5 Hobby Shops in Akihabara

These days, there are no shortage of guides and articles online about hobby shops in Akihabara, which to visit and how much you would expect to spend. I am not here today to add to that ever growing list of articles. Instead, I am here to share with you my five personal favorite stores in Akihabara. These shops are by no means hidden gems but, I consider these shops to be the ones you cannot miss if you are in town searching for rare finds. Surprisingly enough, some of these stores are actually missed even by seasoned collectors.

1. Mandarake Complex
Despite it being an 8 story tall black corner building with hardly any windows, you would be surprised at the number of people who still miss the building. This is partly due to the fact that Mandarake's Complex is located off the main street. That being said, it is still within a stone's throw of many popular hobby stores. Mandarake is not where one goes to get the latest and greatest figures in the market. Instead, it is the place one goes for rare finds such as long forgotten clear files, trinkets and prize figures. It does help that their figure and toys selections are also very good and affordable. Regardless of the number of times I return to the Complex, there always seems to be some new find that I missed out on. As such, Mandarake in Akihabara is one place I always go to during my trips down.

2. AmiAmi
This is perhaps my favorite place to get brand new figures in the entirety of Akihabara. With large, well lit stores offering a large selection of merchandise at reasonable prices, there is little to dislike about Amiami's Akihabara store. Sure, they did not have to make an actual physical store seeing as to how popular their online store was. But, their physical store has many of the long standing hobby stores in Akiba beat in more ways than one. It is a real shame then that, you do not actually see too many people in their stores. This probably has something to do with their location which is not along the main road nor is it on the ground floor hence, lacking significant exposure. Not that it matters because those who know about it would definitely find it and those who do, often walk away with something. 

3. Kotobukiya
Kotobukiya's Akihabara flagship store is, in my opinion, the model hobby store. Clean, bright and very well organized, Kotobukiya is the place to go even if you are not into the hobby. This shows as the store is often flocked with visitors despite not being located on the main street. That much alone speaks volumes of Kotobukiya's store with its ever changing display cases showcasing both their own products as well as the hottest figures in the market. While many may agree their prices are not the lowest, I always recommend everyone to keep a keen eye out because, often, there would be several very good deals just lying in plain sight among all the other normally priced items. For example, I once purchased an entire Super Sonico Ichiban Kuji set for only 8,000 Yen whereas the figure alone has been seen selling for more than that. Hence, another must not miss shop.

4. Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine has various shops in and around Akihabara. Their main store is in Radio Kaikan taking up an entire floor of the building and frequently attracting a large number of visitors and customers. And for good reason, Yellow Submarine is one of the premier hobby stores in Akihabara catering to almost every sub-category of the hobby from figure to model kit collectors. There is something for everybody and, as a result, everybody goes there. In fact, they even have a store specializing in games (card, board, etc.) which is located just above Amiami. Neat!

5. ???
Number 5 is somewhat of an odd mystery because neither I nor the internet can name the store. This mysterious find came to me after a full day of exploring Akihabara. Late at night, many stores were close but this particular store was open and only set to close in the early hours of the morning. This stuck me as being terribly unusual and what, from the outside, appeared to be a generic hobby store actually turned out to be a store holding a great deal of rarities being sold at really low prices. While I do not remember the name of the shop, I can with almost complete certainty confirm its existence. As such, on my next trip there, I intend to find it and place it on the map for everyone to know.

On that mysterious note, comes an end to this list of my five favorite hobby shops in Akihabara. If you ever get the chance to visit, do yourself a favor and make sure you visit these shops. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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