Japan is known to have a large number of sub cultures, many of which are oddly specific to Japan. While some of the Japanese pop culture has spread to the rest of the world over the past couple of decades, none of it has reached the extreme levels it has in Japan. Often born out of these Japanese sub cultures, Tokyo has become home to some experiences which are so weird and wonderful that foreigners travel all the way there just to experience them.
This is a list of the 9 craziest and weirdest experiences you can have in Tokyo.
1. Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku has become one of Tokyo’s most well-known spectacles. An insane show with lights, special effects, robots and dancers leave the visitor in something near a complete sensory overload. Everything at the Robot Restaurant seems so random, unexpected and wildly exaggerated that the insanity becomes the attraction itself.
Location: Shinjuku, Tokyo.
2. Kawaii Monster Cafe
Located in colorful, youthful Harajuku, Kawaii Monster cafe is a themed cafe full of pastel colors, weird figures and decorations. It is probably one of the most instagramable venues in Harajuku! Sebastian Masuda is the artist behind this explosion of colors and cuteness. The venue is a cafe during day time and a restaurant at night. Kawaii Monster Cafe is great for children. However on thursday nights the space is reserved for an adults-only burlesque event.
Location: Harajuku, Tokyo.
3. Real Life Mario Kart
Japan is the birth country of the Nintendo game company. Who doesn’t know Super Mario? If you have ever played Mario Cart on a Nintendo Console, then you will love this activity! You get to dress up as a Mario character, and drive around the streets of Tokyo in your own Go Kart. You will be driving on the actual streets of Tokyo.. in a kart.. dressed as Mario.. How amazing is that? You need an international drivers license to drive.
4. Maid Cafes
Maid Cafes are restaurants where girls, typically dressed in maids costumes, serve you food and drinks. The waiters often look like they’ve been taken straight out of an anime movie. Often performances like dancing and singing are included. Expect having to sprinkle your food with magic and love before eating. Maid Cafe’s are more sober than they sound. The focus is entirely on cuteness. You can expect some of the most cute food presentations in your life here. Have you ever wanted your food served in the shape of a cat, bunny or teddy bear? Then look no further. A visit to a Maid cafes is a quirky experience, which characterizes the Otaku culture in Akihabara.
Location: Akihabara, Shinjuku, Shibuya or Ikebukuro, Tokyo.
5. Kagaya Izakaya
Now we are getting to the really weird stuff. Kagaya Izakaya is not a big, industrial entertainment venue. This small establishment, run by a single guy, is possibly the oddest experience you can have in Tokyo. Izakayas are places of drinking and eating. This specific one includes entertainment by the host himself. The place has become quite famous on youtube, but don’t spoil the experience for yourself (don’t watch the videos in advance). Go here with little to no knowledge of the evenings entertainment, and you will have the funniest evening you can imagine. A word of advice: this place is not for the prude. Come with an open mind, and be open for an evening of laughter, absurdness and awkwardness.
Location: Shimbashi, Tokyo
6. Vampire Cafe
The vampire cafe is another themed restaurant in Tokyo. The theme is vampires and dracula, so expect gothic vibes and plenty of blood and death references. It’s a really strange place to eat, where you will be served by waiters in full vampire costume. With menu items such as “Rite for the Revival of the Dead” and “Poisonous Spider of the Earl” you can expect the presentation of your food to be on-point with the theme.. death, blood and gravestones. However, it is Japan, so you can always find an element of cuteness to comfort you in this scary setting.
Location: Ginza, Tokyo.
7. Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe
If you are a Final Fantasy fan, this is for you! In Akihabara is a cafe with a Final Fantasy theme. The food, drinks and decoration are all with inspiration from Final Fantasy. You can even play the game while there. There are a limited number of guests allowed per day, so it is required to make a reservation in advance.
Location: Akihabara, Tokyo.
8. Hello Kitty at Tokyo Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland is an indoor theme park, and one of Japans biggest attractions with more than 1.5 million visitors yearly. Here you can experience the fantastic universe of all the Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty. There are live shows, cinemas, theater, rides, exclusive memorabilia shops, themed restaurants and more. Sanrio Puroland is truly a unique place for Hello Kitty fans of all ages!
Location: Tamo New Town, Tokyo.
9. Hedgehog cafe and Owl Cafe
Tokyo is full of animal cafes where guests can play with pets or tame animals while having a coffee. There are many types of animal cafes. The most popular are cat cafes, but there are some unusual ones, like hedgehog cafes and owl cafes. Reservation is often required, as these cafes are very popular.
Location (owl): Shibuya or Harajuku, Tokyo.
Location (hedgehog): Shibuya, Tokyo.
Cover photo: Marco Verch. Licensed under CC. Original modified.
Robot Restaurant: Harald Johnsen. Licensed under CC. Original modified.
Mario Cart: Liz Mc. Licensed under CC. Original modified.
Maid Cafe: Otakuthon. Licensed under CC. Original modified.
Sanrio Puroland: Sui San. Licensed under CC. Original modified.