25 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan

by Jackie
As a part of the Robot Restaurant show in Tokyo, there are robots dancing, singing, and also filming the audience. It's a unique attraction in Tokyo to visit. Photo credit: Life Of Doing

Looking for some fun, quirky, and unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan? You’re at the right place! Whether it’s your first time visiting Tokyo or your tenth time, there are plenty of cool and fun activities to keep you occupied for days. Tokyo has everything that you can imagine – delicious food, traditional shrines, modern art, hiking adventures, and so much more.  

We’ve been to Tokyo many times over the years and can’t get enough of this vibrant city! With the help of our favorite travel bloggers, we’ve put together the top 25 unique attractions to visit in Tokyo. Each of the places listed has insider tips on the admission cost, how to get there by Tokyo’s efficient train system, and other helpful travel tips. Any of these places would be a perfect addition to your Tokyo itinerary. Plus, it will be a nice mix of experiences if your itinerary has many historical sites.

Announcement: As of time of publishing, the opening hours of many attractions in Tokyo have been affected. Please check the attraction’s website or call the place to determine if it’ll be open on your date of visit. 

*Disclaimer: Headed to Tokyo, Japan? Yes, we have affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you!


Map of the Unique Places in Tokyo to Visit

Map of the unique attractions to visit in Tokyo, Japan

Click on the image to see a larger map of the locations of the unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Map data: Google


25 Unique Things to Do in Tokyo

1. Hang out with Hello Kitty and friends at Sanrio Puroland.

Hello Kitty is Sanrio’s iconic cat with the red bow tie in her ear and adorable dresses. She has made an impact on the world since her launch on November 1, 1974. 

If you’re a huge fan of Hello Kitty and her other friends such as Badtz Maru, Cinnamoroll, and My Melody, then visiting Sanrio Puroland will be a dream come true! (Side note – I’ve been waiting to visit this place since I was 8 years old!)

Sanrio Puroland is an indoor theme park so it’s a fabulous day trip to take from Tokyo. There are so many fun and kawaii (extremely cute) activities from the Kabuki show and Gudetama as the director of a variety show, interactive games in the Gudetama section, and children-friendly rides. Dress up as your favorite Sanrio character and meet them in person. The daily Miracle Parade is also recommended with dancing, singing, and audience interaction. 

Tip: Refer to your map and show schedule guide to see the showtimes. You can also ask the workers for help.

Before you leave, shop your heart out at the souvenir stores to buy products of your favorite characters. It’s also tax-free for foreigners if spending is over $50.

Read our Sanrio Puroland guide which has helpful tips about this place.

If you’re in Oita on Kyushu Island, there is another Sanrio theme park called Harmonyland for more fun!

Address: Japan, 〒206-8588 Tokyo, Tama, Ochiai, 1−31 (〒206-8588 東京都多摩市落合1−31)

Opening Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm on most days. Since this place does not open everyday, check the calendar for the schedule.

Admission Cost:

  • Weekdays – 3,300 yen ($30 USD) adults / 2,500 yen ($23) children ages 3-17 / Free for children under 2 years old
  • Holidays & Weekends – 3,800 yen ($34.50) adults / 2,700 yen ($24.50) children

Buy discounted tickets to Sanrio Puroland here.

How to Get There: From Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) to Sanrio Puroland, take either the Express or regular line towards Hashimoto on the Keio Line or the Odakyu line towards Karakida and get off at the Tama Center Station (多摩センター駅). The ride is 45 minutes away. From the Tama Center Station, walk less than 10 minutes to the Puroland entrance.

At Sanrio Puroland, there is a huge good luck charm with Sanrio characters attached to it. From Hello Kitty to Pompompurin, you can spot your favorite Sanrio characters in this decor.

We love how all of the Sanrio characters provide good luck to Sanrio Puroland. Which one is your favorite?


2. Boost your cardio and hike Mount Takao.

As you know, we love hiking and can’t pass up an opportunity to hike somewhere during our travels. Mount Takao (高尾山) is a best place to visit in Tokyo in any season. We visited in the fall and it was incredible to see the fall colored leaves.

