Finding fun things to do in the big city
 
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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]
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is one of the best aquariums in the country and also one of the largest, housing over 100,000 fish and other marine creatures, including polar bears and sea otters. In addition to the main aquarium building there's also a big interactive zone where kids can wade around in ponds and touch the fish, and... [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]
The artist and sculptor Taro Okamoto is known for his iconic, cartoonish and somewhat surrealist large-scale public sculptures. The museum occupies the space that he used as a studio and residence for fifty years, until his death in 1996. Upstairs on the second floor is a small gallery space displaying four or five large-scale paintings, and a screening room... [Continue reading]
Hundreds of detailed architectural models, showcasing the current state of contemporary Japanese architecture, are on display at this impressive new museum. Visitors can explore numerous works by contemporary stars like Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and many more, and follow the directions of their careers through the years... [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.
Aalaap Lene Waala: Ebisu
This stylish little "spice bar" serves tasty Indian-inspired Japanese curries and fusion-y Indian side dishes. Their namesake ALW curry is a French-Indian red wine-based beef curry, and it's the centerpiece of the lavish...
Verve: Nishi-Shinjuku
Conveniently located next to Shinjuku Station's new south exit, this is the first overseas outpost of a California-based coffee roaster with several branches in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The atmosphere is lively, but...
Kimijimaya: Ebisu
Around a dozen different sake varieties are ready for tasting at this casual standing bar, along with a dozen wines, several types of shochu, and Japanese liqueurs like yuzushu. The standing-bar area takes up about half the...
Pigalle: Sangenjaya
While other Tokyo craft-beer bars may specialize in small Japanese breweries or US imports, Pigalle is a good place to find interesting European craft beers, both on draft and by the bottle, as well as craft ciders. The...
Dandanya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Spread out vertically over four narrow floors, this old-fashioned izakaya offers fantastic, very creative kushiage - some of the best we've found in Tokyo - along with a small but well-chosen sake list. Picky eaters beware...
Bills: Futako-tamagawa
Known in Tokyo for their Australian-style gourmet breakfasts, Bills also offers a creative menu of modern, casual international cuisine. The spacious dining room is attractively decorated and quite lively all afternoon, a...
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