Description

 

What is Otome Road?

 

Otome Road (乙 女 ロ ー ド), also known as “Maiden Road”, is a street in Tokyo where many do cosplay and buy manga & anime goods.

 

Compared to Akihabara and Nakano Broadway, where stores are more oriented towards guys, Otome Road focuses on girls who like anime or manga.

 

Girls in front of Lashinbang store at Otome Road in Ikebukuro
Lashinbang store at Otome Road in Ikebukuro

 

The biggest differences between Otome Road and other anime and manga spots are:

 

  • An extensive collection of “Boys Love” manga (doujinshi).

 

  • Cafes for girls, such as the SwallowTail Butler Cafe

 

  • High chances of taking pictures of people doing cosplay.

 

Whether you are a guy or a girl, Otome Road will be a great experience, especially if you are near Ikebukuro and you are looking for anime spots.

 

Where do people cosplay in Tokyo?

 

What I like most about Otome Road, is the number of people cosplaying (people dressing up as characters from anime, video games, etc.).

 

Compared to Akihabara or other spots in Japan, Otome Road is the street where I have encountered the most cosplayers (mostly women).

 

Cosplay in Otome Road
Cosplay at Otome Road

 

Cosplay of 4th Hokage in Otome Road
Cosplay of 4th Hokage in Otome Road

 

Companies like Acosta.jp organize several cosplay events around Otome Road.

 

Also, on the fifth and sixth floor of Animate, you can find the cosplay studio Hacostadium Cosset.

 

People who do cosplay are either in the square atop the stairs or the park that is in front of Otome Road (both behind Sunshine City).

 

Cosplay in front of Otome-Road in Ikebukuro
In front of Otome Road in Ikebukuro

 

Park in front of Otome Road
Park in front of Otome Road

 

Note: I cannot guarantee that you will always find people dressed up as anime characters, but in my three years living in Tokyo this is the place where I’ve seen the most.

 

Shopping in Otome Road

 

Otome Road is an excellent place in Ikebukuro for shopping. You will find stores such as Animate, K-books, Mandarake, Lashinbang, etc.

 

Lashinbang & KBooks store in Otome Road Ikebukuro
Lashinbang & K-Books store in Otome Road Ikebukuro

 

You will run into an immense variety of cosplay products — t-shirts, figures, and anime & manga goods.

 

K-Books Ikebukuro in Otome Road
K-Books Ikebukuro in Otome Road

 

 

Boys love (Yaoi)

 

Otome Road is also known for the vast amount of manga in the yaoi genre or “Boys Love.”

 

Yaoi or “Boys Love” is a type of doujinshi, (independent manga publications) centering around homoerotic stories about male anime characters.

 

For example, manga of Naruto and Sasuke with a touch of homosexuality.

 

You will be surprised by the incredibly large amount of manga that exists in this genre and how popular it is among otaku women.

 

At the end of Otome Road you will find Mandarake. In this underground store, they hold the world’s most extensive collection of Yaoi manga.

 

Mandarake store in Otome Road
Mandarake store in Otome Road

 

Coffee 

 

Around Otome Road are several coffee shops. Animate Cafe and Swallowtail Butlers Café are the most popular.

 

Animate Cafe

 

Animate Cafe is always decorated with anime.  Every two or three weeks it is themed after a new series with a changing menu based on its current collaboration.

 

Animate Cafe in Otome Road
Animate Cafe at Otome Road

 

The last time I went to Otome Road, Animate Cafe was running a Hunter X Hunter themed cafe.

 

Hunter X Hunter Animate Cafe in Otome Road
Hunter X Hunter Animate Cafe in Otome Road

 

For the Animate Cafe, you need to make a reservation. At the end of the post, I’ll leave a link explaining how to do it.

 

Swallowtail Butlers Cafe

 

At Swallowtail Butlers Cafe, men dressed as butlers will serve you.

 

In a nutshell, it’s a type of maid cafe for women.

 

 

Reservations are made from their website, and they have a guide in English explaining how to book.

 

 

Swallowtail Butlers Cafe is one of the places that defines Otome Road a street focused on otaku women.

 

 

Review

 

For otaku women or manga lovers of “Boys love” Otome Road is one of the best places in Tokyo.

 

Another reason to go to Otome Road is the high chance of finding people doing cosplay.

 

Also, if you’re near Ikebukuro and need to buy some anime or manga, it would be a good idea to stop by Otome Road.

 

Bonus: I came across this vending machine of Durarara!! next to the Lashinbang store at Otome Road.

 

Durarara!! vending machine in Otome Road Ikebukuro
Durarara!! vending machine at Otome Road Ikebukuro

 

Location

 

Otome Road is 8-10 minutes from the station

 

〒170-0000 Tōkyō-to, Toshima-ku, 豊島区Higashiikebukuro, 3 Chome−1, サンシャイン60前通り

 

 

Hours

 

 

Usually, stores are open from 10 am to 9 pm.

 

 

Estimated Time

 

It depends on you. It can take from 20 minutes to 5 or 6 hours.

 

 

Close to

 

  • J World
  • Sunshine 60 Dori
  • Sunshine City

 

If you’re into pop culture tourism, I would advise going to Otome Road after visiting J-World.

 

Another option is, before or after going to Otome Road I would recommend taking a walk through Sunshine 60 Dori which is a major entertainment street in Ikebukuro.

 

 

Tips

 

  • When you are planning your trip to Tokyo, be sure to check out the official website of Acosta, so you know what day there will be a cosplay event on Otome Road.

 

  • Ask the cosplayers for permission before taking photos.

 

  • Check several stores before buying, maybe they have the same product but cheaper at a store nearby.

 

  • The square that is in front of Otome Road is where cosplayers often gather. It is very windy so avoid wearing a skirt.

 

  • If you go with someone and he/she is not a fan of anime or manga, Sunshine City is in front of Otome Road so he or she can go there while you have fun at Otome Road.

 

Resources:

How to reserve in Animate Cafe