Finding fun things to do in the big city
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New and featured
The robotic 1960s anime star Astro Boy (known as Atom Boy in Japan) now has his first permanent Tokyo shop. Here you'll find exclusive Astro Boy merchandise, souvenirs in all price ranges, a special-event space, and a retro-style Show-era cafe up on the second floor. Die-hard fans may be interested in the rather elaborate... [Continue reading]
Visiting the Good Design Store is like a trip to a design museum, except everything here is for sale. This specialty design shop carries a diverse array of household goods, stationery supplies, toys and random products, all of them past winners of Japan's Good Design Award. It's a great place for gift shopping, or just design... [Continue reading]
With more than 230 shops and restaurants, this is one of the biggest and fanciest outlet malls in the Tokyo area. The "park" portion of the name comes from Tsuruma Park, a newly developed facility right next to the mall. The park is laid out with multiple sports fields as well as nature walks and picnic areas, so you can... [Continue reading]
Taiwan's coolest bookstore and lifestyle shop has created a unique "hub for cultural exchange" in Nihonbashi. In addition to selling books, stationery and miscellaneous goods, the shop incorporates a workshop zone with areas devoted to Japanese crafts, glass-blowing kilns and a cooking demonstration area. There's also a... [Continue reading]
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]
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 trendy ramen and tsukemen shop is outfitted with a "research laboratory" in the back where the chefs experiment with innovative techniques and combinations of ingredients. Some notable results include Mensho's richly...
Run by Kiuchi Brewery, the sake brewer behind the popular Hitachino Nest beer brand, this dining bar is devoted to craft spirits, craft beers and premium beef and pork from Ibaraki Prefecture. Drinks options include ten...
Located on the second floor of a Miyagi prefectural antenna shop, this casual cafe-restaurant serves a wide variety of beef tongue dishes, a local specialty. Teishoku-style meals with oxtail soup, grilled tongue, side...
A lot of Tokyo's most congenial standing bars also tend to be rather basic in their decor, food and service, so it was a pleasant surprise to find someplace as stylish and sophisticated as Comaru that's also friendly and...
Muku is a small neighborhood izakaya serving excellent charcoal-grilled meat and fish alongside a very serviceable sake list. You can choose from around 40 different craft sakes from both large and small breweries, and...
A stylish, cozy backstreet bar located six or seven minutes from Kawasaki Station, Tokaido Beer's taproom is a pleasant place to drop by for a freshly brewed beer or two. Brewmaster Satoshi Tanoue serves four year-round...
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Japan bar and restaurant guide
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Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
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