Discover Anime and Manga Culture in Tokyo

Anime lovers will be fascinated by what Tokyo has to offer. From malls and shops dedicated to some of the most famous masterpieces to parks and museums, discover our selection of the best places to experience anime and manga culture in the bustling capital.

Shopping districts

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Nakano Broadway, Tokyo
Courtesy of Japan Times

Akihabara and Nakano Broadway are the most renowned places for figure and cosplay item shopping in Tokyo. Akihabara is home to various shops such as Super Potato, Mandarake and Gamers where you can buy retro video games and anime goods. You can also relax at maid cafes where guests are served by waitresses dressed as French maids for a classic otaku experience but if that does not take your fancy, the Gundam and AKB48 cafés and their souvenir shops serving unique themed dishes may be more appealing.

Nakano Broadway is a great alternative to Akihabara with cheaper prices and a wide range of pop culture items. You can find everything you need from manga, magazines, collectors' items, animation character figurines and idol merchandise to game consoles, video games and souvenirs to buy for your family and friends. In addition, there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, grocery stores and fashion boutiques in this huge shopping mall.

Themed shops

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Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro
Courtesy of Wowsabi

Video games, cartoons, card games, manga, the word Pokemon encompasses a wide range of products. The franchise's universe is populated by Pokemon, creatures of extraordinary powers that must be collected. The best known of all is Pikachu, an electric mouse companion of the hero. The Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, is here to do things big. You'll find absolutely everything about goodies and Pokemon games: stuffed toys, figurines, drawings, clothes, snacks, jewelery etc. 

To satisfy the thirst of fans for goodies of their favorite anime, Shonen Jump now even has its own goodies shop: the Jump Shop! The stores located in Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Station or even near Tokyo Sky Tree offer all kinds of products, from printed t-shirts to badges, mugs, accessories of the characters and many others. Products from different manga are available such as One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, Black Clover, Shokugeki no Soma and more!

Museums

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Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo
Courtesy of SBS

Many museums are dedicated to anime culture and are incredibly popular in Japan. And the Ghibli Museum is one of them! Dedicated to the eponymous Japanese animation studio, it is located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka City, in the western suburbs of Tokyo. Open since 2001, it features exhibitions of behind the scenes from some of the studio's famous masterpieces such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. There are exclusive paintings and cellulos, sublime dioramas with animated figurines, a reproduction of Hayao Miyazaki's office and a large temporary exhibition room that regularly showcases the latest film produced by the studio. And don't forget to go on the rooftop to see the giant robot from Laputa: Castle in the sky!

For Doraemon lovers, the Fujiko F Fujio Museum is the perfect place to go in Kawasaki, just outside of Tokyo! It is a small museum retracing the steps of this smiling star with whom many have grown up with. The many plates designed by its creator (which gives the museum its official name, Fujiko Fujio Museum) make up the main collections on the ground floor. The museum also evokes the life of the artist, his passions and his other successes with Chimpui or Bakeru-kun.

Theme parks

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Tokyo One Piece Tower, Tokyo
Courtesy of Otaku Mode

It's time to have fun! The Tokyo One Piece Tower is a theme park based on the famous manga and anime One Piece, located in Tokyo Tower. It features various games and attractions for people to enjoy such as Luffy's Endless Adventure, Nami's Casino House, Brook's Horror House and more. Visitors can shop at Tongari and One Piece Mugiwara stores which sell exclusive and unique products you won't find elsewhere. Have a drink at Café Mugiwara where you can read books and manga related to One Piece while eating and savouring themed meals at Sanji's Oresama Restaurant.

Sanrio Puroland is also a kid-friendly theme park that will amuse many. It features many attractions including shows, boat rides and the chance to meet all the Sanrio characters. Candy stores, shops and restaurants offer many Hello Kitty, My Melody, Pom Pom Purin, Cinnamoroll goods and more if you're looking for cute items.

Don't forget to contact us if you need more information about these places, our team will be delighted to help you!

What to do in Kamakura

Located to the south of Tokyo, Kamakura has been the to go to day trip destination among local and foreign visitors. Whether it be strolling between temples and shrines to relaxing at the beach, the city has a mixture of both traditional and contemporary culture. In Kamakura, there are countless of worthwhile activities and places to do and see however we have listed here our recommended destinations in Kamakura.

Visit The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Located inside the Kotoku-in temple, the bronze statue of Amida Buddha was originally placed indoor however, the statue has been moved outdoor since 500 years ago. With the height reaching up to 13 meters tall, the statue is the second biggest bronze buddha statue in Japan only surpassed by its counterpart in Todaiji in Nara. The Great Buddha statue has been one of the main attractions for visitors to Kamakura.

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Courtesy of Kotokuin Official Website

Hasedera Temple

Not far away from The Great Buddha of Kamakura, Hasedera temple is known for the eleven headed Kannon statue which stands at 9 meters tall. Early in the summer season, hydrangea flowers blooms in the surrounding area which attracts visitors. Another point of attraction is a beautiful pond in the middle of the traditional Japanese garden. Visitors can feel at zen once stepping into the vicinity.

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Courtesy of Hasedera Official Website

Hokokuji Temple

Secluded in the Eastern part of Kamakura, there lies a small temple of Hokokuji. Also known as the ‘Bamboo Temple’, Hokokuji Temple has a secret pathway on the back of the area where a small yet mesmerizing bamboo groove can be found. There is also a small teahouse at the center of the bamboo groove where some sweets and macho is sold.

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Courtesy of Hokokuji Temple

Itsuki Garden Cafe

About 20 minutes away from Kamakura Station, this particular cafe will remind you of Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Castle in The Sky’. Just like its resembleance, you need to climb some stairs before being rewarded with a breathtaking view and atmosphere on top of the mountain. The tables are situated right on the slope of the mountain and surrounded with lush forests, the cafe is truly a retreat from the surrounding Kamakura area.

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Courtesy of Itsuki Garden Cafe

Enoshima

To the west of Kamakura, there is a small yet popular island that offers various tourist destinations. From a modern aquarium, eerie caves that leads to a picturesque cliff, Enoshima has it all. However, the most popular destination in this area is the beach. The two beaches that stretch to the right and left of the area accompanied with hip cafes and restaurants the blast a summer vibe music, are surely the go to place in the warmer months.

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Courtesy of Discover Fujisawa Official Facebook Account

Unique Dining Experience at Cave Cafe Okinawa

If you are traveling to Okinawa and looking to do something out of the ordinary, we know the right place for you. After all, how many people can claim to have had coffee in a cave? This place is located at Okinawa World, a theme park where visitors can learn more about the culture and local history. One of the park's main attractions is the 5 km long Gyokusendo Cave, which also hosts the Cave Cafe.

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Cave Cafe Venue Entrance
Courtesy of Cave Party Official Website

The cafe is also a starting point for guided tours of the Gangala Valley, which showcase other natural wonders of the region. However, you do not need to book a ticket for the visit to enjoy this beautiful coffee place. Tourists are not allowed to explore the cave by themselves because of the possibility of falling rocks, but they can participate in guided tours of the Gangala Valley that are held four times a day for 2,200 yen. In addition to the usual types of coffee, the Cave Cafe sells a snack called the torso hair of the ancients. But do not worry, it's only a type of Okinawa seaweed!

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Cave Cafe
Courtesy of Cave Party Official Website

Party plans are also available with premium dinner courses and high class service for a memorable dining experience. There are also different kinds of buffets you can customize: the Standard Buffet featuring popular meals, the Churashima Buffet focusing on local Okinawan ingredients and the Hotel Chef Buffet brought to you in collaboration with a resort hotel.

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Dinner course at Cave Cafe
Courtesy of Cave Party Official Website

The Cave Cafe thus features everything you need for a unique Japanese experience, from the discovery of the Valley of Gangala to meticulously prepared cuisine. Planning to go to Okinawa, organize your trip with us!

