‘Akiba’ is the place for spotting teenage boys go crazy for anime, manga, maid cafes and video game arcades. It’s one of those neighbourhoods that just makes you think “wow, I’m in Tokyo!”. I recommend spending a few hours here just taking it in. Visit on a Sunday if you can because the main street is closed to traffic.
Visit Taito Game Station
Look for this big red building
You’re going to want to go through all 6 floors (including the basement) to really soak up the madness. People of all ages, especially men, come here to play all sorts of games, from crane games to music games. This place seemed totally crazy to me – I’ve never seen anything like it!
Have a mini Pablo cheese tart
When there’s a queue in front of it, you know it’s good! We saw these Pablo tarts in various locations in Japan but we just couldn’t resist them in their mini version. My favourite flavour was chocolate, but make sure you try the matcha too!
Go to an Owl Cafe
Our visit to Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe was a big highlight of our time in Tokyo. For 1,500 yen (around £10) you can spend one hour with the owls, and you will be able to hold two owls of your choice during this time. You get a laminated (!) picture of yourself with an owl to take home too! Make sure you send them an email beforehand to reserve a place.
Shop for electronics or manga
Akihabara used to just be the go-to place for electronics, but now it’s also home to Tokyo’s otaku, or die-hard fans of anime and manga. Yodobashi Camera is the place to go for all sorts of electronics, although Akihabara Radio Center is the original collection of little stores that opened after WWII and made the area famous for electronics. If you’re looking for all sorts of manga collectibles you should try Mandarake, although there are many great smaller shops around too.
Akihabara is definitely one of those neighbourhoods you have to see when you’re visiting Tokyo for the first time. Although I’m not into electronics or manga, I loved the buzzing atmosphere and the weirdness of it all! It’s a very cool place to visit. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
If you’re going to Tokyo let me know how your trip goes! I’d love to see pictures.
If you’ve been before, please share your tips in the comments!