If it’s your first time traveling to Japan, Akihabara is one of those neighborhoods that you simply have to have on your itinerary.
Located in the heart of Tokyo, with many quintessentially Japanese elements, we guarantee Akihabara will be one of the most memorable experiences of your Japan visit.
Affectionately known by locals as ‘Akiba’, Akihabara is a mecca for anyone who loves anime, manga, and pretty much anything related to Japanese pop culture. Plentiful streets in Akihabara are lined with stores displaying everything from manga books, and collectible figurines, to camera gear, consoles, and more.
Otaku culture is alive and thriving in Akihabara, which makes it a place where you would not stand out if you’re a bit of a geek! For those who don’t know, an otaku is someone obsessed with pop culture, oftentimes specifically Japanese pop culture including anime, manga, and alike.
You won’t have to look hard to find cosplayers on any given day casually walking the streets here. You might even come across someone dressed up as your favorite character!
We’re big advocates for exploring Akihabara on your own terms, but it’s also unanimously overwhelming the first time you go there. Without a guide who knows their way around, you might not make the most of your experience.
The 10 Best Anime Shops In Akihabara
If you’re a massive anime fan and want to make sure you’ve got the best chance of nabbing the best memorabilia in Japan, we’ve got you covered.
Below are 10 of the best anime shops in Akihabara that you’ll love to explore. Let’s check them out!
- Akiba Culture Zone
- Animate Akihabara
- Akihabara Kotobukiya
- Yellow Submarines
- Akihabara Radio Kaikan
- Akihabara Gamers
- Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise
- Akihabara Gashapon Hall
Here’s a map where we pinned those 10 shops so you can organise your shopping itinerary easily!
Mandarake is one of the most popular stores in Akihabara, and for good reason. It’s located in an impressive seven-floor building that sells every single thing imaginable for an anime-lover. From the latest anime merchandise to vintage collectible items, you’d be hard-pressed to leave this store empty-handed.
Mandarake has a huge variety of items but they are commonly known for their spectacular collection of toys, figurines, manga, anime, box sets, video games, and consoles. You have the latest merch, classic items, and rare/vintage collectibles that you’ll spend ages just simply browsing.
- Address: Mandarake Akihabara
- Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2. Akiba Culture Zone
Multi-level, mall-type anime stores are of the essence in Akihabara, and Akiba Culture Zone is one of the best. Comprised of six stories, this shop offers a deeply fulfilling experience for anime lovers and a fun and exciting experience for everyone else.
From figurines to card games, to large toys and small keyrings, there’s quite literally something for everyone here.
There is also an At-home Cafe located within Akiba Culture Zone, complete with a quiet area for those who want to study and read, and a louder section for groups.
- Address: Akiba Culture Zone
- Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm
3. Animate Akihabara
Animate in Akihabara is considered one of the best stores in Tokyo to get all your anime merchandise by tourists and locals alike.
There are various chains of Animate throughout Tokyo, however, the Akihabara branch is the largest of them all and offers the most impressive selection of anime merchandise to choose from.
Animate is not only known for its wide selection of items; they’re deemed relatively affordable as well. Most items are sold are reasonable prices, so you can expect to get bang for your buck here.
Animate Akihabara is also one of the few anime stores to collaborate with the latest anime to bring out unique merchandise and experiences. If you happen to stumble upon them at the right time, they might be releasing a unique perfume line for the latest anime, for example (this was the case when Demon Slayer took the world by storm!).
- Address: Animate Akihabara
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat-Sun: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
4. Akihabara Kotobukiya
As one of the resident budget anime stores in Akihabara, Kotobukira commands crowds from the moment they open until the moment they close. Known to sell items at fairly cheap prices compared to other stores, you’ll find all sorts of otakus seeking their next bargain here at Kotobukira.
They considered themselves a ‘hobby craft’ store and they sell a heap of different figurines, merchandise, comics, and other anime items. If you’re on a budget, they have a great selection of second-hand items as well.
- Address: Akihabara Kotobukiya
- Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
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5. Yellow Submarines
Not all anime shops can be huge conglomerate multi-level ones; some are simply dedicated anime shops that specialize in certain items only, and Yellow Submarine is one of them.
