Akihabara picture
Yongyuan Dai/Getty Images

Key Info

East of the Imperial Palace, below Ueno

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 2.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Akihabara is nirvana for techies. Tokyo's premier electronics district, which is also referred to as "Akiba," has gadgets of all kinds found in booths on side streets and main street mega department stores. You'll spot the latest technology on the shelves, which will probably put your equipment to shame. And if you're in the market for hard-to-find bibs or bobs, you're likely to find that here too. If you're unsure where to start, stop at the larger-than-life Yodobashi department store (often billed as the largest electronics store in the world) or stroll along the neighborhood's main street, Chuo Dori, which becomes car-free on Sundays. In addition to being an electronics hub, Akihabara also caters to serious gamers and anime lovers. Here, you'll find loads of gaming arcades as well as shops and street stalls selling comics and character figurines. You'll also probably spot a few cosplayers casually walking down the street. 

While Akihabara is no doubt unique, recent travelers had mixed reviews about the district. Those who expressed interest in anime loved their visit, saying you can't leave Tokyo without experiencing the world Akihabara has to offer for fans. Those without a greater interest in the subject matter enjoyed the buzzing activity and plethora of neon signage that permeates the area but ended up growing bored after a period of time. Some were downright offended by the inappropriate nature of some of the anime culture (think maid cafes), so this area may not be suitable for young children. Visitors solely interested in shopping for electronics felt overwhelmed by the options and recommended researching in advance to maximize your time in the neighborhood. 

Akihabara sits in central Tokyo and is accessible via the metro. The closest metro stop is Akihabara. Although you can visit the neighborhood anytime and its free to explore, individual stores have their own hours. For more information, check out the Akihabara district's website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Tokyo National Museum

If you're looking to learn a little (or a lot) about Japan's history, the Tokyo National Museum is the place to go. This museum is one of the country's most expansive, housing about 116,000 pieces of art and artifacts that cover the longest recorded history of Japan. Strolling through the halls of its numerous buildings, you'll spot relics such as samurai armor and swords (a traveler favorite), delicate pottery, kimonos, calligraphy, paintings, and much more, some of which are designated as national treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. In addition to artifacts from Japan's history, you'll also find pieces from all across the Asian continent, including Buddhist scrolls that date all the way back to 607. 

Travelers were impressed with all that the Tokyo National Museum has to offer. Even some who admitted they aren't museum people enjoyed the variety of unique artifacts on display. Travelers appreciated that the museum featured English translations, something that some visitors noticed other Tokyo top attractions lacked (think the Ghibli Museum). Museum goers also say that there so much to see in the Tokyo National Museum that you probably need an entire day if you want to get through everything. If you don't have enough time to do this (or just don't want to) the best thing to do is get a map of the museum beforehand and pick what you want to do before you venture in. 

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