Tokyo: travel guide to Akihabara - what to see and where to eat
Tokyo is the capital of Japan and is the obligatory stop for every time you come to visit the Rising Sun. It is a megalopolis that boasts over 10 million inhabitants and is always evolving: for this reason you never stop discovering it and every time you go back you always notice something different and new. This beautiful city is the hub of Japan as it encompasses all facets of the entire country in its iconic neighborhoods. In Tokyo we must necessarily go back in time: explaining the emotions that this city is able to give is not possible, you have to live them. Only those who have been there can understand it. As a minimum stay, I recommend staying no less than a week: Tokyo should also be explored on foot, admired in its alleys and views. You can't hit and run, it wouldn't make any sense, especially if it's your first time here.
Information before leaving, how to get there, how to get around, where to stay here.
Akihabara, otherwise called "electric city" or more simply Akiba, is a very large and unique district of Tokyo because it probably represents the largest conglomerate in the world of shops dedicated to electronics, video games, manga and anime. Furthermore, its name derives from the fact that immediately after the Second World War the black market of electronic objects, such as electric cables and light bulbs, developed in this area.
Over time, the area developed rapidly: here the first refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines appeared. In the 70s it became a real point of reference which was definitively consolidated in the 90s with the sale of watches, video games and computers. With the advent of the new millennium, cosplay accessories and action figures have depopulated. Today it represents an essential destination.
What makes this district even more interesting is that the oldest and most historic shops have remained as they are. Obviously, they have been joined by the more recent ones that offer the latest news for otaku. Stroll through Chuo Dori and let yourself be fascinated by this out of the ordinary technological world, full of sound and visual stimuli.
WHAT TO SEE
It is one of the branches of Yodobashi Camera, a large Japanese electronics chain specializing in computers and cameras. This location is the largest in Japan and offers everything from video games to household appliances, passing through the music sector (fans of stereo systems will be amazed).
Opening 09:20am - 10pm, address: 1-1 Kanda Hanaoka-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Large chain that opened its first store in Ikebukuro. Today there are more than 30 outlets in Japan, all offering the latest in anime and manga. It is therefore not a point of reference for fans of the great glories of the past, but only for those who want to be up to date on the latest titles released on the market.
Open 10am - 9pm, address: 4 Chome-3-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021
This is my favorite chain of shops (the best-stocked shops, however, according to my point of view, are the ones in Shibuya and Nakano Broadway) for what concerns collectibles and artbooks.
Billing itself as the world's largest anime and manga store, you'll actually have plenty of time to spend researching your favorite titles here. Akiba's shop, specifically, is spread over five floors, each dedicated to a specific topic (manga, doujinshi, anime, video games, cosplay, yaoi).
Opening 12pm - 9pm, address: 3 Chome-11-12 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021
If you are looking for action figures and don't want to spend a fortune, then this shop is for you. There are eight locations in Akiba, so as you stroll from shop to shop, browse around for some really good value.
My favorite shop for video games, especially those from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Entering Super Potato means crossing a space-time door: here you will find the video games and consoles that made you dream. You can buy titles for Play Station 1 or the Game Boy, this is the dream shop. On the top floor there is also a small video game museum, where a real arcade has been recreated where you can have fun with Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or Super Mario. Unmissable to say the least.
Opening 11am - 9pm, address: 1 Chome-11-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
The Akihabara neighborhood isn't known for its restaurants, so this isn't the place if you're looking for something particularly fine. My advice is to treat yourself to a quick snack, after all if you are here it is because you are shopping. Obviously there is no shortage of choice, but don't expect unexpected restaurants unless your choice falls on maid cafes.
Ramen bar but not only. Here you can enjoy excellent abura soba but also a series of homemade dishes in lunch set format. Perfect for a hearty and tasty meal in the heart of Akihabara.
Opening 11am - 11pm, website, address: 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 3 Chome−1−12 大石ビル 1F
Modern and design supermarket offering a large variety of super fresh quality food. Here you can buy an excellent packed lunch to be eaten on site (there are tables and chairs both inside and out). The choice is quite varied: sushi, sashimi, bento boxes but also fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Opening 10am - 10pm, website, indirizzo: 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 4 Chome−14−1 秋葉原UDX1F
The maid café is a bar where you are served by young girls dressed as very pretty waitresses. In these places you can eat both savory and sweet products, all kawaii and accompanied by a little song sung by the girls. Over the years a real culture of the genre has been created, which is why this experience is worth having once in a lifetime. There are many in Akiba and they are all more or less the same.
PABLO MINI (CHIUSO)
Pablo is a chain that opened for the first time in Osaka and has also recently landed in Tokyo. Specializing in sweet cheese tartlets, this kiosk has also opened in a "mini" version in Akihabara, where it sells the famous cakes in small and portable versions. Really excellent!
Opening 11am - 9pm, address: 1 Chome-15-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021