5 Best Places in Tokyo for Anime Fans
The country where anime was born is definitely the place where fanatics of the vibrant, entertaining, and sometimes nail-biting animation are going to want to head. Museums, shops, cafes, and various other sites, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy anime in Japan, that’s for sure! But with so many place to choose from, where should you go for the best experience? Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top five places anime lovers who are traveling to Tokyo should definitely consider including on their list of spots to visit.
Considered the top store for anime lovers, Animate is a spot that you simply have to check out. Located in the Akihabara Electronics District, this store is brimming with merchandise that will make you squeal with delight! It’s considered the largest anime and manga store in all of Japan.
Animate features nine floors that are completely dedicated to all things anime, including costumes, figurines, magazines, and an assortment of other collectibles. It’s so spectacular that a visit here will quickly turn people who have never even had the slightest interest in anime into total enthusiasts. From the moment you step into this anime-mecca, your jaw will drop; and it will continue to do so as your make your way through each floor.
You’ll find a large assortment of merchandise, such as posters, pictures, socks that feature images of anime and manga characters, trading cards, figurines, key chains, plush toys, apparel, and a variety of other collectible items.. There really are so many interesting items to find! There are floors that are completely dedicated to manga magazines and books, which are neatly divided by genre to make for easy shopping
There’s even a floor that is dedicated to audio-visual stuff, including video games, DVDs and CDs. Again, there is so much to look through and you’ll be sure to score some pretty incredible items to keep you entertained. And lastly, the eighth and ninth floors are dedicated to anime exhibits and events; for example, you may get the chance to meet the voice actor for one of your favorite anime characters. You can call in advance to find out the schedule.
You won’t find any boring sculptures or paintings at this museum! The Ghibli Museum is truly a special museum, as it is completely dedicated to anime; specifically, anime that is made by Studio Ghibli, one of the most beloved anime studios in Japan.
Located near Miktak’s Inokoshira Park, this colorful building stands out and will instantly capture your attention. Inside, you’ll find a wonderful collection of displays for all ages. There’s a children’s museum, a technology museum, and even a fine arts museum.
Some of the key features that you’ll find at the Ghibli Museum include a replica of the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro and a theater where you can watch Studio Ghibli short films. There’s a bookstore, where you can purchase your favorite anime-turned-mange or manga-turned-anime books and magazines. Then, grab a bite to eat and something to drink at the café (which serves hot and cold beverages and meals, snacks, and tasty desserts that will tickle your sweet tooth) and head to the rooftop garden to enjoy some refreshment, read through your new purchases; of course, while you’re at the rooftop garden, you’ll also want to check out the Guardian of the museum: the Robot Soldier!
Yes, the Ghibli Museum is like no other museum you have ever been to before!
Just across the Rainbow Bridge in central Tokyo lies Odaiba, a man-made island that sits in the Tokyo Bay. The island was initially constructed to serve as a defense in the 1850s; however, it has been transformed into a major residential, commercial, and leisure space, including tons of cool anime things. Of course, you wouldn’t expect Odaiba not to have anime-related experiences, as several anime series take place on the island, like Digimon Pilgrimage and Tenki No Ko Pilgrimage.
There are a lot of cool anime things to check out at Odaiba. The larger-than-life Gundam Unicorn Statue, complete with moving parts (it transforms into Destroy Mode at night and puts on a spectacular light and sound show!) is a definite must-see. Gundam Base is a large exhibit, store, and event space where you can see for yourself how gunplay model kits are crafted and even watch people build, and of course, check out Gundpla Builders World Cups builds, too!
Anotther cool places that you should at to your list of things to do in Odaiba if you’re an anime fan include the hexaRide at DiverCity mall, a 360 degree interactive VR experience based on the manga series Attack on Titan. While you’re at DiverCity, be sure to check out Kinnikuman Kin29Shop (aka: Ultimate Muscle), a store that is completely dedicated to the mana series. Pick up some posters, figurines, T-shirts, or even a pair of boxers, and snap a picture in front of the life-sized Suguru Kinniku statue.
Pokémon Café and Pokémon Center Tokyo DX
You’ll feel like your “very best” at the Pokémon Café and Pokémon Center Tokyo DX! Located in Nihonbashi in the Takashimaya department store, it offers 1,300 square meters, making it the largest Pokémon Center (and there are plenty of them throughout Japan!). At the Center, you’ll find a large selection of all things Pokémon; video games, posters, apparel, plushies, and goodies galore. Snap a pic in front of the huge Snorlax statue and scroll through the massive interactive Pokedex!
When you’re finished shopping, stop by the attached – and permanent – café to grab a bite to eat (just make to visit the website and book your seats before you arrive, as reservations are required). The café is sleek, modern, and is tastefully embellished with Pokémon décor. As you’d expect, the menu is chock-full of Pokémon-themed dishes and beverages, and the food tastes as good as it looks! Seriously, everything is artfully designed; the Cheerful Pikachu Curry, for example, features Pikachu’s face made out of rice, and the Snorlax Hamburger Doria, you guessed it, looks like Snorlax! Other menu items include an Eevee Teriyaki Chicken Burger, a Mimikyu Chocolate Banana Crepe, a Jigglypuff Cheesecake, and Pokemon Fruit Pancakes! Even the beverages are Pokémon-themed!
Tokyo One Piece Tower
Rounding out our list of the top five places to visit in Tokyo if you’re an anime lover is the Tokyo One Piece Tower. It’s an indoor theme park that’s dedicated entirely to (duh!) One Piece! There’s so much to do here that you’ll feel like you’re actually a part of the Straw Hat Crew! As soon as you walk in, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Tongari Island. There are several attractions, including:
- The 360 Log Theatre – The World of One Piece, which showcases scenes from the series on a 360 degree omnidirectional screen.
- Zoro’s Soul Edge, an interactive game, where you have to knock down cannons that are fired at you using Roroana Zoro’s sword skills.
- Luffy’s Endless Adventure, a museum, of sorts, that’s dedicated to Monkey D. Luffy and the rest of the One Piece characters.
- Nami’s Casino House, an interactive adventure that is, of course, based on Nami. You bet berries, and if you get a three-point match, you win the jackpot (a VIP card).
- Brook’s Horror House, a haunted house that’s based on Brook. You have to defeat the zombies that approach you with a salt ball!
Tokyo offers plenty of attractions and activities for anime-enthusiasts. If you’re traveling to the city, we highly recommend checking out the five spots mentioned above! You’ll have awesome experiences, make life-long memories, and will get to score plenty of really cool merchandise and keepsakes.