Love Anime? Head To These Sites In Tokyo | CoolJapan

When in Tokyo, foreign animé fans are quick to put Akihabara in their itinerary as the place-to-be for otakus (Japanese pop culture lovers). But while that is true, did you know that Japan's capital has a lot more animé and manga stops than just the Electric City? From recreating iconic scenes from a global animé blockbuster to shopping your heart out and filling that animé-merch-shaped void in your heart, here's a list of animé destinations in Tokyo, apart from Akihabara, that you should have in your itinerary.

Suga Shrine, Shinjuku

This small shrine found in the middle of a quaint neighbourhood in Shinjuku gained immense popularity after the global success of Makoto Shinkai's animated film Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name).  The film's story revolves around a teenage boy living in Tokyo named Taki Tachibana, and a small town girl living in a fictional town called Itomori named Mitsuha Miyamizu, who begin switching bodies with each other due to an unknown occurrence. The stairs just outside of Suga Shrine became the iconic landmark for the film's poster, signifying an important scene in the movie's conclusion. It became so popular that even Google Maps now directs you to a walking trail following the movie's sequence leading up to the shrine if you start your quest from Shinjuku Station. 

Gundam Statue, Odaiba

Whether or not you're a Gundam fan, just the sight of the full-scale RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Mobile Suit will leave you in glee. Replacing the classic Gundam statue erected in DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in 2017, the Unicorn Gundam stands at 19.7 metres and switches between the Unicorn mode and the Destroyer mode at certain points of the day for the crowd to enjoy. Plus, Odaiba is situated in a man-made island solely created for entertainment hubs surrounded by stunningly futuristic architecture, so the Gundam Statue is just one of the many things you can see there.

 Pokemon Centre Mega Tokyo, Ikebukuro

Every animé fan has had a Pokemon phase. It continues to be a hit, even after 20 years since its launch, as exhibited by the recent success of PokemonGo, as well as the movie Detective Pikachu. So can you really go on a trip to the land of animé without paying a visit to the biggest Pokemon Centre in Japan? 

Celebrate all your favourite Pokemon in this megastore filled with merch, merch, and yes — MERCH. We're talking Pokemon-themed snacks, jello drinks, and even noodles. Plus, there are also your usual keychains, shirts, stuff toys — you name it. We guarantee you can't leave the store without spending your yen on a haul in this animé haven.

Sanrio Puroland, Tama

Looking for a place where everything is kawaii (cute) no matter where you turn? Sanrio Puroland is just the spot for you. The hub for all things Hello Kitty, Gudetama, My Melody, and the rest of the Sanrio gang, this theme park is great for kids and kids-at-heart who love gushing over everything pink, fluffy, and irresistible.

P.S. Make sure you don't miss out on the adorable character performances done within the park that will leave you feeling like you're a Sanrio character yourself.

Nakano Broadway, Nakano

Nakano Broadway should be your next stop after exhausting the streets of Tokyo's Electric City. Home to the famous manga (Japanese comic books) store Mandarake, as well as store after store filled with animé merch, gaming shops, gachapons (capsule toys), and more to fill your haul, this place is heaven for anime fans. You can even spot some idol goods in the area to show your support to you J-pop faves. 

(Cover photo from: @purolandjp; @haevar.nyk)

Speaking of musts to add on your itinerary, check out these Asian fireworks festivals to time your travels to.