Stepping onto the streets of Tokyo is like stepping onto a movie set.
It is exactly as you imagine it to be, with bright neon signs and tall buildings lining the streets and a unique mix of traditional and modern cultures with quirky locals dressed brightly and stylishly. It’s a place where absolutely anything goes, provided you’re polite and respectful of course. Dreams come true in Tokyo and there’s absolutely no shortage of fun things to do, particularly weird and wonderful things you just can’t do anywhere else.
Everyone’s heard of cat cafes, but in Tokyo they’ve taken it a few steps further with the introduction of owl cafes that will plunge you straight into your deepest Harry Potter fantasies. If large birds of prey aren’t quite your thing, try visiting a rabbit cafe instead for a more peaceful experience. You’re likely to spot a Japanese businessman there on his lunch break in full suit and tie, snuggling up to a fluffy white rabbit.
Out of this world experiences don’t come much better than a visit to Robot Restaurant. It’s hard to describe what really happens or what it’s about, but you’ll spend your whole evening laughing and staring in absolutely disbelief at the world’s strangest production. It’s bright, gawdy, completely over the top and packed full of robots fighting one another and dancing.
If you love sushi train, you’re in for a real treat at Tokyo’s chute sushi restaurant, Uobei in Shibuya. You place your order using a touch screen and sit back and wait for your sushi to be delivered to you on an electronic, high-speed chute. It’s more bullet-train than sushi train.
Hot Tub Karaoke
Karaoke is synonymous with Tokyo and you should definitely give it a go while you’re there, but for an experience with a difference try Hot Tub Karaoke at LoveNet, which you may recognise from Lost in Translation. It’s not about how well you can sing, it’s about how much spirit you can put into your performance.
Free entertainment doesn’t come much better than a Sunday afternoon spent at Yoyogi Park near Harajuku. Each Sunday the park is flooded with locals doing whatever it is they like with absolutely no judgement from anyone else. That includes dressing up like greasers and dancing or jumping rope, blowing bubbles, cosplay, singing and practicing their catwalk. Best of all, the dog park comes alive with funny little dogs sporting expensive outfits and wild haircuts.
Dinner with Ninjas
Dining in Tokyo isn’t just about the food, it’s about the experience too. If you’re after something completely different, try having dinner at the ninja restaurant, Ninja Akasaka. The restaurant is completely on theme, plunging you straight into your favourite Bruce Lee movie. You’re served by ninjas in full costume who pop out of secret doors and sneak up on you.
Tiny Bar Hopping
Golden Gai in Shinjuku is a small but famous area made up of over 200 tiny bars crammed into six very small alleys. Each bar seats around eight to ten people at most, making it a tight squeeze. This area is where Quentin Tarantino fell in love with Tokyo and drew inspiration for his films.
What are your favourite things to do in Tokyo? Let us know in the comments below!