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The 10 Best Things to Do in Akihabara

Planning a trip to Akihabara, Tokyo? Here are our picks for the best 10 things to do in Japan’s otaku and pop-culture capital.

By 5 min read

When you’re in Tokyo, don’t miss the chance to explore the heartland of otaku culture. Head straight to Akihabara, the “Electric Town” and center of all things anime, manga and game-related.

While synonymous with Japanese pop culture these days, Akihabara’s roots lie in the electronics black market after World War Two. This fast-growing district became a computer parts paradise by the 1980s, and from there, manga, anime and game shops flourished. From maid cafes to classic video games, there is no better place in Japan to meet your otaku needs. 

So, whether you’re spending the day in Akiba Town or a weekend, here’s a list of the top 10 best things to do in Akihabara.

1. Super Potato 

Photo:
A gamer’s nostalgia wonderland.

If you’re a fan of vintage video games, make a pilgrimage to Super Potato a priority. Thanks to vintage old posters, commercials and merchandise, Super Potato feels like a pop-culture museum. 

Covering three floors, this second-hand shop has thousands of classic and rare titles spanning the history of video games. While you’ll need a Japanese game console to play Japanese games, Super Potato has plenty of game systems for sale. Don’t forget to head to the top floor and pop in ¥100 to play a vintage arcade game.   

Address: 3F-5F Kitabayashi Building, 11-2, Sotokanda 1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

2. Chabara Aki-Oka Marche

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The Chabara Aki-Oka Marche front.

Foodies looking for souvenirs or to spice up their home cooking should check out Chabara Aki-Oka. This grocery store prioritizes the relationship between producers and customers and highlights the regional diversity of Japan’s food culture. 

Aisles stock over 6,000 products arranged by prefectures and regions, including Kyushu, Tohoku and more. Pick up some matcha from Shizuoka, mentaiko (spiced cod roe) from Fukuoka and ponzu (citrus-based sauce) from Oita, all under one roof. For a quick break, grab a seat at the vegetarian restaurant and a coffee from the local roaster. 

8-2 Kanda Neribe-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

3. Akihabara UDX

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Also home to the GaijinPot Expo!

Directly facing JR Akihabara Station, Akihabara UDX is a 22-floor event and conference center. With multiple floors of restaurants and cafes, known as Akiba Ichi, it is one of the best places to grab a bite in Akiba.

Feeling like Italian food? Chiocciol Pizzaria (1F) has authentic stone-baked pizzas and killer antipasto. Hoping for a Japanese feast? You can’t miss Tempura Hisago, founded in Tokyo in Taisho 7 (1918). UDX also hosts seasonal events in Akihabara, like a summer matsuri (festival), illuminations in the winter and other themed fairs throughout the year. 

Address: 4-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

4. MAAch ecute Kanda Manseibashi

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A repurposed station looks pretty stylish.

Repurposing the Chuo Line’s Manseibashi station, which ceased operation in 1943, this hip shopping mall is a window into the history of the Kanda-Akihabara-Ochanomizu area. After the station’s shuttering in the 1940s, this site operated as a railway museum. 

The MAAch ecute mall cleverly incorporates the old station’s distinctive red brick architecture and original staircases to bring a cool industrial feel to your shopping experience. Don’t miss a stroll along the open deck, a well-maintained platform above the Kanda River offering stellar vistas. If you need a cafe break, head to the observation deck on the old Manseibashi platform, where you can watch trains zoom by as you relax in a chic space. 

25-4, Kandasudacho 1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

5. Animate 

 

With over a hundred stores nationwide, Animate is Japan’s largest seller of video games, manga and anime. Revamped in 2022, the Akihabara branch is actually two buildings side-by-side. Building No. 1 is seven floors plus a basement and features goods from today’s most popular manga and anime series. The top floor features an event space for autograph signings and fan events. 

Next door, Building No. 2 is dedicated to print materials such as manga, light novels, magazines and art books. Also, each building has floors reserved for media, typically aimed at men and women respectively.  

4-3-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo - Map

6. M’s Pop Life (Adult Department Store)  

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It’s definitely an experience.

One of the largest sex shops in Japan, this seven-floor department store is stocked with a wide range of products to entertain, educate and surprise shoppers. Each floor of the store features different goods, ranging from adult DVDs, self-pleasure tools, kinky costumes, lingerie, condoms and much more. Even if you are not personally interested in the merchandise, you can find something unique to make a memorable present or souvenir.

Taiheido Building (B1F-6F), Sotokanda 1-15-13, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

7. Mandarake Complex

Founded in 1980 in Tokyo’s other otaku hub, Nakano Broadway, Mandarake is a second-hand shop specializing in manga, anime and related pop culture merchandise. The Akihabara branch is eight stories and is organized thematically. The first few floors house many comics, cosplay costumes and accessories. But, if video games and toys are your obsession, head to the top levels to find your heaven. Whether you’re looking for some popular titles or just want to browse for rarities, you’ll have lots to enjoy at Mandarake. 

3-11-12 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo - Map

8. Yodobashi Akiba Store

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You might get lost.

For all your electronic needs, Yodobashi Camera is a large electronics store that sells various products such as cameras, computers, video games, home appliances, toys, even bicycles and more. The store features nine floors, with the 1st through 6th floors dedicated to consumer goods, while the 7th floor focuses on casual fashion, shoes, bags and accessories stores. 

The 8th floor has one of the largest gourmet floors in the Akihabara area, with 30 restaurants ranging from ramen to hot pots and Indian curry. Finally, the top floor has a batting center and driving range where baseball fans and golfers can practice their swings. 

1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

9. Videogame Bars and Themed Cafes

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Relax and unwind with fellow gamers.

While maid cafes get the most attention with their costumes and service, there’s plenty more to explore in Akihabara’s themed cafe landscape. Tokyo Video Gamers is an izakaya specifically for gamers. Meanwhile, Game Bar A-Button is the kind of place gamers can kick a few back surrounded by retro gaming decor.

If you’re into the Final Fantasy franchise, pop into Eorzea Cafe for food and drink emblazoned with your favorite character designs. Railway fanatics should grab a train bench at Little TGV and enjoy one of their train-inspired dishes. 

Tokyo Video Gamers

1-9 Seekbase 13-1, Kanda Neribeicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map
Game Bar A-Button

1−13−9, Taito, Taito-ku Tokyo - Map
Eorzea Cafe

Address: Pasela Resorts AKIBA Multi Entertainment 2F, 1-10 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map
Little TGV

Isamiya No.3 Building 4F, 3-10-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map

10. Kanda Myojin Shrine

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Kanda Myojin Shrine Akihabara

Originally built over 1,300 years ago in Otemachi, Kanda Myojin Shrine moved to its current location in the 1600s. One of the city’s most important shrines, it also hosts one of Japan’s largest festivals every odd-numbered year in mid-May. Over 200 portable Shinto shrines and hundreds of performers and floats turn out to celebrate the deities enshrined at Kanda Myojin. 

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A shrine for the otaku.

Because it is close to Akihabara, this shrine became associated with electronics and otaku culture as the area began to boom in the 1980s. Buy omamori (protective charms) to ward off computer viruses and attend pop culture fan events yearly. 

2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda 101-0021, Tokyo - Map
Where are your go-tos in Akihabara? Let us know below!

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