How to get to Otome Road in Ikebukuro

February 2nd, 2012

I actually thought about doing this while I was on my trip, but I didn’t have time. I had a really tough time finding Otome Road, but once I got it down (took a couple times), I thought it would be great to have a photo guide because there are some good landmarks for it. This guide starts from Ikebukuro station since you’d have to be crazy to drive in Tokyo.

Now, one of the simplest ways if you’re ok with asking people directions (and they either don’t know, or you’re shy about asking where Otome Road or animate is), is to ask how to get to Tokyu Hands. The Tokyu Hands store is a hop skip and a jump away from Otome Road, just on the near side of the highway overpass.

If you’d rather find it yourself, here’s a guide.

First, a linkie to a Google Map of walking to the Ikebukuro Animate. If this is enough, fantastic. However, when I went, I had the Otome Shopping Guide with a diagram that looked pretty similar to this, and I TOTALLY got lost. Partly my own fault for thinking I could wander around and find it.

Anyways, start off in Ikebukuro station. Depending on which train/subway line you take it will be different places, but once you exit you’ll likely be underground. Now, if you can, use exit 35. This is the closest to the street you need to go down to get to Otome Road. It may feel like you’re walking underground forever, but it makes things easier!

Exit 35.
If you can’t, you may end up going out the main entrance. You want to cross the big road in front of you, and start going the road that looks like this.

The red box is the Exit 35, you want to be on that side of the road. Notice on top of the building above it, the red cube with the Bic Camera (in Japanese) on it.

Now,once you get to exit 35, turn around and look back, you should see something like this:

Tuen back around and continue going down this street, but not far. There will be a crosswalk, and two roads going off to the left. Don’t go down the first one, but the second – the Lotteria should be on your left.

Leading up to the turnoff.
Otome road turnoff
See the red box? That’s the Lotteria, you should go on the road to the right of it.
 
Now if you see this before you, you’re practically there!

Lotteria on the left, Sanrio on the right. Now just keep walking down this road, past a Denny’s:

Past KFC…

Past Book Off (it took me a while to find this as well, since in addition to being recessed the sign is orange instead of yellow!):

Actually if you have time check the Book Off out, it`s pretty good.

And finally you`ll get to Tokyu Hands – almost there!

Now, see the overpass? You’re going to go under that, and get to that glass building, the Toyota Amlux building..

(This pic is shown from where you end up across the street.) Admire the cars inside – just kidding, we have otome shopping to do! Now at this point, you can either go straight from the crosswalk, or you can turn right. Both choices are good, but I’m going to go right. Just ‘cuz. So follow those mini trucks!
Animate Otome Road
Hmm, what’s this 7 story building? It’s Animate! You have now arrived at Otome Road, dance, jump for joy, whatever you feel like!
Now, Otome Road can both feel small and big. When you first see it, it seems small. Yay an animate, yay a K Books. But don’t be fooled. Let’s take a tour of all the otome shops (or at least the ones I went to).
Once you’re done with Animate, keep going down the same road. Two doors down past a ramen shop, there’s Lashinbang:

If you find out what the deal is with the name, please tell me. This has games, DVDs and CDs, and I’m not even sure what they have on the second floor.
And look what’s right beside it! K-Books Anime. Enjoy this as well.
You may be thinking, “Is this it? Is this all of Otome Road Lijaka?” NO. NOT AT ALL.
Continue down the road.

I didn’t go into this K Books, because I think it’s mostly cosplay and I was on a serious game mission. But I’d love to go and explore. And hmm, I see a red sign on the right, what could that be?
Otome Road Corner
Hm still can’t see very well.
Mandarake
Oh yes, the holy of holies for doujinshi, Mandarake. This may not be the multi-story monstrosity in Akihabara, but it is almost ALL for women. Rock on.
You may feel an urge to stop here. Animate, Lashinbang, K Books Anime and Premium, and Mandarake can take quite a bit of time. It seems like this might be the end. But I think we should keep going. Don’t turn around (in fact I would save Mandarake for later to browse at leisure), but keep going down the same road.

Focus on the red box. Let’s get closer…

K Books Doujin. This is the ONLY place I found doujin otome games. They had one small shelf upstairs for games, and I found them there. If I could go back right now, that’s one of the first places I’d go.
Surely, you’re thinking, that must be it? But don’t you feel like something’s missing? I can’t quite place it, so let’s go down just a little further.

K Books Comic. Just in case you haven’t gotten enough otome stuff, this can probably fill some empty spots in your bag (and empty some of your wallet). They had back issues of otome gaming mags here…very tempting.

