Finding fun things to do in the big city
 
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Yokohama's tallest building (the second-tallest in the country) is located in the middle of the city's picturesque harbor area, and its 69th-floor observation deck offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Yokohama and the bay. Even far-off Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji are visible, at least on clear days. There are four separate... [Continue reading]
This compact Harajuku gallery is devoted to showcasing the work of Japanese illustrators, and there are generally fresh new shows every week. Much of the work is quite affordably priced, and there are usually postcards and other goods for sale as well. The gallery also runs frequent workshops and other events. ... [Continue reading]
The name of this shop really doesn't do it justice - more than just a souvenir shop or museum shop, it's actually one of the best design shops in Tokyo. You'll find excellent selections of pottery, glassware, fabrics, paper goods and many other crafts scattered thoughout the store, along with more typical museum-shop goods... [Continue reading]
Everybody's favorite giant lizard now has his own retail shop, where you'll find a huge assortment of Godzilla-themed goods - everything from T-shirts and socks to rather nice bomber jackets. There's the expected selection of plastic toys and movie DVDs, but also umbrellas and cameras, watches and jewelry, and backpacks and... [Continue reading]
Probably the most important center for contemporary art in Yokohama, the massive BankArt Studio space is run by the government-supported BankArt 1929 arts program as a venue for exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, and educational programs. The historic waterfront building features two floors of exhibition... [Continue reading]
Outside of theme parks, it's unusual to see a massive, multi-story building with a design that's clearly based on a children's transformer-robot toy - it represents a rare match-up between an adventurous client and an innovative architect. And while it predictably appears on various "weird architecture" lists, the building is... [Continue reading]
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]
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]
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 Cafes.com
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Explorer Kit
     
     
Animal sightings
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal Cafes.com.
Animal Cafes - Ekoneko: Tokyo Ekoda
This local rescue-cat cafe has a roomful of friendly cats and a very proactive staff who spend a lot of energy keeping them entertained. We were lucky enough to be there when the staff gave out cat treats for the visitors...
Animal Cafes - Mocha: Tokyo Akihabara
With ten branches and counting, this popular chain knows how to deliver a cat-cafe experience to a mass audience. This particular branch seems even larger than average, with plenty of seating so that it doesn't seem crowded...
Animal Cafes - T-Cat: Yokohama Nihon-Odori
Open since February 2017, T-Cat is a friendly rescue-cat cafe with around fifteen resident cats, give or take. There were a lot of younger cats when we visited, and they were especially playful and athletic when the staff...
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...
     
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites Bento.com and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
Dining Diary - Momose: Kudanshita
Anago is the specialty at this first-rate tempura shop, and the combination of quality and price attracts a full house at lunchtime, when the menu starts at just Y1155. (By contrast, dinner averages around Y6000.) Some...
Beer Bars Japan - Festa: Shimo-Kitazawa
This lively neighborhood bar offers a decent selection of craft beers - both Japanese and imported - from their dozen taps. One unusual feature is that they serve a number of Belgian and other European beers in addition to...
Dining Diary - Chess Garden: Hatagaya
The charcoal-grilled burgers here are meaty and juicy, with a subtle smoky flavor from the grilling process. They're served with excellent bacon (optional), raw onions for a bit of bite, and piquant pickles. Unlike many...
Yonpachi Gyojo: Tameike
This bustling basement izakaya offers good seafood and a decent selection of sake and shochu at very reasonable prices. The fish and seafood come straight from fishing ports all over Japan, and the walls and menus are...
Ebisu Banh Mi Bakery: Ebisu
This neighborhood take-out sandwich shop is serious about their banh mi, and the staff in charge of baguette production learned their craft at a bakery in Vinh Yen, Vietnam. Fresh-baked baguettes are stuffed with a variety...
Beer Bars Japan - New opening - Beer Boy: Kichijoji
Beer Boy is the first craft-beer izakaya from the popular Craft Beer Market chain. The beer list is focused on "rare and extreme" craft beers, mostly from Japan but with a few US brews as well. The food menu is a mix of...
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