Finding fun things to do in the big city
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Filled with lush greenery, this traditional Japanese garden is known for its seasonal flower displays. According to their garden calendar, over the course of the year you can look forward to seeing cherry blossoms (March-April), azaleas (April-June), irises (May to late June), water lilies (May to mid-July) and maple leaves... [Continue reading]
A large sculpture of a fish with a human face and a bust of Frederick I on its back is a startling sight to run across when you're out for a walk. It's just one of several unusual artworks on display in the tiny park in front of the Tokyo campus of Tsukuba University, near Myogadani Station. You'll also find a whimsical... [Continue reading]
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 admission is free, the somewhat out-of-the-way location helps keep down the throngs, and weekday visits are... [Continue reading]
Featuring American and other international artists, exhibitions at this small neighborhood art gallery reflect the owner's interest in urban art, including work coming out of the culture of graffiti and gigantic urban wall murals. The owner's ambition is to create an arts-oriented community hub in this charming residential... [Continue reading]
If you were acquainted with the spectacular Muji flagship store located in nearby Yurakucho, this current incarnation may be disappointing. The wide-open spaces and vistas of the former flagship have been replaced by poorly planned narrow aisles and foot-traffic jams, especially on the ground floor. There are positive changes as well though, and some... [Continue reading]
This city-run museum is famous for its permanent collection of ukiyoe woodblock prints. Extensive gallery spaces spread out over two floors offer a chance to see quite a bit of art in one visit. In addition to the permanent collection there are numerous themed exhibitions, and these tend to focus on Japanese artists from the... [Continue reading]
The popular twentieth-century writer Fumiko Hayashi (1903-1951) was best known for her autobiographical novel "Vagabond's Song" and "Floating Clouds." Her tastefully appointed home, where she lived with her husband (the painter Rokubin Tezuka) and their son, has been preserved here along with extensive gardens. The house... [Continue reading]
Japanese printmaker Yozo Hamaguchi (1909-2000) was perhaps the most renowned mezzotint artist of the twentieth century. This small private museum exhibits sixty of his works, and has frequent shows devoted to the work of printmaker Keiko Minami, who was Hamaguchi's wife. Hamaguchi spent much of his career working in Paris... [Continue reading]
From the early 1700s up until 1962, when the Port of Tokyo began major redevelopment work, the shoreline in this area was the source of some of Japan's finest nori. There are still a number of nori wholesalers located here, and this is also the home of the Omori Nori Museum, probably the only museum in the world devoted... [Continue reading]
One of the few museums in the world dedicated exclusively to printmaking, this spacious and well-curated museum has amassed a collection of some 30,000 prints from around the world, some dating back to the eighth century. After you've toured the permanent and temporary galleries, it's worth spending some time in the museum's... [Continue reading]
Japanese and Chinese paintings, ceramics, calligraphy, tea ceremony implements, swords and mirrors - there are over 5,000 items making up the museum's impressive collection. Unfortunately, though, we'll probably only get to see most of these treasures as postcards in the museum shop - the two exhibition galleries here are... [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.
This casual standing bar serves a good selection of craft sake by the glass, plus several pre-selected tasting flights to compare and contrast. The food menu is surprisingly large for this type of establishment - mostly...
Qibao serves only one dish - spicy Szechuan-style soup with glass noodles. The soup is infused with a blend of medicinal herbs, and to keep things interesting there are dozens of optional extra ingredients that you can mix...
One of an small chain of ramen shops noted for their inventive recipes, this branch of Mensho specializes in tori paitan (creamy chicken stock) ramen. The beige-colored soup is light and refreshing, with creamy soy milk...
This cozy neighborhood spot serves a great line-up of burgers and sandwiches. The burgers are some of the best in town, with a pleasant infusion of charcoal flavoring from the grill, and they're served with excellent...
This old-fashioned Osaka-based shop serves up richly flavored curry with meaty main ingredients like stewed pork belly and chicken cutlet. The pork belly is particulary recommended - the curry is topped with a thick, fairly...
Maybe it's the lace doilies and bud vases on the tables, or the antique cabinets and crammed bookshelves, but this tiny Polish bakery-cafe has a certain Old World charm. You can pick up a bag of doughnuts and cake to go, as...
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