Explore Kiso Valley and its Beautiful Post Towns

Located in Nagano Prefecture, Kiso Valley is a place not to be missed in Japan, especially if you are looking for a wonderful place of the Edo period. It is famous for its old 70 km trade trail which used to serve for commercial means.  Discover the main attractions of Kiso Valley and learn more about it and its beautiful post towns.

Kiso Valley: a travel back in time

The most well preserved town is Tsumago on the Nakasendo road which connected Edo to Kyoto. Discover the Honjin building which served as an inn where important government officials used to rest. Alors, people from lower status would stay at the Wakihonjin which is now a museum you can visit. As for accomodation, there are many ryokans where you can sleep in Tsumago to live a more traditional experience.

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Tsumago town in Kiso Valley
Courtesy of Tsumago Official Website

Then, you can take the former Nakasendo walking trail from Tsumago, a nice path in the Japanese countryside which will take you a few hours to arrive at Magome. This small town features four museums with the Honjin, Wakihonjin, Tsuchimaya Miryokan and Shimizuya Shiryokan houses. You can see items of the Meiji Period, pottery, clothing and other old objects, do shopping at souvenir shops and eat delicious meals at local restaurants.

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Magome town in Kiso Valley
Courtesy of Japan Travel Centre

Besides these two old towns, you can also go to Narai and Kiso-Hirasawa. Narai was the half way point on the old Nakasendo road. Enjoy this beautiful district with its preserved houses and visit the two former residences Nakamura and Kamidonya Shiryokan featuring original artefacts and a small garden. You can also see the wooden bridge of 30-meter long crossing Narai river near the main street. As for Kiso-Hirosawa, you can learn more about lacquer products and its different techniques and explore the shops for unique souvenirs.

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Narai town in Kiso Valley
Courtesy of Unique Nagano

By discovering Kiso Valley, you will learn more about Japanese history and have a memorable trip in some old and small towns. With your family and friends or simply on your own, follow the path of the Edo period travelers on the Nakasendo road.

Adventurous Trip to Yakushima Island

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Courtesy of Ministry of The Environment Japan Official Website

Yakushima Island is a secluded island located in the southern part of Kyushu. Accessible both by plane and ferry, Yakushima Island is home to one of Japan’s natural wonders. in 1993, The sparse green park which holds many ancient cedar trees that dated back as far as 1000 years old was given the world heritage site title by UNESCO. The sublime scenery has been attracting visitors who wish to witness the beauty of the island. Hiking routes are available for everyone to try which can be completed from 30 minutes to 5 hours. Shiratani Unsuikyo is a lush green nature park located slightly to the north of the island that offers an abundant hiking routes. For the Hayao Miyazaki’s fans, this area was the inspiration behind the ‘Princess Mononoke’ movie. Another park worth visiting is the Yakusugi Land which fairly easy to be accessed from Anbo, the main area of the island. Although you can stay overnight in the lodges inside the park, you need to bring your own food and bedding as they are unattended.

Besides hiking, Yakushima island is also known for its natural hot springs. There are several places you can try whether it be open in the nature or is built around a structure for more privacy, there is no shortage of options. Furthermore, fresh seafood and lean deer meat are their staple food and they are a must try! Although there is a fast food joint in Anba, we do recommend going for the local delicacies.

As for accommodation, there are many options that covers all of our wallets. JR Hotel Yakushima offers a high-end service to the visitors who wish a comfortable and convenient stay. However, for the on budget travelers, there are many places that provide a homey lodging such as Soyotei in the north-west part of the island or Cottage Morinokokage which is located closer to Anbo.

If you are adventurous and have some spare time, visiting Yakushima Island is a guarantee memorable experience. Although it can be a daunting place to travel to, do not hesitate to contact us! With our knowledgable and experienced staff it would be our pleasure to assist you to fulfill your adventurous dream trip to Yakushima Island.