7 Ultimate Anime Destinations in Japan Every Fan Must Visit

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Introduction to Japan’s Anime Wonderland

Japan’s anime culture is a global phenomenon, deeply rooted in its rich history and innovative spirit.

This introductory section will set the stage for our journey through Japan’s anime wonderland, highlighting how anime has evolved from a niche hobby into a worldwide sensation, influencing everything from fashion to filmmaking.

Pokémon Center: A Must-Visit for Pokémon Fans

The Pokémon Centers in Japan are more than just stores; they are a dream come true for Pokémon enthusiasts.

In Japan, Pokémon Centers are located in 12 cities: Tokyo (with 4 stores), Sapporo, Sendai, Funabashi, Yokohama, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka (with 2 stores), Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Okinawa (in Kitanakagusuku). They often attract a large number of visitors, especially families during holidays.

Even on non-holidays, the stores can be crowded during special events like data distribution events, New Year’s first sales, and the release of limited-edition game consoles, sometimes leading to entry restrictions due to overcrowding.

Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Café
Get ready for a sweet treat at “Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Café”! This delightful spot is a dream come true for Pokémon fans with a sweet tooth. Imagine a café where the star of the show is none other than the beloved Pikachu, served up in the form of irresistibly cute desserts.


Ghibli Museum: Stepping Into Miyazaki’s Magical World

Have you ever watched a Studio Ghibli movie?

The unique world created by Hayao Miyazaki captivates not only Japanese people but should enchant audiences worldwide.

Visiting the Ghibli Museum is a magical experience, akin to stepping into one of Miyazaki’s beloved films.

When you decide on the day to visit the Ghibli Museum, make sure to reserve your tickets early as they are required. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the station, but the walk through the spacious park is pleasant.

There is a restaurant, but be prepared for a shortage of seats.

You might want to brace yourself for a queue or bring your own snacks.

The souvenir shop gets crowded in the afternoon. It’s a good idea to buy your souvenirs early and store them in a coin locker, which is free of charge.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan

hours: 10:00 AM -6:00 PM

Tickets:Entrance to the Ghibli Museum is strictly by advance purchase of a reserved ticket which specifies the entry date and time of the reservation.

Ghibli Museum

Animate: The Ultimate Store for Anime Merchandise

Animate is more than just a store; it’s a vibrant hub that epitomizes the heart of anime culture in Japan. As we walk through the aisles of the main store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, we are immediately struck by the overwhelming array of anime merchandise. It’s a colorful world where every shelf and corner reveals something new and exciting.

The store is an absolute paradise for anime enthusiasts, offering an extensive range of products that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From plush toys and apparel inspired by popular anime characters to an impressive collection of manga, both classic and contemporary, Animate ensures that every fan finds something that resonates with their fandom. The rare collectibles section is a treasure trove in itself, featuring limited edition items that are coveted by collectors worldwide.


Animate stores are located all over Japan, but the main store is in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.


Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten : A Haven for Capsule Toy Enthusiasts


The “Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten” stands as a flagship among gashapon department stores across Japan. This store boasts the world’s largest collection of gashapon vending machines, numbering around 3,000. It’s a haven for enthusiasts, offering quick access to Bandai’s latest and most popular products, ensuring a comprehensive and up-to-date selection.

What sets this store apart is the unique experiences it offers, many of which are exclusive to this location. Among these is the “gasha shooting spot,” a feature that allows visitors to enjoy their favorite items in a novel way, adding an interactive twist to the gashapon experience.

Located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo – a hub for art and culture – this store not only represents the quintessential Japanese toy culture but also serves as a pivotal point for disseminating information about capsule toys. Visitors to the store are treated to a “gasha activity” that is both fun and unique, encapsulating a special experience that can only be found at the Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten.

Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten

Akihabara: The Electric Town for Anime and Tech Lovers


Akihabara is the heart of Japan’s otaku culture. Here, we’ll delve into the bustling streets lined with anime shops, electronic stores, and maid cafes. This segment will provide insights into how Akihabara has become a symbol of Japan’s cutting-edge technology and a paradise for anime fans, making it an essential stop on any anime-themed tour of Japan.

A sure bet when you visit! Introducing three quintessential anime shops in Akihabara

Animate Akihabara Main Building
Animate is Japan’s largest anime shop chain with 120 stores nationwide. The Akihabara store, boasting a long history of 22 years as of 2019, is known as a sacred place for many anime fans. If you’re looking for anime goods, Animate is the place to go. The Animate Akihabara Main Building sells anime goods on all floors from the 1st to the 6th.


An indispensable part of any conversation about Akihabara’s anime shops is “Toranoana.” There are three Toranoana stores in Akihabara, labeled A, B, and C, each with its own unique features in terms of products and business hours.

Toranoana Akihabara Store A occupies a building from the basement level to the 7th floor, dealing in doujinshi, comics, PC games, and Toranoana original goods. The 5th floor and above are dedicated to adult doujinshi, so if that’s not your interest, explore from the basement level to the 4th floor.

Toranoana Akihabara Store B has a completely different atmosphere from Store A, with a clean and welcoming interior popular among women. It features floors dedicated to women’s items, rare in Akihabara, on the 5th and 6th floors, and a floor stocked with a vast array of CDs related to anime, voice actors, and games.

Toranoana Akihabara Store C is a building packed with the unique offerings of Toranoana, including doujinshi, commercial books, anime goods, and toy purchases. The 4th floor is an event space.


Among Akihabara’s anime shops, Jungle Akihabara Store is renowned as a sacred place. Known for having the best selection of figures in Akihabara, its extensive range includes everything from Chogokin goods to special effects model kits.

Specializing in the purchase of figures, beautiful girl figures, Chogokin, special effects, model kits, toy guns, and other toys, Jungle has stores nationwide but boasts three locations in Akihabara.


Sanrio Café: Experience the Cuteness of Hello Kitty and Friends

The Sanrio Cafe is a character cafe directly operated by Sanrio. It offers an original menu inspired by Sanrio characters, with its first store opening in Ikebukuro in June 2020. A second store was opened in Kamakura in May 2021.

The features of the Sanrio Cafe include:

 Original menus that recreate the adorable world of Sanrio characters.
 Large objects and artworks modeled after popular characters.
 Two areas: a cafe space and a takeaway-only cafe wagon corner.

The Sanrio Cafe locations are as follows:

 Sanrio Cafe Ikebukuro Store
 Sanrio Cafe Kamakura Store

 Sanrio Café

Ghibli Park: The Newest Addition to Japan’s Anime Landscape

Ghibli Park is a park themed around the world of Studio Ghibli films, located within the Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park (Morikoro Park). On November 1, 2022, the first phase opened, featuring three areas: “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse,” “Hill of Youth,” and “Dondoko Forest.” The “Mononoke Village” is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023, and “Witch Valley” in March 2024.

Ghibli Park does not have large attractions or rides. Instead, it’s a place where you can walk on your own feet through the forests and paths as they are, feeling the wind and discovering secrets.

The total area of Ghibli Park is 7.1 hectares, which is about twice the combined size of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, or equivalent to about 42 Tokyo Domes.

 Ghibli Park

What is your favorite Studio Ghibli film?

The “Satsuki and Mei’s House” looks as if Satsuki and Mei could come running out at any moment.

I was moved to tears by its highly accurate reproduction.


This blog post serves as an essential guide for anime and character enthusiasts exploring Japan’s iconic anime-related destinations. From the magical Ghibli Museum to the bustling, tech-savvy streets of Akihabara, it offers a deep dive into the unique aspects of Japan’s rich pop culture. With detailed insights into each location, this article ensures fans can effortlessly plan their ultimate anime-themed journey through Japan.

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