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ANIMATE

Looking to scratch that Otaku itch?  It’s no surprise Tokyo is the perfect place to do just that.  But perusing the countless Anime shops in Tokyo can be quite the daunting task.  That’s where Animate comes in.  This multi-chain Anime giant has locations scattered all throughout Tokyo.  It’s flagship store in Ikebukuro, though, carries perhaps the company’s most extensive collection (Aside from its sister store which carries all things cosplay).  With 8 floors filled with everything you need to Otaku-fy your life, Animate caters to all tastes.  Be it current manga, classic anime, or collectible figurines, Animate has it all.

From top to bottom, Animate’s eighth floor serves as an event space for popular Anime themed events such as product launches or signings.  The seventh floor is dedicated entirely to CD’s, DVD’s and Games.  Floors five and six host a wide array of character goods, some of which can only be found within the walls of Animate.  Floors two to four are where you can find Animate’s impressive collection of comics/manga.  Finally, the first floor is where you’ll find a plethora of anime character based sweets as well as a large collection of magazines.

Located in what many consider to be one of Tokyo’s Anime havens, Animate carries perhaps the most impressive collection of anime goodies.  For any Anime fans out there, or for anyone simply looking for that perfect gift, Animate will most certainly have something for everybody.

Photo credit: Japan080 by Ben Loomis

Address:3-2-1 Higashi-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.7377967, 139.707781813
Telephone:03-3988-1351
Website

Opening Hours

Monday:10:00 – 20:30
Tuesday:10:00 – 20:30
Wednesday:10:00 – 20:30
Thursday:10:00 – 20:30
Friday:10:00 – 20:30
Saturday:10:00 – 20:00
Sunday:10:00 – 20:00
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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DON QUIXOTE

Don Quixote is one of the few discount chain stores located in Tokyo. It is also one of the few stores to remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But perhaps the most impressive element of Don Quixote is the incredible variety held within the walls of the eight story store. Almost anything can be found lining the shelves of the discount chain. Merchandise fills each of Don Quixote’s floors with seemingly no particular order. Customers often find themselves digging through countless wares as hours pass them by.

Products range from imported liquors to cheap household appliances. From character masks to adult neck pillows. From cheap snacks to cosplay outfits. From air rifles to hair straighteners. Almost anything takes on quite a literal meaning in this immense discount store. In fact an entire roller coaster can be found on the roof of the Roppongi Don Quixote store (although it is not operational due to noise violations). This chaotic assortment of miscellaneous goods strategy makes for an incredibly fun and unique shopping experience for customers of all ages. With such a diverse selection of merchandise, and phenomenally discounted prices, Don Quixote is well worth a trip out to Roppongi.

Photo credit: 307 by Evan Blaser

Address:3-14-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6624365, 139.73464779999995
Telephone:03-5786-0811

Opening Hours

Monday:24 Hours
Tuesday:24 Hours
Wednesday:24 Hours
Thursday:24 Hours
Friday:24 Hours
Saturday:24 Hours
Sunday:24 Hours
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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TOKYO CHARACTER STREET

Looking for a unique Japanese shopping experience? Located within the Tokyo Station First Avenue mall, Tokyo Character Street (TCS) offers just that. Opening in 2008, TCS began as a relocation of the various character shops scattered throughout the mall. Now this Kawaii (Cute) section of the mall features 15+ character stores where customers can find anything from character based pastries, to small figurines, to collectible plush toys.

TCS’s Hello Kitty shop houses a plethora of stuffed toys and collectibles which are normally only obtainable by scouring the streets of Tokyo. The Ultraman World M78 store features all things Ultraman for fans of the series, young and old. And for Studio Ghibli fans, TCS even has a store dedicated to characters coming from the studio’s animated gems such as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, or Spirited Away to name a few. Characters ranging from the likes of Doraemon to Snoopy can be found within the shops comprising TCS making it a must see destination for any fans of Japanese pop culture.

Whether you are in the area waiting for a shinkansen(bullet train), are an avid collector, or just want to catch a glimpse of just one of the many facets of Japanese culture, TCS offers something for the inner child in all of us.

Photo credit: Tokyo Character Street by DozoDomo

Address:Tokyo Station, Chiyoda, Tokyo
GPS:35.681382, 139.76608399999998
Telephone:03-3210-0077

Opening Hours

Monday:10:00 – 20:30
Tuesday:10:00 – 20:30
Wednesday:10:00 – 20:30
Thursday:10:00 – 20:30
Friday:10:00 – 20:30
Saturday:10:00 – 20:30
Sunday:10:00 – 20:30
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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MANDARAKE COMPLEX

While there are many Mandarake stores scattered throughout Tokyo (Most notably Nakano and Shibuya), the Akihabara branch is most certainly one of the larger stores. With eight stories filled with primarily used anime, manga, action figures, games, mascots, and other collectibles, Mandarake is sure to cater to the Otaku in all of us. Each floor offers something different in this shopping complex located in the heart of Tokyo’s electronics district.

