10 Cutest Things to Do in Tokyo: Experience Kawaii Culture

hello kitty sanrio puroland To do in Tokyo
Masaya Anan, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr
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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Welcome to Tokyo! The land of the rising sun is known for its unique culture, bustling cities, and of course, “Kawaii” (cute) things. In fact, Kawaii is one of the 9 aesthetics in Japanese art and culture! Some others include the well known “Wabi-Sabi” meaning imperfection, and “Ensou”, meaning the void. Clearly Japanese art has quite the dynamic. Regardless, these aesthetics are very prevalent throughout Japan, and “Kawaii” is certainly one of the most memorable. It’s incredible how often/what things are made to be cute in Japan. In this article, we will explore the top 10 cutest things to do in Tokyo that will allow you to experience kawaii culture and will leave you feeling like you just stepped into an anime.

1. Animal Cafes

Animal cafes have become a staple in Tokyo’s Kawaii culture. From cats, dogs, owls, rabbits, hedgehogs, to even goats and snakes (are they cute?), Animal cafes are a must-visit for animal lovers. Cat cafes, in particular, are popular among tourists and locals alike. For a small fee, you can enjoy a cup of coffee while petting and playing with adorable cats. Don’t forget to follow the cafe’s rules when interacting with the animals, and make sure to book in advance as most animal cafes have limited seating.

2. Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland

If you’re a fan of Hello Kitty and her friends, then Sanrio Puroland is the perfect place for you. Located in Tama City, this indoor theme park is filled with rides, live shows, and attractions featuring your favorite Sanrio characters. This place is quite possibly the most densely cute place in Tokyo, be careful going with people who can’t handle it- there’s no escape! But for those of you that can, you may not be able to get enough. From shopping to plays, there’s many ways to take it all in! Don’t forget to visit the Hello Kitty House, where you can take photos with Hello Kitty and her family.

Click here to purchase tickets!

3. Character Cafes

Nick Westwood, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), via flickr.

More cafes? Seems like it! Tokyo is home to a variety of character-themed cafes from Pokemon, Sailor Moon, to My Melody and Final Fantasy. There’s even Harry Potter themed places, though that’s not inherently Kawaii, let’s stay on track. One that is definitely Kawaii is the Kirby cafe! These cafes are not just about the food and drinks but also the experience. From the decor, music, and even the menu, everything is tailored to the theme of the cafe. Check out the cafe’s website or social media pages to see if they have any special events or limited edition menus.

4. Harajuku Takeshita Street

Harajuku Takeshita Street

Harajuku Takeshita Street could be considered the birthplace of Kawaii culture. This narrow street is lined with colorful shops, trendy cafes, and unique fashion boutiques. There’s also candy shops and toy stores. As much as it could be a place for the curious adult, it’s also a place kids may enjoy! It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Tokyo’s youth culture and discover new fashion trends. In fact, one of the most upper scale shopping areas, Omotesando, is just a stone’s throw away. Visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds and don’t forget to try the famous Harajuku crepes.

5. Purikura

Pixelms, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Purikura, short for “print club,” is a photo booth experience that allows you to take pictures with your friends and customize them with various decorations and filters. These photo booths are popular among teenagers and young adults and can be found in most shopping centers and arcades. One of the most iconic and memorable features of them is the eye enlarging effect- it can be absolutely shocking. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your poses and decorations, and make sure to collect your printed stickers at the end.

6. Nail Art

Nail art has become a popular trend in Japan, with many salons offering intricate designs inspired by Kawaii culture. From cute animals, pastel colors, to glitter and rhinestones, the possibilities are endless. Walking through Harajuku or even some other areas, you may see some very long and even heavy looking nails! It’s incredible how intricate they can be with all the accessories. Book your appointment in advance as many nail salons have a long waiting list.

7. Kimono rental

So, how long has Kawaii been a thing? All of this stuff seems pretty new, right? Well let’s take a historical look at what has stood the test of time! Experience traditional Japanese culture by renting a Kimono and walking around Tokyo’s historic neighborhoods. There are many Kimono rental shops in Tokyo that offer a wide range of styles and sizes. You’ll look not only Kawaii but also quite sophisticated in these intricate wardrobes.

Rent a Kimono with the best in Asakusa: Kimono Rental Wargo

8. Ghibli Museum

ⓒStudio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is a world-renowned animation studio that has produced many popular films, such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. The Ghibli Museum is a must-visit for any fan of the studio, as it showcases the history and art behind their films. Book your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly, and don’t forget to visit the rooftop garden for a beautiful view of the surrounding area.

Book your tour to the Ghibli Museum below!


9. Tokyo Disney Resort


Tokyo Disney is a magical place for both kids and adults. With two parks, Disneyland and DisneySea, there’s something for everyone. From meeting your favorite Disney characters, riding exciting attractions, to watching amazing parades and shows, Tokyo Disney is a must-visit for any Disney fan. Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines at the entrance, and make sure to download the Tokyo Disney Resort app for ride wait times and show schedules.

Get your Tokyo Disneyland tickets here!
Get your Tokyo DisneySea tickets here!

10. Wagashi making

Photo provided by airKitchen

Wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets, are not only delicious but also beautiful works of art. Many Wagashi shops in Tokyo offer workshops where you can learn how to make these delicate treats and decorate them with edible flowers and designs. Book your workshop in advance and don’t forget to take your creations home as a souvenir, or just eat them!

Mochi and Traditional Sweets Making Class with Tea Ceremony
Traditional Japanese sweets “Nerikiri”
Let’s cook DANGO (Japanese sweets) and learn 2 most popular Japanese mom’s dishes

Kawaii Tours in Tokyo

Photo provided by Viator

There are so many fun kawaii things to do in Tokyo that it can be hard to know where to start and what to do. It’s never a bad idea to take a tour with an English speaking guide that can show you all the best spots and explain everything to you as well as answer all of the questions you may have.

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo, where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English-speaking guide! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!


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Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

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