Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
By assembling several major galleries in one massive warehouse space, Terrada Art Complex has rather successfully pursued their mission of "making Tennoz Isle into a hub of artistic culture." The complex is now an important stop on any contemporary art tour of Tokyo, and with so many diverse independent galleries, there's... [Continue reading]
Catering to hard-core anime fans, Tokyo Anime Center organizes month-long exhibitions showcasing specific anime production studios and titles. Limited-edition postcards, drawings, framed artwork and other products are on sale for each exhibition. There's also a permanent-exhibit area focusing on anime-production technology,... [Continue reading]
This very eclectic bookstore is similar to shops like Tokyu Hands and Loft in its sensibility, with a quirky curated collection of household goods, stationery, travel items, gifts and sundries in addition to books. They carry a good number of character goods and toys, although these sometimes come and go quickly. They're also... [Continue reading]
Completed in January 2001, the Komaba Campus II buliding of Tokyo University is the work of architect Hiroshi Hara, who was also responsible for the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka and Kyoto Station. The massive building is a few city blocks in length, and houses the facilities of the Institute of Industrial Science and other... [Continue reading]
Lixil is the biggest gallery in Tokyo devoted to architecture, urban design and spacially focused artwork installations. Recently the gallery has been hosting collaborative works between well-known architects and visual artists, including a cave-like installation created by architect Kengo Kuma and a Kyoto-based washi artist. ... [Continue reading]
Pasona, one of Japan's biggest employment agencies, has gathered a collection of farm animals on the 13th floor of an office building in order to attract interest in careers in agriculture and dairy farming, especially among children. They've assembled a drove of mini pigs, a trip of goats, a stand of flamingos, a small... [Continue reading]
Best known internationally for her prolific work with orange polka dots, the avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist Yayoi Kusama now has a new museum (as of October 2017) devoted to her work and life. There's a lot to see, with closely packed paintings and other works spread out over five floors and a rooftop area. ... [Continue reading]
This influential gallery represents artists Ilya Kabakov, Jan Fable, Tomoko Yoneda, and Naofumi Maruyama. The relatively spacious two-room gallery is located in the "complex 665" gallery building, along with Tomio Koyama and Taka Ishii. All three galleries shared a warehouse building in the Kiyosumi district before moving here... [Continue reading]
Manga, anime, toys and other aspects of pop culture are the inspiration for many of the shows at this international gallery. The exhibition area is comfortably spacious and can accommodate fairly large shows. As with all independent galleries, check their website to see if they're between shows. ... [Continue reading]
This three-story building houses a private residence on the ground floor and gallery spaces upstairs for a private art museum created to help blind and visually impaired people experience art. (In case you're wondering who Tom is, it's an acronym for "Touch Our Museum.") The concrete building was designed by Hiroshi Naito and... [Continue reading]
Stationery enthusiasts will marvel at the breadth of offerings at this gorgeous little shop - everything from vintage fountain pens and artisanal ink to deluxe planners and notebooks from Japan and abroad. There are tasteful knickknacks and well-designed gadgets for the library or den, many with a retro, pre-digital aesthetic... [Continue reading]
Things to do in Tokyo
Food markets, ramen museums, brewery tours, professional knife stores and regional food shops
Exhibtions of contemporary and traditional arts, design and crafts
Notable buildings by contemporary architects like Kenzo Tange, Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban
Aquariums and zoos, bird-watching parks and horseback-riding stables
Graphic-art and product-design galleries and design shops
Artisanal crafts, Japanese gardens, and history-themed museums
Observation decks, skyscraper bars and more viewing spots
Amusement parks, train museums, Legoland, and other diversions for younger Tokyoites
Our popular guide to cat, bird and rabbit cafes - now expanded to a site of its own at Animal
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Explorer Kit
Animal sightings
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal
Animal Cafes - Omusubi: Yokohama Sta.
This rescue-cat cafe had around ten cats in residence when we visited, although the number may vary depending on new arrivals and adoptions. Some of these former stray cats are still shy around people, and one of the goals...
Animal Cafes - Hagu Cafe: Tokyo Shinjuku Kabukicho
Hedgehogs and degus (a fluffy chinchilla-like rodent native to Chile) are the star attractions at this rather specialized animal cafe on the outskirts of Kabukicho. You can choose your favorite hedgehog to play with and...
Animal Cafes - Tamaneko: Tokyo Tama-shi
Located just behind Sanrio Puroland theme park, this spacious cat cafe is popular with families with small children, especially on weekends. As with most suburban cafes, the resident cats tend to be more outgoing and less...
Animal Cafes - Bengal Cat's Forest: Tokyo Harajuku
Exotic-looking, leopard-patterned Bengal cats have been some of the more outgoing and feisty felines we've run across in our research, and this cafe devoted entirely to Bengals is noticeably more lively than your average cat...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
Beer Bars Japan - Le Petit l'Ouest: Shimo-Kitazawa
This Star Wars-themed neighborhood liquor shop stocks a wide selection of over 100 Japanese craft beers, one of the better selections in town. It helps to know what you're looking for though, as there are plenty of clunkers...
Cafe Diary - Roast Works: The Coffeeshop: Yoyogi-Koen
True to its name, this spacious venue is both a cafe and coffee-bean roastery, and its industrial-chic interior is dominated by bean-roasting and coffee-producing equipment. Most impressive is the Steampunk "craft brewing"...
New opening - Ukyo: Ebisu
This popular and very lively sake-specialty dining bar offers an impressive selection of craft sake from around Japan, accompanied by richly flavored dishes designed to complement the drinks. The chef seems fond of using...
Renkon: Ueno
Lotus-root (renkon) delicacies are the unusual specialty at this old-fashioned izakaya, along with a more familiar menu of grilled chicken, creative small plates, and turtle (suppon) dishes. The restaurant occupies a...
New opening - Longrain: Ebisu
With popular branches in Sydney and Melbourne, Longrain serves Australian fusion cuisine inspired by the Thai restaurants of Australia. Rather than attempting to serve a wide variety of Thai cuisine, it seems like the menu...
Uramakiya: Akabanebashi
Although you may occasionally run across a California roll in a Tokyo sushi shop as a novelty item, other types of American-style sushi (aka inside-out rolls) are pretty much unheard of. That's why this small local sushi...

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