“Otome Road,” The Fujoshi Mecca
By Yunmao Ayakawa
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I'm sure you know Akihabara, the otaku town, but do you know Otome Road (Maiden Road) in Ikebukuro district, where otaku girls and female fans of yaoi get together?
If you go through “Sunshine 60 Street” from the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station, you will see lots of shops for otaku in front of “Sunshine City Shopping Mall.” One side of a roughly 200-meter street is designated for stores selling anime goods and doujinshi for otaku girls, and is named “Otome Road.”
As for what stores are located there? For starters, the main branch of “Animate,” a big anime chain with 70 stores all over Japan is located there, as is a second-hand anime goods store called “Rashinban." There's also a second-hand anime and voice actors’ goods store called “K-BOOKS Anime-Kan," and “K-BOOKS Doujin-Kan,” which specializes in manga, doujinshi and goods for women. They also have a men's doujinshi specialty store called “K-BOOKS Premium-Kan.” For girls who like doujinshi and yaoi there is a novel store called “Mandarake”. Otome Road is also home to the first Butler café in Japan, “Swallowtail”.
Off Otome Road, there is the “Volks Ikebukuro Show Room,” a store for dolls and figurines; “Wonder Parlour café,” which is based on 19 century Europe; “80+1 Eighty Plus One,” a café where female waiters wait on you in boy's costumes; and the “ACOS” cosplay specialty store.
I always go to Otome Road… I never get tired of going there. It is mainly for otaku girls, but otaku boys are also welcome. Be sure to visit Otome Road and Akihabara when you go to Japan!
A map of Otome Road