In the heart of Akihabara’s Electric Town is a vibrant subculture complex bringing together the best of Tokyo’s otaku offerings. Whether you are obsessed with all things idols or anime, curious about cosplay or just searching for the perfect pop culture souvenir, you’ll find what you’re looking for – and plenty more – at Akiba Cultures Zone. From character goods and collectibles to live performances and themed desserts, here’s our handy guide to this multistory hobby heaven.
1F and 2F: A One-Stop Hobby Shop
If you have a 2D crush, or maybe you want to find one, this is a great place to start. All items sold on these two floors are secondhand. Spread over two floors, Lashinbang offers a huge selection of secondhand subculture goods including figures, keychains, stationery and posters featuring your favorite anime, manga and game characters. You’ll also find comic books, doujinshi (amateur manga publications), life-size body pillow covers, CDs and DVDs relating to idols, Vocaloids and voice actors, as well as adult content.
3F and 4F: Mini Markets and Specialty Shops
Multiple treasure troves await you with floor-to-ceiling toys, dolls and trinkets as well as model kits, soft vinyl toys, plush dolls, trading cards and otome (video games targeting women). This is the place to hunt down that elusive capsule machine prize, rediscover a nostalgic character’s classic merchandise, or simply enjoy wandering around making new discoveries. A so-called cube system lets people rent out cabinet boxes to sell off their surplus collections, creating dozens more micro shops to browse with constantly changing contents. A handful of specialty stores focus their wares for more particular fans and enthusiasts. Find model trains at Sukeruton, yo-yos at SpinGear and a plethora of pop idol ephemera across both floors.
5F: Cosplay and Café
If you’ve been dreaming of embodying your favorite character, here you can find everything you need to transform yourself from head to toe. From official brand costumes and original outfits to wigs, shoes, color contact lenses, animal ears and armor-making materials, the staff will be happy to help you achieve your roleplaying fantasy or cosplay goals. On this floor you can also enjoy a special café serving up collaboration menus and limited-edition goodies connected to popular anime series. The themes change regularly so be sure to check back next time for a new lineup of sweet treats and beverages.
B1F and 6F: Live Idols, Maids and More
Become your own idol “producer” at the sixth floor’s Akihabara Backstage Pass. This stage café is staffed by a cast of maids and aspiring idols who perform for customers and compete in rankings with the hopes of making it to “legend” status and joining a permanent idol group. Alternatively, head to the basement to find Akiba Cultures Theater, one of the largest performance venues in Akihabara. The schedule boasts a lineup of daily live shows from established and upcoming idols
to voice actors, animation screenings and other