Tokyo is perhaps Japan’s most well known city. With a reputation for being an eclectic concoction of all the weird and wonderful, you will never run out of options to try your hand at some new and unique things. Here are 10 to get you started in this crazy metropolitan hub!
1. EAT GIANT FAIRY FLOSS
There’s something quite nostalgic about fairy floss. And whilst spinning a little bit of pink sugar ain’t normally a sight to be remembered, this little store in Harajuku takes creating fairy floss to another level. Totti Candy Factory in Harajuku make these incredible multi-coloured multi-layered flosses. You can watch them spin together the creation and once handed over to you, gently pull at the delicate sugary goodness until all that’s left is a wooden stick and a big smile on your face (and sticky fingers, very sticky fingers).
2. COSY UP TO SOME OWLS
I must say I am personally a bit bird phobic, and generally anti ‘creatures of the wild in captivity’ for amusement., Japan takes animal cafes to another realm with owl cafes. I was pleased to see regulations surrounding the amount of exposure time these animals get with customers, and also that their wings aren’t clipped. More importantly, these birds are born and bred in captivity, akin to domestic cats and dogs, and seem calm and peaceful around humans. The owls are truly magnificent creatures. You can sip on a coffee or beverage of choice first, then proceed to pet and hold these owls of varying breeds. My favourite were the cute little owls that were like your own real life Furby. Be sure to do your research around the most animal friendly get ups. It’s a real hoot!
3. RIDE MARIO KARTS ON TOKYO STREETS
Perhaps the coolest thing you can do in Tokyo is ride in Mario karts on the roads amongst normal traffic! There are so many different costumes you can wear including Mario, Luigi, Peach and more. Be sure to have your international drivers license before you go though or you’ll miss out (this can be arranged in person in one day at selected NRMA branches if you’re Aussie!)
4. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH HEDGEHOGS
This cute concept for an animal café is about as quirky as it gets. You can spend anywhere from 30 minutes upwards here canoodling up to these unbearably adorable creatures. Beware they are actually spikey (I forgot this and was pleasantly surprised). They generally tend to curl up and sleep in your hands but it’s enough for you to die from cuteness overload. Be sure to book in advance!
6. VISIT A THEMED CAFE
Image courtesy of Ty Drake
Japan is full of themed cafes with amazing interior design. Created by the famous art designer Sebastian Masuda, the unusual Kawaii Monster café is one of them! The interiors are bright and quirky and include rooms such as a mushroom disco (what?!). Its like a real life acid trip without the actual hallucinogen consumed. Other options include a Kill Bill themed café, an Alice in Wonderland café to name a few!
6. STAY IN A CAPSULE HOTEL
The capsules hotels in Japan are stacked side by side in rows normally with one unit on top of the other and only just enough room to sleep. Each capsule is sealed with a door or a curtain. Traditionally, they were used to provide an alternative for those who might be too wasted to return home safely, or too embarrassed to face their spouses. Be mindful when booking to read the ratings! Most hostels sport this concept. I can recommend Khaosan World (the beds were actually ridiculously comfy memory foam).
7. CHECK OUT THE VENDING MACHINES
If conventional shopping has become a bit mainstream for you, why not grab your things from the vending machines dotted around the city? You can order anything ranging from hot food to shoed in these!? It feels incredibly futuristic!
8. GET COSY IN GOLDEN GAI
Nearby to Shinjuku is a world famous region of Golden Gai, a collection of tiny shanty style bars that fit sometimes only 3 people at a time! Previously an area designated for prostitution in the 60s, the area has now become a nightlife hot spot. A great experience to have a drink in one of these dens.
9. GET SNAPPED IN PURIKURA BOOTHS
Get cute and kawaii in these Japanese picture booths. Warning, they do make your eyes ten times bigger and lips nice and rosy (take note boys). But, you can also get rid of any annoying pimples and change your hair colour. You can get super creative post production with various decorations, backgrounds, stickers etc on top of your images.
10.BUST OUT SOME T-SWIZZLE AT KARAOKE
You can’t leave Tokyo without busting out some tunes lost in translation style. Flashing lights, bar service and unlimited drinks, Taylor Swift and sometimes even costumes, it’s a sure winning formula for a fun night.
And there you have 10 weird and wonderful things to do in Tokyo! Youtube vlog coming soon.