I haven’t done a travel post in ages! I still have lots to share but I don’t know haha. I’m going back to Tokyo in 2 weeks, twwoooo! I can’t believe it! I’m so excited because Tokyo is one of the best places on earth, obviously! We’ll be spending Christmas there so that should be fun! Anyway, I thought I’d look back through photos and I’ve only shared Harajuku, food, and the Disney resort before so I maybe I should post more places? Well, I’m going to do that and this one is about Akihabara! It’s anime nerd heaven! (I won’t say otaku because that is not actually a positive term to describe yourself or others as). Okay so you can’t actually take photos inside the stores but I am a terrible foreigner and I did actually miss the no camera signs the first few times. But it’s all too interesting and fun not to capture! You’re basically bombarded with images and music and it can very exhilarating as well as exhausting. Luckily there are fun places to eat and relax around here too! Well… enough chit chat, onto the photos!
Stepping out from the train station can be pretty overwhelming! Here you have the Tokyo that you’d expect from mainstream Western media. Tall buildings covered in ads!
The buildings contain arcades, manga and figure stores as well as electronics. You can find 8 storey book stores, maid cafes, tiny retro gaming stores with floor to ceiling walls of old nintendo cartridges and second-hand figure stores. In case you fail at claw games plenty of stores sell the same items so you don’t have to waste too much money trying to win something!
The opposite exit of the station has a big quiet square (where we sat-stood on purposely built bars and ate mochi!) It contains two famous theme cafes: AKB48 and Gundam! You’ve probably heard of AKB48, the idol group that comes from Akihabara and has 48 members! Here you can see them perform, eat themed food and buy souvenirs!
We ate at Gundam Cafe and you can find more pictures of the food in this post! There were two other foreigners there and they came and asked us where the Anime Centre was. Luckily I was able to tell them where it was because I am the master of maps and planning!
EXCELSIOR!!! This is apparently a local version of Starbucks but we didn’t go here. We just had coffee at the Gundam Cafe but maybe next time!
SNK is everywhere, obviously. This is at the front of an arcade. We eventually gave up on claw games because they’re impossible, IMPOSSIBLE! Gachpon, on the other hand, are awesome! You put in 100 yen, turn the handle and get a random item! At least you get something at all. :P
Yeah, these are more than just doughnuts, they are frozen… and they’re ice cream not dough! We didn’t have one, but will get one next time. They were on display next to the frozen mochi we bought!
Next door, upstairs, was a Maid Dreamin’! A maid cafe and probably the most generic and easy for foreigners, well that I’ve read about online! We didn’t go in because it seems a bit embarrassing but maybe we’ll go next time… they were calling from the balcony next to their sign on a megaphone to get people in hehe.
Even the lifts are heavily decorated!
I was given this on the street by a maid and with the English on it I would think it’d be okay to go in not knowing Japanese.
Some gachapon have keyrings, phone charms, little figures as well as buttons! Some are also sticker sheets, cells and book covers! Thanks to the Sailor Moon anniversary and new series coming out (it was a few months because Crystal started) there were a few SM ones!
If you’re going to Tokyo definitely drop by Akihabara! Guides make it sound like it’s all about cheap laptops and boring stuff but it’s not. There’s fun to be had even if you’re not too into anime and manga. At least try out a gachapon and browse the stores where employees put in a lot of effort to decorate and display stuff. It’s part of the Tokyo experience you won’t get anywhere else and it’s worth going!