10 Ridiculously Unusual Things to do in Tokyo

1. Owl Cafe

These little owl cafes are like many of the other theme cafes you can find around Tokyo that are insanely popular. You can go to cat cafes, plush toy cafes, maid cafes, robot cafes...it's endless. But this has to be the cutest one. With a little help from the staff (that speak english very well), you can choose any of the little owls that perch around the room and hold them. It's important to move very slowly and and speak quietly so if you are jumpy around animals, this is not the place for you. I fell in love these teeny little owls (but I'm crazy about owls anyway). They are SO CUTE!

 
owl cafe tokyo
 

2. Run the Marathon

Running the Tokyo Marathon is a fabulous way to see...well...the whole city. City streets are shut down, which is incredible, and you go through most of the big districts. This is really fun because it's so obvious when you go from the ritzy, designer district to the historic palace and kabuki districts. You run by stunning gardens, the Imperial Palace, lakes, the famous tower, kabuki theaters, and SO much more. People come out in DROVES from all over the city to support the runners and MANY of them offer food and snack and buns along the way. The support is incredible. You will also see more costumes than any other marathon on the planet. I was guiding a blind runner for this marathon and we were run over by numerous Yodas, Darth Vadars, Unicorns, Anime characters, neon wigs, and even a group of girls in pencil skirt business suits and running shoes (I'm STILL wondering how this was possible.

 
tokyo marathon guiding blind
 

3. Use the High-Tech Toilets

I was so excited to get to Japan because I had heard of these ahead of time. I experienced my first high-tech toilet in the Tokyo airport and was utterly bemused. There is no less than one full panel of buttons and options to make the toilet do various things. The hardest thing to find was "flush." One I got to my apartment, the options doubled and I was afraid to push too many things while sitting down, but took the time for a laugh and, while just standing, discovered a few options were: Spray (forward or back, fine and regular), heat (high or low), Play rushing water sounds, Play music (various options), Disinfect, and so much more.  

 
japanese high tech toilet
 

4. Love Hotels

These are actually kind of genius, but funny to us westerners who don't see these too often. You can rent the rooms for a "rest" or for a "stay." Privacy is key here and you can even rent costumes without ever seeing a person. There is usually mood lighting options, music, and you can be in and out with complete discretion. On that note. I did not actually rent one of these rooms for either a rest or stay. And each one is a little bit different but it's really fun to see the different themes and what they offer and how no one really cares or judges anyway.

 
love hotel
 

5. The Lockup

This is a theme bar that makes you feel like you're spending a night in Jail. Did you get caught with drugs? Kidnap someone? Default on loans? Escape the law? The bartenders and staff with bring you cocktails that tell you what you did. Even upn entry, you will be handcuffed and led away by "wardens" that lead you to your cell to enjoy the rest of your night!

 Shibuya Grand Tokyo Building B2F, 33-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku  (and other locations!)

 
the lockup bar tokyo
 

6. Don Quixote

THE place to shop for everything you never knew you wanted. They are known for having over 40,000 items+ for sale here which include things like plush toys, sex toys, face exercise gadgets, scrunchies, and...so much more. It's a little overwhelming but so eclectic you can't help but be enthralled, intrigued, and you will undoubtedly walk away with something. No one judges you.

 
don quixote tokyo shopping
 

7. Go to a Head Spa 

This is exactly what it sounds like, but there is no hair color or treatments. This is what some might call a "massage parlor" for your head and scalp. For an hour or so, you can sit in a comfy chair and have someone use oils and infusions on your head. How glorious does that sound?

8. Eat at a Robot Restaurant

This bizarre (at least to a girl like me from California) restaurant is more like a robot musical. There are scantily-clad women doing musical numbers with giant robots. There are costumes, more lights than Vegas, dinosaurs, favorite songs from U.S. that don't exactly seem to fit into the show, and a big finale that turns into Tanks vs. Ninjas and Samarai. It's really somethin' else.

  • Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan 160-0021, Japan
  • Hours: Daily 3pm-11pm
  • Admission: 7000 Yen
 
robot cafe
 

9. Go to an Animal Island or Park

Animal-themed things can be found everywhere in Japan. If you are an animal lover, you can find places to feed deer and cuddle with cats or be pummeled by little bunnies...

Some of these are not directly withon the city of Tokyo, but if they aren't, they are nearby and you can get there by car or train.

  • The Nara Park (Deer)
  • Okunoshima Island in the Inland Sea of Japan (Bunnies)
  • Tashirojima and Aoshima Islands (Cats)
  • Fox Village (Foxes)
 
fox village japan
 

10. Order food from a Vending Machine

This is just plain fun. You can order everything from fresh coffee to ramen bowls to sushi to beer...they're different everywhere you go. For some, you order and the food/drink comes out, but for some, you order and then take a printed ticket to a little counter to pick up your food. Many of these are even in the subways systems. Where this would seem gross perhaps, if you were in a New York subway, Japanese subways are so clean you could basically eat off the floor (not that I would). Keep in mind that there are rarely trashcans to be found, so you must carry your trash away with you!

 
Photo Courtesy of inefekt69

Photo Courtesy of inefekt69

SO...if you are headed over to Japan...first of all...I'm jealous...and second, have FUN! There is NO shortage of things to do and see and it's such a fun place to try, see, and do things you can't do anywhere else. Have you been here before? What favorites did I leave off your list?

XO

Whitney