Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
Exhibitions at this small gallery and gift shop tend toward the whimsical, cute, cartoony end of the spectrum, including a fair amount of animal-themed art. In addition to prints and postcards they also stock an unusual selection of experimental-music CDs.... [Continue reading]
Consisting of two large gallery spaces and a small library nook where you can look over artists' scrapbooks, MoMo puts on regular shows of their mostly Japanese contemporary artists. They also take part in international art fairs in Basel, Miami Beach, New York and Taipei. The gallery was established in 2003 in Roppongi,... [Continue reading]
Graphic artists, designers, and anyone interested in the evolution of Japanese graphic design through the ages will find a lot to see at this compact advertising museum. The museum was renovated and reopened in December 2017, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the exhibition area completely redone, with more historical... [Continue reading]
Located on the site of Tokyo's former central post office, Kitte (the name means "postage stamp") is one of the more interesting multi-use complexes in Marunouchi, housing a good number of design and lifestyle shops and a first-rate museum in addition to the usual clothing and luxury-goods retailers. There's also a... [Continue reading]
One of architect Kenzo Tange's most iconic buildings, this early example of Metabolist architecture was completed in 1967 and occupies a prominent corner location just north of Shimbashi station. Built on a triangular site that's only 189 square meters in size, the building is constructed around a 7.7m-diameter cylindrical... [Continue reading]
Produced by the Japan Photo Arts Society, Kanzan puts on exhibitions of contemporary photography and other art. They have different guest curators for each show in order to present work from a variety of different perspectives. And be sure to check out the back room while you're here - when we visited there was an... [Continue reading]
Yokohama's tallest building (the second-tallest in the country) is located in the middle of the city's picturesque harbor area, and its 69th-floor observation deck offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Yokohama and the bay. Even far-off Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji are visible, at least on clear days. There are four separate... [Continue reading]
This compact Harajuku gallery is devoted to showcasing the work of Japanese illustrators, and there are generally fresh new shows every week. Much of the work is quite affordably priced, and there are usually postcards and other goods for sale as well. The gallery also runs frequent workshops and other events. ... [Continue reading]
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]
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 - Calico: Tokyo Kichijoji
One of the early pioneers in Tokyo's cat-cafe world, Calico roughly doubled in size when they moved to larger quarters in 2016, providing a more comfortable setting for both cats and visitors. There are now two rather large...
Animal Cafes - Ekoneko: Tokyo Ekoda
This local rescue-cat cafe has a roomful of friendly cats and a very proactive staff who spend a lot of energy keeping them entertained. We were lucky enough to be there when the staff gave out cat treats for the visitors...
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 - 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 - Schmatz: Kichijoji
This German bar-restaurant chain offers a variety of German and German-style beers at very reasonable prices, especially compared to other German restaurants in town. The eight beers on draft are mostly original beers from...
Saika: Ginza
Fermented foods are the specialty at this unusual Ginza dining bar, with an emphasis on European dishes incorporating either miso, cheese, or both. A tasty four-cheese fondue, flavored with Kyoto-style miso, is a specialty...
New opening - Wise Sons: Marunouchi
Pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are the specialties of this San Francisco-based Jewish delicatessen. Other delicacies, many of them rarely seen in Tokyo, include rugelach, babka, coconut macaroons and honey cake from...
Sake Diary - Otonari: Kagurazaka
This tiny neighborhood sake bar has a small but well-chosen sake list, a limited menu of sake-focused snacks, friendly service and fairly tight seating. There's also a standing bar at the front of the shop that's convenient...
Beer Bars Japan - World End: Ueno
A typical Irish pub in sound and appearance, The World End carries unusual and hard-to-find US craft beers in addition to Irish and international macrobrews. On a recent visit we found various beers from US brewers Modern...
100 Hours Curry: Motoyawata
Past winners of the Kanda Curry Grand Prix contest, this small chain of curry shops is known for their richly flavored, vegetable-heavy European-style curries. Their basic curry recipe incorporates apples, bananas and...

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