Finding fun things to do in the big city
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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]
BankArt Station, spread out over 1,500 square meters inside Shin-Takashima Station, is the largest of several Yokohama galleries run by the government-supported BankArt 1929 arts program, and it's probably the best venue for contemporary art in Yokohama. In addition to two large exhibition areas there's also a museum shop, a... [Continue reading]
Dedicated to the crafts and local foods of Niigata Prefecture, Niigata Ichi-Maru-Maru feels like a cross between an upscale design shop and a prefectural antenna shop. The shelves are filled with beautifully crafted glassware and pottery, cookingware and metal kitchen utensils, specialized chef's knives and cutlery, with... [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 Cafes.com
Venue categories
Explorer Kit
Animal sightings
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.
Codename Mixology serves inventive, wonderfully oddball drinks, and just might be our favorite cocktail bar in Tokyo. The bartenders make use of fresh herbs, seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal and home-made spirits,...
This lively after-work izakaya specializes in the cuisine of Kita-Kyushu, with an emphasis on seafood. It's a great place to try out interesting regional dishes like seared mackerel sashimi, mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and...
A combo sake retailer and standing bar, Asano is a great place to try before you buy, with more than 130 different sakes in stock. Or you can just drop in for a quick tasting flight and perhaps discover some new favorites. ...
Siam Heritage serves excellent traditional Thai cuisine in a gorgeous dining room overlooking Tokyo Station. The spicy dishes here are complex and well-balanced rather than just fiery, with a wide-ranging menu that includes...
The fridges are filled with hundreds of exotic imported beers at this third retail branch of a Tokyo-based beer importer. Unlike the first two standing-bar branches of Beer Ma, this one has seating, in the form of three...
Small dishes and noodles from China, Southeast Asia and Japan are served with craft beers at this very multi-cultural establishment in Tokyo station's restaurant complex. The atmosphere is lively and the food is tasty and...
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Sister sites:
Bento.com
Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, festivals and breweries
tokyopicks.com
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts