Finding fun things to do in the big city
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New and featured
With its inspiring collection of housewares, stationery and assorted knickknacks from up-and-coming designers, Koncent is a fun shop to browse even if you don't need anything. One corner of the shop is devoted to their extensive line-up of Soil brand "drying objects" - natural dessicants for dampness control made from... [Continue reading]
Billed as the world's first digital art museum, this ambitious art installation is made up of fifty immersive display areas created with the use of 470 projectors and a similar number of computers. There's quite a bit to see here, with dozens of different spaces to wander around in, each with its own visual theme and mood. ... [Continue reading]
This small museum will mostly be of interest to Japanese sword enthusiasts and collectors. The facility is run by the Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, and there are usually several dozen swords and other objects from their 190-piece collection viewable at any given time. In addition to swords, you can admire... [Continue reading]
A splashy, well-choreographed dolphin show, held nine times a day, is one of the main draws at this mid-size urban aquarium, and there are also shorter penguin and sea lion performances throughout the day. Other popular features are the Wonder Tube, with giant manta rays and sawfish swimming overhead, and the Jellyfish Ramble,... [Continue reading]
Representing mostly young Japanese contemporary artists, Harmas runs this small gallery space and also participates in a number of international art shows around the world. The gallery is open only on weekends (Friday through Sunday), but they have exhibits going on almost every weekend, so they're worth looking in on if... [Continue reading]
Enjoy hiking through 20 hectares (49 acres) of densely wooded grounds at this nature-education park just a few minutes from Shirokanedai station. Unlike most of Tokyo's well-manicured parks and gardens, the goal of this park was to recreate the natural conditions of the area, and serve as a sanctuary for native plants and... [Continue reading]
This quirky little mini-museum is devoted to meishi and other paper products, and is run by a long-established meishi-printing company. If the exhibition area is closed (as it usually is), just pop your head into the second-floor office and ask to see the museum. There's a ten-minute presentation (calling it a tour would be a... [Continue reading]
Seijiro Matsuoka was an art collector with many and varied interests, and these are reflected in the museum that houses his collection. The three main permanent galleries are devoted to ancient Egyptian art and artifacts, ancient Buddha statues from Gandhara, and large-scale bronze sculptures by Henri Moore and Emile Antoine... [Continue reading]
Completed in 1982, this was the first museum building designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa, who was also responsible for the Nakagin Capsule Tower and the National Art Center, Tokyo. A lattice-like structure frames the outer perimeter of the entrance area, playing off the curvilinear lines of the actual building facade. The... [Continue reading]
Occupying the venerated site of the once and future Sony Building, Sony Park will be here until late 2020 or so, and will undoubtedly be the venue for various Sony-related activities, promotions and random amusements for the duration. Soon after opening, some of the attractions were: a roller-skating rink; exotic tropical... [Continue reading]
A three-minute "Steam Locomotive Show," with spinning wheels and loud whistling, is held four times a day and is one of the main attractions at this local train museum. Another draw is the 13-minute "Panorama Show," held five times a day on a large HO-scale layout. This show represents a day in the life of Tobu Railways,... [Continue reading]
Special Interests
Notable buildings by contemporary architects like Kenzo Tange, Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban
Galleries, museums and artsy bookstores
Graphic-art and product-design galleries and design shops
Anime and manga, toys and more popular culture
Artisanal crafts, Japanese gardens, and history-themed museums
Aquariums and zoos, bird-watching parks and horseback-riding stables
Food markets, ramen museums, brewery tours, professional knife stores and regional food shops
Science and tech museums, planetariums, botanical gardens,
Parks, gardens and other places to enjoy the fresh air
Batting cages, bowling alleys and other sporty spots
Observation decks, skyscraper bars and more viewing spots
Explore Tokyo's rivers and Tokyo Bay
The best jazz kissa (coffee shops) for vinyl fans, and clubs for live jazz
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
Venue categories
Explorer Kit
Animal sightings
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal Cafes.com.
A sister shop of the popular Temari no Ouchi cat cafe (located just around the corner), this second branch sports a similarly fanciful Ghibli-esque decor, and is a relaxing spot to spend some time with cats. Unlike most cat...
One of a chain of multi-species animal cafes, this branch of Moff is the smallest, and the only one without a cat room. It's also probably the least interesting in terms of animal interactions - the parakeets in the...
It isn't every day that we get invited to a cat's birthday party, so when the staff told us that one of the residents was having a celebration, we knew we had to check it out. It was a surprisingly elaborate affair, with...
This is the first Tokyo branch of an Osaka-based group of rescue-dog cafes, located a few minutes north of Nishi-Hachioji Station on the JR line. The second-floor cafe area is a very lively place, with happy dogs in...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites Bento.com and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
This sprawling, spacious izakaya focuses on meats - premium-quality charcoal-grilled beef, pork and chicken to be precise - although they also offer a nice selection of creative seasonal and vegetable-centered small dishes. ...
In addition to regular, cheese and teriyaki-egg burgers, McLean's menu offers interesting daily specials like Hot Chili Cheese Tex-Mex Burger (Saturdays; Y1480) and Triple Melt Blue Cheese Burger (Wednesdays; Y1380). ...
Heirloom-breed Kenmidori chicken from Yamagata Prefecture is the bird of choice at this well-established yakitori shop, the main branch of which dates back to the 1930s. In the evenings your charcoal-grilled chicken is...
France's popular chain of frozen-food grocery stores (with some 900 locations in their home country) now has several Tokyo branches, where you can stock up on everything from frozen fruits and vegetables to tasty prepared...
The shop sign says that Suju serves soba, but there's a lot more on offer at this stylish dining bar. The eclectic food menu covers everything from spicy Middle Eastern-style lamb and Brazilian sausages to spicy Chinese...
This cozy American-style gourmet diner serves one of the few lamb burgers in town, and they do a terrific job. With minimal dressing on the burger, it's all about the very flavorful meat, beautifully grilled and lightly...
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