Eating establishments and bars can be found everywhere in Japan, and, like everywhere else, there is a wide range to cater everyone’s needs. In Tokyo there is a wide range of trendy, unique, weird and crazy themed cafe’s and restaurants. You have probably heard of the animal cafe’s, the maid cafe’s and many others. When you have visited “normal” restaurants/bars and you are looking for a different experience, consider one of the following places. It will be a unique experience guaranteed!
In the heart of Tokyo, a short walk from the Yotsuya Sanchome station, you can find Vowz bar. A cocktail bar that is owned by Mr. Yoshinobu Fujioka, a Buddhist monk. He opened the bar with the purpose to create a meetings place for everyone.
All the bartenders are Buddhist monks and all their cocktails have Buddhist related names. Besides cocktails they also have a surprising selecting of light snacks that also find their origin in the zen cuisine.
If you would like to learn more about Buddhism, the Japanese culture and the history, the staff will happily tell you or you can read the books that are there to be read. When you’re in luck you might even experience some chanting, known by the Japanese as okyo. The staff also speaks some English and they have an English illustrated menu. So even if you are not familiar with Japanese, the atmosphere is enjoyable and you might end up learning some new valuable life lessons!
2F, 6 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Next up is the ninja bar, located in Asakusa, one of the main tourist districts. The small bar is tucked away in the underground shopping centre. This hidden gem offers a large selection of both ninja themed food like ninja curry and okonomiyaki and specialty drinks like ninja bombs.
While you’re there, you can learn and practice some of your ninja skills, learn how to use the blow gun or how to throw the shuriken. You can even dress up in a fitting ninja outfit!
1F, 3-27-24 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito
Chances are high you have heard of this place before as it it os one of the most famous restaurants in the city. When you visit their website, you will get an idea as to why. Robot Restaurant is an incomparable themed restaurant which opened in 2012, and has been visited mostly by increasing number of tourists from other abroad. There are a lot of pictures of celebrities on the wall at the entrance hall, which tells how famous the place exactly is. You can enjoy watching amazing robot shows full of bright lights, neon, and exciting music while having a drink or enjoying some food. Everything is so flashy and impressive. Don’t forget your camera to shoot some great pictures!
- 1st show – 4pm (doors open 3pm)
- 2nd show – 5.55pm (doors open 5pm)
- 3rd show – 7.50pm (doors open 7pm)
- 4th show – 9.45pm (doors open 9pm)
Tsuribune Chaya Zauo
This izakaya offers another fun experience with their unique concept: you can catch your own fish with rods as the +200 fish swim in de artificial lake below the makeshift boat or from one of the booths set against the stream. If you like fishing, you will enjoy a dinner at this place very much, but no worries if you don’t you will still have plenty to choose from.
After you caught (or picked) the fish, the restaurant prepares it fresh to order: sashimi, fried, salted, or baked. Next to the fish, they also serve a variety of izakaya food including fried chicken, edamame and french fries. But for obvious reason, we recommend the fish. Let’s go fishing!
B1F, 1-1-13 Nipponbashi, Chuo
The Little TGV is a 2-in-1 experience: it is a mix of a train style themed izakaya and a maid cafe! Everything from the interior, the menu, and the food is in line with the train or railway theme. There’s model railway and train videos running in the background and even the drinks carry a railway-inspired name. Try the Ginza Line, cassis orange, or the Hanzomon Line, violet fizz.
Akihabara, the area where this cafe is located, is home to a high number of maid cafe’s and this place is no exception. The staff members are cute girls in train conductress uniform that will happily serve your train themed food and drinks!
Little TGV (Japanese only)
4F, 3-10-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda
Kawaii Monster Cafe
The name might give it away, but this themed cafe is inspired by the kawaii culture that Harajuku is known for. Upon entering the restaurant, you take a step into the mouth of the Chopstick monster affectionately named Mr. Choppy and enter its’ stomach.
The place is designed by artist Sebastian Matsuda, a pioneer of the Harajuku pop culture with the aim to create a Tokyo you have never seen. While this is certainly true, the restaurants bears some resemblance to the earlier mentioned Robot restaurant: the similarities of the bright colours, flashy neon lights are obvious and there is even a show to be seen here.
Upon entering – the stomach – there are 4 areas to be visited: the Mushroom Disco, the Milk Stand, the Mel-Tea Room and the Bar Experiment. They are all centred around the impressive large cake shaped Sweets-Go-Round. As you can imagine it can get pretty busy here and we do recommend making a reservation beforehand!
Kawaii Monster Cafe
4F, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya
Planetarium bar – プラネタリウムBAR
When you’re looking for a romantic night out, this is the perfect place for you. Here you can enjoy a drink while gazing at the stars. At this small place, about 5 million stars are projects on the ceiling. Rain or clouds? It doesn’t matter, you can always find the zodaic signs here.
Planetarium Bar プラネタリウムBAR
4-9-23 Tsutsui, Minato
While most people prefer fresh food over canned food, Mr Kanso serves food from a can. They have over 50 location in Japan that all serve canned food ranging from ¥200 up to ¥2,000! They serve canned food from Japan and all around the world. It will definitely a unique experience and even discovering all the different types of canned food and glancing at the shelf full of cans is fun already!
Online Virtual Tokyo Highlight Tour
Would you like to visit Tokyo and it’s highlights from the comfort of your home? You can now join the online tour at home and learn more about Tokyo, the Japanese culture and history! You will get some idea of what it actually looks like in Tokyo and how you can enjoy the city. A great way to prepare your next trip!
These are some of Tokyo’s strange, unique and weird themed cafes, that are a fun and unique experience. Of course there are plenty of other places, but these one are our personal favourites! Would you like to visit these places?
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