Japan is a well-known destination of choice for anime and manga otaku, but unlike what some people might have you believe, the entire country isn’t one big Pokémon store with cute girls in school uniforms wandering around. Rather, most of the stores and establishments that fans seek out are located in small pockets scattered around the country, with each one catering to a particular subset of the otaku fandom. Without previously going to all of these places, and having a lack of detailed English guides, it can be quite a task trying to find what you’re looking for.
Luckily, for anyone planning a trip to Japan soon, the Japan National Tourism Organization has just released a map with all of the major destinations that an otaku would want to visit. The front side of the map covers all of the otaku districts in the country, including the three most popular: Akihabara, Nipponbashi, and Nakano Broadway. It also covers lesser-known areas such as Otome Road (for female otaku) and Nagoya’s Osudenkigai. There are even districts that many otaku probably have never heard of, like the Landmark Plaza in Yokohama or Otemachi in Hiroshima.
The other side of the map has suggestions for places where otaku can make an “anime pilgrimage” to. Such pilgrimages are usually located out of the major tourist areas and are where many popular anime take place. The pilgrimage to see the Lucky Star shrine, for example, takes roughly 2 hours by train from Tokyo, and from personal experience, is hard to get to if you don’t have a guide. Now that the JNTO has taken notice of this particular type of tourist, it should be much easier for anyone who’s interested in anime and manga to find what they’re looking for.