In celebration of the 1st anniversary of the AKIHABARA’s website, we visited Akihabara, Tokyo—the world-famous subculture epicenter!

Akihabara, Tokyo is one of the most famous subculture epicenters in Japan. In this article, we would like to take you on a tour of popular spots in Akihabara!

Since the launch of our website a year ago, we have been introducing the captivating places and things of Japan through our unique perspective. In this article, we are going back to the basics and focusing on Akihabara, after which “Fa-So-La TAX FREE AKIHABARA” was named, visiting some of the popular spots of Akihabara, which is one of the most famous subculture epicenters of the world.

AKIHABARA GAMERS Main Store First, we visited AKIHABARA GAMERS Main Store, which is only a short way from Akihabara Station as you walk out the station to the right from Electric Town south Gate. It is a hobby store that carries all sorts of anime products, CDs, and comic books, and it also holds a special event on the day of the release of a new product. It is one of the leading otaku culture stores.

animate Akihabara The next one is “animate Akihabara”—another must-visit hobby store for anime fans. Some of you might have seen one outside Japan because it has branches in other countries like Taiwan and the U.S. (Los Angeles). The store has been in business for over 20 years at this location, and its sales floor space expanded significantly with its renewal in 2023. If you had been there before the renewal, we recommend visiting there again to check out the newly renovated store.

Don Quijote Akihabara Don Quijote Akihabara is a 24-hour discount store that attracts many tourists. Not only does it carry just about anything as with other Don Quijote stores, but it also offers a wider variety of products focused on the otaku culture such as anime, manga, and VTubers, taking advantage of its location in Akihabara.

SUPER POTATO When talking about subcultures, video games are a must. SUPER POTATO is a video game shop that mainly offers retro games that have been gaining popularity again in recent years. They also have Family Computer (or Nintendo Entertainment System) games and old arcade games for customers to play, so you should definitely go there if you are interested. You might find an unexpected gem!

LUIDA'S BAR Why not take a break when you get tired from walking around? Did you know that LUIDA'S BAR, a bar from one of the legendary Japanese video games, “Dragon Quest,” is in Akihabara? With the well-thought-out interior design and character-themed menu items, it is a must-visit place for all Dragon Quest fans! Note that the time you can stay there is limited on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays with its business hours divided in several time slots. ⇒Click here for a detailed article on Luida’s Bar.

at-home cafe If you are looking to visit “concept cafés” in Akihabara, you should definitely try maid cafés. “at-home cafe,” which has been in business in Akihabara since 2004, is a maid café that is reaching its 20th anniversary this year. There you can enjoy an authentic maid café experience, for example, by cooperating with the maids to perform “aikome” (a jargon meaning “infusing something with love”) on cute looking foods and by taking Instax pictures with the maids. An awesome time is guaranteed, so be careful not to lose track of time!

All the places we visited this time take you into the unique world of Akihabara subcultures, and they were all packed with tourists from both Japan and overseas. Why not visit these spots if you don’t know where to go in Akihabara? That would definitely let you experience the unique vibes of this neighborhood, where you can enjoy a mixture of diverse subcultures. We, Fa-So-La TAX FREE AKIHABARA, will continue to share information about a wide range of captivating culture and trends of Japan.

■DATA [AKIHABARA GAMERS Main Store] Address: Takarada Chuo-dori Building, 1-14-7 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.gamers.co.jp/shop/detail.php?id=4 [animate Akihabara] Address: 4-3-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.animate.co.jp/en/ [Don Quijote Akihabara] Address: 4-3-3 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.donki.com/en/store/shop_detail.php?add=1&shop_id=98&pref=13 [Super Potato Akihabara] Address: 3F, 4F, and 5F Kitabayashi Building, 1-11-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.superpotato.com/shop/akihabara/ [LUIDA’S BAR] Address: 1F Pasela Resorts Akiba Multi Entertainment, 1-1-10 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.paselaresorts.com/collaboration/luidas_bar/ [at-home cafe at Akiba Cultures Zone] Address: 5F Akiba Cultures Zone, 1-7-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Official Website: https://www.cafe-athome.com/ (Information as of May 2024.)