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Travel Guide: Tokyo Part II - Anime-related Shops

To All,
As a continuation to my previous Japan Tokyo travel guide post, this time I'm going to focus on shops which sells Anime-related merchandises. I have made plans to head down to these shops when I am heading down to Tokyo this June, and hopefully I'll be able to visit all of them and acquire some nice loots!

Kotobukiya
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Akihabara, 1 chrome-8-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku (Exit: Electric Town exit)

Kotobukiya has a total of 5 floors, where each floor caters to a separate target group. As a brief run-through, I have summarized what each floor has, though the summary caters to my tastes, so be sure to check out Kotobukiya's website personally in case I've missed out anything that caters to you!

1F
On the very first floor, there are merchandise from various animations shops such as the ever-famous Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) and Shaft. Trademark figures such as Danboard (Danbo) goods are located on this floor as well. And of course, as Kotobukiya is, merchandise from games and anime would definitely not be left out!

Monster Hunter (MonHun) and Final Fantasy (FF) have their own shrines on this floor. Popular titles such as Danganronpa, Blazblue, Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) and Evangelion are also located here! Not to mention that with the earlier mentioned Kyoto Animation and Shaft, this means that Free!, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions) as well as Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) and Monogatari Series will be here as well! As all of you know, I am a big fan of Monogatari Series, I actually can't wait to visit this store and grab all the Monogatari Series' goods they have there~

There is a souvenir corner which sells anime goods amongst others. I'm actually quite interested in the Kaomoji goods which they have to offer!

2F
This floor has Tales series, Uta no Prince-sama (UtaPri), Tennis no Ouji (Prince of Tennis), Kuroko no Basuke (KuroBasu) and the infamous Sailor Moon. Kotobukiya's cute es nino series, rubber straps, are also found on Level 2. Just like how the 1st floor has a Danboard corner, the 2nd floor boasts its own Rilakkuma corner that doesn't lose in terms of cuteness!

3F
This floor is my main paradise of this Kotobukiya store. The third floor is generally catered to males, with Bishoujo figures. There are figures from popular titles such as Love Live!, IDOLM@STER, STEINS;GATE, Kantai Collection (Kancolle) and Super Sonico, to name a few.

Nendoroids, Figma and Cu-poche are also on this floor, along with a variety of display cases. I wouldn't recommend getting any display cases though, as they are rather bulky and wouldn't be of any help on your plane trip home. Sadly, they do give estimates for customized display cases so it's unfortunate that bringing those cases home would be a pain or I'll definitely go for some of these cases!

4F
Frame Arms, Muv-Luv, ARTFX, ARTFX-J and Jojo's Bizzare Adventure takes up the majority of this floor. As the other are rather self-explanatory, I'll focus on explaining ARTFX series, which I have highlighted some time ago in one of my Beginner Figure Collectors Tutorial series, which is a higher-quality scale figure series produced by Kotobukiya, where the figures featured in the ARTFX line is supposedly of higher quality than usual Kotobukiya scale figures, and do usually fetch higher prices as well.

5F
There is nothing much on the 5th floor, in my opinion, because it's simply a multi-purpose event hall and this event space is of course, not commonly used until there is an event. Though, not rare for Kotobukiya to have events, it is difficult to plan a holiday based on the availability of events.

Other than the different floors, Kotobukiya also has a point card system and a delivery service. With regards to the point card system, Kotobukiya awards one stamp every 500 yen (in cash only) spent in their store, and after having collected a total of 15 stamps, you'll be able to get 500 yen off your next item. Do note that that the 500 yen discount only applies to all branches of their physical store and the online store is not included. For the delivery service, there is a delivery service for goods bought from their physical store but it is only free if your total purchase in a single Japan branch is above 10,000 yen.

Mandarake Complex
Operating Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Akihabara, 3 chrome-11-12 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku (Exit: Electric Town exit)

Mandarake is my to-go place for second-hand items. I wouldn't say that they have good prices, as Mandarake second-hand items are usually on the higher end for shops selling second- hand items, but they have a wider selection than most second-hand figure shops. There are a total of 8 floors in this Mandarake branch and similar to that for Kotobukiya, I'll be giving a breakdown of them. Do note that there is more information about what is on each individual floor here.

1F
On the first floor there are checkouts and displays. If you're like me and enjoy looking at people's collections, walking around the first floor is actually quite nice. You get to see a nice variation of figures and you might be able to find something which you like, but would never have given a second glance during pre-orders!

2F
Not a floor for me, but each to his own. On this floor, I have seen quite a collection of cosplay materials, such as wigs and outfits. There are also several pieces of artwork and dolls.

3F
This floor is all about manga! Whether you like some popular series like Naruto or some obscure manga or a series that is old and sold out almost everywhere else, Mandarake has you covered. The only thing is, bringing manga books back to Singapore isn't all that nice since there are baggage limits. However, if your family and friends are willing to sneak a few of your loot in their baggage for the trip back home, I'll say go ahead and grab your favorite series!