What is unique about Mount Takao is that this place has 8 different hiking trails to take depending on your fitness level. The hikes will take a few hours to complete and many of the trails connect. The most popular trail is Omotesando Trail (Trail #1) since it’s perfect for beginner hikers. The trail is paved and not technical. Along the way, you’ll pass by the beautiful Yakuoin Temple and get the chance to see monkeys at the Monkey Park. 

When you reach the summit at 599 meters (1,965 feet), take some time to smell the fresh air and soak in the beauty of the mountainside. If you need a snack, try grilled mochi or eat a bowl of soba at the soba shops.

For those who cannot hike, there is a chair lift or cable car for the round-trip. There will be some walking required to the summit once you get off the chair lift or cable car. 

Read about our day trip to Mount Takao here.

Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0844, Japan (〒193-0844 東京都八王子市高尾町)

Admission Cost: There isn’t a fee to hike up the mountain. There is an additional cost for the chair lift and cable car: 490 yen ($4.50 USD) one-way / 950 yen ($8.70) round trip for adults, 250 yen ($3.20) one-way / 470 yen ($4.30) round trip for children

How to Get There: Take the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi Station (高尾山口駅)

Jackie from Life Of Doing hikes up a set of stairs on the Mount Takao's Inariyama Trail.


3. See thousands of good luck cats at the Gotokuji Temple.

Do you have a lucky cat charm or waving cat statue in your house? These cats are called maneki-neko in Japanese and they bring good luck to the owners. 

Gotokuji Temple (大谿山 豪徳寺) is a unique place to visit in Tokyo as there are thousands of these maneki-neko figurines in this Buddhist temple. The story goes that a cat from the Gotokuji Temple protected the feudal lord during a rainstorm and the cat gave a beckoning wave to the lord and people working there. Thus, you see one arm in the air for the maneki-neko figurines.

Since this temple is off the beaten path, you won’t see a lot of travelers here. The maneki-neko collection is in one portion of the temple. Feel free to bring your own or purchase a maneki-neko from the store to add to the temple’s collection. You can also purchase an ema, wooden prayer plate, and write a note for good luck. 

This small and peaceful temple is free to enter. If you come during the spring, there are many cherry blossom trees in the area. 

Address: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0021, Japan (〒154-0021 東京都世田谷区豪徳寺2丁目24−7)

Opening Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm

How to Get There: 

  • Take the Odakyu Odawara Line to Gotokuji Station (豪徳寺駅) and walk about 10 minutes to the temple,
  • Or go to the Miyanosaka Station (宮の坂駅) via the Tokyu Setagaya Line. 
The lucky cats, maneki-neko, are everywhere at the Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo, Japan. It's a unique place to visit in Tokyo.

Check out the maneki-neko of all sizes when you’re at the Gotokuji Temple.


4. Poop out a cute turd at the Unko Museum (Poop Museum).

An interesting place to visit in Tokyo is the Unko Museum (also known as the Poop Museum). While you may think that it’ll be a gross place to go to but it’s quite the opposite. Everything in the museum is so cute, kawaii, and colorful. A museum is a bit of an understatement as it’s more of a pop-up interactive attraction. This place is great for all ages and is children-friendly. 

You’ll start with sitting on a pastel-colored toilet to poop out your cute unko toy which you get to keep throughout your unko adventure. Play arcade games, take photos with hanging turds from the ceilings, scream “UNKO” into a microphone to create the highest turd on the screen, play in an unko ball pit, and much more. 

Who knew playing with poop would be so much fun? We wouldn’t hesitate to go back on a return visit. 

Learn more about our poopy experience at the Unko Museum here.

Address: Diver City Tokyo Plaza, Second Floor (1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan / 〒135-0064 東京都江東区青海1丁目1−10)

Opening Hours: 10:00am to 9:00pm (Last admission at 8:00pm)

Admission Cost: 

  • If pre-purchase tickets: 1600 yen ($14.60) adults, 900 yen ($8.20) children. Buy tickets on their official website.
  • If buy same-day tickets: 1800 yen ($16.50) adults, 1000 yen ($9.14) children

How to Get There: 

  • Take the Rinkai Line to Tokyo Teleport Station and walk to the second level of the Diver City Tokyo Plaza shopping mall,
  • Or go to the Daiba Station (台場駅) or Aomi Station (青海駅) via the Yurikamome Line.
We're at the Unko Museum (also known as the Poop Museum) in Tokyo, Japan which is one of the unique places to visit in Tokyo.

