Akihabara, a city that now represents Japan's electronics and technology, was once a black market where people dealt with random items from international troops stationed in Japan after World War II. It was once a town for home electronics retailers and specialty stores for electronic equipment and parts, supported by loyal customers.

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Overview and history of Akihabara

  • Once known as a black market where people dealt in random items from international troops stationed in Japan after World War II, Akihabara is now a paradise for those looking to find electronic equipment and for otaku (fanatics) looking for the latest anime and manga related merchandise! Akiba, as it's known to the locals, is a great place to spend a day traveling and sightseeing. Being close to Asakusa and Ueno, there are a variety of interesting shops and cafes such as the ever-popular maid cafes, where you can be a “master” for a day as elegant young ladies and/or gentlemen cater to your needs! If shopping is on your mind, there are a ton of electronic shops, some as small as an office cubicle and others with more than 10 floors of the latest technology! Once you finish shopping, you can head to Ueno or Asakusa and relax and take in the atmosphere of many temple and shrine grounds or visit one of the many museums. With so many things to do in Akihabara, you are sure to have an amazing time!

How to enjoy Akihabara

  • Akihabara Shopping District

    From the second you step foot into Akihabara, you will be greeted with brightly lit neon lights, music coming from every corner, and the sights of hundreds of people looking to buy the latest goods. Starting from JR Akihabara Station’s Electric Town Exit, you can find a variety of arcade game centers, electronic shops, cafes, and a variety of restaurants to choose from. One of the first places to check out is Akihabara Radio Kaikan, where you can find a variety of electronic and anime related goods. Right next door, test your luck at one of the many UFO machines at the SEGA arcade! There are tons of popular game, anime, and manga themed goods to win! After winning your share of prizes at the arcade, head on over to the Akihabara Kotobukiya shop to check out the latest game and anime figures and merchandise! If you are feeling a little retro, you can quickly swing by Super Potato to check out the relics of gaming past. On the other side of the station is one of the biggest electronic goods shops in Japan: Yodobashi Camera Akihabara! Loaded with the latest and greatest tech and goods, the Yodobashi Camera Akiba shop offers 9 floors of shopping goodness as well as a variety of restaurants to choose from on the top floor! Though, if you want to really enjoy a good meal, we suggest you head on over to Mai:lish, @home cafe, or Maidreamin for an exciting experience at a maid cafe!
  • Museums in the Akihabara Area

    Museum lovers are in luck! There are many museums spread all throughout the Tokyo area, with a few in Akihabara and the surrounding areas! First off is the Origami Kaikan, located a few blocks from Akihabara or Ochanomizu Station. Here you can participate in origami-folding classes and entry is free! On the other side of Ochanomizu Station, you can find a darker view into the past at the Meiji University Museum. Here you will find torture and physical restraint tools from Japan and other countries, along with many archaeological items excavated in Japan. Back in the Akihabara area, you can find 3331 Arts Chiyoda, which opened in 2010. The name 3331 expresses the rhythm of the Edo era Ipponjime hand clap, a traditional Japanese custom used to express gratitude.
  • Temples and Shrines in the Akihabara Area

    Not quite known for their shrines, Akihabara has a few places that are definitely worth a visit on your next time in Tokyo. Starting off, make sure to head out to Kanda Myojin where you can experience a fusion of Japanese tradition with anime influences. The shrine is known in their area for their unique festivals and events that draw many people, from businessmen and -women to otaku! Next, we have Yushima Seido, a temple that dates back to the late 1600’s. It has a long scholarly history and was a school that used to be managed by the shogunate and is considered as the birthplace of modern Japanese education. Lastly, we have Nikolai-do, which is not a shrine or temple in the traditional sense, but has become a landmark in the area for its Byzantine-style cathedral and plays a central role in the area.

Events in Akihabara

  • Akiba Film Festival

    First held in 2016, Akihabara Film Festival is an event that brings together all sorts of minds to exhibit mainly works of anime and pop culture. The roots of this film festival stem from the fact that, despite Akihabara’s droves of anime and manga creators, the area has no movie theater. While there are halls and theaters where screening parties can be held, this festival was started since there were no opportunities to disseminate Akihabara culture. This festival is held annually, but the season changes each year, so it’s best to research in advance.
  • Eshi 100

    Otaku culture started in Akihabara. In the Edo period (1603-1868), creators of characters such as those in manga and modern-day anime and games were known as ‘Eshi.’ Eshi 100 is an exhibit showing the works of 100 ‘Eshi’ representative of Akihabara. The one hundred ‘Eshi’ put their hearts into creating new artworks based on a theme which is decided each year. The theme for 2018 is ‘Elegance.’ Visitors can look forward to appreciating the essence of refined, graceful works of art.
  • Akiba Daisuki! Festival

    Not long ago, Akihabara was mostly known for its Electric Town, but in recent years it has developed into an area for anime, hobby shops, pop culture idols and maid cafes, and even unique food trends such as super-sized ‘mega-mori’ meals. Akiba Daisuki! Festival captures all this Akihabara culture for an event at Bellesalle Akihabara. The venue features shop booths and a stage, and various events and activity corners are also available.
  • UDX Illumination

    The illumination by Akihabara UDX is one of the largest in Akihabara. The beauty and scale are a remarkable sight in this area which is known for electronics and pop culture. The main tree set up at the 2nd floor office entrance glitters in brilliant gold, with the gold lights changing to various colors in time with a melody which is played once every 30 minutes. The illumination lasts from November to Christmas every year.

Access from Akihabara Airport / Main Area

  • 32 minutes from Haneda Airport

    Haneda Airport
    ↓ Keikyu-Airport line(16Min)
    Shinagawa station
    ↓ JR-Yamanote line(16Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 36 minutes from Haneda Airport

    Haneda Airport
    ↓ Tokyo Monorail(26Min)
    Hamamatsucho station
    ↓ JR-Keihin Tohoku line(10Min)
    Akihabara station"

  • 50 minutes from Narita Airport

    Narita Airport
    ↓ Sky Liner(42Min)
    Nippori station
    ↓ JR-Yamanote line(8Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 11 minutes from Shinjuku station

    Shinjuku station
    ↓ JR-Chuo line (9Min)
    Ochanomizu station
    ↓ JR-Sobu line(2Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 13 minutes from Ginza station

    Ginza Station
    ↓ Tokyo Metro-Hibiya line(13Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 5 minutes from Asakuas station

    Asakusa station
    ↓ Toei-Asakusa line(3Min)
    Asakusabashi station
    ↓ JR-Sobu line(2Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 28 minutes from Shibuya station

    Shibuya station
    ↓ JR-Yamanote line(28Min)
    Akihabara station

  • 4 minutes from Tokyo station

    Tokyo station
    ↓ JR-Yamanote line(4Min)
    Akihabara station

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