Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Akihabara Sightseeing Tour With Maids
Sightseeing in Akihabara may be hard for first-time visitors, so go on a tour with a cute maid as the guide!
Written by Yuki ISHIBASHI
Akihabara is a must-visit place for anime lovers. But many first-time visitors, especially tourists from abroad, have a hard time deciding which shop to go.
Akiba Deep Travel organizes a particular tour, called otegoro tour (handy tour), which is perfect for those kind of people. The tour proceeds around Akihabara, covering the staples in just two hours.
The tour guide by the way is a maid, so participants will be able to appreciate the ins and outs of Akihabara.
This article will show you what the tour is like.
The Start: Akihabara Station
Tour reservations can be made at this website, which can be accessed in English and Chinese. The price is 8,900 yen per person, and the payments can be made by bank transfer or credit cards (Paypal). The minimum number for reservations is two people.
So let's go to the designated spot.
Head for the "midori no madoguchi (みどりの窓口, JR ticket office)," near the Electric Town ticket gate of the Akihabara station. A cute maid in a blue uniform will be waiting for the tour participants.
The guides of today's tour are, from left to right, Himeko-san and Tapioca Pudding-san. Tapioca Pudding-san is from Taiwan, speaking English, Chinese and Japanese. She also works as the translator in this tour.
These vivacious girls in maid costumes will be conducting the tour.
Most of the participants are from abroad, so the maids are fluent in various languages. The average number of participants is about 20, and the number of maids joining the tour will be adjusted, according to the number of participants.
The tour also welcomes Japanese who want to know about maids and Akihabara culture, as well as those who haven't visited Akihabara yet.
An Akihabara Tour With the Well-Informed Maids
Himeko-san, working as a maid, also claims to be a maid cafe otaku. She has visited the maid cafes in Akihabara many times, so she knows the recommendable cafes in this area.
Pudding-san is an idol, who is also a singer. She too, has a vast knowledge about Akihabara.
It's fun to chat with the maids and gain knowledge about things you don't know. So be sure to ask them about Akihabara.
Look for the Orange Flag
You might lose sight of the guide if there is a large number of participants, so look for the orange flag carried by the guide up front.
Today's tour will visit the following six places.
*The tour route will change according to the season. You can also make requests about the places to visit.
1. Nadeshiko Zushi: An All-Female Staff
The first stop is the Nadeshiko Zushi. A restaurant with all-female staff is very rare, even in Japan.
Nadeshiko is the name for the Japanese pink carnation flower, and also used as a word to describe the beauty of Japanese women.
This is one of the dishes. The sushi ingredient has a shine to it, and looks delicious.
An English menu is also available for participants from abroad.
*Please not that the menu is determined in advance.
2. Plum Live Shop: Action Figures and Live Events
The second stop is the Plum Live Shop. You can buy action figures, or enjoy live events by idols.
This store also handles regional goods and sweets, including products from Nagano Prefecture, so it's an ideal place to look for souvenirs.
3. Super Potato Akihabara: A Nostalgic Game Center
Super Potato Akihabara is a game shop-cum-game center, specializing in nostalgic games. You can also buy some snacks or just sit down at the game center floor, so it's an ideal place to take a break during the tour.
You'll probably come across a game that you used to play. The aisles and stairs in the shop are narrow, which, according to our maids, is a common trait in the Akihabara area.
4. ACOS Akihabara: Cosplay Goods
This is a huge cosplay speciality store, which has become famous among the cosplayers, handling costumes, wigs, makeup and accessories.
They also handle Japanese goods, such as swords and kimono, so visitors who are not interested in cosplay can also have some fun.
5. Radio Center: The Old Akihabara
There used to be many small shops handling electric components in Akihabara, and they developed into the current "electric town." At the Radio Center, you can feel the atmosphere of the olden days.
Rare items hard to find at ordinary electric appliance stores, such as electronic tubes and cassette tapes, are on display. It makes you feel like you've wandered into a museum.
Link: How Akihabara Became an Electric Town (Japanese)
6. Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo: Action Figures and Capsuled Toys
The last stop is the Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo, located inside the Radio Kaikan, and filled with action figures and capsule toys.
One of the tour participants tried the vending machine.
And got the toy she wanted!
The Tour Ends at Akihabara Radio Kaikan
At the end of the tour, there will be a commemorative photograph session, in front of the Radio Kaikan. Afterwards, the maids can take you back to the Akihabara station upon request.
After the tour, the participants are free to re-visit the tour spots, or explore some of the other stores that caught their attention. They are also free to go back to their hotels or continue sightseeing.
Office Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 1-14-2
Hours: The tour starts at 1:30pm, and ends at 3:30pm everyday.
Credit Cards: VISA and MasterCard are accepted.
Language: Differs according to the guide in charge of the tour.
Menus Available In: -
Station: Akihabara station (秋葉原駅)
Price Range: 8,900 yen
Telephone Number (Japanese): +81-3-6206-9069
Official Website: Akiba Deep Travel