The Unko Museum is a must-visit as a quirky place to visit in Tokyo.


5. See the real-life Unicorn Gundam Statue.

After visiting the Unko Museum, head outside of the Diver City Tokyo Plaza Mall to see the life-size Unicorn Gundam Statue (実物大ユニコーンガンダム立像). It’s quite impressive to see the huge Gundam. 

Not sure what is a Gundam? It’s a mobile suit driven by humans and used for fighting. Gundam has been popular since the late 1970s with manga and anime.   

There is a free show that takes place throughout the day. The daytime show occurs at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm and lasts for a minute. You see the Gundam light up and move. The evening shows occur every 30 minutes between 7:00pm-9:30pm and they last between 3-5 minutes. 

Address:  Outside of Diver City Tokyo Plaza (1 Chome-1-10 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan / 〒135-0064 東京都江東区青海1丁目1−10)

How to Get There: 

  • Take the train to Tokyo Teleport Station from the Rinkai Line.
  • Or go to the Daiba Station (台場駅) or Aomi Station (青海駅) via the Yurikamome Line.
Justin from Life Of Doing poses with the life size Unicorn Gundam Statue in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Check out the huge Unicorn Gundam Statue when you’re in Odaiba area of Tokyo, Japan.


6. Check out the mini Statue of Liberty. 

Haven’t been to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty? It’s not a problem as Tokyo has a mini replica of the Statue of Liberty (自由の女神像). The statue is placed strategically with the gorgeous view of the Rainbow Bridge and the Tokyo city in the background. The history of the statue is that it was given to Japan by France to celebrate their relationship in 1998 and was permanently placed in the Odaiba area in 2000. It’s a good stop for a few minutes while you’re in the Odaiba area. 

Address: Across from Aqua City Mall in Odaiba Marine Park (Japan, 〒135-0091 Tokyo, Minato City, Daiba, 1 Chome−4, 台場海浜公園内 / 〒135-0091 東京都港区台場1丁目4 台場海浜公園内)

How to Get There: 

  • Take the train to Tokyo Teleport Station from the Rinkai Line,
  • Or go to the Daiba Station (台場駅) or Odaiba-kaihinkoen Station (お台場海浜公園駅) via the Yurikamome Line.
One of the unique things to do in Tokyo is to see the Mini Statue of Liberty in Odaiba, Tokyo.

The view of the mini Statue of Liberty with the Rainbow Bridge in the background looks similar to the New York City view.


7. Wander through the teamLab Borderless exhibits.

Is visiting teamLab Borderless worth the visit? We say, “yes!” TeamLab Borderless is a fun and unique attraction to visit in Tokyo. It’s a bit of a sensory overload as guests interact with the digital artwork and there are lights and colors everywhere. From the flowers and waterfall animation on the walls to watching waves and lights on the ceiling while lying on a net in the Floating Nest, there is a lot to see and observe. 

The exhibit area is mostly dark and there isn’t a map, so you wander between each of the exhibits at your own pace. Don’t go too fast as you might miss a hidden room with artwork. You’ll need at least half a day to see the majority of the exhibits. 

Our favorite attractions include: 

  • Forest of Resonating Lamps where the lamps change colors every few minutes from orange to pinks and blues. While you’re waiting in line, it’s best to figure out your photo game plan as but you’re only allowed to stay there for 3 minutes. 
  • Crystal World is also gorgeous as you wander through the LED crystal sculptures. Make sure you have your backpack or purses in front of you so you don’t damage the crystals.
  • Future World is perfect for those with children. We love how children can draw a sea creature and it’ll be projected onto the wall. 

The En Tea House is also recommended to visit as you can watch a digital show of a flower blooming inside your teacup. We didn’t have a chance to visit but heard good things about this place. 

