The Otaku's Ultimate Guide to Tokyo

Though its origins are in Japan, anime is now a global multibillion-dollar industry
Though its origins are in Japan, anime is now a global multibillion-dollar industry | © Ryo FukaSAWA / Flickr
Alicia Joy

Tokyo Writer

Faced with endless choices when it comes to arcades, malls and entertainment in Tokyo, you’ll be overwhelmed figuring out where to get your manga, anime and gaming otaku fix. Culture Trip recommends the top otaku districts in the city and what to do there.

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Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is one of the best otaku districts in Tokyo. Here you’ll find two separate Animate stores, one for the merchandise you expect to find there and the other exclusively for costume play and a café. Inside the Sunshine City Mall, check out the flagship Pokemon Center before heading over to Square’s new Storia café to see what’s happening in E-sports – it’s like the gamer’s version of a sports bar.

Sunshine City Mall 1-1-3 Higashi-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Ikebukuro is a commercial and entertainment district in Toshima

Nakano

Nakano Broadway is a popular shopping centre on the radar of every geek, gamer and otaku in Tokyo. Find everything from gaming memorabilia and manga to electronics and antique anime cels. There’s also 16 different Mandarake stores, each one focusing on a different aspect of anime and otaku culture. Nakano Broadway is a bit out of the way, but with so many options all in one place it’s always worth the trip.

Nakano Broadway, 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, Japan

You won’t be stuck for choice in Nakano Broadway

Akihabara

Akihabara, nicknamed the electric town of Tokyo, is the undisputed centre of anime culture in Japan. Most major anime, manga and gaming stores have a branch here, including the iconic Animate for all things anime and Yodobashi for your techie odds and ends. There’s also a high concentration of arcades, themed cafes and gaming shops sure to satisfy even the mightiest of otaku cravings.
Akihabara, Taito, Tokyo 110-0006, Japan

Akihabara is a district in central Tokyo

Shibuya

Look between the fashionable multi-level malls and stylish karaoke joints, and you’ll see Shibuya is actually home to a large number of internet cafes, arcades and card game cafes fit for an otaku. Check out Genki Sushi to order your meal from a tablet, and make time to browse Shibuya’s version of Village Vanguard, a stylish but underrated bookstore full of geek merchandise and character goods.

Village Vangard Shibuya 41-26 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Shibuya is home to two of the busiest railway stations in the world

Shinjuku

This might not be one of the first places an otaku would look for entertainment, but Shinjuku will always surprise you. Kabukicho is where you’ll find the famed Shinjuku Robot restaurant along with the Capcom Bar. Game developers Atlus (Devil Survivor) and Square Enix (Kingdom Hearts) have their headquarters here, and while you can’t go in, you can check out Square’s Artnia café for Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy refreshments.

Artnia 6-27-30 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku is full of unique experiences

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