Akihabara Shopping - Part 2: Serious Specialty Shopping

Tokyo Shopping Shopping 2022.05.25
Figures, gaming gear, anime merch, electronics used and new - now that you're in Akihabara, it's time to shop till you drop.
A Shopping Day in Akihabara
As an old-fashioned marketplace for everyday goods, a black market in post-war Tokyo, a booming shopping district full of retro household appliances, and now a place of pilgrimage and commerce for the world's otaku, Tokyo's neighborhood of Akihabara has always been a go-to shopping place, although the customers have changed over the years. These days, the area is not only filled with all kinds of nerdy entertainment, but crowds of gamers, anime fans, electronics geeks, and hobbyists of all stripes, who arrive in the area to empty their pockets and bring home rare and wonderful finds from this whichever cave of wonders their particular interests lead them to in Akihabara. So if you're ready to do your own Akihabara shopping, here's what to look out for!
➡ Shop for Anime Merch
There are lots of things to buy in Akihabara, but for international visitors especially, the biggest draw is probably the huge quantity and variety of anime, manga, video game, and other character merchandise, found on long shelves in the tall buildings down the main streets, and crowded into the tiny stores down side alleys. Looking for some new anime figures to grace your mantel back home? Stores like Yellow Submarine and Uchusen have figures of everything from running Naruto ninjas and detailed Gundam mechs to anime heroines in barely-there bikinis. Obsessed with the fun of popping a couple coins into a gachapon machine to see what little Demon Slayer charm or One Piece toy you get? Well, there's a whole building dedicated to the little machines, called the Akihabara Gachapon Kaikan. And for all the big stuffed toys, tapestries, posters, t-shirts, pens, keychains, cellphone charms, and miscellaneous anime bits and bobs you can stuff into your suitcase, there are huge stores selling it all new and used, including bigger names in the business like Animate, Lashinbang, Mandarake, and Surugaya (which has about 10 Akihabara shops at last count).

If finding your way around is getting to be a headache, there are options like Akihabara Radio Kaikan (a collection of smaller nerdy stores of all kinds - including Yellow Submarine and Uchusen mentioned above) and the Akiba Cultures Zone (a 5-floor complex with a few interesting larger shops), which are a little more contained. Then again, getting a little lost in Akihabara is part of the fun!
➡ Shop for Electronics
Ready to look to Akihabara's roots and search for some techy treasure? Akihabara has been a go-to spot for electronic goods for decades, which means the area still has an interesting mix of hole-in-the-wall shops selling parts and used items, sleek specialty boutiques, and enormous nationwide chain stores. Of course, just because chains like Yodobashi Camera can be found all over Japan, doesn't mean that Akiba Yodobashi isn't worth a look - it's literally a multi-story shopping mall, except that half the floors are dedicated to all kinds of electronics and appliances. But for shoppers looking to recreate the classic Akihabara shopping street, a trip down "Akihabara Junk Street" (秋葉原ジャンク通り) is in order. Stretching south from an intersection with Kuramaebashi Ave., this narrow street is lined with little shops selling mostly new and used electronics - although you'll definitely find some anime merch and other Akihabara entertainment here too. These independently-owned shops might just have some great deals waiting for you, or you might go home empty-handed, and it's all up to your treasure-hunting prowess. After a few blocks, the southern end of Junk Street comes into sight with the impressive facade of Akiba Cultures Zone, but next to that is one last interesting spot for computer lovers, the Galleria E-Sports Lounge. This specialty shop offers an array of some of the nicest gaming computers you've ever seen, plus all the fancy mice and keyboards you could want.
➡ Shop for Every Hobby In Between
Do you love retro video game consoles, rare games, and all kinds of interesting gaming peripherals? You better believe Akihabara is the place for that, between all the mom and pop shops down tiny alleys and high on the upper floors of nondescript buildings, plus the bigger chains like Sofmap that sell old hardware and much more.

Maybe you're more of a model train fanatic? Then Akihabara is the place for you too -  check out famous shops like Popondetta, Hobbyland Pochi, Imon, Monta, and Clecle for some of the best model train shopping in Japan, both used and new.
Are you a little obsessed with the ultra-nerdy hobby of Gunpla? Well arriving in Akihabara might just feel a little like you've finally found home. The enormous plastic model kits you crave are available all over Japan, but there's no doubting that (as the perfect crossover hobby for traditional hobbyists and otakus) Akihabara is one of the best places to find models, kits, plus any and every tool you might need. Don't miss Akihabara landmarks like Akihabara Radio Kaikan (mentioned above) and Kotobukiya, or the more recently opened Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise.
Or Do It All Online!
Already planning out your Akihabara shopping trip without any travel plans likely to happen soon? Well, there's nothing quite like seeing the area in person, and there are many treasures that you'll find nowhere else - but fortunately, there's some pretty good shopping options online, too. With a surprising number of Japanese online shops that will ship all over the world, you don't just have to wait impatiently until you can finally make it to Tokyo! Just like the Akihabara shops, Sofmap's online shopping options include new and used electronics, plus figures and Gunpla sets, and even model trains. Hobby Stock has its own impressive selection of models and figures of all shapes and sizes. Amuse is a shop that literally specializes in gachapon items. And finally, when it comes to anime, game, and other character merch, options are nearly endless, with shops offering things like Ultraman t-shirts and figures, classy Blue Period (anime) themed decor, cutesy BL badges, Attack on Titan cloth masks, Tokyo Revengers tapestries alongside decorated baby bibs, 25-piece sets of palm-sized PVC Demon Slayer figures, Crayon Shin-chan x Sanrio crossover goods, extremely wearable anime accessories and items bordering on cosplay, acrylic stands from My Hero Academia and Tokyo Revengers, horse girl keychains from Uma Musume Pretty Derby, and well, a whole lot more. We're all looking forward to our next visit to Akihabara, but until then, there's plenty to keep you busy.
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