Eating establishments and bars can be found everywhere in Japan, and with a wide range of options to cater to 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 are a bit tired of the “normal” restaurants/bars and are looking for a different experience, consider one of the most unique restaurants in Tokyo from our list below!
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1. Vowz Bar
In the heart of Tokyo, a short walk from 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 of creating a meeting place for all different kinds of people.
All the bartenders are Buddhist monks and all their cocktails have Buddhist related names. Besides cocktails they also have a surprising selection of light snacks that also find their origin in zen cuisine.
If you would like to learn more about Buddhism, Japanese culture and history, the staff will happily answer your questions or you can read the books that are there for everyone to read. If you’re lucky, you might even experience some sutra chanting, known by the Japanese as okyo. The staff also speak 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)
2. Ninja cafe
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 center. 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 shuriken. You can even dress up in a fitting ninja outfit!
1F, 3-27-24 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito
Hours: 10am – 10pm
3. Robot Restaurant (CLOSED)
Chances are you have heard of this place before as it is one of the most famous restaurants in all of Japan. 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 an increasing number of tourists from abroad. There are a lot of pictures of celebrities on the wall at the entrance hall, which tells exactly how famous the place truly 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.
*Unfortunately the restaurant is now closed and there is no information about a reopening.
1-7-7 Kabukicho, Shinjuku
- 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)
4. 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 the artificial lake below the makeshift boat or from one of the booths set against the stream. If you like fishing, you will enjoy having dinner at this place very much with this one of a kind interactive eating experience.
After you catch or pick your fish, the restaurant will prepare it fresh for you: sashimi, fried, salted, or baked. Along with 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)
5. Little TGV
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 are model railway and train videos running in the background of the restaurant and even the drinks carry railway-inspired names. For example the Ginza Line, cassis orange, or the Hanzomon Line, violet fizz.
Akihabara, where this cafe is located, is home to a large number of maid cafe’s and this place is no exception. The staff are cute girls dressed up in train conductor uniforms that will happily serve you your train themed food and drinks!
Little TGV (Japanese only)
4F, 3-10-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda
Hours: 6pm – 10pm(Tues, Wed, Fri), 12pm – 10pm(Saturdays, Holidays), 12pm – 9pm(Sundays), Closed on Mondays, Thursdays
6. 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 up 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 nothing 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)
8. 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 has 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
9. Vampire Cafe
The Vampire Cafe is a themed cafe around the topic, you guessed it, vampires! At this unique and one of a kind cafe, you’ll be able to enjoy various different kinds of delicious and creative Italian dishes as well as original cocktails in a mysterious air alongside a coffin in which a vampire sleeps and bats are flying. The dishes are also fun and vampire-esque, and a lot of them come with roses, flames, and even “blood” to add to the theme. This can be a fun place for couples and families alike and is a nice change from your average Italian restaurant.
6-7-6, Ginza, Chuo City
Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Tuesday~Sunday), Closed on Monday
10. Sushiya No Nohachi
Have you ever seen sushi made so small that you have to squint to see what variety it is? Well that’s what you can expect at Sushiya No Nohachi. Each piece of sushi is made with just ONE grain of rice! Pretty hard to believe isn’t it? This miniscule sushi is a work of art in itself, and each piece surprising really resembles what a normal sized piece of sushi looks like. But don’t worry, they also serve normal sized sushi so you don’t show up and leave with an empty stomach. The sushi(both small and normal sized) are actually excellent when it comes to taste, and the atmosphere of the restaurant in general is great. It’s safe to say that you won’t find another sushi restaurant like this one.
Sushiya No Nohachi
1-3-7 Kaminarimon, Taito City
Hours: 5pm – 12am (Monday~Saturday), Closed on Sunday
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