Yep, Japan can be preeeeetty weird, and Tokyo takes the cake for being the weirdest city of them all.
There are restaurants where you order through an ATM style machine, Harajuku girls, robot restaurants, cat cafes, karaoke devoted high rise buildings, sumo wrestling, hectic fish markets and of course Shibuya’s famous zebra crossing!
Here are some of our top picks for must do and see crazy Tokyo experiences:
1. Visit the magical Ghibli Museum
Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli is one of Japan's most famous animation studios. They have produced many feature length films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. The animation and art museum of Ghibli is located in Mitaka, just outside of central Tokyo and is whimsically designed in the distinct style of the studio's films.
2. Play arcade games at a faux seedy warehouse at Anata No Warehouse
Not your typical Timezone style games arcade, Anata No Warehouse is an arcade modelled on Hong Kong’s dodgy Kowloon Walled City, demolished in 1994. The arcade features a set which models a dilapidated and grimy city including fake posters peeling from walls, next to a variety of gaming and arcade machines from Dance Dance Revolution to Guitar Hero and Street Fighter.
3. Or play arcade games at the landmark Gigo Sega Building
The Gigo Sega Building is a landmark of Akihabara and has 6 floors of games to choose from. The sectioning up of floors also acts as a sort of historical walk through of arcade games from the first Pokemon arcade game ever, to the latest virtual reality experiences.
4. Sing like Bill Murray at Karaoke Kan the karaoke bar from Lost In Translation
Yep, that’s right, hire a room with friends and don a pink wig to find out if you have ‘the voice’ or simply try your hand at Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’ which is the song that Bill Murray performed during the karaoke scene from the iconic Sofia Coppola movie.
Language barriers are no problem, just yell what the person next to you is saying. Or maybe don’t because you could end up with a tuna the size of a golden retriever. Tsukiji is one of the world’s largest fish markets which kicks off with a 5 am sell-off which includes a whole lot of fish tossing and speed-of-light Japanese bartering. Only 120 people are allowed to watch the auction each day so get in early.
Exactly as it sounds, this is a restaurant run by robots. We’re kidding, but it’s close. Located in a basement in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district the restaurant charges ¥7,000 entry fee and for that, you get an experience that resembles something out of Enter The Void, complete with female cyborgs aka women dressed in sparkling bikinis who operate giant robots throughout the four 90 minute shows each night.
We joke. There’s no way you could cartwheel across one of the busiest crosswalks in the world. Crossing here will certainly make you wonder a) where on earth could all of these people have come from and b) will I make it to the other side. Watch the migration from the third floor of the nearby Starbucks.
Akihabara otherwise referred to as ‘electric city’, is considered the times square of Japan. You’ve never seen so many lights, energy, and people at one place and time.
9. Play adult dress ups in Harajuku and Akihabara
Head to the neighbourhoods of Harajuku and Akihabara to see all the crazy kids dressed up in their cosplayer and over enthusiastic fashion outfits. Head to the busy street of Takeshita for the wildest of outfits.
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10. Sleep in a capsule hotel
If you’re a dude this is a walk in the park or a ‘sleep in a tube’ but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. For the ladies, there aren’t as many of these hotels on option, however, some female only capsule hotels have been popping up of recent.
Each one of these wildly wacky cafes does in fact truly exist in Tokyo. Whether you want to pet cute owls or pet cute kittens (in separate cafes of course) there is a cafe for you, and if you would like to be waited on by women in rather oddly traditional maid outfits, there’s that too.