Calling all anime lovers! Is this year the year you finally head to Japan? If you’re taking advantage of the travel renaissance to fulfil a lifelong dream of taking an anime trip to Japan, we’ve got you covered. Here at The Dragon Trip, we’ve created a guide to all our favourite experiences which we think are must-sees for any self-professed anime connoisseur. And the best bit? You can visit all of them on our 7-Day Anime Japan Tour!
First off, take a visit to Japan’s Electric Town. With a long-standing history as the epicentre of manufacturing and electronics, it’s no surprise that even today, Akihabara still looks to the future. It’s now a hub for all things otaku culture, anime, and manga – and it’s even home to Japan’s most famous J-Pop group, AKB48.
While you’re wandering around the neon-fluorescent streets, you can dip into the many arcade gaming stores that fill Akihabara, including the now-famous Super Potato. It’s an unassuming looking building that’s home to three-floors of everything an anime lover could want, and is known as the ‘place where otaku go.’ Take a stroll here and you’ll find a full arcade, endless retro games, and every games console you can think of.
Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo
If you’ve simply gotta catch ‘em all, it’s probably about time you paid a visit to Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo.
Heaven for any Pokémon lover, this sprawling store is located in the Sunshine City Alpa shopping complex. It’s home to anything you could want – Pikachu sweets? They’ve got it. Poké-themed ramen? They’ve got that too. You can buy everything, from tableware to trading cards, plushies to Poké-balls! And if you’d like to take a break from it all, at the front of the store you can find a selection of arcade games, ready for you to load up and play.
No anime trip to Japan is complete without a visit to the Ghibli Museum. It’s paradise for any anime lover in Japan – or film lover in general! The brainchild of award-winning Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki, this museum in Mitaka dedicated to Studio Ghibli includes a theatre showing film excerpts, a whimsical children’s play zone, a rooftop garden, café, and exhibits related to his movies, including Spirited Away.
At the entrance, you’ll be welcomed by a giant Totoro, and inside you’ll find exactly what you’d expect – a colourful wonderland befitting of Ghibli’s work. Until November 2023, you’ll find the Special Exhibition hall playing all 26 episodes of Miyazaki’s animated television directorial debut, Future Boy Conan.
Now, if you didn’t fill your pockets enough in Super Potato, a trip to Nakano Broadway might be just what you need. Located a few minutes’ train ride from Shinjuku, Nakano is a four-floor shopping utopia, a bustling centre filled to the brim with anime stores, manga shops, collectibles traders, and game merchandise.
You’ll find the best stores on levels two and three, but if you’re after a spot of food, heading down to the basement level takes you into a grocery market that all the locals use. Or, if you’re ready to put your feet up, head to the Nakano Sunmall, a shopping street nearby where you’ll find all manner of cafés and restaurants.
Toei Animation Museum
There’s one more destination any anime lover has to head to, and that’s the Toei Animation Museum. Founded by the leading producer of anime and manga works – including Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball and Digimon – the museum is a vibrant celebration of all things animation.
On display inside, visitors can see the original storyboards and celluloids from the history of Toei’s animation process. There’s also huge display screens housing the company’s historical collection of animations, a range of permanent and special exhibitions – and a shop!
If these destinations have you itching to take your dream anime trip to Japan, explore more on our 7-Day Anime Japan Tour page.
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