Helpful tips for teamLab Borderless: 

  • Make sure that you go to the correct teamLab exhibit as teamLab Planets in the Toyosu area.
  • It’s recommended to get here early so you don’t need to wait as long to enter the exhibits.
  • Do not wear high-heel shoes as the ground is uneven in certain areas such as the Athletic Forest.
  • Do not run inside the building as it’s mostly dark.

Address: Palette Town, Second Floor and go through the Mega Web Building (Japan, 〒135-0064 Tokyo, Koto City, Aomi, 1 Chome−3−8 お台場パレットタウン / 〒135-0064 東京都江東区青海1丁目3−8 お台場パレットタウン)

Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday, 10:00am-9:00pm Saturday-Sunday and Holidays

Admission Cost: 

  • Regular admission: 3,200 yen ($30.30 USD) adults, 1,000 yen ($9.50) children (ages 4-14), 1,600 yen ($15.15) guests with disabilities. Purchase tickets directly on the official website.
  • Night admission on weekends and holidays after 6:00pm: 2,900 yen ($27.50) adults, 1,000 yen ($9.50) children (ages 4-14), 1,500 yen ($14.20) guest with disabilities

Save money by purchasing tickets for teamLab Borderless here.

How to Get There: 

  • Take the train to Tokyo Teleport Station from the Rinkai Line, 
  • Or go to the Aomi Station (青海駅) via the Yurikamome Line.
Jackie from Life Of Doing is in the teamLab Borderless's Forest of Resonating Lamps which has purple and pink lights.

TeamLab Borderless has incredible digital artwork and is one of the unique things to do in Tokyo.


8. Spend the day with the One Piece Crew at One Piece Tokyo Tower Theme Park.

For all the otakus and One Piece manga/anime fans, One Piece at Tokyo Tower is the best place to visit for half the day. Join Luffy, Sanji, Nami, and the rest of the Straw Hat Pirate crew on an adventure! 

In this indoor theme park, there are three floors of interactive activities and games with your favorite characters from practicing sword fighting like Zoro to finding Ponegliffs with Robin. Fans will appreciate the details of the theme park and the realism of the characters. You can even meet the One Piece crew to take photos. There is a section of the theme park where you can see storyboard drawings from Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece

If you have the chance, definitely watch the One Piece Live Show. The show changes every year. Although it’s in Japanese, it’s a lot of fun to see the Straw Hat Pirate crew in action. Fans will know what the show is about as it’s based on past arcs. The 2020 show is called “Marionette” and it has Sabo from the Revolutionary Army in it. Shows are every two hours from 12:00pm-8:00pm. There is an additional fee for the show yet it’s worth watching. 

The Tokyo Tower also has Sanji’s Oresama Restaurant where you can try the lunchtime buffet or order a la carte. Or, you can eat at Cafe Mugiwara and read One Piece manga or visit Franky’s Cola Bar for snacks. 

Address: Inside Tokyo Tower (4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan / 〒105-0011 東京都港区芝公園4丁目2−8)

Opening Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm

Admission Cost:

  • Theme Park pre-purchase ticket: 2,100 yen ($19.70 USD) adults, 1,700 yen ($16) senior and students (13-18 years), 500 yen ($4.70) children (4-12 years)
  • Theme Park same-day ticket: 2,400 yen ($22.50) adults, 1,900 yen ($17.80) senior and students (13-18 years), 600 yen ($5.60) children (4-12 years)
  • Theme Park & Live Action Show pre-purchase ticket: 3,100 yen ($29) adults, 2,700 yen ($25.30) senior and students (13-18 years), 1,500 yen ($14) children (4-12 years)
  • Theme Park & Live Action Show same-day ticket: 3,400 yen ($31.90) adults, 2900 yen ($27.20) senior and students (13-18 years), 1,600 yen ($15) children (4-12 years)

Save money with your admission at One Piece Tokyo Tower here.

How to Get There: 

  • Take the Akabanebashi Station (赤羽橋駅) via Toei Oedo Line,
  • Kamiyacho Station (神谷町駅) Exit No. 1 via Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line,
  • Or Onarimon Station (御成門駅) Exit A1 or Shibakoen Station (芝公園駅) via Toei Mita Line.
The Straw Hat Pirate crew in the One Piece Tokyo Tower theme park.

