Akihabara, or just Akiba for short if you want to sound like a local, is a district in central Tokyo that is famous for its electronic shops, anime and manga stores, and otaku culture.
If you are interested in Japanese pop culture, electronics, and gaming, Akihabara offers a unique experience that is not found anywhere else in the world.
Here are 8 key takeaways to make the most of your visit to this unique destination
- Explore the world of anime and manga at stores like Animate and Mandarake.
- Visit the famous Yodobashi Camera for the latest electronics, gadgets, and games.
- Immerse yourself in Japanese gaming culture at arcades like SEGA Akihabara and Taito Station.
- Experience themed cafes like Gundam Café or Maidreamin.
- Browse through the Akihabara Radio Kaikan for collectibles, figures, and hobby items.
- Discover Akihabara’s subculture at unique shops like Super Potato for retro gaming or Cospa Gee Store for cosplay items.
- Sample authentic Japanese street food and snacks at the many eateries and food stalls in the area.
- Participate in exciting Klook activities to make your Akihabara experience unforgettable.
Recommended activities and Tours in Akihabara
- Akihabara Anime & Gaming Adventure Tour: Embark on a guided tour that takes you through Akihabara’s anime and gaming hotspots, uncovering hidden gems and immersing yourself in Japanese otaku culture.
- Akihabara Go-Kart Experience: Enjoy an exhilarating go-kart ride through the streets of Akihabara, dressed in costumes for a unique and memorable photo opportunity.
- Akihabara Electric Town & Nakano Broadway Shopping Tour: Discover the shopping wonders of Akihabara Electric Town and Nakano Broadway with a local guide, exploring the best spots for anime, manga, electronics, and more.
- Tokyo Private Custom Walking Tour: Create your personalized itinerary with a private guide, choosing to visit Akihabara and other popular Tokyo attractions as per your interests.
Whether you are an anime fan, a gamer, or just looking for a unique experience in Tokyo, this Akihabara travel guide has got you covered. From the famous electric town to the hidden gems or even a go Kart ride dressed up in cosplay, this guide will help you make the most of your visit to Akihabara.
Getting to Akihabara
Akihabara is located in central Tokyo and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some of the ways to get to Akihabara:
Akihabara Station is served by the JR Yamanote Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Sobu Line, and Tsukuba Express Line. The station is also connected to the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and the Toei Subway Shinjuku Line.
For those coming from Haneda Airport, take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station and transfer to the JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara Station. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes.
Top Things to Do in Akihabara
Here are some of the top things to do in Akihabara:
1. Visit Akihabara’s Electronics Shops
Akihabara is known as Tokyo’s “Electric Town” due to its many electronics shops. Visitors can find all kinds of electronic gadgets, from the latest smartphones to retro gaming consoles. Some of the most popular electronics shops in Akihabara include Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera.
2. Explore Anime and Manga Shops
If you’re a fan of anime and manga, Akihabara is the place to be. The area is home to many anime and manga shops, where you can find everything from figurines to DVDs. Some of the most popular anime and manga shops in Akihabara include Animate and Mandarake.
3. Experience Maid Cafes
Maid cafes are a unique aspect of Japanese culture, and Akihabara is home to many of them. These cafes are staffed by waitresses dressed in maid costumes, who serve customers and provide entertainment. Some popular maid cafes in Akihabara include Maidreamin and @Home Cafe.
4. Play Video Games
Akihabara is a gamer’s paradise, with many arcades and gaming centers. Visitors can enjoy classic arcade games, as well as the latest video game releases. Some popular gaming centers in Akihabara include Taito Station and Sega Akihabara Building 1.
5. Visit the AKB48 Theater
AKB48 is one of Japan’s most popular idol groups, and their theater is located in Akihabara. Visitors can watch live performances by the group, as well as meet-and-greet events. Tickets for performances can be purchased online or at the theater.
6. Go for a go-Kart ride
This must be one of the most ridiculously Tokyo things and an experience you won’t forget. Dress up as your favorite character (we love the minion’s outfit) and hoon around Tokyo’s anime mecca in a Go-kart. It’s safe than it sounds and a lot of fun.
Whether you’re interested in electronics, anime, or just want to experience Japanese pop culture, Akihabara is definitely worth a visit.
Best Places to Shop in Akihabara
Akihabara is known for its electronics and anime culture, making it a haven for shoppers looking for unique and interesting items. Here are some of the best places to shop in Akihabara:
Akihabara Electric Town
Akihabara Electric Town is the main shopping district in Akihabara and is where you’ll find everything from small electronics shops to large department stores. The area is known for its electronics and gadgets, including the latest in gaming, computers, and cameras. Visitors can also find anime and manga merchandise, as well as cosplay costumes and accessories.
