels of anime figures, manga, cosplay, movies and arcades. The Sofmap on the corner is all electronics, the one you after is Sofmap (Giga Store). You will find some really great deals in here so make sure you have a thorough look through. When you are on the anime figure level, look for the section in yellow that says ‘2nd Hand’. These anime figures will have a big discount because either the box is damaged or a small part is missing. I bought two K-ON! figures from here for half price because the box had the tiniest dent. Sofmap has a huge collection of Gundam Robots and Love Live figures.
Warning: One of the levels has hentai and porn DVDs/manga/ figures. If you are with small children I would advise skipping this level. If you’re an adult have fun browsing and having a giggle!
Destination G: Torejaras
Go next door to Torejaras to snag yourself some bargain second-hand figures. Before you walk into the shop you will see they have tons of gachapon (capsules with toys inside), I was so excited because they had one for this obscure anime that I thought only my friend and I watched (it’s called Flying Witch if you’re interested!) They made for some cute presents which I took back home and gave to my friend. Torejaras has a really cheap section of unboxed figures from Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Monster Hunter, One Piece and Full Metal Alchemist. My two favourite figures I saw in the shop was Hestia from Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and Rin from Free!.
Destination H: Super Potato
Prepare to go back in time when you step in Super Potato, the legendary retro paradise. We were amazed by how many Atari, Nintendo, PlayStation and Sega consoles and games were in perfect condition. This place is heaven for nostalgia, especially when I saw the Gameboy Colours! Just remember most of the games are in Japanese but feel free to ask staff for English games. Please check the power outlet for the consoles as they might not be compatible with your country.
Destination I: Animate
Animate is a chain store that can be found all across Japan, with each store varying in size and goods. Animate in Den Den Town, is over 4 levels with figures, anime, collectables and manga. They mostly stock anime with the biggest fandom, with newer anime only have a small merchandise range like keyrings, face towels and stickers. When we visited they had endless Yuri On Ice merchandise! I picked up a couple of Yuri On Ice items and my partner got some small merch for Seven Deadly Sins.
Across the road from Animate Store is their Animate Cafe, a monthly changing cafe themed around the newest anime. Before you go on your trip check the Animate Cafe website to see what theme they will have for that month. If you want to visit then read my Step by Step Guide on How to Make a Reservation at the Animate Cafe.
After reading my guide are you Ready to go shopping? I want to hear from you and what anime merchandise you would like to buy!
If you are planning a trip to Osaka and looking for some inspiration, have you read my 10 Reasons Why I Love Osaka?