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Updated: October 11, 2019

Journey deep into Tokyo's fascinating geek culture

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.

General Tips

  • A half or full day of browsing and exploring
  • On Sundays, the main street is closed to traffic, making it great for strolling
  • Before buying electronics, check that the store offers an international warranty

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus


Convenient transport hub in the center of the action

Akihabara Station

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.

Walking2 mins


Specialist stores for subcultures

Akihabara Radio Kaikan

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.

Walking2 mins


A tower of technology and duty free finds

Laox Akihabara

Billed as Tokyo's largest duty-free store, you can find almost anything here, from electronics to cosmetics. With multilingual staff and currency exchange machines, it's a very convenient place to shop and see the latest technology.

Walking6 mins


A trove of tiny treasures

Akihabara Gachapon Kaikan

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.

Walking6 mins


Food with a sci-fi twist

Gundam Cafe Akihabara (Closed in January 2022)

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.

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