Top Places to Visit for Japanese Otaku Culture Lovers in Their 20s! Famous Streets of Kyoto Series – Shinkyogoku-dori

About Shinkyogoku-dori

 

Shinkyogoku-dori is one of the pedestrian streets adjacent to and between Sanjo-dori and Shijo-dori. While it’s only 500m long, it’s a famous and lively shopping district in Kyoto that attracts many tourists. Here, you’ll find a variety of shops including souvenir shops, a theater, a movie theater and restaurants. You’ll also find otaku shops here. “Otaku” refers to people who are passionate about their interests, usually people into anime, manga (comics), or video games, though people like trainspotters are also referred to as “otaku.”

1.  Animate Kyoto

After a 5 minute walk from the end of Shijo-dori, you’ll find a building called Passaggio on your right. Head to the 2nd floor of the building and you’ll be at the doorstep of Animate’s Kyoto outlet. Animate is Japan’s largest anime goods retailer.

Animate is a shop that anyone who loves anime would be familiar with. The store stocks the hottest anime DVDs or the manga from which the anime were adapted. You’ll also find English versions of the manga in this branch.

Apart from that, the shop is also well stocked with doujinshi (amateur self-published comics), magazines about voice actors, drama CDs, character song CDs, and a host of other anime related goods. One other thing that’s synonymous with Animate is character goods. Check out the character goods for not just the latest anime, but also classic titles or even Kyoto-limited goods.

About Animate Kyoto

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: 4 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: Passaggio (Yoshimoto Bldg.) 2F, 525-1 Higashigawa-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: www.animate-world.com

HP: www.animate.co.jp (Japanese)

2. Hurricane Kyoto

 

Keep going north from Animate and you’ll see an upside-down airplane. Tucked away in that corner, there’s an arcade called Hurricane. Here, there are mainly UFO Catcher machines (where you control a crane arm to catch the prize of your choice) filled with adorable stuffed toys that you can win. This arcade aims to be the place in Kyoto that offers the easiest catch so you can feel free to approach the staff to teach you how to operate the machines or get a few tips on how to make a successful catch.

About Hurricane Kyoto

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: 5 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: 501 Higashigawa-cho, Teramachi-dori, Takoyakushi-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP:  www.kyoto-teramachi.or.jp/shop/e051/ (Japanese Only)

3. Dragon Star Kyoto Shinkyogoku Branch

 

Takoyakushi-dori, just right ahead of Hurricane, is home to more otaku stops. To start, there’s Dragon Star, a trading card specialist store. Of course you’ll be able to find Magic: The Gathering cards here, but you’ll also be able to stock up on a huge variety of other trading cards like Yu-Gi-Oh! or Weiβ Schwarz.

The 2nd floor of the shop is a dueling space where you can engage in card battles with other patrons. It’s a lively shop where weekly tournaments are held.

About Dragon Star Kyoto Shinkyogoku Branch

Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: 5 minutes walk via Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: 503-16 Higashigawa-cho, Shinkyogoku-dori, Takoyakushi-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: dragon777.jp (Japanese Only)

4. Galleriapart

This is another shop facing Takoyakushi-dori. It’s a shop with showcases that can be rented out for the sale of handmade goods or collectors’ items. With over 200 booths, there’s no lack of variety in the goods on sale here. Among these, you’ll find original toys, figures, or otaku goods. There are some rare finds here, so it’s a shop that even overseas visitors take time to visit!

About Galleriapart

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM

Closed: Wednesdays

Access: 6 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: 598 Ura-teramachi, Takoyakushi-dori, Shinkyogoku Higashi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: galleriapart.com/english.html

HP:  galleriapart.com (Japanese)

5. Yellow Submarine Kyoto Branch

 

 

Yellow Submarine is located on the 4th floor of a building that’s facing Takoyakushi-dori. It mainly deals in trading cards but also sells board games, TRPG (tabletop role-playing games), and even TRPG doujinshi! Who knows, you might find an unexpected treasure if you look around!

About Yellow Submarine Kyoto Branch

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: 5 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: Kawaramachi OKI Bldg. 4F, 598 Ura-teramachi, Takoyakushi-dori, Shinkyogoku Higashi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

HP:  www.yellowsubmarine.co.jp (Japanese Only)

6. Ninjin Club

 

If you get back on Shinkyogoku-dori,  you’ll see this shop just south of Hurricane. The Ninjin Club stands out among the other shops on the same stretch. As an anime goods and figurine shop, its shelves are filled with goods from anime like One Piece or Dragon Ball and other series. There are over 100 types of gachapon (dial-based capsule machines) as well as a 1-minute T-shirt printing service, both of which are hugely popular. Why don’t you drop by if you’re looking for souvenirs?

About Ninjin Club

Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 8:00 PM

Closed: New Year’s Holidays

Access: 5 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: 498-3 Higashigawa-cho, Teramachi-dori, Takoyakushi-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

HP:  www.kyoto-teramachi.or.jp/shop/e048/ (Japanese Only)

7. Game Panic Kyoto

The last shop in this list is Game Panic Kyoto. Diagonally across Starbucks, this is an arcade where you can enjoy UFO catchers, music games, medal games and a bunch of other fun games. A highlight would be the purikura (Photo sticker machines) corner. Besides the availability of the very latest purikura machines, you can also borrow various costumes, like sailor suits or maid uniforms, at no cost! It might be hard for men to venture in on their own but it’s great if you’re with female friends or your girlfriend.

About Game Panic Kyoto

Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – 11:45 PM

Closed: Open 7 days a week

Access: 8 minutes walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Address: Kyoto Matsutake Bldg., 415 Sakurano-cho, Shinkyogoku Sanjyo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

HP:  www.leisurelan.co.jp/shop/kyoto.html (Japanese Only)

 

 

There are many other otaku stops in the area around Shinkyogoku-dori that you can explore. Whether you’re looking for something for yourself or shopping for gifts, this is an area where you’ll be able to find all kinds of fun stuff!