Akihabara is a mecca for all those who adore and love anime; a haven for the nerds and otakus who can come and celebrate their beloved anime characters without judgment. Akihabara’s skyline is mega buildings shining with digital billboards and 3 story high anime girl murals. This is the place you come to make all your anime dreams come true!
But where do you start?! There are so many stores and buildings; a rabbit warren of posters, figures and body pillows. I’ve narrowed down the 10 Must Visit Places in Akihabara for Anime Lovers which are a mixture of anime cafes and the best places to go shopping.
#1 – Square Enix Cafe
Address: Japan, 〒101-0028 Tokyo, 千代田区Kanda Hanaokacho, 1−1 ヨドバシAkiba
Square Enix is one of the most famous Japanese video game companies, best know for creating Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts. They have opened three cafes (Akihabara, Osaka, and Shanghai), all specialising in the latest game that month. When we visited all the food and drinks were Nier Automata themed, along with posters and videos playing cut sequences of the game.
We decided to visit because we wanted a chance to experience the hype around a video game themed cafe and boy is
Tip: Reservations fill out from early morning. I would recommend getting your reservation the day before or first thing in the morning to secure a spot.
We secured a reservation for 5 pm but by then most of the specialised themed food had sold out for the day.
#2 – Gamers
Address: Japan, 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 1 Chome−14−７ 宝田ビル
1F – New books, photos, magazines and merchandise
2F – Books and Manga
3F – Anime Figures and Trading Cards
4F – CDs, Blurays, DVDs and Video Games (be warned a section has adult content)
5F – Voice Actor Related CDs, DVDs, Magazines and Special Event Space
6F – Event Floor (only open when an event is on)
7F – Exhibition space for pop up shop
Address: 4 Chome-3-２ Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan
Animate is one of my favourite stores to go anime shopping purely because they have a second hand figure section. The more stores you go in you will realise how expensive a brand new figure will cost (usually starting from $100). I had a set of figures in mind that I wanted and found all of them at Animate in the second hand section.
These figures are usually heavily discounted because the box has been opened or has a dent. I bought my set of K-ON figures totally to $150AUD which I absolutely adore.
#4 – Akiba Cultures Zone
Address: 1 Chome-7-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan
Akiba Cultures Zone is the name of the building that hosts many different anime stores over 6 levels. You could probably spend an entire day in this building alone as there is so much variety. I find the best approach with a place like this is to know what you’re looking for before going in, as most cases group the same animes together.
This is what you will find in Akiba Culture Zones:
B1: Akiba Cultures Theater – A cinema that features new anime and idol videos
1F: Lashinbang – Moe anime figures
2F: Lashinbang – Blurays, DVDs, CDs and Cosplays
3F: Robot Robot – 2nd hand Japanese and Western anime figures
3F: TRIO – J Pop and Idol CDs and Merchandise
3F: Habibolo Toy – Anime Figures (usually sets) and Gachapon
3F: Spin Gear – Yo-yo Speciality Shop
3F: One Up – Vintage anime and video game figures
4F: Astop – 2nd Hand Figures and Trading Cards
4F: Kaizokuou – Trading card shop
4F: Phantom – A random military goods and camping shop
4F: Ganking – Anime figures and merchandise
5F: Good Smile x Animate Cafe – a collaboration anime themed cafe
5F: Acos – Cosplay store
6F: Akihabara Backstage Pass – An Idol themed restaurant
#5 – Akihabara Radio Kaikan
Address: 1 Chome-15-16 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0021, Japan
Akihabara Radio Kaikan is essentially a shopping mall for nerds. This mega complex has 32 stores for you to visit and I’m pretty sure you will be broke by the end. This place has convenience stores, a bar, hobby shops, book stores, manga stores, electronics, doll stores and event space for signings. All I can say is shop ’til you drop!
#6 – Sofmap
Sofmap Akiba #1 – Japan, 〒101-0021 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda, 3 Chome−13, １２IMYビル
Sofmap Amusement – Japan, 〒101-0021 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda, １丁目10−8 平岡ビル
Sofmap is fundamentally an electronics store and is a part of the BIC Camera chain. I wanted to put Sofmap on here because they usually have a level or 2 dedicated to pop culture merchandise and anime figures. I’ve been able to snap up some really good bargains in here.
Sofmap has 4 stores in Akihabara but I’ve listed the two that will definitely have the stuff you are looking for.
#7 – Super Potato
Address: Japan, 〒101-0021 Tokyo, 千代田区外神田１丁目１１−２
When you walk through the doors at Super Potato you will be instantly transported to your childhood. This is an oasis of retro dreams and I dare you to try and walk out without buying a plushie Yoshi!
Super Potato is a great place to buy anything Mario, Kirby, Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Sonic, Zelda, and Street Fighter related. I was amazed that they still had Pokemon Yellow for Gameboy in its original packaging.
Be warned most of the video games they are selling will only be in Japanese.
#8 – Ami Ami
Address: Japan, 〒101-0021 Tokyo, 千代田区 外神田１丁目１１−５スーパービル3F・4F
Ami Ami is a character and hobby shop that has thousands and thousands of figures to choose from. They have official partnerships with a lot of brands so they are able to bring limited and exclusive items to their customers. Best of all they are a huge reseller of 2nd hand anime figures so you can snap up a bargain!
# 9 –
Address: ３丁目-12-11 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0021, Japan
Mandarake is the colossal, black monolithic building situated in the hub of Akihabara. When you see this place you feel like you’ve been transported to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Mandarakeis officially the largest anime shop in the entire world!
They have 8 floors of merchandise which are densely packed in and overwhelming for the eyes. My boyfriend really enjoyed this store because it had a bit of a more masculine feel (no cutesy posters on the wall etc). He was pretty happy when he found Metal Gear Solid and Halo figures for around $100 each.
#10 – Liberty Kaitori
Address: ４丁目-7-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0021, Japan
Liberty Kaitori is a small second-hand anime figure shop. Items are discounted and grouped together in plastic bags, and are great for items like Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z characters. The shop is good if you need a break from the mega-complexes that line Akihabara.
Do you love anime and want more ideas for your holiday to Japan?
- The Ultimate Guide to Anime Shopping in Den Den Town, Osaka
- Step by Step Guide: How to Make A Reservation at Animate Cafe in Japan
- The Anime Lover’s Guide to Studio Ghibli Museum
- Visiting the Attack on Titan Pop Up Cafe in Tokyo