A Comprehensive Guide to Bargain Shopping and Eating in Akihabara with d POINT [Map Included!]
Shopping is the thing to do in Akihabara. You can spend a whole day of shopping for items Akihabara is known for, such as electronics and anime merchandise, as well as trendy clothing, music, cosmetics, and even pharmaceuticals. When you get tired, take a break at the cheap and cheery cafe chains introduced in this article. Here is a guide to help you thoroughly enjoy Akihabara without breaking the bank.
- Get Great Value When Shopping in Akihabara with d POINT!
- 1. Check Out the Latest Consumer Electronics at EDION
- 2. Animate—Packed With Manga and Anime Goods
- 3. Check Out the Latest Suits and Clothing at AOKI
- 4. What Are the Latest Hits? Find Out at TOWER RECORDS
- 5. Matsumoto Kiyoshi—Perfect for Souvenir Shopping
- Where to Take a Break From Shopping
- 6. Enjoy, Coffee, Hot Dogs, and Limited-Offer Menu Items at Doutor Coffee
- 7. Great Pastas and Panini at Excelsior Caffé
- This Is How Much You Can Save With d POINT!
Get Great Value When Shopping in Akihabara with d POINT!
d POINT is a free point service operated by Japan’s largest telecommunications company, NTT DOCOMO, INC. This is a system in which you can earn points just by showing your d POINT CARD when making purchases at d POINT Member Stores such as leading convenience store chains, McDonald's, cafes, and supermarkets.
All the stores in this article are d POINT Member Stores. Accumulated points can be used for purchases at 1 JPY per point. The program offers many other benefits in addition to d POINTs.
If you're interested, be sure to follow the link at the end of the article to register.
1. Check Out the Latest Consumer Electronics at EDION
The big box consumer electronics retailer EDION has a wide selection of products, ranging from large household appliances to beauty gadgets. It offers great prices on household appliances and is recommended for foreign tourists who wish to purchase items such as rice cookers, compact vacuum cleaners, and air purifiers.
I often go to EDION to look for smartphone cases. It has such a wide selection that it's easy to lose track of time searching for the perfect one. The store is just 3 minutes on foot from the Electric Town Exit of JR Akihabara Station and 5 minutes from Tsukuba Express Akihabara Station.
2. Animate—Packed With Manga and Anime Goods
The streets of Akihabara are filled with posters of anime and video games. Even within this town that is the center of Japan's otaku culture, the main store of Animate is outstanding in its selection of anime goods. It is located just four minutes from the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara Station.
The 1st, 4th, and 5th floors are highly recommended for those who "aren't looking for anything in particular but want to see the world of otaku." On the 1st floor, there are anime character merchandise, sweets you'll want to buy as souvenirs, and concert light sticks indispensable for "wotagei." Wotagei is a type of performance by fans of idol singers and voice actors and usually features light sticks. I'm often mesmerized by the performances that have a wonderful sense of unity. Examples can be seen on various video-sharing platforms.
The 4th and 5th floors are packed with character merchandise. They are well worth visiting if only to see the overwhelming amount of products.
3. Check Out the Latest Suits and Clothing at AOKI
AOKI, a retailer of men's suits, also offers casual clothing for women to wear at the office. The Akihabara store is stocked with a large collection of sizes so that tall and large customers can find their sizes. High-quality products, including washable suits, lightweight summer suits, and polo shirts appropriate for working at home or for the weekend, are available at reasonable prices.
I've washed a washable suit at home and found that it keeps its shape after going through the washing machine and being air-dried, so it is very convenient. The shop often has deals for bulk purchases, so be sure to check when you get to the store.
There is a great selection of stylish jackets, jersey tops, and wrinkle-resistant pants for women. AOKI is a great place to purchase office wear that is not too formal or casual and not too flashy or boring.
AOKI is located a minute's walk from the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara Station.
