The Most Awesomest Store in Japan! Don Quixote Akihabara

 Follow the arrow and the penguin. You're about to have a shopping experience with no comparison!
 Right off the escalator (the real store starts on the second floor), you'll see seasonal merchandise. Here are some yukata and jinbei. Jinbei are like pajamas with a loose robe top and shorts on bottom, though they are unisex. Yukata are very similar to kimono, but much lighter for the summer. Most festival goers wear jinbei, though ladies like yukata and guys can wear them too. The summer festivals are called matsuri.
 Interesting footwear. I don't think I saw anyone actually wearing these in public.
 Ted merchandise has been on sale in Japan for quite some time. It's a great movie! Don Quixote has all kinds of goods including what must be a life size Ted.
 Are you a geek? Get your fix here.
 And for the guys who like cute figurines...
 Accessories are big in Japan - much more than in America. And they go on cell phones, bags, jackets, backpacks - everywhere. So you can find all kinds of cell phone covers and other accessories at Donki.
 Hm. How about a bra that you wear to bed! And pants too. You ever wonder how Japanese women keep their young appearances? They work hard at it. Stores are packed with gadgets and devices and such that squeeze and lift and massage and tone.
 There's a decent selection of foreign treats. No Skittles, and no Reese's. No Twinkies. But you can get Funyuns and salsa! And Tim Tams. Lots of Tim Tams.
 And imported liquor! I still haven't bought any Jack Daniels since arriving in Japan. I keep threatening to make myself some Jack and Cokes.
 Being that this is Akihabara, there are lots of anime/manga/comic-related goods on sale. Other Donki stores have anime stuff, but this has to have more. Here's some booze with cute girl characters.
 A real treat are the Russian Roulette Cookies. The yellow box has 12 cookies; two of them are very spicy. Is that not dangerous enough for you? The pink box has 10 spicy cookies! I've never tried these, so I don't know exactly how hot they are. I'm sure it's noticeable.
 Donki stocks lots of other imported food stuffs too. There's squeeze cheese on the top shelf!
 How cute! Natto is fermented soybeans, and my students mentioned it's a must-try food for foreigners visiting Japan. Notice I say must-try. Not must-eat. You may or may not like it, similar to eating Veggie-Mite in Australia.
 Save the World. Carry your condoms in this case. (And now you know what those are when you see them on the street.)
 Soda! Japan doesn't have that many odd drinks. Melon soda is really tasty, though, and I saw peanut-cream  (like a sweetened peanut butter) flavored coffee. Occasionally there are some limited flavors.
 One of the most important reasons to visit Don Quixote is to get a costume. They stock tons of masks...
 And lots of off-the rack costumes too. These ones are for guys to dress like girls.
 Or you can dress like a Power Ranger!
 Cute costumes for women, too, of course. But this just scratches the surface.
 The costumes are on the same level as the rest of the clothes. Women's bras in Japan are crazy- they are extremely padded and almost like wearing football armor. My American friend said her bathing suit was so padded she jumped a couple cup sizes.
 While actual gun ownership in Japan is pretty rare, you can get air rifles and BB guns. And lots of models.
 If you're throwing a party, Donki is a good place to get supplies.
 Do you need a hand? Or a parrot?
 Moving up to the next level, the store gets somewhat serious. Donki (and the large suburban "Mega Donki" stores) is a good start for those looking for cheap household goods. Sometimes you can find sales and closeouts that bring a lot of value. Sometimes not. Muji, Nitori, and Ikea are other low-cost furniture stores in Japan. My small bookshelf ($10) and my rug ($15) came from Donki.
 The selection of electronics is pretty good too. Again, shopping around is important - Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera are the two biggest. But Donki ended up being the answer for my friend when she needed a cheap toaster oven and coffee maker.
 Donki even has bikes, including a Hummer. Yep.
 I don't know why a foreigner would shop in this department, but all Donki stores have an upscale import section. The liquor may be worth browsing for expats...
 But Americans shouldn't get their name brands here. Actually, I don't know how the prices compare, so they could be good. And style is quite important in Japan, so if you just have to have a Coach bag but yours is old, here's a good place to visit.
 I love these! Akihabara has so many tourists, and you can get some Mt. Fuji bowls and cups here fairly inexpensively. These are elsewhere too, though.
 Japanese women wear heels. High heels. You can buy them here.
 Moving up to the last shopping floor of Donki you'll find the cosplay department. Not the costume department. Cosplay. This is a year-round collection of costumes, some of them quite costly.
 There are two styles that absolutely dominate this store - one of those is school costumes. Pick a color, pick a size. They're here, I'm sure. This sailor style is used at middle schools.
 Pirate? You got it.
 But the most popular costume (or, at least, the one that takes up the most space) is the maid costume. There are multiple styles, in several colors each. I don't know how to explain how many maid costumes there are. My friend was Alice for Halloween, so she needed a maid costume. And we looked at almost every single style to try to find the right one. After all that hunting, we left with no costumes.
 As I mentioned, school costumes are popular. This is the high school style of uniform, with the plaid designs and ties. This style of costume is also worn by several popular idol girl groups. The most popular idol girl group in Japan, AKB48, performs in a theater one floor up in this same building.
 Moving on, there's a maid cafe in Donki on the same floor as the costumes. There is another selection of souvenirs, including maid-themed gifts, on this floor. And an AKB48 mini-shop.
 Sometimes you wonder who buys these things. But they must sell to somebody!

Mega Donki stores contain many of the same goods you see at regular Donki stores, but they are toned down as far as the really goofy goods go (a very minimal costume/party section for example). On the other hand, they have a bigger food/candy/liquor selection, serving as a grocery store. And they have a larger selection of other goods you might find at K-Mart, Target, or WalMart in America (home, office, clothes, toys, etc).

There are Donki (Don Quixote) locations all over Tokyo and Japan, and Mega Donki stores in larger suburbs outside major cities. Their English website lists their stores and provides a map, too! Every Donki will have a good selection of everything you see here, but I think the Akihabara store is the largest (non-Mega) location and certainly has the best range of goods for browsing!
 The Akihabara store is located on the main street in the Electric Town area. At street level, there's a hot dog stand called Vegas Hot Dogs. They carry a range of dog styles, as you can see with the models out front, ranging from about 350 yen, for a basic dog, to 750 yen for the tera cheese dog. Plus a giant tub of french fries for 500 yen.
They are most well-known for their black hot dog, though. This thing has an all-black bun, all-black dog, and comes with the usual toppings. Yes, I put ketchup on this hot dog. The bun and meat doesn't really have much of a flavor and didn't stand out from any other dog. But it was kind of interesting eating a black hot dog! I prefer my dogs with chili and cheese, or Chicago-style, so I probably won't have it again. But if you're interested, don't be afraid to give it a go!


  1. I was actually in search of the AKB48 theater and stumbled upon Donki instead. I was really dumbfounded by stuff they keep.
    Unfortunately by the time I made it to the top floor, I didn't have enough time to see the AKB theater or the show.

  2. It's an amazing store and I've spent hours in there and other Donki locations. Mega Donkis are totally cool too!

    I don't know how easy it is to get AKB tickets. I think it would probably be much easier to get them for SKE48 or the other spin-offs. I wonder if anyone has had any success or details on this.

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