Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
This ambitious design museum/gallery has the unusual mission of showcasing commercial, industrial and product design from all 47 Japanese prefectures. Products cover everything from pottery, lacquerware and kitchen utensils to stationery, fabrics, children's toys and even food and drink. Some exhibitions concentrate on one prefecture, while others focus on a particular style of design or... [Continue reading]
Nakagin Capsule Tower, architect Kisho Kurokawa's Metabolist masterpiece, was demolished in 2022, but two of its component capsules have been preserved in this tiny rental gallery. One of them has been restored to its original 1972 splendor, complete with built-in reel-to-reel tape deck and molded-plastic unit bathroom, while the other has been stripped to its skeleton and is used as an... [Continue reading]
This commercial gallery puts on short-term solo and group shows of contemporary Japanese art, from both established artists and newcomers. It moved to the Hikarie complex's Creative Space 8 in June 2023 from Bunkamura (the arts center run by Tokyu department store), and it will remain there until Bunkamura's renovation is complete sometime in 2027. Creative Space 8 is also home to a few other... [Continue reading]
You'll amaze your friends with your deep knowledge of mayonnaise-related facts after a visit to Tokyo's one and only mayonnaise museum, Mayo Terrace. Best-selling condiment brand Kewpie has set up this attractive facility on the former site of their mayonnaise factory, and they've put together a surprisingly entertaining one-hour tour of the museum. The very interactive tour includes a... [Continue reading]
This traditional tea seller on the edge of Tsukiji is worth a look if you're a fan of architect Kengo Kuma and you're in the neighborhood. Especially if you're in the mood for some green tea. The interior incorporates bamboo umbrellas that extend out onto the sidewalk frontage, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior and welcoming passersby to the cafe inside. The project was... [Continue reading]
Popular with insect fans of all ages (but mostly children), this specialized museum is devoted to the life of French entomologist Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915), who was famous in Japan as the author of the beautifully written Fabre's Book of Insects. Most of the compact two-story facility is devoted to bugs, both living (housed in terrariums and aquariums) and preserved (neatly arranged in... [Continue reading]
This charming hands-on museum is jam-packed with now-obsolete gadgetry that once represented the cutting edge of technology and industrial design. Hand-cranked movie cameras, pre-war film cameras, manual typewriters and early-model laptops are among the highlights of the collection, which covers the decades from the 1930s to 2005. There's also a wide range of "extinct media" including... [Continue reading]
Run by Toppan Printing Company, this medium-size museum explores "printing culture," showing off interesting examples of both printed word and image. You can admire beautifully illustrated books from the 18th and 19th centuries, and see the differences between various artistic techniques such as wood cuts, engravings, etchings, dry point and lithographs. Antique printing presses from various... [Continue reading]
This intimate jazz club has been an important part of Tokyo's jazz scene since 1974, moving to Shibuya from their previous Omotesando location in October 2021. There's a full calendar of live music with shows every night - mostly local artists, but with a fair number of international artists represented as well. Generally you can stay for both evening sets, and there's a menu of light food as well as... [Continue reading]
Open since June 2019, PARCEL showcases up-and-coming Japanese and international artists, typically in month-long shows. The main exhibition area is a two-level space just to the left of the entrance to the DDD Hotel, but they have an exhibit area in the hotel lobby as well. There's also a sister branch called "parcel" (all lower-case) just around the corner at Nihonbashi-Bakurocho 2-2-14... [Continue reading]
Fifty years after his manga debut, the time-traveling robotic cat now has his first official shop, fashioned vaguely after a 20th-century European department store. As you'd expect, it's jam-packed with Doraemon character goods, many of them exclusive to this location. There are plush toys and figurines, coffee mugs and bento boxes, piggy banks and stationery supplies, plus a whole wall of DVD... [Continue reading]
Do you love looking at architectural models, but simply can't spare enough time during the day? If so, then this late-night architecture-model cafe might be just the place for you. Wander around the spacious interior and draw inspiration from miniatures of iconic works like Le Corbusier's "Villa Savoye," Mario Botta's "House in Ligornetto," OMA's "Maison Bordeaux," and Philip Johnson's "Glass... [Continue reading]
Special Interests
Notable buildings by contemporary architects like Kenzo Tange, Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban
Galleries, museums and artsy bookstores
Graphic-art and product-design galleries and design shops
Anime and manga, toys and more popular culture
Artisanal crafts, Japanese gardens, and history-themed museums
Aquariums and zoos, bird-watching parks and horseback-riding stables
Food markets, ramen museums, brewery tours, professional knife stores and regional food shops
Science and tech museums, planetariums, botanical gardens,
Parks, gardens and other places to enjoy the fresh air
Batting cages, bowling alleys and other sporty spots
Observation decks, skyscraper bars and more viewing spots
Explore Tokyo's rivers and Tokyo Bay
The best jazz kissa (coffee shops) for vinyl fans, and clubs for live jazz
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
Venue categories
Explorer Kit
Animal sightings
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal
Rio has a large playroom full of cute puppies, and since the admission charge is incremented in ten-minute intervals, it's easy to just drop in for a quick visit. Maybe because of the cafe's popularity, the pups seem to be...
Conveniently located inside a huge shopping mall close to Okayama's central train station, this branch of the popular cat-cafe chain is bright and airy, looking onto a garden area on the mall's fourth-floor terrace. The...
Small animals like red pandas, prairie dogs, squirrels, wallabies, Humboldt penguins and tropical birds make up most of the residents of this compact city-run zoo, with around thirty animal species in all. Although...
The goal of this second branch of the popular Meguro mini-pig cafe is to create a "Three Little Pigs" picture-book experience, so be prepared. Like their original branch, the shop is set up as a place to play with friendly...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
While the main Ginza branch of this legendary Michelin-starred yakitoriya demands a good portion of an evening to fully appreciate, this more casual outlet is well suited to bar-hopping. Grab a seat and enjoy a round of...
"Soba, sake and wine" are the main draws of this stylish izakaya just up the hill from Ebisu station. On any night, the terrace, main room and smaller private function rooms are thronged with patrons, from nervous...
They aren't kidding - some of these pizzas really are crazy! The kitchen here enthusiastically experiments with variations like Gyros Pizza and Micro-sardine Pizza along with offbeat side dishes like Marinated Octopus with...
Oh Bhaiya! is a new street food and sweets shop that opened in Nishi-Kasai in the spring of 2023. It offers a huge menu of tasty snacks and quick bites based on the "chaat" (finger-licking good) street delicacies of Delhi...
This bustling dining bar is a fun destination for drinks with friends or group outings of any size. They offer freshly brewed beers, inventive original cocktails, appetizing food and friendly service, all in a lively...
Chicken parts and pork organ meats, grilled on skewers over charcoal, are the specialty of this long-running shop, and they do an excellent job preparing them. The grilled venison - tender and very flavorful - is highly...

Sister sites:
Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, festivals and breweries
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts