5 Weird Places to Visit in Tokyo
Young Japanese people love cute (kawaii) things, and often that translates into weird things when look at from an American perspective. Compared to the drab and busy lifestyle that many Tokyo inhabitants go through on a daily basis, the kawaii lifestyle can be refreshing for some of them and fun for the tourists. You’ll be able to find other weird attractions that aren’t focused on kawaii culture too. Check out these 5 places for some crazy and weird things to do in Tokyo.
Because Tokyo apartments are often too small to house animals in, locals took their cat-loving dreams and created a cat café! Imagine drinking tea with a kitty sitting on your lap, and with a bunch more cats playing in the same area. Just hope the cat hair doesn’t get in your drink! It’s a quirky experience that is only heightened by groups of Japanese girls yelling “Ohhhhh! Kawaiiiii!!!!”
I visited Nekobukuro on a previous trip to Japan, a play on words combining cat (neko) and Tokyo district it is located in (Ikebukuro). The cats here are pretty jaded by all the visitors, which might be the case at other cat cafes too. Located on the top floor of the Tokyu Hands building, you won’t be able to miss the huge cat face entrance. There are plenty of other cat cafes located in Tokyo, so check them out if you want to have a play date with some furry friends!
Located just down the street from Nekobukuro is Sunshine City, a commercial complex that features everything from a museum, aquarium, restaurants, planetarium, and shopping. But if you don’t look carefully you might skip the best part… NamjaTown! One of the highlights of my trip there was coming across Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream City; just two huge rooms full of different vendors selling ice cream and gyoza! It was basically heaven for me: food, food, and more food. Come here on a full stomach, order a few plates of gyoza, and then move over to Ice Cream Stadium to choose which crazy ice cream flavors you dream of eating.
Ikebukuro Earthquake Hall
If you visit Japan at the right (or wrong) time, you might feel an earthquake. I felt 11 earthquakes in a 2-month span while living in Iwaki, and it was frightening at first and then I eventually became used to it. To be prepared for experiences such as earthquakes or other emergencies, visit the Earthquake Hall located above the Tokyo Fire Department building. You’ll get to take part in earthquake simulators, fire escape emergency routes, putting out fires, and watch a 3D movie on earthquake dramas. It’s an exhilarating experience and you’ll leave as a pro when dealing with various emergencies.
A good stroll down Takeshita Street in the Harajuku district will bring you in contact with many girls and boys dressed up in Lolita, Goth and other cute-themed costumes. Everything on that street is cute themed and can be overwhelming to any tourist who doesn’t have a clue about this fashion lifestyle. If you want to join in on the fun, you may find stores that will allow you to rent a costume or try them on for fun. Bodyline and Closet Child are two famous stores known for Lolita costumes.
Similar to the cat cafes but with a fetish theme to it, maid cafes are very popular in Japan and sometimes carry a negative connotation with them. At the maid cafes, you’ll find all the female workers dressed up as maids or sometimes in other costumes. They mainly serve to anime fans, who (unfortunately, in my eyes) have created a fetish through manga and games about maids and women who cater to their every need. Therefore, you’ll be able to find many maid cafes in the Akihabara/Chiyoda area, which is a district that is known for anime and electronic stores. Just be careful which maid café you enter, because some are known to have mirrored floors and maids that don’t wear underwear. Yuck!
Know of any other weird places to visit in Tokyo? Write them down in the comments below!