Mandarake is a popular store in Akihabara that specializes in anime and manga merchandise. It has several locations throughout the city, but the Akihabara store is the largest and most well-known. Visitors can find a wide range of items, including rare and vintage anime and manga books, figurines, and other collectibles.
For tech-savvy travelers, Yodobashi Camera is a large electronics store in Akihabara that sells everything from cameras and computers to home appliances and musical instruments. It’s a great place to find the latest gadgets and electronics, and visitors can also find anime and manga merchandise on the upper floors.
Animate is a popular anime and manga store in Akihabara that sells a wide range of merchandise, including books, DVDs, and figurines. The store also has a large selection of cosplay costumes and accessories, making it a popular destination for fans of anime and manga culture.
It’s said to be one of the best places to find anime and manga merchandise in Akihabara.
Where to Eat in Akihabara
When it comes to food, Akihabara offers a wide range of options to suit any budget and taste. From traditional Japanese street food to trendy cafes, there is something for everyone. Here are a few recommended places to eat in Akihabara:
- Tsukumo Ramen: This popular ramen shop is known for its rich and flavorful broth and generous portions. It’s a great place to warm up on a chilly day.
- Maidreamin: This unique cafe is staffed by “maid” waitresses who dress in frilly costumes and perform songs and dances for customers. The food is cute and Instagram-worthy, with dishes like heart-shaped pancakes and colorful drinks.
- Ganso Zushi: This sushi restaurant is a favorite among locals for its fresh, high-quality fish and affordable prices. It’s a great spot for a quick lunch or dinner.
Nightlife in Akihabara
When it comes to nightlife, Akihabara has a lot to offer. The neighborhood is known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant entertainment options. Here are some of the best places to visit when exploring Akihabara’s nightlife:
- Club Galaxy: This popular club is known for its energetic atmosphere and lively music. It’s a great place to dance the night away with friends.
- Club Seventh Heaven: Another popular club in Akihabara, Club Seventh Heaven is known for its impressive sound system and talented DJs.
- Club Chimera: This club is known for its unique atmosphere and impressive light show. It’s a great place to experience a different side of Akihabara’s nightlife.
In addition to clubs, Akihabara also has a variety of bars and pubs to choose from. Here are some of the best places to grab a drink:
- Bar Sekirei: This cozy bar is known for its impressive selection of sake and friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring Akihabara.
- Bar Rhythm: This trendy bar is known for its unique cocktails and stylish decor. It’s a great place to catch up with friends over a drink.
- Bar Time: This popular bar is known for its impressive selection of craft beers and friendly staff. It’s a great place to try something new and meet new people.
Accommodation Options in Akihabara
The vibrant hub of Japanese pop culture and electronics, offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Here are our top 5 picks, featuring a mix of budget-friendly and luxury stays, each with unique and notable features.
- Remm Akihabara (Mid-range)
- 1-minute walk from Akihabara Station
- Stylish, contemporary rooms
- Massage chairs in selected rooms
- Japanese and Western-style buffet breakfast
- Hotel Resol Akihabara (Budget-friendly)
- 4-minute walk from Akihabara Station
- Well-appointed, cozy rooms
- Complimentary Japanese and Western buffet breakfast
- Perfect base for exploring Akihabara
- Dormy Inn Akihabara (Budget-friendly)
- 3-minute walk from JR Akihabara Station
- Comfortable rooms with modern amenities
- On-site public bath with natural hot spring water
- Complimentary Japanese and Western breakfast buffet
- Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (Luxury)
- Panoramic views of Tokyo skyline
- Award-winning spa and wellness facilities
- Michelin-starred dining options
- Elegant and spacious rooms with luxurious amenities
- Hoshinoya Tokyo (Luxury)
- Authentic Japanese ryokan experience in the heart of Tokyo
- Traditional tatami rooms with futons
- Exquisite kaiseki meals
- Indoor hot spring bath (onsen) and rooftop garden
The Sum Up
Visiting Akihabara is a must-do activity for anyone interested in anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture. This bustling district in Tokyo is home to countless shops, restaurants, and attractions that cater to otaku and non-otaku alike.
During your visit, make sure to check out some of the top attractions, such as the Gundam Cafe, the Akihabara Radio Kaikan, and the Yodobashi Camera store. You can also explore the side streets and alleys to discover hidden gems, such as small shops selling rare figurines or vintage video games.
When it comes to dining, Akihabara has plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets. From traditional Japanese restaurants to trendy cafes and fast food joints, you can find something to satisfy your cravings. Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and matcha-flavored desserts.