Anime is a part of Japanese culture that is not only popular domestically, but around the world. Here we are going to introduce 5 must-visit stores for anime fans in Tokyo.
1. “Animate” Ikebukuro Main Store
Animate has its main store in Ikebukuro, which is said to be the biggest anime store in the world. As well as comics, picture books and videos of popular anime, all sorts of anime character goods are on sale as well, which make this store a popular spot to visit for both Japanese and overseas anime fans. The price of the character goods starts from a few hundred yen.
Visiting the Anime Ikebukuro main store will show you what anime and manga are currently popular in Japan.
Located in an easy to access place only 5 minutes or so on foot from the East exit of JR Ikebukuro Station.
2. “Melonbooks” Akihabara Store 1
Melonbooks Akihabara Store 1 mainly sells fan-made, or dojin, magazines and games. Here you can find manga, music CDs and other products from some of Japan’s greatest creators.
The store also sells products from Comic Market (known as Comike), one of the largest fan-made publication events held in Japan, so if you want to read some fan-made manga but can’t make it to Comiket, this store is the place to go. Prices start from a few hundred yen.
Compared to other stores, Melonbooks is particularly large, and with their wide range of products, you’re sure to find something you will like.
The photo below is of the Melonbooks Akihabara Store 2.
3. Toranoana Ikebukuro Store
Toranoana is another dojin (fan or hobbyist) store that sells fan-made magazine and games. What is special about this store is the face that it sells not only new fan-made magazines, but second hand ones as well (depending on the store). If you’re looking for some old dojin works, this is the store to go to. There are two stores in Ikebukuro: the A Store, which sells products for men, and the B Store, which sells products for women.
*The storefront in the photo is of the Akihabara branch.
4. ACOS Akihabara Store
Located on the fifth floor of the AKIBA Culture ZONE, a commerce building filled with the otaku culture of Akihabara, ACOS is a specialist anime character cosplay goods store. It is often visited by cosplayers looking to buy clothing, accessories, wigs, color contacts and other items. The cost of Items of clothing ranges from a few thousand yen to more than 10,000. The store has changing rooms so you can enjoy trying on the costumes without having to buy them (but please remember that the changing rooms are for people who are looking to buy something, so please don’t take advantage of this.) As well as cosplay costumes, you can also find clothing with anime characters printed on them, making this a must-go place for anime fans. If you fancy become an anime character, this is the place to do it!
5. Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo
Situated on the fifth floor of the Akihabara Radio Kaikan, a famous landmark building in Akihabara filled with electronics and hobby stores, Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo is a specialist store of the famous Japanese figure maker Kaiyodo. As well as proper figures selling for a few thousand yen, there are also lots of gachagacha machines selling small figures in capsules for a few hundred yen. While they may only cost a few hundred yen, they are detailed, high-quality figures and are ideal souvenirs of your trip to Akihabara.
You can also find life-sized figures dotted around the store which are great for taking a commemorative shot of your trip. There are also places in the store where you can handle the Kaiyodo figures yourself.
Well what did you think? If you’re an anime fan, we wholeheartedly recommend visiting these stores while you're in Japan.
*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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