Ever had lunch with hedgehogs? What about dinner with ninjas? In Akihabara you can do all that and more.
With all the stores and arcades, it can be hard to tear yourself away from the entertainment in Akihabara to grab a bite to eat. You should, though, because like everything else, Akihabara takes dining to the next level. From hedgehogs to cosplay, there’s no end to the unique and interesting restaurants and cafes you can visit in and around the electronics district. In fact, they’re great ways to round out a stimulating Akihabara experience.
For most visitors to Japan, Akihabara is on their list of must-sees. To make your travel plan complete, pick out a couple of these special restaurants that the neighborhood has to offer. Don’t forget to bring your appetite!
Hedgehog Cafe CHEESE
Dining with hedgehogs is one of those things you never even knew you always wanted to do. The cafe features dozens of adorable hedgehogs that you pet and play with before your meal.
If that sounds like a good time, this restaurant is just three minutes from Akihabara Station and is open for lunch and dinner. Just be aware that like many theme restaurants in Japan, there’s a cover charge of ¥1,500—about $15—for half an hour.
Ninja Cafe Sinobazu
You can probably guess. This is a ninja-themed restaurant. All the serving staff dress as ninja and provide an elaborate ninja-themed introduction. The food and drinks are even ninja themed, and after your meal you have the opportunity to take photos with staff and various ninja props.
The cafe opens at 3 PM, so it’s a good dinner destination. Only about two minutes from Akihabara Station, it’s located right in the heart of the Akihabara electronics district, nestled between the various video-game and manga stores. For theme restaurants, the cover charge is relatively low, too: ¥600/30 minutes for men and ¥100/30 minutes for women.
Maidreamin Maid Cafe
Maid cafes are a popular phenomenon in Japan. Instead of normal waitresses, the servers are Victorian French maids. Instead of treating you like a customer in a restaurant, they treat you like a maid would someone in their own house.
Maidreamin is one of the largest chains of maid cafes in the world. Its flagship restaurant and headquarters is in Akihabara, so you can go see where it all began. It’s in the main shopping area of the neighborhood and is easy to spot, not just because of easy-to-spot signs, but the promoters dressed as maids that will inevitably give you a flier as you pass through the streets.
Maidreamin is very visible and well known. On top of the head-office location near the Suehirochō metro station, there are several other locations in Akihabara, including one right next to Akihabara Station. All locations have a cover charge that can vary based on day and age, but in general it’s about ¥500 per hour.
@home Maid Cafe
If you want to try a different maid cafe, there are plenty of others. @home is one of the best. You’ll also find it right in the heart of the electronics district on Kandamyojin-dori Street.
One thing that differentiates @home from other maid cafes is its amount of variety. The menu is full of different food and drink that the maids will personalize and decorate for each customer. On top of that, there’s an “amusement menu” that has different activities. These include taking photos with the maids or playing games with them.
This variety is also reflected in the fee system which has a different cover charge for various groups including discounts for children, seniors and students. A normal adult pays ¥700, but unlike many theme restaurants, this isn’t for a specific period of time, but just a fee to enter.
For Gundam fans, this restaurant is a can’t-miss. It’s the only official Gundam cafe in the world. Everything from the glasses to the serving staff are Gundam themed, and the food is even designed to reflect the anime. There’s also a shop for buying Gundam souvenirs.
Additionally, for those visiting Akihabara to get a taste of Japanese manga and anime culture, the Gundam cafe is a good way to start out all while filling your stomach. Gundam is a widely popular anime, both in Japan and abroad. Maybe you’ll discover your new favorite show.
This restaurant is actually located right beside Akihabara Station. It’s open most of the day, so you can arrive, have lunch, and then begin your exploration of the famous electronics district.
If your time in Japan is limited, and you want to explore Akihabara and mainstream Japanese culture at the same time, Kanda Koju is a smart dinner spot. Its biggest draw is the huge selection of sake including rare bottles and fine brands. You can then pair your sake with traditional Japanese pub food in a friendly environment.
Kanda Koju is located a bit outside of the main Akihabara area, but it’s close to Kanda Station, just one stop down from Akihabara Station on the main Yamanote Line. After a busy day exploring the electronics district, head to Kanda Koju for a relaxing dining experience.
Margo is a fine Japanese dining experience. What makes it unique are the traditional horigotatsu tables. These are sunken kotatsu tables that have heating underneath. If this sounds fun, you can even reserve a private room to get the full experience with your whole party.
The Akihabara location is just a minute by foot from Akihabara Station and features a beautiful night view of the city. To go along with the view, the restaurant is open later than a lot of other places, so you can spend plenty of time exploring the district after dark.
The selling point for Fujimaru is, of course, the wine. Not only do they have a wine cellar filled with fine wines from around the world, but they actually make their own called “Namataru.” In the wine shop there’s wine tastings expertly paired with cheeses or other appetizers. The restaurant then has great dishes to round out your night.
Fujimaru is outside the main Akihabara electronics district, but located on the Kanda river, it’s in a beautiful area. From Akihabara Station, you can take the Chūō-Sōbu Line to Asakusabashi Station. Cross the river and follow it a little ways and you’re there. Just be careful when you’re planning because they’re closed on Tuesdays and the second Wednesday of every month.
Adores is an enormous arcade establishment located on Akihabara’s main street. It’s 10 stories tall, so it features just about everything you can imagine. There are claw games and karaoke. You can even rent costumes for cosplay.
If you can’t bear to stray too far from the fun, there’s a cafe inside that serves anime-themed dishes. For those so inclined, you can even mix it all and sing karaoke in cosplay while snacking on everything from french fries to okonomiyaki.
As large as it is, it’s pretty hard to miss Adores. It’s the big red building just outside the Electric Town exit in Akihabara Station.