Visiting the Land of Anime, Manga and Gaming
Gaming, anime and manga have mesmerized the world for decades. They are few of the best exports of Japan with fans all over the world. You won’t need anything else after you have immersed yourself in this fascinating fandom. There is just one thing that is better than consuming gaming, anime and manga , and that is visiting their place of origin in person. Hence, BP Guide has compiled a list of 10 best tours to explore Akihabara- the land where such dreams are made.
10 Best Akihabara Tours for a Deeper Glimpse
The following list contains 10 guided tours of Akihabara, and it caters to a variety of preferences.
1. Anime and Gaming Adventure Tour
This is a tour specifically designed for anime and video game lovers. You will get an immersive experience of classic and current gaming cultures by visiting the very epicentre of gaming and anime.
The tour is provided by Magical Trip for $61 per person.
- The tour group will visit gaming centres and stores that will give them the best experience of classic and modern gaming cultures. They will also visit Akihabara’s most popular maid cafe to get pampered by the hostess.
- The tour package includes entrance fee to the maid cafe, a drink and a polaroid picture with the maid. You will also experience purikura or a photo booth experience unique to Japan. The tour is 3 hours long with an English speaking guide. The group size will be small so you won’t have to be worried about overcrowding.
2. Culture Tour
The local culture is one of the prime interests of a tourist. It is a wonderful feeling to learn and experience the beautiful local culture and people of a particular place. This tour by Akihabara Akibaland Tours specializes in giving you this wonderful feeling. You will be transported to a different world as you explore the various sights and attractions of Akihabara.
The per-person charge for this is $36.53. You can book it on Trip Advisor.
- The tour involves walking along the Akihabara cityscape soaking in the various sights and sounds unique to the neighbourhood. The tour also includes a visit to a maid cafe.
- The duration of this tour is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. You will be accompanied by a guide who is well versed in English, Spanish and French. A group can have a maximum of 30 members. The tour fare covers only the guide fee and admission fee to the maid cafe. The costs inside the maid cafe ( for food, drinks and other activities) have to be born by you separately.
3. Electronics and Anime Tour
Akihabara is characterized by anime and electronics and this tour by OLOM Japan Tours will let you explore the neighbourhood through a guided tour of the many anime and electronic centres in the area. Learn about the history and culture of Akihabara, discover hidden gems and have fun while doing so.
The tour price per person is $203.81 and you can book it on Get Your Guide.
- The group meets at the Hijiri Bashi exit of JR Ochanomizu station. The first stop of the tour is the famous Kanda Myojin Shrine. Then the tour group proceeds to visit the anime, gaming and electronics stores nearby, stopping at a few of them.
- This is a customizable tour so the itinerary can be tailored to your interests. You will experience Japanese food and otaku subcultures upon visiting the stores and the cafe. The guided tour will let you discover the hidden charms of the neighbourhood. The duration of the tour is 4 hours and the guide accompanying you is well versed in English.
4. A Personalised Tour of the Unique and Unusual
If you prefer a personalized and private tour, and have a fascination for the unconventional then look no further. This tour explores the quirky side of the city through an itinerary that is custom made for you as per your likes and dislikes.
This tour is provided by City Unscripted Tokyo for $296.52
- The typical itinerary involves visits to Robot Restaurant, Meguro Parasitological Museum and a unique pet cafe. Besides, you will explore Akihabara and immerse in its otaku culture, and Piss Alley which is a street packed with bars. The tour is 100% customizable and the itinerary can change accordingly.
- You will visit all the wacky venues stated in the itinerary unless you have other places in mind. The tour includes a drink and a snack in an izakaya. The 4 hours long tour will include a walking experience in the neighbourhood with an English speaking guide. Transportation is available if you prefer that.
5. Electric Bike Tour
A leisurely bike ride through a city is often the best way to explore it. This tour involves riding in the lesser-known neighbourhoods of Tokyo on electric-powered bikes. You will be exploring interesting spots and hidden gems that are not easily accessible by local transport.
This tour is provided by Beauty of Japan for $92.65 per person.
- The group will meet at the Cycling Holiday Tokyo where you will be handed an electric bike. The route will depend on your choice of tour ( morning tour or an afternoon tour) but the neighbourhoods you would normally visit are Akihabara, Ginza and Asakusa. You stop at any landmarks that fall in your chosen route.
- Exploring a city on a bicycle ride is itself a unique adventure. The 3 hour long tour will take you to the top landmarks of Tokyo. Your guide knows English so communication won’t be a problem. The tour fare includes rent for the electric bike and helmet, and insurance.
6. Concise Akihabara Tour
This tour is designed to give you an in-depth tour of the Akihabara neighbourhood in a short time. You will experience all that Akihabara has to offer including maid cafes, electronics and more.
The tour is provided by Akiba Deep Travel for $99 per person.
- The tour starts with a visit to the unique Nadeshiko restaurant. Then you will explore Akihabara by visiting the many gaming, anime and electronic shops in the neighbourhood.
- This is a 2-hour guided tour of the neighbourhood of Akihabara. You will learn about the history and culture of the place from your learned, english speaking guide, and eat sushi roll at a cafe. This tour is designed for a small group of maximum 10 people.
7. Anime Hipster Tour
This is a super fun and exciting tour of Akihabara with a local host who happens to be a voice-over actress. You will visit all the attractions that make Akihabara the anime and gaming capital of Japan.
This Air Bnb tour is $50 per person.
- This will be an entertaining and completely personalized tour of Akihabara. Your host will first treat you to a coffee than food at a traditional Japanese food stand. This will be followed by visits to cosplay shops and other shops in the neighbourhood.
