Known as the electronic district of Japan, Akihabara has long attracted many buyers seeking discounted prices for household electronic goods. Recently it is better known as the hub for the Japanese otaku. As you walk down the main street the large displays of anime and manga characters and girls dressed as French maids are hard to miss.
As a tourist and first-time visitor, it can be difficult to navigate through Akihabara and decide where to start. At Adores 2, you can participate in all the different fun-filled activities offered in Akihabara in one go. Taking up the first four floors of a building, each floor offers a different activity; game center, rental showcase, exhibition and shop, and cafe.
What makes Adores 2 special is that they theme the entire store into a different anime every one to two months; during May and June, the store's Anime Plaza and cafe had a Naruto theme.
Furthermore, Adores 2 aims to create an entertaining space for women. Akihabara is more commonly visited by men and many shops cater to their needs. Because anime fans are not limited to one gender, Adores 2 aims to offer goods that are popular amongst women. They even ask their customers for the specific goods they are looking for and the more popular responses are then made into real products!
So my adventure began as I walked out of Akihabara station one afternoon, and was happy to find out that it was located only a few minutes from the station on the main street. I could not help but feel excited as I entered through the doors and found myself facing rows of crane game, otherwise known as the claw crane game, is a thrilling game where you control the movement of the crane to pick up the desired prize such as food, or stuffed animals. The prizes are updated frequently and some popular items can ran out in a day! After scanning all of the cabinets I chose one and decided to challenge one myself. After very unsuccessful attempts at clawing an item, I finally succeeded on my seventh try!
Delighted with my accomplishment, I decided to move on to the second floor. The rental showcase was unlike anything I have ever seen before. Somewhat like a personal gallery, it is a chance for fans to display and sell their anime goods. A transparent cube space can be rented out monthly and it is yours to manage. You are free to arrange and set the prices for each item you wish to sell. Some users are very successful and even make a living out of it! I enjoyed walking around the room, viewing the different items showcased and the personal touches added to each display. I was also pleasantly surprised by the variety of goods and it is definitely a great way to get hold of collector items at a very affordable price.
Take a look at the video below to learn more about the crane game!
Walk up to the next floor and you will find yourself at the shop and exhibition space featuring the crane game prizes. Many companies display the items they will be updating the machine with, so if you find something you like you will be able to return on the given date. For collectors it is a great source of information so they do not miss out on the special features. Definitely also a great sneak peak into what is currently popular in Japan!
Ready for a break, I was glad to know that I only had to walk up one flight of stairs to reach the café. The café is designed with many portraits and images from Naruto, and boasts a wide variety of dishes and drinks to choose from. Apart from the regular menu, there is a special selection of Naruto themed dishes and drinks. Customers can also celebrate a characters birthday and even dress up in the costumes they have available. One wall in the exhibition room downstairs is covered by a large mural of Naruto, so it is the perfect chance for a photo opportunity and a great souvenir!
I do not visit Akihabara often but genuinely enjoyed my experience at Adores 2. It was also fascinating as a sneak peak into the lives of the otaku and anime fans. Whether you want to challenge the crane game, visit the shop or simply stop by for a drink, Adores 2 has it all. Put it in your Tokyo itinerary for the ultimate introduction to the world of Akihabara!
For more information, check out the following links:
Adores Akihabara homepage (in Japanese)
Adores 2 Akihabara homepage (in Japanese)
Adores Anime Plaza homepage (in Japanese)
Adores Anime Plaza Rental Showcase homepage (in Japanese)