What to do in Akihabara, Tokyo

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AKIHABARA

‘Akiba’ is the place for spotting teenage boys go crazy for anime, manga, maid cafes and video game arcades. It’s one of those neighbourhoods that just makes you think “wow, I’m in Tokyo!”. I recommend spending a few hours here just taking it in. Visit on a Sunday if you can because the main street is closed to traffic.

Visit Taito Game Station

game taito station akihabara

Look for this big red building

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You’re going to want to go through all 6 floors (including the basement) to really soak up the madness. People of all ages, especially men, come here to play all sorts of games, from crane games to music games. This place seemed totally crazy to me – I’ve never seen anything like it!

Have a mini Pablo cheese tart

mini pablo cheese tart tokyo

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When there’s a queue in front of it, you know it’s good! We saw these Pablo tarts in various locations in Japan but we just couldn’t resist them in their mini version. My favourite flavour was chocolate, but make sure you try the matcha too!

Go to an Owl Cafe

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akibafukurou owl cafe

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Our visit to Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe was a big highlight of our time in Tokyo. For 1,500 yen (around £10) you can spend one hour with the owls, and you will be able to hold two owls of your choice during this time. You get a laminated (!) picture of yourself with an owl to take home too! Make sure you send them an email beforehand to reserve a place.

Shop for electronics or manga

akihabara electronics

Akihabara used to just be the go-to place for electronics, but now it’s also home to Tokyo’s otaku, or die-hard fans of anime and manga. Yodobashi Camera is the place to go for all sorts of electronics, although Akihabara Radio Center is the original collection of little stores that opened after WWII and made the area famous for electronics. If you’re looking for all sorts of manga collectibles you should try Mandarake, although there are many great smaller shops around too.

chuo dori akihabara

Akihabara is definitely one of those neighbourhoods you have to see when you’re visiting Tokyo for the first time. Although I’m not into electronics or manga, I loved the buzzing atmosphere and the weirdness of it all! It’s a very cool place to visit. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

If you’re going to Tokyo let me know how your trip goes! I’d love to see pictures.

If you’ve been before, please share your tips in the comments!

If you're in Tokyo, you have to visit Akihabara! It's a crazy neighbourhood full of anime, gaming, electronics and maid cafes.

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  • Sammy

    Unfortunately I haven’t been in Tokyo… But it’s definitely on my bucketlist!
    I really like your article and it strengthens my wish to go there one day 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve never been to Tokyo but it looks really cool. The owl cafe is crazy! I’d love to visit, how do you think the owls are treated? Do they get to be outside at all?

    • To be honest I don’t know how well they’re treated. There isn’t any information about it on their website! (at least not in English) The only thing I know is that they give the owls resting time, so there were several owls we weren’t allowed to touch during our session. I really hope they get to go out and fly after opening hours.

  • I have been desperate to visit Tokyo for as long as I can remember! This post just makes me want to go even more! x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

    • You must go when you get the chance! Japan is absolutely amazing. xx

  • Jennifer Morrow

    The various animal bars are wild, (pun intended). I have heard of cat and other animal bars, but this is the first time I have heard about the owl bar! So fun!

    • Yes, I went to a dog cafe in Seoul and it was crazy! The dogs were so excited every time someone walked in.
      When I got back to Japan I found out that there is a new hedgehog cafe in Tokyo! Really want to go!

    • Yes, I went to a dog cafe in Seoul and it was crazy! The dogs were so excited every time someone walked in. When I got back from Japan I found out that there is a new hedgehog cafe in Tokyo! Really want to go!

  • Sheri

    Wow! I love owls and I never knew Owl Cafes existed! That must have been an awesome highlight and that would be the first stop I would go to if I were visiting!

    • It was so much fun! I’d love to visit an owl sanctuary here in the UK too.

  • Tokyo has been on my list for so long, love your description! Those cheese tarts look so delicious, making me hungry! Will be referring to your post for when I make it out there 🙂
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  • My partner Paolo would LOVE a visit like this (he loves anime)! My favourite part would definitely be strolling around the city and soaking it all up!

    • I’m sure you would both absolutely love Tokyo!

  • Your photos are just so cool and I’m quite fund of visiting Tokyo soon enough! I loved the way you presented it! x

    http://tomboychronicle.com

  • Sashiko

    Can’t wait for my trip! I will be skipping the Owl Cafe though, did you know that they don’t allow their owls to drink water ALL day so they won’t have accidents on the customers? Also if there is a sign that reads “This owl is being fostered” it means it has actually died. :'(

    • Oh no I had no idea! I did feel guilty afterwards because I don’t know how often the birds get to fly… it’s so hard to find any information about it when you don’t speak Japanese! At least the owls have breaks when people are not allowed to touch them.

      I went to a dog cafe in South Korea which was more fun and the dogs definitely had a few accidents!

      Hope you have a great trip! I can’t wait to go back in December!

  • Annie

    Everything sounds really great, I’m going next week and really looking forward to seeing all the outlandish stuff in Akhibara. Perhaps except the Owl cafe. Personally I don’t believe we should be handling wild animals, especially since Owls are nocturnal creatures.