The Akihabara neighbourhood in Tokyo is well-known for its best prices on electronic products, but recently this part of town has also become known for its “otaku” (diehard fan) culture and you can find anything related to manga, anima and cosplay here, but also curious places like maid cafés and manga cafés.
On Sunday’s, Akihabara’s main street Chuo Dori closes for traffic and becomes a great place to wander around and look your eyes out!
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WHAT TO DO IN AKIHABARA, TOKYO?
While we didn’t spend much time in this neigbourhood, here’s a short guide on what to do in Akihabara with all the things we got to explore:
1. Electric City
Most of the electronics shops in Akihabara Japan are just west of the station, which you can’t really miss. It seems they have turned on all the sounds of every electronic device in the shops and people stand at the entrance with a microphone, trying to convince you to go inside. Incredible to just walk around and watch the craziness!
Some of the major electronic shops include: Sofmap, Laox, Yamada Denki, Akky and Yodobashi Camera.
me and my brother had so much fun here in 2008 :)
2. Kanda Myojin
This shrine is devoted to Daikokuten (god of good harvest and matrimony), Ebisu (god of fishermen and businessmen) and Taira Masakado (a feudal lord of the 10th century who was revered and deified). You visit this shrine to pray for prosperity.
One of the most important events at the shrine is the Kanda Festival, which consists of numerous events held over a whole week around May 15. Some of the highlights are: a daylong procession on the Saturday and parades of portable shrines on the Sunday. But even without the festival going on, it’s a visually stunning place to check out:
3. Yushima Seido
This historic shrine was originally built in 458 for the Shinto god of physical strength, but they later also devoted the shrine to the Chinese scholar Confucius in 1355. Now it’s mostly popular for scholars to pray here for academic success.
Note: The shrine is surrounded by a bit of forest and when I was here (around September), it was very humid and there were tons of mosquitoes, so be prepared with some mozzie spray for that!
This unique cathedral definitely stands out from all the Shinto shrines in Tokyo. It is the main cathedral of the Japanese Orthodox Church. The original building got heavily damaged in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, but it was rebuilt later.
5. Musical Instrument Area
Walk the streets from Ochanomizu Station (West Exit) towards Yasukuni Street and you’ll find many special musical instrument and sheet music shops to go wild! Opening hours are generally from 11AM to 8PM.
6. Kanda Second-hand Book Area / Jimbocho Book Town
There are about 160 second-hand book shops with over 10 million books in the Kanda Area of Tokyo. Whatever type of book you’re looking for, they will have it here for you. Take a short walk from Jimbocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or the Toei Mita Line. Opening hours generally from 10AM to 6:30AM. Many shops are closed on Sundays!
Website (Japanese Only): jimbou.info
7. The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT)
This is an alternative-history Museum of Modern Art focusing mostly on Japanese art from the turn of the 20th century onwards. The building was designed by Taniguchi Yoshiro (father of architect Taniguchi Yoshio) and was renovated in 2001. The museum is located a few steps from Takebashi Subway Station. Opened from 10AM to 5PM, closed on Mondays.
Find a handy map for the Akihabara neighbourhood here:
We hope you enjoyed this Akihabara Guide! What would you like to visit in this area?
This post is also available in: Dutch