4. What Are the Latest Hits? Find Out at TOWER RECORDS
I love to travel abroad and purchase CDs of music popular in different countries. I enjoy hearing the sound of words in different languages, even if I don't understand them. If you want to find out what songs are popular in Japan, go to TOWER RECORDS, which has a large floor space and a wide merchandise selection.
My recommendations are Kenshi Yonezu and Gesu no Kiwami Otome. The music video for Kenshi's hit song Lemon has been played 600 million times on YouTube, making it the most popular video by a Japanese artist. Gesu no Kiwami Otome is a band known for their poppy tunes in a variety of different styles.
TOWER RECORDS also has a section for music featuring Japanese instruments and recordings of traditional Japanese performance arts. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese culture.
TOWER RECORDS is just a minute's walk from the Showa-dori Exit of JR Akihabara Station.
5. Matsumoto Kiyoshi—Perfect for Souvenir Shopping
Matsumoto Kiyoshi is a drugstore chain with great prices and a wide selection of merchandise, including pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, cleaning supplies, and cosmetics. There are several branches in Akihabara, among which the Akiba Branch has the best selection and is in a location that is easy to find. It is underneath the train tracks as shown in the picture.
If you can't decide what to buy to take home, body wipes are recommended. There is a wide variety for both men and women, including scented ones and ones that feel cool to the touch. They come in handy when traveling and walking a lot, so why not pick some up for yourself as well?
Where to Take a Break From Shopping
You will probably want to take a break at a reasonably-priced cafe when tired from walking around, so here are two recommended cafe chains. They are great for lunch and also offer free Wi-Fi, so you can research your next destination during your break.
6. Enjoy, Coffee, Hot Dogs, and Limited-Offer Menu Items at Doutor Coffee
The appeal of Doutor Coffee is the wide selection of food items, such as sandwiches. The German Hot Dog (224 JPY (incl. tax) when eating in) is a reasonably-priced standard menu item with a wonderfully plump and juicy sausage flavored with plenty of mustard. There is also a variety of drinks, including seasonal exclusives, to try. There are currently drinks with tapioca in them on sale.
When I go to Doutor Coffee, I often order the Iced Coffee (224 JPY (incl. tax) for S size when eating in) and Milano Sandwich C: Smoked Chicken and Soft-boiled Egg with Miso and Ginger Sauce (420 JPY (incl. tax) when eating in). This voluminous menu item is stuffed full of vegetables and meat. I am also a fan of the slightly bitter iced coffee, which goes well with sweets such as cake. The Soto Kanda 1-Chome Branch is an 8-minute walk from Akihabara Station's Electric Town Exit.
7. Great Pastas and Panini at Excelsior Caffé
Excelsior Caffé is recommended not just for breaks, but also for lunch. It offers a wide selection of pastas and panini. If you are a cheese lover, the panini come highly recommended. Match wholewheat panini with fillings like ham, tuna, and smoked salmon together with melted cheese for a tasty delight!
My favorite drink is the hot Almond Caramel Caffé Latte (408 JPY (incl. tax) for S size when eating in). The latte has almond syrup mixed in and is topped with fluffy foamed milk and caramel sauce. Sweet drinks are great for relaxing after shopping. The Excelsior Caffé in Akihabara is just a minute's walk from the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara Station.
This Is How Much You Can Save With d POINT!
Here's an estimate of the number of points you can accumulate under the d POINT program based on some hypothetical shopping in the above stores.
If you were to purchase a 10,000 JPY pair of headphones at EDION, a 3,000 JPY figurine at Animate, 30,000 JPY suit at AOKI, a 3,000 JPY CD at TOWER RECORDS, 4,000 JPY of medicine and makeup at Matsumoto Kiyoshi, and have a 2,500 JPY lunch at Excelsior Caffé, you will earn points equivalent to 525 JPY. There are many other benefits to being a d POINT member, so be sure to check it out to save while traveling in Japan.
How was it? Akihabara, where otaku who love electronics and anime gather, is a place to enjoy a unique shopping experience. Be sure to do your research beforehand so that you don't miss out on the items you want!
*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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