Akihabara Guide - The Otaku and Technological Center of Japan

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The dream of many, especially otakus, is to visit the neighborhood of Akihabara [秋葉原] the world's largest electronic and otaku center. Also known for being the largest sales center for games, computers, electronics and products related to anime and manga.

During my travels to Japan in Tokyo, I always stay in the Akihabara neighborhood. This Guide aims to help you have a good experience in Akihabara and discover all its possibilities.

I want to advance by saying that if you imagine Akihabara as a neighborhood full of people dressed as anime characters, you will be disappointed!

About Akihabara Neighborhood

Akihabara (秋葉原) is a famous neighborhood in the district of Higashiagatsuma located in Tokyo. Akihabara is a true home for otakus Otaku! The name Akihabara is an abbreviation of Akibagahara (秋葉が原) meaning "Field of Autumn Leaves". This neighborhood also receives an affectionate abbreviated nickname: Akiba.

In this technological paradise you can find absolutely everything:

  • Maid Cafés and other themed cafes;
  • Card Game Stores
  • Stores of old consoles and games.
  • Computers and parts;
  • Cameras and accessories;
  • Manga, eroge and dōjinshi;
  • Animes, action figures, clothes, all kinds of thematic stuff;
Akihabara Guide - Japan's Otaku and Tech Center

It is also possible to come across thousands of Cosplayers, Itasha, Giant Robots and thousands of banners and items scattered around, spreading the culture otaku.

It is possible to find the famous café and even members of the group AKB48 composed of 48 young and beautiful girls, who sing and dance using cosplay and extravagant clothes. Not to mention the thousands of other shows, events, and conventions that take place in this neighborhood.

It is also one of the biggest places of Pachinko, equivalent to casinos, arcade-style, but instead of betting money, you bet for prizes and other products from anime, games, etc. There are other places like Game Centers, Karaoke, and other leisure centers surrounding the neighborhood.

On weekends and holidays avenues such as Chuo Dori are closed and become a wide promenade for shows and a stage for young people to present their cosplays, where they take photos with visitors and friends.

Akihabara Guide - Japan's Otaku and Tech Center

Arriving in Akihabara

It was around 7 pm I arrived at Akihabara station towards my hotel and took the opposite way, seeing for the first time what this neighborhood is like. I just saw stores and high school girls and maids on the street. I realized that I was going the wrong way and came back crossing a prominent avenue that is close to the station that separates Akiba from the neighborhood where my Hotel was.

Akihabara Guide - Japan's Otaku and Tech Center

It was summer, I ended up getting caught in the rain, I arrived at my Hotel (GRIDS HOSTEL AKIHABARA) all wet, and I was very well attended with a towel. Every morning when leaving my Hostel, I would buy a vitamin or drink from the vending machine and head towards the Akihabara district and usually buy a nikuman at the konbini or go to the bakery next to the station called come from France.

I remember that next to this bakery there was a pharmacy and also the biggest electronics store in Akihabara the Yodobashi Camera. It was a neighborhood, there wasn't much to do other than walk around the anime stores and be scared by the prices of shirts that exceed 6,000 yen. There was a 7-story building that I liked to climb that was full of stores, if I'm not mistaken, it's the NHK radio station.

Akihabara Guide - Japan's Otaku and Tech Center

Experiences in Akihabara

During my stay in Tokyo, I walked around the Akihabara neighborhood almost every day. At times, I met up with the gang from Japanese Online Program to walk around the neighborhood. I remember that some strangers approached us inviting us to dinner at a restaurant located in a building.

Don't fall for it, these foreign hunters promise a good and cheap meal, but then end up charging absurd prices. We already knew that, we are espertos, but it was difficult to end their insistence. The other day a woman called me to her shop and ended up making me buy 2,000 yen worth of souvenirs that weren't even worth 500. My own stupidity, since I was treated well and I can't refuse things.

My stay in Akihabara was not as interesting as people imagine. I didn't go to any nightlife parties, nor did I know anyone to help me explore the area. The most I did was go to a Maid Cafe with a friend from the Online Japanese Program group. It was an interesting experience, but expensive. You can read more in our article about it Maid Cafe.

Akihabara Guide - Japan's Otaku and Tech Center

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My disappointments in Akihabara

This neighborhood is really wonderful, with thousands of stores and products, but I personally found everything expensive. Had anime shirts costing as much as 10,000 yen. Action figures vary their prices according to the popularity of the anime, etc.

Another thing that disappointed me a little was the fact that I didn't meet many cosplayers during my stay. I found many maids but few cosplayers. Even though it's a wonderful neighborhood, I recommend used stores in japan, for you to buy manga and action figures. Since Akihabara's products are priced for the japanese salary.

Some places in the neighborhood stand out such as Softmap, yodobashi, maidreamin, mandarake, Animate and many others. It's worth mentioning the Sega game center and the Radio Kaikan, which is a large shopping mall that stand out on the main street at the Akiba station exit. It's worth remembering that it's not necessary to go to Akihabara to find these main stores, most of them are present in several cities and neighborhoods.

Have you ever visited the Akihabara neighborhood? Tell us your experience in the comments and share with your friends.

Videos about Akihabara

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