- Your host is a native and knows the area like the back of her hand. This is a hipster tour where you will discover and experience the hip and happening places in Akihabara. It won’t be a regular guided tour but a fun and entertaining one. This 3-hour tour will be hosted in English and includes a beverage (coffee or tea).
8. Quirky Shopping Tour
Tokyo is a city that is characterized by quirky and unique shops. You will not find such shops anywhere across the world. This tour by City Unscripted Tokyo is designed to let you have a blast by experiencing this quirky side of Tokyo by visiting these stores and outlets.
The cost per adult for this tour available on Trip Advisor is $274.28
- This is a personalized and private shopping tour so the neighbourhoods you will visit are dependent on what you want to shop for. But usually, you would visit the neighbourhoods of Koenji, Akihabara, Shinjuku and Harajuku.
- You will get to surf and buy a variety of products like vintage goods, anime merchandise, cosplay items, comics and more. Your learned guide will take you to the many shopping centres in the neighbourhoods that suit your needs, tastes and preferences. The tour is 5 hours long which gives you enough time to shop to your heart’s content.
9. Exploring the City Through Food
The Japanese have world-famous cuisine and exploring this land through their dishes and drinks is one of the best ways to do so. This tour by Hello! Tokyo Tours lets you do that. You will savour both traditional and contemporary fusion dishes as you learn about their cooking culture and more. Your guide knows both Japanese and English.
The tour charges per person is $327. 75. You will be able to book it on Trip Advisor.
- The tour group will explore Japanese cuisine and culture in the neighbourhoods of Nihonbashi, Ginza, Akihabara, Tokyo Station and Yurakucho District. Additionally, they will visit attractions like Nihonbashi Bridge, Fukutoku Shrine, Kitte Building and International Forum Building.
- You will eat some of the most delicious food the city has to offer like dashi, kombu, amazake, daifuku, match, tamagoyaki, lemon sour and more. Additionally, you will learn about the history and culture of these dishes,and the overall culinary scene of Japan. This is a 5 and a half hours tour of pure gastronomical delight. The guide knows English so communication won’t be a problem.
10. Gaming and Maid Cafe Tour
This tour by HATAGO Travel gives you an immersive experience of otaku culture- the prime attraction of Akihabara. The otaku culture is so vast, deep and dynamic that tourists often are unable to experience it in its full glory. This tour aims to rectify that by taking you through an in-depth tour of Akihabara.
The cost of this tour available on Viator per person is $101.37.
- The tour group will meet in front of the SEGA arcade outside the Electronic Town Exit of Akihabara station. Then they will proceed to explore the otaku culture and subcultures unique to the Akihabara neighbourhood. The venues in the itinerary are Akihabara Radio Kaikan, Taito Station Akihabara and Pinafore Ichiban Boshi Theatre.
- The tour includes entrance fee to a maid cafe, an arcade play and a drink. All your questions regarding otaku culture and other interests will be translated by your guide so that your experience is in-depth and complete. The 2 hours and 30 minutes tour will give you an immersive experience of Akihabara’s unique otaku culture and it will be an experience of a lifetime. The tour is offered in 4 languages namely, English, Spanish, French and Italian.
Top Attractions in Akihabara that You Should Not Miss
The following are 5 attractions of Akihabara, and it would be a loss for you if you don’t experience them.
Maid cafes are a bizarre culture that originated in Tokyo. It is a part of cosplay culture where the cafe is serviced by maids dressed in exaggerated, frilly maid costumes. But it doesn’t end there. The maids even go to the extent of calling you “master” (goshujin-sama) and treating you like one. It is a bizarre culture as already mentioned, but it will be a unique experience should you visit.
Maid cafes are closely associated with the word “moe” which is a slang term describing infatuation, cuteness, having a crush on someone and the like. It is a common part of otaku culture and you can have a first-hand experience of this in a maid cafe. So, you should visit one in Akihabara, until and unless you are explicitly uncomfortable with women in frilly costumes calling you “master”.
Anime and Gaming Centres
Akihabara is the epicentre of gaming and anime and any tour in the area is incomplete without visits to gaming and anime venues. You must visit them even if you are not a game buff or don’t care about anime as they are one of the characteristic features of Akihabara. In all honesty, it is impossible to skip these venues when in Akihabara , for the streets are lined with arcades, game centres and souvenir shops catering to both classic and modern games.
Kanda Myojin Shrine
Myojin Shrine is a wonderful amalgamation of the past and the present. It is a 1300 years old ancient monument that is believed to harbour deities that protect and look after the city of Tokyo. The shrine is in close proximity to the anime, gaming and electronics districts of Tokyo so you can find collaboration merchandise there that mixes the ancient and mythical glory of the shrine with the present vibrant otaku culture. This is how the past and the present meet. Unsurprisingly, you can find a charm among these merchandise that blesses electronic devices.
Cosplay and Photoshoot
Cosplaying is a fun activity. You dress up as your favourite character from video games and anime (movies and TV series too) and masquerade around as them. This cosplaying culture is highly developed in Akihabara. You can get costumes, props and professional makeup support from the many cosplay outlets in the district. Moreover, you can have your cosplaying self photographed by professional photographers in a photoshoot. These photos will serve as a souvenir and a keepsake.
Akihabara is home to numerous and various shops. The main products are otaku goods of course. There are shops for cosplay items, games, anime and gaming merchandise and many more. Shopping has to be part of your itinerary if you are a member of the otaku culture but do shop even when you are not. The otaku goods make great souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes to remind you of the wonderful time you had in this dream of a city.
Planning carefully your Akihabara itinerary, so you can see as many interesting places as possible. Bring cash in different denominations to facilitate the visiting around Akihabara at night. Do not forget to learn a little basic Japanese as well as a phone with Google translate app for convenience in the process of communicating with native speakers.