Akihabara Area Map

•Go out the “Electric Town” exit from the JR station, or Exit 5 from the Hibiya line station.

•Outside the Electric Town exit, you can wander into the wide building with small doorways leading to the maze of bazaar-like components shops, or continue to Chuo-dori and turn right.

•Between the first and second stoplight on the right side of the street is a gigantic Don Kihote store. Every floor is filled with funny, fascinating merchandise, from costumes that’ll turn you into a French maid to gadgets that’ll puzzle and amaze. The top floor is home to AKB-48, a Japanese popcult phenomenon. Twice a day, teams of girls perform sold-out shows, singing and dancing for audiences of enthusiastic young men. Information on how to get tickets is posted near the venue.

•Around the corner, look for the meal-in-a-can vending machine!

If you want to visit a maid café:

•To find a maid café that welcomes foreigners, walk along the streets of Akihabara and pass by the maids handing out flyers. (The smaller streets parallel to the big main ones are better than the main drags for this). If a maid hands you a flyer advertising her café, consider yourself invited. Most flyers have a map to the café on them; FYI they tend not to be on the ground floor. If a maid doesn’t hand you a flyer, assume that her café isn’t set up to receive non-Japanese (they may not speak English or have an English menu, for example.)

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more

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