Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
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]
All the goods on display here have been past winners of Japan's Good Design Award for noteworthy industrial design, so browsing the shelves is a bit like visiting a design museum. The collection is incredibly diverse but often quite mundane, featuring camping equipment, gardening tools and rubber boots, tubes of glue and... [Continue reading]
One of our favorite galleries in the thriving Bakurocho area, Cashi (the name means "fahrenheit") represents a diverse range of up-and-coming Japanese artists working in a variety of styles, and often puts on group shows. Founded in 2008, the gallery aims to "introduce young artists regardless of expression in order for you to... [Continue reading]
The magnificent main building of this concert hall was completed in 1961 and designed by the Japanese modernist architect Kunio Maekawa. Maekawa apprenticed with Le Corbusier in Paris from 1928-1930 before returning to Japan and starting his own practice, and his firm, Maekawa and Associates, was the first employer of the very... [Continue reading]
Wondering what Japanese robots are up to these days? Find out at the Tokyo Skytree campus of Chiba University of Technology, which is actually just a couple of exhibition spaces located upstairs from the Skytree's shopping-mall complex. One area is devoted to robotics technology, with several interactive exhibits examining... [Continue reading]
Thousands of maneki neko (good-luck cat statues) fill the interior of this spacious cafe-bar, along with signed covers of jazz albums and underground theater posters. There's a counter and several tables, making this a good venue for a small party. Service is friendly and the air isn't too smoky, although smoking is allowed... [Continue reading]
The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures is part of Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. It houses more than 300 historical artifacts, mainly from the seventh and eighth centuries, which were donated to the Imperial Household by Horyuji Temple in Nara in 1878. The building was completed in 1999 and is the work of architect Yoshio... [Continue reading]
This lovely museum is devoted to the work of Katsushika Hokusai, Japan's most famous ukiyoe artist, who lived and worked for most of his life here in this traditional neighborhood. The wide-ranging permanent collection provides a good overview of Hokusai's life and the evolution of his artistic styles and subject matter, while... [Continue reading]
This inexpensive mini-theme park is an entertaining destination for young train fans who still have leftover energy after a visit to Tama Zoo, located just across the road. It's a very hands-on attraction, with several different train simulators and a huge room-size layout with four separate control booths for operating the... [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
Design shops, graphic-art and product-design galleries, and an open-air architecture park
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 - Meooow!: Tokyo Shinagawa-ku
Meooow is a rescue-cat cafe, so all the cats here are adoptable, and indeed there are two portrait galleries on the cafe wall, one for current residents and one for previous graduates. Located in the middle of a residential...
Animal Cafes - Calaugh: Tokyo Asakusa
One of the most food-focused cat cafes in Tokyo, Calaugh serves light dishes like galettes and curries, with beer, wine and cocktails supplementing the usual coffee and tea. Before 6pm there's a one-beverage minimum order...
Animal Cafes - Cats and Dogs Cafe: Tokyo Oshiage
This local neighborhood spot is more like a rescue-cat shelter than a cat cafe, and unlike in typical cafes, we definitely noticed the presence of litter boxes as soon as we entered the room. There are some charming cats...
Animal Cafes - Moff Animal Cafe: Tokyo Hachioji
This multi-species pet cafe promises to be fun for the whole family, and indeed the visitors here range from young kids to senior citizens. The staff seem to enjoy their jobs, and they go out of their way to introduce the...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
Beer Bars Japan - Gau's: Shibuya
Notable for their late-night hours (the last order is at 5am), Gau's offers a handful of US craft beers on tap from breweries like Lost Coast, Rogue and Left Hand, with three-part tasting flights a popular option. They only...
Dining Diary - Alpe Manegra: Bakurocho
This charming neighborhood Italian joint serves quite tasty food along with reasonably priced wines. The chef isn't shy about intense flavors - the caprese starter incorporates rocket to give it added bite, and the ravioli...
Dining Diary - High Five Salad: Edogawabashi
"Step out of your comfort zone" reads the sign in front of the shop. Yes, it's another salad bar with a slogan and an accompanying manifesto. The salads are pretty good though, some focusing on gourmet ingredients...
Le Bar a Vin 52: Azabu-Juban
As the name implies, wine is the main focus at this bustling bar-restaurant, with a food menu designed to play a supporting role. Wine prices are extremely reasonable (the shop is run by the Seijo Ishii grocery chain), with...
Dining Diary - Golden Bagan: Akebonobashi
This unpretentious neighborhood shop serves a wide variety of home-style Burmese dishes, prepared by chefs from Myanmar. If you just want a simple meal you can sit at the counter and order one of their many noodle or rice...
Tameals: Otemachi
This comfortable office-district dining spot serves an eclectic menu of tasty dishes from Austria, Hungary, Germany and Holland along with European beers and budget wines. Although it faces a busy corridor in an...

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