Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
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]
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]
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 - 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 - 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...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
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...
New opening - Gin Khao: Tameike
International-style Thai restaurants seem to be popping up all over Tokyo these days, and Gin Khao has joined the club, with the promise of exotic California-style Thai cuisine. In addition to the usual tom yum kung and...
New opening - B612 Nishiazabu: Nishi-Azabu
Real New York-style pizza is hard to find in Tokyo - up until now we've had to travel up to Oji for pizza at Rocco's - so this spacious cafe-restaurant in the back streets of Nishi-Azabu is a great find. Pizza here comes in...
Dining Diary - Shimonya: Asagaya
Yakiton (grilled pork on skewers) is the specialty at this budget-friendly local izakaya, along with grilled seasonal vegetables, grilled chicken and drink-friendly side dishes. At Y100 per skewer it's hard to beat...
New opening - Akita Pure Rice Sake Dining: Ebisu
Casual French cuisine served with premium sake from Akita Prefecture - that's the inspired culinary pairing offered at this stylish late-night sake bar. Besides sake, Akita is also famous for their local Hinai-jidori...
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...

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