Japan is the birthplace of anime, so it’s no surprise that fans flock here to delve deeper into the art.
The country is chock-full of anime- and manga-themed attractions, including museums, shopping centers, theme parks, and other unique spots. If you’re a fan of anime, make sure you include these eight spots in your itinerary to marvel at the rich world of the culture.
Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum
Any anime and manga fan should recognize Osamu Tezuka, who’s widely credited as the father of both manga and anime. The Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum in Takarazuka pays tribute to the legendary artist who created Japan’s very first anime series Astro Boy.
Stroll through the various pods that tell the story of Tezuka’s life and career, then sift through the digital archives to read and watch his works. Make sure you catch the daily screening of the more obscure anime in Tezuka’s portfolio.
Step into the strange and whimsical world of Studio Ghibli, the acclaimed studio behind some of the most beloved animated films in the world, such as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke.
Snap photos of the life-sized replicas of Studio Ghibli characters, such as the robot from Castle in the Sky and Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro. Roam the grounds the special animation exhibits as well as short films by the studio that are exclusively shown in the museum’s theater.
Book a tour of the Ghibli Museum in advance with KKday.
Akihabara is the center of otaku culture, the Japanese slang for people who are deeply interested in anime. There’s an insane number of shops dedicated entirely to anime, manga, and gaming, where you can buy anything related to otaku culture, including rare items you won’t find anywhere else.
Stop by the Tokyo Anime Center for tours, exhibits, and events, then visit Radio Kaikan to explore 10 floors of anime-related toys and collectibles.
Nakano’s Broadway Street
Another popular hotspot associated with anime culture is the neighborhood of Nakano, particularly Nakano Broadway, which is a shopping hub with shop after shop selling anime and manga goods. Make sure you check out the famous Mandarake Rare Book Store, a long-running shop offering rare and out-of-print manga from all over the country.
Suginami Animation Museum
Take a peek behind the curtain of anime-making at the Suginami Animation Museum in Tokyo. The museum features exhibits on the history and future of Japanese animation as well as a library and theater where avid fans can learn more about the art form.
Try activities like dubbing and digital animation workshops, so you can actually experience the process of bringing anime to life.
Pokémon Center MEGA Tokyo
If you’re a Pokémon, this is definitely a must-visit. Play console games, stock up on merchandise, and win exclusive prizes to your heart’s content in these fantastic Pokémon hubs all over the country.
There are 12 different Pokémon Centers in Japan, but the MEGA Center in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is the biggest, most comprehensive one.
Gundam Base Tokyo
Gundam is one of the most famous and legendary anime figures in the world and the mecca of this franchise is undoubtedly Gundam Base Tokyo. Stroll through the exhibits displaying a stunning array of Gundam kits for sale, from vintage kits from the 1980s to new ones by local artists. When you’ve exhausted your funds at the base, grab a bite at the Gundam-themed café to complete the experience.
You can’t miss the life-sized 64-foot (19-meter) Unicorn Gundam looming over the building, but make sure you catch its transformation into “Destroy Mode,” an exhibition that occurs several times a day.
Tokyo One Piece Tower
The Tokyo One Piece Tower is a large-scale indoor theme park dedicated to the popular Japanese anime series One Piece.
Explore four floors of attractions with the Straw Hat Pirates, enjoying character photo opportunities, souvenir items, special events, and live shows. Embark on an epic treasure hunt and search for characters and codes hidden throughout the park!