My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: April 2, 2018
Starting as a black market in the postwar years, Akihabara evolved into a center for electronics. While it still glitters with bright lights and technology, it's also the centre of “otaku” culture, devoted to anime, vintage computer games and cosplay.
There are two main exits from the station; the Central Gate on the east side leads to the Yodobashi Camera store, restaurants and hotels. The Akihabara Electric Town Gate leads to the main shopping areas and electronics stores. Take the Electric Town exit to start your explorations.
Simply known as Radio Kaikan, this building with distinctive red and yellow neon signage is crammed with tiny shops devoted to hobbies. The original stores sold specialist parts for radios and computers, but cosplay, games, comics, toys and figures have taken over.
Just off the main street, this shop is completely given over to capsule machines; put in your coins, turn the dial and get your prize inside a plastic ball. The toys are often bizarre and finely detailed, making them a perfect, cheap Tokyo souvenir.
Back near the station, this cafe dedicated to the popular Gundam animated series, takes its theme seriously: from the Gundam figures out front, to the uniformed staff, to the themed food. For a change of pace, visit the AKB48 cafe next door, with a pop idol theme.