Finding fun things to do in the big city
New and featured
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]
If you can't get enough of Pepper, the odd-looking humanoid robot often found lurking in SoftBank shops, now you can visit a cafe staffed by an army of Peppers. There's a crew at the cafe's reception desk to greet you, and individual Peppers at most tables to take your order and make you feel at home, assuming your home happens to be filled with resident humanoid robots. As the cafe's website... [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]
Designed by architect Tadao Ando and completed in 2007, the low-slung museum building is designed to fit harmoniously with its surroundings, with 80% of its very limited floor space placed underground. Inspired by Issey Miyake's clothing design, the building uses a single, 54-meter sheet of folded steel plate as its roof. The museum's temporary exhibitions are not limited to the visual arts,... [Continue reading]
Taro Nasu first opened his namesake contemporary art gallery in 1988, moving it in 2019 to its current location alongside several other galleries in the very arty Piramide Building in Roppongi. The gallery represents two dozen well-established Japanese and international artists, many of them leaning toward the conceptual-art end of the spectrum, and there are six to eight shows each year. [Continue reading]
Put together your own Tokyo architecture walking tour with this index of notable Tokyo buildings by architect... [Continue reading]
Visiting Starbucks Reserve Roastery is a far more interactive and immersive experience than simply going to a coffee shop - it feels more like a trip to a coffee-themed amusement park, with different attractions on each of the building's four levels. This huge 3000-square-meter retail space is the largest Starbucks branch in... [Continue reading]
The Cubar Lounge on the fourth floor of Tokyo Dome's bowling facility is a dimly lit and somewhat more relaxed setting than your usual bowling alley, with a full-service bar, comfortable sofas and original artwork by artist Taro Okamoto on the wall. Drinks include beer, wine, cocktails, several types of whiskey, tequila shots... [Continue reading]
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 Cafes.com
Browse by area
New and featured listings from our sister site Animal Cafes.com.
Mipig is a cafe where you can hang out with cute baby pigs. They're friendly and curious, and they wag their tails just like puppies. You can pet them when they sit in your lap and they make cute snorting noises. Really,...
Setting themselves apart from the other cat-focused gift shops in Yanaka, Neko Action sells original artwork and cat-themed craft items such as ceramic figurines, t-shirts and nihonga-style painted stones. There are also...
The aptly named Animal Meeting Room is a rescue shelter that's set up so that potential pet adopters can interact in a relaxed setting with dogs and cats looking for a home. The main area is a big, noisy dog playroom with...
Located at the entrance to Nagasaki Bio Park, this multi-species animal cafe makes a nice final stop after spending a few hours in the main park. The facility consists of a dog playroom with an outdoor run, a cat playroom,...
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites Bento.com and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
This casual after-work Spanish bar offers a tempting selection of paellas and tapas dishes, along with reasonably priced Spanish wines and sherries. The rustic interior, built around a well-stocked bar, contributes to the...
Trench offers an intriguing menu of signature cocktails and "twisted classics," and they also stock a huge assortment of liquor and liqueurs if you want to branch out on your own. The interior space is tiny, with seats for...
Some eighty varieties of sake are ready to sample at this comfortable standing bar, along with traditional sake-drinking fare served in dainty portions. One nice touch here is that sake is served in proper wine glasses...
The cuisine of Yamagata Prefecture is the specialty at this stylish upscale izakaya, accompanied by a nice selection of local craft sake. The sake is served in your choice of tasting flights or full glasses, with a number...
In spite of the Shinjuku business-district address, this branch of the Rome-based eatery has the feel of a friendly (but sophisticated) neighborhood Italian spot, where you can pop in for a charcuterie board and a glass of...
If you have a craving for a Hawaiian plate lunch and you're in the Tsukiji area, Island Plate Lunch should be on your radar. The kitchen turns out credible versions of traditional favorites like Garlic Shrimp, Loco Moco,...