4F
Doujinshi for guys litter this floor, and I'm sure you'll know what that means, if you were to think of what figures for a male audience usually contains. Sorry for the stereotype involved. Though I might not buy anything from this floor, I'll still walk through here if I'm not too embarrassed, hoping to find something not lewd to purchase since I like many male-orientated series -- basically those which are considered to have a huge female cast.

5F
Doujinshi for girls populate this floor, and I'm sure you know what this entails as well. This is the floor where I'm hoping I'll be able to grab some of Sashikizu's work. Sashikizu is my favorite doujin circle (or artist, in this case) and I have many of Sashikizu's work. Unfortunately I haven't collected all that are available yet, and I hope that this trip will finally be able to clear my wish list of all the Sashikizu's works I'm interested in getting.

6F
This floor is filled with games, Anime (blu-rays) and controls. I frequent this floor for the anime more than the games, since I am more interested in that more than games. I do play games as well, but usually just a couple of BL games and otome games. I am familiar with the titles that are more popular, although I haven't been playing much visual novels since the start of this year due to time constraints.

7F
Retro games and game controls take up most, if not all, of this floor. Old series, old plastic models and even card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic the Gathering are located on this floor. This isn't really a floor for me and I usually skip this floor.

8F
This is the floor that I have never been on. I've heard that toys are on this floor and I am excited as to what toys they refer to. But as far as I know, it doesn't seem as if the toys on this floor would be of much interest to me either, however I'll be up there to look around when I have time!

Mandarake Nakano
Operating hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Nakano Broadway, 5 chrome-52-15, Nakano-ku

Frankly speaking, Nakano Broadway is another otaku haven and there is even a shopping arcade leading up to the Broadway. There are a total of 4 floors in the Broadway, where you'll mostly find cosplays.

Although Mandarake Complex is defintely much larger, I find that Mandarake Nakano has a cheaper selection of second-hand figures, so you definitely can't miss heading down to Mandarake Nakano if you are a collector, and especially if you have time to spare!

Amiami
Operating hours: -
Location: Akihabara 1 chrome-5-11 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Super Bldg. 3rd & 4th floors

Little information is available about this store from Amiami's blog yet, other than the location of the store and that they would be opened around the end of April. That being said, the store should be opened already! I've heard that they will have, or are having, a small pre-owned section. I have no idea what the other sections will be, other than an event space for the impending events which Amiami will be having in collaboration with other large brand names.

I'm looking forward to heading down to Amiami's store so I'll be able to see what they have in store, but I'm afraid I might not actually be purchasing much from them.

Games and Doujinshi corner

K-Books
Operating hours: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Akihabara, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Akihabara Radio Center (Akihabara Electric Town Exit)

K-Books have several branches around Tokyo, and I am intending to visit either this branch or their branch at Ikebukuro. Unfortunately Akihabara Radio Center has closed down some time ago so I'm not exactly sure if they are still operating in Akihabara.

Toranoana, Lashinban and Stellaworth are some of the more commonly known areas for doujinshi and games. Some of them have branches in many areas of Tokyo but some are only located in either Ikebukuro or Akihabara only and not both, or elsewhere.


Suruga-ya
Operating hours:10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: Akihabara, 4 chrome-5-1. Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, KHK building

Suruga-ya is my second best place to purchase second-hand goods after Mandarake. They have a much smaller online shop as compared to Mandarake on the whole, but larger if you consider it by branches, which is essential for Mandarake since their purchases are divided by branches. This means that you are unable to combine your Mandarake purchase if they are of different branches.

This applies to real life as well, though in a slightly different context. With Suruga-ya, you'll be able to purchase without feeling the need to travel to and fro from different branches to check prices. Not to mention that Suruga-ya's prices are generally less steep and they have more merchandise that appeal to me!

Sword Museum
Operating hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last entry at 4:00 p.m.)
Location: Shibuya, Yoyogi, 4-chrome-25-10 (8 minutes by foot from Sangubashi station of Odakyu-Line; or 7 minutes by foot from Hatsudai station of Keio-Shin-Sen-Line (the Keio New Line).)

This place is where you can view most of your Touken Danshi's true form. The display exhibition rotates from time to time, so I do think it's essential to know who you'll see on exhibit before you plan a trip down. For me, the sword on display then is neither Shokudaikiri Mitsutada or Mikazuki Munechika, hence I don't feel a strong urge to head down to the exhibit, and will probably not be going at all since I'm so time-tied for this trip.

Do note that there is an admission fee involved. Adults have to pay 600 yen while members and students pay 300 yen. Children on the other hand, are able to enter free of charge.
___________

As I would be heading down to Japan from 14th to 25th and will be spending time in both Tokyo and Hokkaido, I would do my best to provide more information about the places I'm planning to visit, other places I've visited, and some other recommendations if I manage to find nice places along the way which were never on my list!

From Your Fellow Japan Fan,
All photos and information belong to their respective owners.
Part I | Part II

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