So those are the stores that I found on Otome Road. Mandarake and K Books Doujin alone took hours of my time, and I think I ended up visiting Otome Road three or four times (in four days, I was getting a little embarrassed by the end because they recognized me).

If anyone is heading to Tokyo, I hope they find this useful – I wasted hours looking for Otome Road, but once you figure out the basics it’s very close to the station, and oh, such awesome shopping!

 

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14 Responses to “How to get to Otome Road in Ikebukuro”

  1. Jiji says:

    ;.; Ah!! I’ve been to that Animate, found it complete by accident when I was wandering around Ikebukuro a few years back.

    Wow! This makes me pine like crazy, especially now that I have a new found appreciation for otome stuff… This photo-guide is great, if I ever get back there I’ll be using this! :3

  2. Yvarksha says:

    Ooooh I was thinking of stopping by Otome Road on my next Tokyo trip <3 thank you!!!

  3. Delaney says:

    wait, I’m still confused.
    So you’re walking in the opposite direction of the Seibu Parco building after you go out Exit 35?
    Or you turned around and around is towards the Seibu building?
    @_@
    I’m terrible even with directions. =__=

  4. lijakaca says:

    Sorry, I thought I responded to this! The look back is just to make sure you’re in the right place. You have to turn back around and keep going away from Seibu.

  5. […] places with several of the same stores, but none are as targeted to female fans as here – Otome Road. Check out my guide for the basics, but there’s actually even more around there that I totally missed during my […]

  6. vazra says:

    Hello~
    I will to go to Tokyo *and defiantly go to Akiba & Ikeburo for sure* next year
    There a question i want to ask, if you don’t mind:
    Q: It’s ok if we bring our “otome hunting stuff” packs (mean more than 1) in a carton box (around 50cm x 30cm) to the plane as our baggage?
    Will authority charge me a tax?

    Thanks

  7. lijakaca says:

    Hi! It would depend on your airline’s baggage rules about size, but I have seen people bring on cardboard boxes before – they’d probably open them up to see what’s inside, so you’d want to bring more tape to seal them after.

    As for taxes, yes probably – that also depends on your country’s import limitations (if you’re talking about getting back from Japan). I declare all my stuff because if they find something wrong or ‘strange’ they might give you a really hard time, but that’s Canada – I think it varies from country to country.

    As for sales tax – Japan has a flat 5% sales tax, which you might be able to get waived as a tourist, though I never bothered.

  8. vazra says:

    Ahahaha, i guaranty all my stuff is out of BL, so it might be out of ‘strange’ stuff….but i hope they will close their eyes for my otome R.18 stuff =w=;

    Ok, thanks so much for the information
    And thanks to remind me to bring more tape :D

  9. regina says:

    I’m planning to head here first thing when I’m going to Japan this winter but my question is if any places near by that sell used otome games before I empty out my wallet at animate/kbooks/mandarake?

  10. Angela says:

    Oh my god, do you know how much I love you!! Thank you SO much for such detailed directions with photos! I am absolutely hopeless with directions, and your page will help me so much when I go next month. Really really appreciate your work and thank you once again :D

  11. lijakaca says:

    You’re very welcome! I did it because I actually missed an afternoon of shopping because I couldn’t find it once (although I wasn’t asking anyone, just wandered around aimlessly), and even when I made sure to have maps and directions, it was hard to find.

    Have fun and buy lots of awesome otome stuff :D

  12. Serena says:

    Thanks for the map. It’ll sure come in handy when I scour Otome Road this Apr. Just to ensure that I don’t miss out any, are these the shops I should look out for for yaoi doujinshis ranging all the way to NC-16?

    – Animate Sunshine
    – K-Books
    – Mandarake
    – Ikebukuro Animate
    – Lanshinbang

    I’ve never been to Japan before and would appreciate some help. :)

    Cheers
    Serena

  13. lijakaca says:

    Yes, Japan doesn’t have the whole shame thing going on (as much!) so all of these stores will have adult products. K-books and Mandarake are excellent for doujinshi, and the Otome Road ones will have lots and lots of yaoi stuff.

    Oh also, I think Stellaworth (also around Ikebukuro but not on Otome Road) has doujinshi as well (and yaoi videogames).

    Enjoy, I’m totally jealous of your upcoming trip! Would love to hear back if you have any updates on stores or suggestions!

  14. Evan says:

    Just wanted to thank you for putting this together, i used your directions yesterday – very helpful. I spent my week in Japan spending a fair amount of time finding things so stumbling across your directions made it easy – awesomeness:)

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