Finding fun things to do in the big city
 
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New and featured
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]
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
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Explorer Kit
     
     
Animal sightings
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal Cafes.com.
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...
Animal Cafes - Bird Zoo: Yokohama
This is the second branch of Bird Zoo, a full-immersion parrot-interaction facility run by Kojima pet store. Like the original Chiba branch, it's a very invigorating - at times almost overwhelming - experience, especially...
Animal Cafes - Mocha: Tokyo Harajuku
With its prime location overlooking JR Harajuku station, this newest branch of the Mocha cafe chain packs in the crowds, including a good number of overseas tourists. The playroom is fairly compact, but there's plenty of...
     
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites Bento.com and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
New opening - Enoteca: Marunouchi
The small tasting bar at Enoteca wine shop is a convenient place to drop in for a quick glass of wine on your way to Tokyo station, with a decent selection of wines of the day starting at Y500 per glass. There are usually...
Ebesu: Asagaya
Located along a bustling shopping arcade near Minami-Asagaya station, this charming local izakaya has a real neighborhood feel to it, with patrons of all ages. The specialty of the house is kushiage - deep-fried skewers of...
Dining Diary - Himonoya: Meguro
The specialty of the house here is himono - various types of dried fish that are grilled over charcoal. There's plenty more on offer as well though - lovely fresh-seafood sashimi platters that change daily, and very...
Bikini Tapa: Shibuya
More ambitious than your typical Tokyo tapas bar, Bikini offers a wide menu of modern Catalan cuisine, including various pintxos, jamon plates and other appetizing Basque-style small dishes. The wine list features unusual...
Pepito: Ebisu
A popular stop on bar-hopping tours of Ebisu, Pepito is a casual Spanish bar serving food and Spanish wines and sherries by the glass. The chef is from the Galicia area of northwest Spain, and the excellent tapas-style...
Sake Diary - Gem by Moto: Ebisu
The original Moto standing bar in Shinjuku has been a longtime favorite thanks to their top-notch sake selection and creative food menu, so we came to this smaller, boutique branch of the bar with high expectations. We're...
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Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
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