The Best Places in Tokyo for Anime Nerds

Giant Gundam, Diver City Mall, Odaiba, Tokyo/©James Gates
Giant Gundam, Diver City Mall, Odaiba, Tokyo/©James Gates | James Gates
Photo of James Gates
19 December 2018

Whether you want to buy an Attack On Titan hoodie, a Doraemon bath towel or a few boxes of Pikachu ramen, these are the top spots to hit if you’re obsessed with Japanese anime and corresponding paraphernalia.

Mega Tokyo Pokemon Center

Shop, Store
Map View
1024px-Mega_Tokyo_Pokémon_Center_1
Mega Tokyo Pokemon Center/ | ©Maplestrip via Wiki Commons

The holiest of holies for Pokemaniacs, this place is an Aladdin’s cave of goodies that attracts visitors from around the world. Every bit of Poke-merch under the sun is available within its hallowed walls, from toys and video games to official trading cards, towels, slippers, soft drinks, and even Pokemon ramen. The bright, spacious show-floor is perfect for browsing, meeting fellow obsessives or taking a selfie with the statue of Mega Charizard X that’s exclusive to the store.

Giant Gundam, Diver City Mall

Shopping Mall
Map View
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Giant Gundam, Diver City Mall, Odaiba, Tokyo/ | ©James Gates

One of the most spectacular sights that Tokyo has to offer is a 60-foot giant robot that keeps a vigil watch over Odaiba, the man-made island that rests about 50 minutes from central Tokyo. Based on a design from the anime Gundam Unicorn, it can transform, light up and generally inspire awe in the eyes of all who behold it. Incredibly, you can walk right up to it. Venture into Diver City Mall just behind it and you’ll find a Gundam store on the 7th floor, where you can load up on model kits and other approved merchandise. Of the many must-sees in Tokyo, this one should be a priority for any otaku worth his or her salt.

Nakano Broadway

Shopping Mall
Map View

The sort of place you could easily set an entire afternoon aside for, Nakano Broadway has a near-overwhelming array of shops that cater to every taste imaginable, whether you’re looking for vintage Sailor Moon figures or want to track down a One Punch Man hoodie. There are also video game arcades for you to spend your remaining hundred yen coins on. Should the trudge for goodies bring fatigue, there are also a host of cafes and restaurants that will refuel you and get you back on the hunt.

J-WORLD TOKYO

Amusement Park, Store
Map View

Once you’re done at the Pokemon Centre, head over to J-WORLD only a few minutes away. It is an embarrassment of riches if ever there was one. This is the official indoor amusement park for Shonen Jump, the manga bible that hosts Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and Bleach, among others. There are amusements and attractions galore (who can possibly resist the charms of the Dragon Ball Z virtual roller coaster?), a shop with a ton of Jump merch, and a cafe with themed foods based on all the hugely popular franchises. The Naruto ramen is especially popular.

Tokyo Anime Center

Shop
Map View

Photos are forbidden at TAC, but that just adds to the mystery. Since it has relocated to a shiny new premises from its original home in Akihabara, Tokyo Anime Center has continued to uphold the reputation for being one of the top destinations for aficionados. The venue’s attractiveness is increased further by hosting events with anime creators and voice artists. If there aren’t any events on, you can always pick up a few Kill la Kill key chains to tide you over.

Ghibli Museum

Museum, Theater
Map View
The Ghibli Museum showcases the animations of Studio Ghibli
The Ghibli Museum showcases the animations of Studio Ghibli | © MergeIdea / Shutterstock
Many attractions are advertised as “fun for all ages,” but the Studio Ghibli Museum in western Tokyo truly is a spectacle for both young and old. Designed by legendary Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, the museum is made up of a series of themed rooms meant to give visitors the feeling of being inside an artist’s storyboard. Each room has a unique theme, and every month there is a short film that can only be seen at the museum’s theater. Be advised that the site can sell out months in advance, so plan well ahead if you’d like to go.
These recommendations were updated on December 19, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.