Beginning from the top (its best to begin at the top and make your way down to the first floor), Mandarake’s seventh and eighth floor are devoted almost entirely to Toys. One of these two floors even further emphasizes mech type toys. A majority of these collectibles are used, however most (if not all) are in near mint condition. Even more impressive is the timeline of the wide selection of toys available at Mandarake. Toys from as far back as the original Lupin III can be found hidden among the countless toys lining Mandarake’s counters.

Mandarake’s sixth floor is dedicated entirely to CD’s and DVD’s. This floor is quite self-explanatory, with countless new and used CD’s and DVD’s lining its shelves. The following two floors are perhaps the most intriguing. One is dedicated entirely to Yaoi (erotic boys-love anime) and the other is dedicated entirely to Hentai (strong sexual anime). Everything from manga, to DVD’s, to plush pillows can be found in this quite extensive collection of Yaoi/Hentai. The remaining floors are dedicated to video games (Mandarake does have a somewhat impressive collection of games to search through) and general anime goods, with the final (first) floor serving primarily for checking out all of your Anime/Manga goodies.

Mandarake Complex is definitely one of the top ten locations to check out while walking through the streets of Akihabara. Whether you are an Otaku or not, this impressive collection of anime/manga goods is definitely a sight worth seeing.

Photo credit: Mandarake Complex by Street Viewer

Address:3-11-12 Soto-Kanda, Tokyo
GPS:35.6894875, 139.692038212
Telephone:03-3252-7007
Web:http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/

Opening Hours

Monday:12:00 – 20:00
Tuesday:12:00 – 20:00
Wednesday:12:00 – 20:00
Thursday:12:00 – 20:00
Friday:12:00 – 20:00
Saturday:12:00 – 20:00
Sunday:12:00 – 20:00
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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SUPER POTATO

Nowadays gaming stores seem to fall into a very specific mold. New and used games scattered along the walls with a few classic gems showcased in glass counters. Super Potato looks to break that mold. Perhaps one of the most retro gaming store in Japan, which is saying a lot considering Japan’s role in the industry, Super Potato offers its customers an incredible and historical journey through video game history.

The retro gaming store is located in Japan’s electonics/anime district, Akihabara. Hidden away among the plethora of shops in the area, Super Potato stands only three stories tall. But its not the size of the store that matters. Its whats inside that attracts gamer’s from all over the world to its doors. Hosting perhaps the most extensive collection of video games in Japan, Super Potato’s first and second floors are riddled with games from every system imaginable: Ranging from systems such as the original PlayStation, Sega Saturn, the PCE, and many more.

But the real attraction here is the extensive collection of Famicom games. Rows upon rows of these small pieces of video game history line the shelves of Super Potato. Even more impressive are the stacks of classic Famicom (along with many others) systems sitting, just waiting to be sold.

If the extensive collection of retro games becomes too overwhelming, customers can take a quick break from shopping and visit Super Potato’s third floor retro arcade. Locals often can be found winding down after a long day with one of the many classic games hosted by this impressive arcade.

If you are a gamer, know a gamer, or just simply want to check out a piece of Japanese history, Super Potato has got you covered. It’s definitely worth visiting what many consider to be a gaming museum, hosting many of the games which helped to create the multi-billion dollar gaming industry that exists today.

Photo credit: Super Potato by Antonio Tajuelo

Address:1-11-2 Sotokanda Chiyoda, Tokyo
GPS:35.6992743, 139.7710985
Telephone:03-5289-9933

Opening Hours

Monday:11:00 – 20:00
Tuesday:11:00 – 20:00
Wednesday:11:00 – 20:00
Thursday:11:00 – 20:00
Friday:11:00 – 20:00
Saturday:10:00 – 20:00
Sunday:10:00 – 20:00
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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Description

Retro Game Camp(レトロげーむキャンプ)is not actually a “camp”, but rather, a haven for all retro video game lovers to shop! Located in the Electric Town of Akihabara, Retro Game Camp (RGC) is snuggled between a used electronics shop and a maid cafe. RGC is easily distinguishable from the surrounding stores, however, because of the many people flowing in and out of it, and the video game music welcoming any and all whom have a taste for entertainment techonology of the past.

RGC has a wide variety of platforms – NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Famicom, Gamecube, and more. But the store doesn’t just carry the systems themselves, but also tons of games to go along with the systems! As I was exploring the store, I felt myself being overwhelmed and surprised by the sheer amount of video games I could purchase to go along with my desired system(s).

One thing to note, however, is that all systems and games are Japanese. If you are looking for English versions of these systems and games, then RGC cannot help you with that pursuit. That being said, obtaining retro Japanese systems and games can cost a fortune to import, purchasing from RGC, however, is far cheaper, and obviously does not require importing/shipping from Japan to your home country.

Prices for games range from 1000yen to about 3000yen; prices for systems range from 6000yen to about 9000yen.

Check out Retro Game Camp! Lover of video games or not, it is a sight to see!

Address:4-4-2 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.7011746, 139.7718383
Telephone:03-3253-7778
Web:http://retrogamecamp.com/

Opening Hours

Monday:11:00 – 20:00
Tuesday:11:00 – 20:00
Wednesday:11:00 – 20:00
Thursday:11:00 – 20:00
Friday:11:00 – 20:00
Saturday:11:00 – 20:00
Sunday:11:00 – 20:00
October 21, 2014 0 comment
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