Header image courtesy of TDR Explorer
For those who are enthusiastic anime and gaming fans, one of the must-dos on your itinerary in Tokyo has to be to visit anime cafés that feature your favourite characters. As the birthplace of so many renowned classics, Japan holds a special place in the hearts of the anime and gaming community, attracting a large following from all over the world to pay homage to landmarks and any site that has to do with comics. This frenzy has also led to the inception of anime cafés, where fans can eat, drink, and breathe anime. Here are the top four places in Tokyo to have an immersive anime experience, whether you're a fan or just a novice.
Pokémon has been mesmerising both kids and adults for the past two decades with generations of video games and anime series—here's your chance to enjoy a 90-minute meal with the familiar characters!
Opened in 2018, the café features hundreds of your favourite classic Pokémon, such as Pikachu, Eevee, and Bulbasaur, and has a variety of themed dishes and drinks on the offer, including the Pikachu plate lunch, Eevee burger, and Gengar smoothie, along with seasonal menu items that are only available for limited times during the year. All guests will receive a free placemat as a gift and a free coaster when you order a drink and play a game on an iPad. If you are hungry for more souvenirs, you can always head over to the Pokémon centre for more exclusive Pokémon merchandises.
It’s best that you make a reservation online at least two weeks in advance because the café is always crowded.
Pokémon Café, 5/F, Takashiyama East Building, 2−11−2, Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo | (+81) 03 6262 3439
Located in the heart of Akihabara, Gundam Café Tokyo Brand Core has just been revamped and now takes up a 700-square-metre space that consists of Fortunelatte Café, Zeon’s Diner Tokyo, another restaurant area, and a goods shop. Before getting seated, you can take the time to check out the various limited edition Gunpla on display and the wall of autographs of Tomino Yoshiyuki, the series creator, and the different generations of voice actors. While the café only serves the usual salad, pasta, omelette rice, and curry rice with a Gundam motif, the décor of the café is simply impeccable with tables that play out battle simulations and a bathroom that features several four-feet tall Gundam statues.
Gundam Café has another branch in Odaiba and it can be easily spotted as it is located right next to the famous 1:1 scaled Gundam.
Gundam Café, 1-1, Hanaokacho, Kanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo | (+81) 03 3251 0078
Who doesn’t love One Piece? After all, it is the best-selling comic series in history, with over 450 million copies sold worldwide. Located on the first floor of Tokyo One Piece Tower, Café Mugiwara is the place where you can hang out with Luffy and his gang and enjoy a range of mouth-watering food, such as Luffy’s Luxurious Feast Sandwich, Zoro’s Santoryu Burger, and Perona’s French pancakes. As for beverages, you can have the choice of coffee, cocktails, and a variety of international beers. While waiting for your food, you can check out the manga library that consists of 600 volumes of the comic in languages that include Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and even Spanish.
Aside from Café Mugiwara, you can also choose to dine at Sanji’s Oresama Restaurant, which offers a buffet-style lunch and a la carte dinner. Alternatively, grab something light to eat at Franky’s Cola Bar.
Café Mugiwara, 1/F, Tokyo One Piece Tower, 4−2−8, Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo | (+81) 03 5473 1500
If you are a Final Fantasy or gaming fan, you must visit Final Fantasy Eorzea Café, which is a permanent Final Fantasy XIV themed cafe conveniently located near the Akihabara station. Modelled after Carline Canopy from Gridania, you can pay a seating charge of ¥1,000 per person to spend up to two hours in this magical world, complete with a gorgeous stained-glass window, weaponry on the walls, and the FFXIV soundtrack as the background music. Upon your arrival at the café, you will be given a collectible coaster, a numbered ticket, and the drinks menu. Remember to keep the ticket because it will be used in a lottery where the lucky winner will receive a free FF-themed dessert. The café welcomes fan suggestions on the menu and updates it frequently, so don't miss the opportunity to make your mark.
Final Fantasy Eorzea Café, 2/F, 1-1-10, Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo | (+81) 01 2019 2759