Finding fun things to do in the big city
 
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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]
Exhibits at this rather large museum feature archeological finds from the area, including a pit dwelling from the Jomon period. There are also collections of swords and armor, pottery and metalware, and famous 16th-century scroll paintings depicting scenes from the medieval war chronicle Taiheiki. A major section of the... [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]
Although this specialized museum is rather compact in size, the very detailed English-language tour makes up for it, and is highly recommended. The tour brings Japan's samurai history to life as you're introduced to room after room filled with rare swords, armor, helmets and many other historical artifacts. This is also a... [Continue reading]
Located less than an hour from Shinjuku station, Mount Takao is a popular hiking destination, drawing some 2.5 million visitors every year. There are several different trails to choose from, and the climb from base to summit, standing 599 meters above sea level, takes around 90-100 minutes. Along the way are beech and cedar... [Continue reading]
If you're in Tokyo and you feel the urge to take an English-language tour of a real-life sake brewery, Ishikawa Brewery in Fussa is the place to go. The picturesque brewery, in operation since 1863, is located in the mountains around fifty minutes west of Shinjuku by train, with several historical buildings and cultural... [Continue reading]
Cartoon fans can learn about the history of Japanese animation, try their hand at using animation software and browse through a massive library of DVDs and comics at this free museum. The museum's attached theater boasts a 150-inch screen and surround sound. All displays are well captioned in English, and the free audio guide... [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 shows, design shops, 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 Cafes.com
More interests and categories
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Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites Bento.com and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
New opening - Craft Beer Market: Kanda
One thing we like about this craft-beer bar chain, besides the reasonable prices and broad beer selection, is that fact that each branch has its own distinctive food menu. The theme here at CBM's tenth branch is lamb, and...
Fireking Cafe: Yoyogi-Uehara
With its lively, spacious dining room, well-stocked bar and good food, Fireking has established itself as the hub of Uehara nightlife since its opening in 2000. It's busy until late at night with an eclectic and hip crowd,...
New opening - Counter, The: Roppongi
Custom-made burgers with a huge variety of optional ingredients, sauces and toppings are ready to order from this California-based burger shop. Alternatively, you can swap your buns for salad greens with meals-in-a-bowl...
City Shop: Omotesando
A nice variety of deli-style salads is ready for your grazing pleasure at this casual cafe, with inventive dishes like Spicy Roast Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Onion Bacon Jam, and Roast Swordfish and Zucchini with...
Dining Diary - Sen Rikyu: Ginza
This upscale branch of Rikyu, the popular Sendai beef-tongue specialist, offers nice full-course lunches with options like beef-tongue sukiyaki and tomato-tongue stews. Lunches are served until 5pm, and are generally priced...
Ginpei: Ebisu
The excellent fish and seafood served at Ginpei is flown in fresh from two regional fishing ports - Minoshima in Wakayama and Muroto Cape in Shikoku. Matching the impressive level of the seafood is a sake list assembled...
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