If you’re the type to love collecting toy models of your favorite anime characters, this is the place to go. They deep-dive into every anime and offer a huge variety of collectible models; from classic ones to super rare ones; if you’re in the market for a specific model, chances are, you’ll find it here.
- Address: Yellow Submarines
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Sat: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
If you are an Anime fan visiting Japan, you should also read this blog post about Anime in Real Life in Japan!
6. Akihabara Radio Kaikan
This list of the best anime shops in Akihabara wouldn’t be complete without any mention of Akihabara Radio Kaikan. This place is not so much an anime store as it is an anime shopping mall. It is the biggest mention on this list, standing at a whopping 11 stories high!
Once inside, you’ll see that Akihabara Radio Kaikan is made up of various stores instead of just one huge store. There are private shops that sell specialized items such as Comic Toranoana and general stores that sell a variety of anime items to peruse through.
This is a great place to head to if you don’t want to walk all around Akihabara, as it is quite the one-stop shop.
- Address: Akihabara Radio Kaikan
- Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm
7. Akihabara Gamers
Akihabara Gamers is one of the quieter anime stores, but by no means does it offer any less!
Akihabara Gamers sells an impressive range of anime and manga merchandise for all types of anime lovers. One of the best things about this shop is that they sell items from both super popular, man-of-the-hour anime and manga, as well as those that fly under the radar.
If you happen to be in love with a series that doesn’t seem to be hitting the spotlight, don’t be disheartened if you haven’t come across any merchandise from that anime. Chances are, Akihabara Games stocks some!
- Address: Akihabara Gamers
- Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
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Suruga-ya is a hobby shop with various chains around Tokyo, four of which are located within less than 7 minutes walk from Akihabara station!
More than just a simple anime shop, Suruga-ya is a well-known Japanese store that also sells games, collectibles, PCs, and consoles, and they even purchase products from customers as well.
Each Suruga-ya store has its unique items that they specialize in, but they’re located within walking distance of each other, so you can pretty much explore all of them if you want.
We’ve listed the details of the main Suruga-ya store below. It features a whopping 8 levels to browse through, so you may not even need to head to another one to find what you’re looking for.
- Address: Suruga-Ya
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat-Sun: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
9. Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise
Volks Hobby Paradise describes itself as having everything in Akihabara complete on seven floors. As a self-described hobby store, you can expect to find items such as figurines, trading cards, limited models, character-themed paraphernalia, and other similar items.
Those enamored with otaku culture will find themselves in heaven here, with floor upon floor of classic, popular, limited-edition, and vintage items to browse through. There’s even a section that’s dedicated to anime clothing!
- Address: Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00am – 8:00pm, Sat-Sun: 10:00am – 8:00pm
10. Akihabara Gashapon Hall
We’ve clearly saved the best for last!
The Akihabara gashapon hall is exactly what you think it is: an entire shop dedicated to gashapons!
For the uninitiated, gashapons are Japanese vending machines that spit out plastic bubble toys once you place a coin in and spin the handle. They’re super popular in Japan, and for some reason, all visitors to Japan seem to fall under the same spell. It’s very difficult to walk past one without slipping in a yen coin to try your luck!
Akihabara Gashapon Hall offers rows upon rows of machines dedicated to various anime and their characters. Start from the front of the store and make your way to the end – you’re guaranteed to have lighter pockets by then.
There are also small souvenirs to purchase here as well if you haven’t had any luck with the machines!
- Address: Akihabara Gashapon Hall
- Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
As you can see, there is absolutely no shortage of anime shops to browse in Akihabara, which is why it’s considered by many as an otaku’s dream!
If you’re traveling with young ones, we recommend that you keep an eye out for shops with 18+ signs. Some stores have quite graphic sections, and young children are not allowed within those areas.
If you’re able to plan your visit to Akihabara on a Sunday, we highly recommend that you do so. It is the only day of the week that the roads are closed for pedestrians to roam freely – it’s quite a nice change!
Instead of being a city bustling with cards, you’ll have locals, tourists, cosplayers, and families – everyone mingling and rubbing shoulders on the streets instead of cramped up on the sidewalk.
We hope you enjoyed our article detailing the best 10 anime shops in Akihabara! Let us know in the comments section which one you’re excited about, and if we’ve missed any, let us know.