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
Hours: 7pm – 1am, (closed on Sundays and holidays)
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
Hours: 10am – 10pm
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 reasons, we recommend the fish. Let’s go fishing!
Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10:30pm(Mon-Fri), 11:30am – 2:30pm, 4pm- 10:30pm(Sat-Sun)
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
Hours: 6pm – 11pm(Tues-Fri), 4pm – 11pm(Saturdays, Holidays), 12pm – 11pm(Sundays), Closed on Mondays
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. Tokyo is such a big city that is lit up at all times of day meaning it can be really hard to see the stars and planets. But don’t worry, there is a bar that solves this issue for you! At Planetarium Bar, you can enjoy a drink while gazing at beautiful stars without having to go all the way out to the rural parts of Japan. At this cozy little place, about 5 million stars are projected on the ceiling making for an amazing atmosphere. Rain, clouds, or cold weather? It doesn’t matter, you can always find the zodaic signs here. There is nithing better than having a delicious drink under the clear sky filled with shining stars.
Planetarium Bar プラネタリウムBAR
4-9-23 Tsutsui, Minato
Hours: 6pm – 2am(Mon-Fri), 5pm – 2am(Saturday), 5pm -12am(Sundays, Holidays)
While most people prefer fresh food over canned food, mr.kanso serves food from a can. They have over 50 locations all throughout Japan that serve canned food ranging from ¥200 up to ¥2,000! They serve canned food from Japan as well as from around the world. Check out one of the various mr.kanso’s and it will definitely be a unique experience where you will have the chance to discover all the different types of canned food the world has to offer. It is also fun to just take a look at the shelves filled with neatly arranged cans!
Hours vary from store to store, but usually 5pm – 12am(every day)
Curry Station Niagara
Curry Station Niagara isn’t your average curry restaurant. Located in Yutenji in Meguro, this fairly small train themed curry restaurant’s items are all train related or have actually come from a real train. The late owner had a passion for trains from a young age and had collected loads of train memorabilia over the years. The seats inside the restaurant are even those that were used on trains back in the early 1900’s.
You order your food from a train ticket vending machine. There is a variety of different kinds of curry ranging from vegetable to cheese to shrimp curry as well as spaghetti. When your food is ready you will hear your conductor announce that your food is on it’s way as it is brought to you on a miniature shinkansen that rolls right up next to your table on a set of train tracks that runs by each table throughout the restaurant.
Being in the restaurant you really feel as if you have gotten on a train and are headed somewhere. This isn’t something you see everyday and it is definitely worth checking out if you are in the area or are interested in trains!
Curry Station Niagara
1-21-2 Yutenji, Meguro
Hours: 11am – 9pm(Tues – Sun), Closed on Mondays
Tokyo Food Tours
No matter where your trip in Japan takes you, there is always a good spot to grab some delectable street food in the area! Japan and Tokyo in particular is renowned for its high quality cuisine that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds! And if you want to get the best possible experience, booking one of our many food tours will get you exactly that. You will get the chance to taste things you normally might have not tried if you don’t know what it is, and you don’t need to worry about any language barriers. You will be surprised by the large range of different foods that are available and how good they are! Also if you have dietary requirements, having a bilingual guide by your side will be very helpful in navigating the Japanese street food scene.
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