The Three Best Cool Japan Experiences in the Famous Area of Subculture, Akihabara

Akihabara is a subculture base with numerous shops dedicated to interests such as idols, animation, cosplay, games, and railroads. At one time, it was famous as a place for electronic appliances, but today, it is considered the center of Cool Japan, where people with a variety of interests, including many foreign visitors, come and go. We introduce six carefully selected shops in Akihabara such as a maid cafe, danso cafe where female staff dress as men, and railroad izakaya where you can have a Cool Japan experience.

<1> Immerse Yourself in a Hobby World at a Concept Cafe

Akihabara, the home of maid cafes, actually has many concept cafes. We've carefully selected a popular maid cafe, danso cafe, and railroad izakaya from among the numerous spots in Akihabara.

@home cafe is a place that emphasizes entertainment where you can enjoy a "moe" ("a special power to make your heart burn with passion and love") experience with maids. Photo shoots with favorite maids and games, through which you can win a Moemoe Coin, are popular. It also has a cafe menu full of cute dishes such as Moemoe Pink Curry〜Purerari∞Curerari Magic Spell (1,296 JPY) and the cute pastel Lollico Sundae (756 JPY)

@home cafe Main Store

4F-7F Mitsuwa Bldg., 1-11-4 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Bakumatsu Danso Cafe & Bar Makotozakaya is a Bakumatsu (final years of the Edo period) themed cafe recommended for history buffs in which women dress as men. Members of the new Shinsengumi force formed to reform society are actively engaged in this cafe to raise funds and discover new members. It offers unique menu items including the Makototaishi Tokusei Matcha (864 JPY) drink and a Japanese-style parfait full of matcha green tea ice cream, red bean paste, and shiratama mochi (972 JPY).

Bakumatsu Danso Café & Bar Makotozakaya

5F T&K AKIBA BLDG 3-10-5 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Cute conductors will welcome you at the railroad-themed izakaya, LittleTGV. The interior, which has box seats from actual trains as seating, is just like the inside of a train. The menu has a selection of railroad-themed items including the NAER Kid's Plate (980 JPY), Linked Tamagoyaki Carriages <3 cars>(630 JPY) and Shinkansen Onigiri (700 JPY).


4F Isamiya Daisan Bldg. 3-10-5 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

<2> Places to Go See Idols

AKB48, the idol group from Akihabara, took Japan by storm as celebrities that you can go meet. There are other places where you can feel close to stars.

AKB48 CAFE & SHOP AKIHABARA is a cafe where you can enjoy food and drinks together with videos of AKAB48 concerts. The shop also has signatures of the members, and offers menu items devised by the members such as the Muchichi no Ai tomato cream pasta (1,000 JPY) that is a favorite of Mayu Watanabe. This place is recommended for idol-lovers who are in Akihabara for the first time.


1-1 Kanda-Hanaoka-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Akihabara Backstage Pass is an entertainment cafe with a stage and more than 80 member idols. Here, customers get the opportunity to support, promote and produce their favorite talent. It also has a full food menu, including Japanese-style Salisbury steak (with rice) for 1,200 JPY. Be sure to check out the daily live performances and the way cast members approach the guests.

Akihabara Backstage Pass

AKIBA Cultures Zone 6 1-7-6 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

<3>Go on a Hobby Shopping Spree! Akiba Goods

There are many shops around Akihabara that sell character goods and figurines with minute details recreated using Japanese technology. When in Akihabara, visit several of these shops to find your favorite item.

Kotobukiya Akihabara Store is full of character goods, plastic models, and figurines. The prototype of Revoltech Danboard Mini (1,404 JPY) from the popular comic, Yotsubato!, is made by Tomohide Enoki. The shop also has many original goods such as plastic models of pretty girls. You can forget time and your budget and immerse yourself in this deep world.

Kotobukiya Akihabara Store

Okajima Bldg., 1-8-8 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 05.09.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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