Tokyo is a huge metropolis. This ancient yet modern city will always be bewildering to me. Every part of Tokyo has its own identity so I figured I would tell you a little bit (or a lot) about each and every one of them, and today, we’re taking about the best things to do in Akihabara!
Before to read these tips, let’s discover Akihabara with this night walk video:
How to get there?
In east Tokyo, Akihabara is located between the Ueno and Tokyo stations. It is easily accessible via the Yamanote railway loop line so you will find you way there in no time. If shopping is what you can’t wait to do in Akihabara, I recommend you do it in the morning even though the area is also very enjoyable to visit during night time. By the way, to move around Tokyo, try using the website Hyperdia or download the Hyperdia App, just a quick tip to make everything easier for you.
Akihabara Capsule Hotel
If you’re looking for a typical Tokyo experience, try spending the night at this exceptionally futuristic capsule hotel in Akihabara. If you are a bit claustrophobic though, you should stay away from these, otherwise they’re pretty nice and comfortable. This hotel has rather big capsules and will even grant you access to a great Japanese bath.
Anime Shops in Akihabara, an Otaku Paradise
What’s an otaku you say? It literally designates people who tend to be a tiny bit obsessed with a particular hobby. Nowadays it is inaccurately used to refer to manga and anime fans or Japanese idol fans and I admit I can be a bit of an otaku sometimes. #OtakuAndProud 😀
If you recognize the otaku in you, Akihabara is the place to be! Doesn’t matter what anime you’re into, you’ll find countless figurines, posters and by-products of the anime world.
Being a huge fan of One Piece, I can’t tell you how I felt when I found myself surrounded by endless shelves dedicated to that series. And you’ll certainly find aisles dedicated to Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, Death Note and so on! If you’re looking for products taken straight out of your favorite anime shows, Mandarake Akihabara is one of the most well-known shops for that.
Akihabara is also the ideal place to meet people who share the same passion for manga and anime. If you happen to be a mecha fan, don’t miss out on Gundam Cafe!
You’ll be glad to hear that prices are generally reasonable. I’m not saying everything is cheap, I’m saying it’s certainly cheaper than Europe and US for example.
Eorzea Cafe is another famous coffee shop in Akihabara specially among Final Fantasy fans. And because of its popularity, you will have to reserve your place before to go to visit it: Eorzea Cafe Booking.
Akihabara Electronics District
Akihabara is also known for being a high tech center. From miscellaneous gadgets to the latest smartphones, cameras, tablets or TVs, you’ll find absolutely everything. To be honest, I wasn’t that much impressed with that part of Akihabara because the latest high tech gadgets are now available practically everywhere. Not to mention that they tend to be more expensive in Akihabara so it’s not like you’ll be missing out on any particularly good deals.
What’s great though are the retro-gaming stores in Akihabara. If you’re new to retro-gaming, essentially, it refers to the very first games released on consoles like NES, Gameboy, Sega Mega Drive and Playstation 1. The most famous would be Tetris, Pacman, Sonic, Super Mario, Street Fighter and the like. In Akihabara, there’s this store called Super Potato that sells those consoles and those kind of games.
It’s a little bit hard to find though. It’s not very far from Yodobashi but if you’re struggling to find it, just look it up on Google Maps. There should be free wi-fi somewhere just around the corner. If you don’t want to get lost looking for the store, here’s how you should be able to get there:
Akihabara Maid Cafe – The Kawaii Side of the town
No need to look for maid cafés in Akihabara, they’ll come find you. Everywhere you go, nice-looking young ladies in sexy cosplay outfits will approach you to invite you to a maid café. Let’s not keep this a secret for too long, a maid café, as its name suggests, is a café like other cafés, only you get to be waited on by scantily clad waitresses who call you Master or Sir. Some maid cafés do have private rooms but let’s be clear, customers are not allowed to get their hands anywhere near the maids.
And if you are really into Japanese Maids, you can even book a Maid guide in order to visit Akihabara. She will help you to find the places you want to visit and the figures or video games you are looking for. You can book your Private Akihabara Maid here.
More info about the Maid Cafe experience here: Maid Cafe Tokyo.
Kanda Myojin Shrine, where tradition and high-tech meet
Don’t forget to visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine, 10 minutes away from Chuo Dori, Akihabara’s main street (Google maps Link here).There’s a popular manga called Love Live! that is set in that temple. Inside, you’ll find many references to other manga series as well; that’s what makes the originality of this temple. Even the wooden boards on which people write down their wishes are filled with manga representations.
Since it’s situated in Tokyo’s high-tech district, the Kanda Myojin shrine attracts more and more people from the high tech world. You’d be surprised to see how many CEOs go there to pray before a new product launch for example, to sort of bring fortune and success onto their business.
This pretty much summarizes Tokyo’s strength; it’s all about the ability of tradition and modernity to coexist. Unlike our modern Western societies where modernism is automatically considered to be a threat to our history, the Japanese people tends to be more attracted to and convinced about the idea that those two aspects of our lives can and should be complementary, and I truly believe that they are setting an example to follow here.
That’s all I have to tell you about Akihabara for now! If you have any questions about this district, don’t hesitate to write me a comment below, I’ll definitely answer it as soon as possible. Also share this article with your friends if you liked it, just to make sure nobody visits Tokyo without taking a stroll in Akihabara!
Let me remind you that you can always follow me on social media for more articles and pictures of my adventures in Asia and more tips on how to have memorable trips: Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.
Talk to you all very soon,