A lot of visitors to Japan ask me where they can see vintage Japanese culture from the 90’s, 80’s and earlier. For many people this was the time when they first became aware of the rising power of Japanese pop culture, and whether it is a classic manga, anime, Tokusatsu or film you will find yourself catered for by the wonderful Manadarake. For those put off by the moe-fication of Akihabara and the modern pop culture that that entails, so divorced as it is from the pop culture of my youth, I would recommend an indulgently nostalgic trip to Mandarake in Shibuya.
Beyond this rather unassuming entrance lies 4 floors of stairs that lead you further and further down (you can feel the temperature drop – and the strobe lights and mirrors don’t help) till it opens out into a warehouse of Japanese pop culture.
Inside you can buy (or just window shop) vintage Japanese film posters, actual props, shop mascots, a whole host of competition and not for sale items and of course everything that has ever been connected to Japanese Otaku and subculture. Mandarake can be quite a pleasant break from the relentless cool of Shibuya and at the very least a very pleasant trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up with Hokuto No Ken!