The road to manga heaven.
Interested in the 2D side of Japan? Head to Otome Road in Ikebukuro, which has anime and manga goods, voice actor CDs, doujinshi (self-published works) and more.
For the newest merchandise, you can hit Animate Ikebukuro, on the way to Otome Road. With nine floors housing everything from this season’s manga and light novels to toys and food, Animate is the largest store of its kind in Japan.
For older stuff, try second-hand stores like Lashinbang, K-Books and Mandarake. (No worries – everything is still in good condition.) These shops are perfect for picking out exactly what you like. Popular items will usually cost more than the original price, but if you’re a fan of characters that don’t get as much love, you’ll usually get a good price for goods or doujinshi. It’s also fun to dig through the discount piles to see what treasures you might find. Note that many doujinshi will be shrink-wrapped so you can’t check what’s inside.
Besides anime merch, you’ll also find cute accessories, clothing and makeup shops, often with anime character themes. Small stores like Caramel Cube Chocolat will have fan-made goods like necklaces, bracelets and pins created in the image of your favorite characters. You can also buy premade cosplay outfits (new or second-hand) or mix and match with wigs and clothing to make your own outfit at ACOS or K-Books.
When you need a break, head towards either of the Ikebukuro Animate cafes (though you’ll need to reserve), where they’ll have themed cafes based on popular anime or manga. There’s also the Swallowtail Butler Cafe near K-Books, where you can experience being a lady waited upon by butlers as you have tea – well, someone’s got to.
Only a five-minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro Station, Animate Ikebukuro often holds special events for current anime and manga, with merchandise that can only be purchased here. There are also campaigns where if you buy a certain amount of items from one series, you’ll get a little bonus item.