Hello everyone! I’m Ayumi, your favorite MANGA.TOKYO writer who also loves otaku activities!
Akihabara is THE holy place for otaku, so I’m sure many of you have been there, right? But I also know that many MANGA.TOKYO fans are living overseas and haven’t had the chance to visit the otaku capital of the world. That’s why I decided to take my camera and go to some recommended spots in Akihabara based on my personal preferences.
I’m going to tell you about my beloved Akihabara from the basic otaku activity route to secret spots you can use to take a rest!
It’s very convenient for my otaku activity route to get off at JR Akihabara station and go out the Electric Town exit!
GUNDAM CAFE Akihabara shop
The Gundam Cafe is very near the station. You should definitely go to at least once if you come to Akihabara! It’s right near the Electric Town exit. The shop was already doing well on the day I went and there were so many people lining up.
The thing I always buy when I come here is Gunpla-yaki!
Wow, both sides have different shapes just like the plastic model. I just can’t eat it right away!
The prices are reasonable, with the sweet bean yaki at 200 yen and the cream at 210 yen. They have a variety of flavors such as coffee and strawberry daifuku, so you might want to try them all.
You pay at the vending machine so it’s very easy. Don’t forget to have change!
The most fun part about Gunpla-yaki is the omikuji (fortune-telling) on the inside of the bag! It’s really exciting to get one with your favorite character’s name on it. I got famous quotes by Mirai Yashima and Char Aznable this time.
Official site: http://g-cafe.jp/akiba/
Address: Atre Akihabara 2, Kanda Hanaokacho 1-1, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
It’s right next to the AKB cafe when you turn right after exiting the Electric town exit.
AKIBA Cultures Zone
The place you should go after filling your stomach is this: AKIBA Cultures Zone. The 1st floor has the Animate Store, the 2nd floor has a Lashinbang, the 3rd floor has a used goods shop, the 4th floor has a rental show case and military goods, the 5th floor hosts an Animate cafe, and the 6th floor is an Idol cafe. In this building all of Akihabara comes together! It has so many things.
Cultures Zone is true to its name. I usually look around carefully, floor by floor. Especially the 3rd and 4th floor, where they sell rare items that I am looking for. When it comes to goods for girls, it’s usually cheaper in Akihabara than Ikebukuro! On the contrary the goods for men seem to be more expensive. If I remember correctly, a stuffed toy I couldn’t get after spending 3,000 yen at a crane machine in Ikebukuro was sold for 980 yen at this shop…of course, I bought it…it doesn’t hurt that much buying 2 for 3,980 yen… My advice is to come here instead of spending your money at a game center. I speak from experience.
Address: Sotokanda Icchoume 7-6, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
JR line Akihabara station | 4 minutes walk from Electric town exit
LAWSON Kanda Sanchoume shop
I bet you’re thinking, ‘Hey, this is just a convenience store!!’ No, it’s not a normal convenience store!
In case you missed the sign in the photo above, LAWSON is collaborating with the popular Jrpg video-game Dragon Quest! The decorations inside, the background music, and a limited amount of plastic bags are changed to a Dragon Quest theme. The vending machine outside also has a Dragon Quest theme. Even the smallest thing is Dragon Quest. Everything is Dragon Quest. There is not much of a difference when it comes to what they sell compared to the other convenience stores, but they do have some limited original goods. This is a shop you can’t resist visiting if you are a Dragon Quest player!
official site is here→ http://www.lawson.co.jp/area/kanto/detail/dq.html
Oden can vending machine
Here you can buy oden cans, a synonym for otaku a few years ago. The vending machine is standing right next to the Dragon Quest LAWSON. It is usual oden, honestly. Nothing weird. I recommend it if you wanna feel like an otaku or if you have no time due to your otaku activities. It seems like not many people eat it since the places to eat around Akihabara have increased lately. You can even buy oden at convenience stores these days.
This is a famous vending machine which can make you feel nostalgic about your otaku past.
Surugaya is a used goods shop that sells items cheaper than other shops. It used to be an online shop, but they opened a physical store here recently! It might be full of treasures for some people! It’s for people who have the patience to look around the stuffed rows since the space isn’t big. The shops are located only in Shizuoka prefecture and Akihabara. I’m a big fan of this shop so I usually don’t return home until I stop by here.
There many other used shops around here, so please check them all out.
Address: KHK building 1~4th floor, Sotokanda Yonchoume 5-1, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
Collabo Cafe Main Shop
A shop I had no choice but to drink fight at as you know. They are going to collaborate with other anime, too. It’s a place where you can sit and eat the Bakudan-yaki which you need to eat while you are standing in other shops like in Ikebukuro. It’s famous for producing very cute collaborative goods with many anime.
I recently visited the cafe for a report on the Yowamushi Pedal collaboration. You can check it out below.
Address: 4-3-10, Sotokanda, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
Yowamushi Pedal: Awaiting Season 3 with a Visit to the Themed Cafe!
Well, otaku activities use a lot of energy. There are many things to do such as looking around to find what you want, concentrating on games at the game center, going to idol concerts…but soldiers must have a break. The Electric Town is usually crowded on holidays, but one of the most attractive things about Akihabara is that there are many wonderful shops to rest- you can call them THE SECRET SPOTS.
I would like to tell everyone about my secret base…
Café & Bar CHARACRO
CHARACRO is a little far from the station. It’s a character cafe run by Namco that I visited recently for MANGA.TOKYO (you can read my article below.)
It’s both bar and a cafe, and the collab food is delicious! It’s not easy to have cute shapes and delicious tastes at the same time. They are collaborating with the movie version of TIGER & BUNNY -The Rising- right now. The collaboration will last for a limited period: till the beginning of February, 2017.
Themed Cafe-Bar Report: CHARACRO feat. TIGER & BUNNY -The Rising-!
Address: 5-12, Kanda Surugadai Nichoume, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
Fruit bar: Fruits de Saison
Fruits de Saison is a fruit bar near Suehirocho station, just a short walk away from Akihabara. It is located in a very quiet street. You should visit it at least once. Even though it’s little expensive, you will enjoy the taste of the fruit parfait and feel amazed. I’m sure you’ll say to yourself, ‘I never knew fruit was this good…’ Actually, it’s cheap when you think about the quality and the quantity.
The seasonal strawberry parfait (you can only eat it from winter to spring) is so delicious, you might cry from happiness. It’s delicious enough to make you want to eat it even on cold winter days. Actually, I wanted to keep this shop a secret since I love it so much, but I’ll make an exception just for you guys..!
A usual parfait costs around 1,100 yen~, a seasonal parfait a little more than 1,500 yen~.
Fruits de Saison
4-11-2, Sotokanda, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
2 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza line Suehirocho station exit 1
It says from Suehirocho Station, but you can walk there in about 15 minutes from Akihabara. This shop is especially for those of you who want to take a break in luxury.
Akihabara is a Place of Wonders
What do you think? Akihabara is a place with many, many places for otaku! It’s a city you’ll want to visit again and again, where there’s so much appeal. You can’t just call it an otaku town, not when there are things like bazaars held on the weekends and so many places to eat.
You can find new things every time you visit, and it’s quite fun to walk a little bit off the beaten path. Akihabara is truly a place of wonders.