- CuSO4’s Tokyo Anime/Manga Shopping Guide
- use main websites as resource
Plan your shopping ahead of time as much as possible. Pour over the above website thoroughly. While it is a few years out of date, most of the shops are still there or may have moved. On my last trip to Shinjuku’s Books Ain, I found a medical office where the book shop once was! So places do move or vanish. There are many listed, and you will likely find more besides.
Once you have noted the shops you wish to visit from CuSO4′s guide, you may wish to verify some of the addresses via Google.
I also suggest you visit the websites for the main shops (i.e. Mandarake, Animate, Book Off and so on) to see if new shops have opened recently or moved. Again, there’s always Google.
Interested in something specific and want to know the latest? Google it. For example, try googling “BJD stores Shinjuku”. Work towards your black belt in Google-fu. Your shopping spree results depend upon it.
While in Tokyo, keep your eyes open. Often times similarly themed shops are nearby, so take your time and look around. I found a great BJD shop above the Gashapon mecca in Akihabara.
CuSO4′s shopping guide maps are great, so I do tend to forego the Bible (Tokyo City Atlas) and use CuSO4′s maps instead or in addition to.
Pick an area and visit all the shops in that area. For example, one day you may wish to go to Akihabara, another day Shinjuku and so on. Although I guarantee you’ll be at the Shibuya Mandarake for a whole day. Once you know what is where according to your interests, return as many times as necessary. The more frequently you visit one area, the more efficient you will become in shopping there.
Bottom line: research before you go. Maps, addresses, and plot a course. Be organized.