Anime and pop culture
Ghibli Museum - Museum: Mitaka
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Tuesdays.]
When Hayao Miyazaki's spellbinding Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated feature in 2003, it only confirmed to the world what Japan has known for decades: that the work of Miyazaki and his fellow artists at Studio Ghibli ranks alongside that...
Anpanman Shop - Retail: Yotsuya 3-chome
[Open noon-6pm daily.]
A shop devoted to the bean-jam-pastry hero and immensely popular children's cartoon character Anpanman, with thousands of different character items on sale.
Gundam Front Tokyo - Attraction: Daiba
[Open 10am-10pm daily.]
Located on the seventh floor of DiverCity shopping mall in Aomi, this mini theme park is devoted to the popular Gundam anime series, and will be of interest to hardcore fans. It features a panoramic movie theater, a display of historic Gundam...
J-World - Amusement park: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-10pm (last entry 9pm) daily.]
J-World is an indoor theme park devoted to Dragon Ball-Z, Naruto, One Piece and other anime series from the Weekly Shonen Jump production company. Rather than just having rides, the park aims at creating an immersive experience for visitors. For...
Mandarake Complex - Retail: Akihabara
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
A Mecca for manga maniacs, Mandarake carries a huge selection of toys, figurines and other collectibles as well as new and used comics.
Mandarake Shibuya - Retail: Shibuya
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
This conveniently located outlet of the comic-book specialty store carries action figures and toys, videos and music, and hundreds of thousands of comic books, both new and used.
Nakano Broadway - Shopping complex: Nakano
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
The ground floor of Nakano Broadway looks like a typical neighborhood arcade - dozens of shops selling handbags, sneakers, pet supplies and so on. But step onto the escalator and prepare to enter a different world - a warren of tiny,...
Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo - Retail: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Open since the end of 2014, this mega-shop offers the biggest selection of Pokemon goods in Japan, including lots of limited-edition items. You'll find everything from Pokemon-themed ramen, curry and candies to tableware, slippers and stationery. ...
Suginami Animation Museum - Museum: Nishi-Ogikubo
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30). Closed Mondays.]
Cartoon fans can learn about the history of Japanese animation, try their hand at using animation software and browse through a massive library of DVDs and comics at this free museum. The museum's attached theater boasts a 150-inch screen and...
Tintin Shop - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11:30am-7pm daily.]
A well-stocked shop devoted to the beloved Belgian comic-book hero and his dog, Snowy.
Tokyo Anime Center - Retail: Akihabara
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
Tokyo Anime Center might be worth a quick look for hard-core anime fans on their way to one of the specialty shops in the neighborhood. Most of the small space here is devoted to selling souvenirs, character merchandise and T-shirts; there are also...
Museums and galleries
Tokyo Toy Museum - Museum: Yotsuya 3-chome
[Open 10am-4pm (enter by 3:30pm). Closed Thursdays.]
Especially popular with younger children but suitable for all ages, the museum exhibits thousands of toys from around the world, with plenty of hands-on activity for enthusiastic visitors. The musuem occupies two floors of a former elementary...
Advertising Museum of Tokyo (ADMT) - Museum: Shiodome
[Open Tue-Fri 11am-6:30pm; Sat, Sun 11am-4:30pm (enter by 30 min before closing). Closed Mondays.]
The Advertising Museum of Tokyo (ADMT) has a very cool entrance in shiny black metal and glass on the B1 floor of the Dentsu building in Shiodome. Walk in, pass the museum shop (which has a couple of cute postcards), and then take a left down the...
Cupnoodles Museum - Museum: Yokohama Minato-mirai
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
If you love instant ramen and want to learn much, much more about the ubiquitous snack and its inventor, Momofuku Ando, you've come to the right place. Walk around inside a replica of the original shed where Ando first created instant ramen back in...
Megumi Ogita Gallery - Art gallery: Ginza
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays, holidays.]
Manga, anime, toys and other aspects of pop culture are the inspiration for many of the shows at this international gallery. The exhibition area is comfortably spacious and can accommodate fairly large shows. As with all independent galleries,...
Museum of Tin Toys - Museum: Yokohama Motomachi
[Open 9:30am-6pm (weekends -7pm) daily.]
In the early twentieth century Japan exported huge numbers of tin-plate toys to countries around the world, and this charming little musuem traces that history, displaying some 3,000 antique toys made between the 1890s and the 1960s. Shelf after...
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum - Attraction: Yokohama
[Open 11am-10pm (last admission) daily.]
A miniature historical theme park, Ramen Town, located on the bottom two levels of the Ramen Museum, is a recreation of a bustling urban neighorhood in the year 1958 (which happens to be the year instant ramen was invented). Scattered among the...
Snowdome Museum - Museum: Ikejiri-Ohashi
[Open 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays.]
Collectors and devoted fans of winter weather-themed novelty souvenir items will be interested in this unique cultural resource - the world's only museum devoted to snow globes (aka snowdomes). Hundreds of examples of this much-neglected artform...
Vacant - Art gallery: Harajuku
[Open 1-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Exhibitions here vary widely in content, but tend toward the edgy, underground end of the spectrum. The space is also used for live music and other events. On the ground floor is a bar-cafe with a vegetarian menu and a big shop area selling...
Aki-Oka - Shopping complex: Akihabara
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
Officially known as "2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan," this is a complex of galleries, boutiques and workshops for artisans of both traditional and modern crafts. Lined up under the JR railroad tracks are some two dozen shops selling (and often making...
Legoland - Attraction: Daiba
[Open 10am-9pm (enter by 7pm) daily.]
The Legoland Discovery Center is a mini-theme park inside the Tokyo Decks shopping complex, offering fun activities and charming attractions for visitors of all ages. There are a couple of entertaining rides, a 3D adventure movie, and hands-on...
Line Friends Store - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11am-9pm (Sat, Sun 10-9) daily.]
Cartoon bears are of course an important part of daily life in Japan, and the most ubiquitous of these is probably Brown, the salmon-loving mascot of LINE, Japan's (and Asia's) most popular instant-messaging service, with 700 million users...