When I was in Shanghai a while back, I ventured to Wen Miao Lu (文庙路). Wen Miao Lu , is touted as an Animanga street “文庙动漫街”and I decided to spend an afternoon there to experience a little bit of the Animanga culture in Shanghai.
The Street can be accessed with Shanghai Metro Line 8 or Line 10 ,just alight at Lao Xi Men ( 老西门) station. According to some online website, Bus services 11、955、18、23、24、43、218 and 537 will also bring you there. The street is a short 10 minutes walk from the train station. After exiting from the train station, remember to have your GPS or Baidu Map ready to navigate yourself.
I had to walk pass a lot of buildings and restaurants that doesn’t give the slightest hint of Anime so I was a little apprehensive. But I turned into this little street and was welcomed with the familiar sight of Anime merchandises.
The Newspaper stall around the corner sells Anime posters!
On first sight it might be hard to tell that this is an ‘Animanga street’ but a few steps in and you’ll soon find the haphazardly placed Anime stores.
Amidst the shopping for Anime merchandise, you’d also find a variety of other shops around the area. Such as Pet Shops selling all sorts of animals , amphibians , vertebrates and street food.
The 2nd most popular stores around would be stores selling Mobile phone and tablet covers.
I got slightly face palmy when I saw how this store just threw their merchandise on the floor like this. Not difficult to guess the authenticity of their products haha.
Abundance of anime posters xD
There were 2 Gundam and figurine building stores within the area too.
This particular store had the neatest and nicest shop display haha.
Things however, were not exactly as cheap as I expected. A Gashapon cost 30RMB (which converts to SGD$6.5) when the same toy would have cost around 200- 300Yen in Japan.
One of the store named “Sakura” also sold Cosplay Costumes and props.
It was a fun afternoon and for Anime fans looking to nab a few discounted merchandise home, Wen Miao Lu is definitely a good place to scout if you are in Shanghai. However the authenticity of the products would need to be discounted , along with the price haha. Due to the diversity of products along the street, even for someone like me who doesn’t collect Anime Merchandise found the experience satisfying as I bagged home cheap street clothes, cosmetic contact lens and milk tea along the way.
One thing I’d have to warn though, is not to set your expectations too high. This is a street in the lesser part of town (which explains the cheaper everything) and it’s a place the locals hang out. The roads are not superbly clean and like anywhere else in China, have an abundance of people spitting straight onto the road. Anime stores are abundant but they are not the only stores around so be prepared to walk a lot more as you explore the different side roads.
I didn’t feel particularly unsafe when I was there but as a rule of thumb, always remember to keep your bags close to you and keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t put your mobile phones on the side pockets of your backpack and be vigilant all the time. Hope you guys enjoyed this photo tour! Leave me a comment if you’ve been to Shanghai and would like to recommend other Anime Havens!