Kyoto for otakus

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Kyoto is filled to the brim with culture and history. With hundreds of shrines and temples, the city has become a hotspot for tourists interested in heritage and culture. But, don't be fooled- Kyoto is a great place for those into otaku culture as well!

Kyoto International Manga museum 

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This is the perfect place for those who love spending hours reading manga. For an entrance fee of 800 yen, you gain access to hundreds upon hundreds of manga, stacked in shelves that reach the ceiling. There are also shelves with foreign languages right at the entrance (including English!) and also a gift shop selling various merchandise.
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There were also some exhibits and facts about the industry, including the history of manga. When i was visiting, they also had a temporary exhibit on shoujo manga. On weekends, there are also events including drawing workshops by visiting mangaka. If you do visit, come early so you have the time to grab a manga and start reading!
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The English section had quite a few popular titles including Naruto, One piece and Death Note. It’s definitely worth checking out if you like manga.

Shopping district around Kawaramachi station 

This is the best place in Kyoto to find anime merchandise as there are a wide array of hobby shops that cater to otakus. The most well known of these shops, animate, has a branch in this shopping area.
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The Kyoto branches of Lashinbang, Gamers and Kikuya bookstore can also be found in the area, making it a great place if you want to pick up some manga or anime related items.
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Besides these hobby shops, you can also find merchandise in a lot of other shops, even if they don't specifically sell only these items (you can find a snoopy shop in Nishiki food market, for example). So have fun looking around the area!

Kyoto Station shopping area

There are a ton of shops and malls around Kyoto station. Department stores such as Bic camera and Yodobashi are great to find merchandise and other hobby items including toys, games and gachapon.
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Aeon mall also has an arcade where you can try the claw machines, gachapons, purikura photo booths, arcade video games and even rental cosplay costumes! There is also a cinema which has a gift shop selling merchandise from the ongoing movies, so when I visited there was a ton of fantastic beasts and harry potter stuff.
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You can also find anime soundtracks in music areas or dvd stores in these department shops and malls, so do look out for them!


There are actually a few anime and manga that are set in Kyoto, such as Uchouten Kazoku,
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha and Tatami Galaxy. Much of the actual city is featured in these anime, and it adds an extra layer of enjoyment as you explore. For example, the popular tourist attraction Fushimi inari serves as the inspiration and is featured in Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.
Promotional image of Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha featuring the Torii gates
Besides this, Kyoto prefecture is also home to Kyoto Animation, which is based in Uji. As such, several of their extremely popular anime often feature Kyoto city and other parts of Kyoto prefecture. The anime Hibike Euphonium is set in Uji but also features Kyoto city.
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Other popular anime from Kyoto Animation such as K-On!! and Lucky Star also feature Kyoto city when the characters go for school trips to some very popular tourist attractions, including Arashiyama, Ginkakuji and Kitano Tenmangu shrine.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park 

This one is for those who love J-dramas, or more specifically, period dramas. If you've watched a Edo themed drama, there's a high chance it was filmed in this theme park, and if you're lucky they may even be filming on the day you visit!
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Inside the park you can also rent kimonos, samurai, ninja and geisha costumes! There are also samurai and ninja shows which display the various fighting styles. You can also try out the ninja mystery house.
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For those of you more interested in anime, don't fret- there's also an Anime museum that showcases some of Toei animation's works, including Sailor moon, Dragon Ball and Super Sentai, which although is not an anime, is the source material of the ever so popular Power Rangers. There are a ton of film related attractions.

Kyoto is a beautiful city that has a little something for everyone. Even though the city is famous for the old, I assure you, it has plenty of the new too! It's a fantastic place to visit for otakus and non otakus alike.

Asha Mehta