Cat Cafés in Tokyo
In Japan, the concept of “cute” or “cuteness” is somewhat of a cult. Cats are cute. Independent, moody, graceful, beautiful, but also cute. So, it’s only logical that there should be many cat cafés in Japan. Yes, but simply “many” doesn’t even begin to describe it. You can find cat cafes in all the popular entertainment districts and there are a great variety of themes to satisfy any preference. Let us share with you some of our favourites.
A general rule at all cat cafes is that you have to wash your hands at the entrance and leave your belongings in a locker. Picking up the cats and taking pictures with a flash are not permitted. You can purchase snacks to feed the cats from the café menu but you’re not allowed to feed them with food bought from outside the café. We were pleasantly surprised and impressed that there were English-speaking staff on hand in all of the cafes we visited. Most of the cafes also had a comic book corner, where you could sit and read.
In the depths of Akasaka lies a place that holds the secrets of Japanese legendary underground warriors: it’s dark and dim like a cave and very few get the privilege of entering this secret place…it is in fact, a Ninja restaurant. It’s such a popular ninja restaurant, particularly among tourists, so making a prior reservation is a must.
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the Ninja restaurant is that it resembles a cave: it’s dimly lit, the walls appear rocky and there’s little in the way of décor, making the ninja staff’s movements almost unnoticeable. You’ll start your experience with a tour through this cave which involves some running about in a small maze and crossing the “dangerous river” with the assistance of the ninja staff’s tricks and magic. Depending on your booking and the number of people in your group, you’ll be allocated a separate room or area of the restaurant.
Sailormoon lovers, rejoice! Roppongi Hills in Tokyo is holding a Sailormoon Exhibition this year from 16 April to 19 June. It is the first exhibition of the “Pretty Guardian”, but judging by its popularity, it won’t be the last!
The exhibition features Sailormoon related original art works from the author – Naoko Takeuchi, among other goods. The exhibition will be split up into different sections. As you walk in, you will enter a Moon Castle themed area, where you’ll see a life-sized Sailormoon set against the background of Tokyo tower, which you often see in the series. The decorations depict all Sailor-warriors and there is an exceptionally beautiful, large-scale projection of Sailormoon as a princess on the wall. At the centre of the exhibition you can find Sailor goods, and novelty items such as pillows in the shape of Luna’s face.
Tokyo is a place full of surprises and the increasing number and variety of animal and pet cafes that have been cropping up, will not fail to interest animal lovers. Even if you’re not an animal lover per say, a visit to a Japanese pet themed café is a unique experience not to be missed!
Penguin bar is the only place in Tokyo, where you can enjoy drinking and eating in the company of penguins. The penguins are at the far end of the room behind the glass in a mid-size aquarium. If you are lucky and your visit overlaps the penguins’ meal time, you might get the chance to feed them. The Interior of the café is all penguin themed starting with hand towels (oshibori – A traditional Japanese towel used to clean the hands before eating) to the water pitchers. As a bar, it offers a variety of drinks, and has a good selection of alcoholic beverages. Penguin themed food and desserts are also available. With only a few tables and bar seats, this place can only fit a limited number o
One of the best activities to do in winter in Tokyo is visit an ice-skating rink. For both beginners and professionals alike, winter is the season to get in to the festive spirit and improve your ice-skating skills.
We went to five of the most popular and easy-to-reach ice skating rinks in Tokyo:
Meiji Jingu (Gaien) Ice Skating Rink
Meiji Jingu Gaien Ice Skating Rink is a popular and convenient ice-skating rink in central Tokyo.
- Indoor, open all year round
- Great for professionals
- Hot drinks and warm seating area available
- English language version of the guidelines available
- Can get quite crowded
- Not always open to public (check their web-site calendar for special events before going)
Entrance fee: 1,340 yen (1,030 yen after 3pm) for adults (930 yen (720 yen) for children); 310 yen for observer
Rental shoes: 510 yen
Sailor Moon Crystal
Are you a big fan of “Sailormoon”, the anime series? Was it how you became interested in Japan? Do you know the names of all the characters and enjoy long discussions with your friends about why your favourite is the best?
Then I have some great news for you! There is a “Sailormoon” novelty cafe in Tokyo currently being featured in an ever-changing themed venue. Located in the entertainment district of Kabukicho in Shinjuku, it is the third time a “Sailormoon” themed cafe has been hosted by this venue, due to its popularity. This time around it will be open until the 28th of September.
When you enter the cafe, which is located right by the Godzilla cinema, you will see tables for two lined up in 3 rows. There are TV screens on the walls showing the series with music on in the background. You can also request a “Sailormoon” song that you’d most like to hear.
What is Robot restaurant?
The name of this restaurant might be misleading as it’s not quite a restaurant and it’s not entirely robot themed, although it does feature robots. There are several drinks you can choose from and a 1000 yen traditional Japanese bento (lunch box). However, a trip to Robot Restaurant is more about the unique entertainment, than about the food, as during your visit, you’ll see a performance including live music, dancers, a robot fight and more, all in a backdrop of colours and lights galore. A visit to Robot restaurant will surely be one of the highlights of your Tokyo experience.
Why to go there?
The performance is dynamic, crazy and rather spectacular. Even the waiting room (Rainbow Lounge) where everyone gathers before the show, has 12,000 bulbs on the walls and claims to “put even Las Vegas to shame”.
Theme Cafés in Japan
There are cafés all over the world, but if you want a totally different experience that exceeds typical cafe dining, you have to go to Japan – more precisely, to Tokyo!
There is an endless range of theme cafés to suit everyone. For instance, if you like animals, there are the famous cat cafés or you could try a more unusual one, such as a goat or even an owl café.
If you prefer to have your coffee served by a waiter or waitress who’s easy on the eyes, then try a maid or butler café.
For anyone looking for an even more unique experience than that, the following list of cafes might interest you. Since pop culture is everywhere in Japan, it seems only natural to have anime and manga related themed cafés. Some of them, like the ‘Animate Cafés’ (that belong to the same-named shops, famous for selling anime, manga and related goods) change their featured series every few months, while others have a fixed series and location, such as the ‘Gundam Café’ at Akihabara
Oedo Onsen anime and manga related shops and restaurants are a not something typical that you’d find in Japan, especially on a trip to its capital city, Tokyo. But what about an anime themed Onsen? Tokyo’s largest and most famous hot spring gives you not only the opportunity to experience a relaxing bath in a traditional Japanese setting, but also the chance to play games, buy merchandise and themed food based on your favorite anime series.
Onsen have a long tradition in Japan and are usually found in the countryside where they use naturally hot water from geothermally heated springs, often volcanoes, and therefore are differentiated from Sentô, indoor public bath houses, that use heated tab water. Onsen water is said to have healing powers deriving from the minerals that are present in it and is also very relaxing for your muscles, which is why many visitors to Japan, trying Onsen for the first time, really enjoy the experience.
On the 28th of December, the doors of the Tokyo Big Sight opened again to welcome thousands of people eager to spend three days in the World’s biggest marketplace for fanworks centered on anime, manga and video games.
The Comic Market, often abbreviated to ‘Comiket’, takes place twice a year, in summer and in winter, in Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, and is the best place to both buy and sell all sorts of anime/ manga related goods. Its main focus is the exhibition and distribution of Doujinshi, self-published magazines that are created by individuals, usually amateurs, though there are also some professional artists who like to publish material related to other manga series.