One Piece fans will love the unique activities in the One Piece Tokyo Tower theme park.


9. Check out the Myth of Tomorrow Mural.

By Wendy, The Nomadic Vegan

This gigantic mural by Taro Okamoto depicting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II is the artist’s largest and greatest masterpiece. And yet, somehow this huge work of art went missing for more than 30 years.

It was finished in 1968 and originally installed in Mexico City, where it had been commissioned for the lobby of a new luxury hotel. But the hotel owner went bankrupt, and the hotel was abandoned and still unfinished. The Myth of Tomorrow went missing and was thought to be lost to the world forever. Even after Taro Okamoto’s death, his secretary and life partner continued to search for the painting and eventually tracked it down in a storage facility outside Mexico City in 2003.

The damaged painting was returned to Japan, restored, and installed in Shibuya Station in 2008 so that it could be seen by as many people as possible. Despite its tragic subject matter, the painting’s message is one of hope and belief that humankind can overcome even the greatest of adversities.

Address: Shibuya Station 

How to Get There: Take the train to Shibuya Station and go out the A5 exit. Then go up to the second floor of the Shibuya Mark City building. You’ll find the mural running along the pedestrian walkway that connects the JR Yamanote and Keio Inokashira lines.

Myth of Tomorrow mural in the Shibuya Station, Tokyo, Japan

The next time you’re in the Shibuya Station, check out the Myth of Tomorrow mural. Photo credit: Nomadic Vegan


10. Order sushi and have it delivered on a shinkansen.

Sushi is our favorite food to eat in Japan and Vietnam. Even though we live in Ho Chi Minh City and have access to some incredible Japanese restaurants, the sushi in Japan is always fresher and cheaper!

We enjoy the value of eating sushi at conveyor belt places. We’ve tried a handful of conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Tokyo and the best place is Mawashi Zushi Katsu Midori in the Seibu Shopping Mall in Shibuya. The sushi is very fresh and affordable as you pay based on the plate color. You’re at the right spot as there is always a line snaking around the perimeter of the restaurant. 

While you can wait for sushi to go around the belt, the fastest way to get what you want is to order sushi through the tablet. The best part is waiting for your sushi to arrive as it’ll get delivered on a shinkansen. It’s a fun way to get your sushi.

Address: 8th floor of the Seibu Shopping Mall (Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho, 21−1 A 館8階 レストラン街ダイニング プラザ)

Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:45pm

How to Get There: Take the train to Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) via JR Yamamote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Den-en-toshi Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyu Tokyoko Line, and Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, Keio Inokashira Line, and take the Hachiko Exit. Walk across the street to the Seiba Shopping Mall. 


11. See artwork in the Magnet by Shibuya 109.

We love seeing street art whenever we travel. One place that you may not know about is the stairways of the Magnet by Shibuya 109 shopping mall. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs either going up or down to see incredible artwork on each level. The stairs lead to the Mag’s Park rooftop where there is a rest area, an observatory area to see the Shibuya Crossing, and more artwork. Eight artists collaborated on the project so you’ll get to see different styles of artwork. Since there isn’t any signage of what the artwork is about, it’s up to interpret them yourself.

Address: 1 Chome-23-10 Jinnan, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0041, Japan (〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1丁目23−10)

Opening Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm for shopping, 11:00am-11:00pm for rooftop

Admission Cost: It’s free to view the artwork in the stairway. If you want to go to Mag’s Park, the cost is 600-1000 yen ($5.50-$9.10) per person depending on what photo view you want of the Shibuya Crosswalk. 

How to Get There: Take the train to Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) via JR Yamamote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Den-en-toshi Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyu Tokyoko Line, and Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, Keio Inokashira Line, and take the Hachiko Exit. Magnet by Shibuya 109 is right across from the Shibuya Crossing area. 

Artwork of a woman dancing with an astronaut. It's located in the Magnet by Shibuya 109 shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan.

Check out the amazing artwork in Magnet by Shibuya 109.


12. Visit the vibrant Harajuku’s Takeshita Street.

Harajuku’s Takeshita Street (竹下通り) is a fun place to visit for first-time visitors. While this shopping street is super crowded, there are many quirky things to see along the way. There are lots of boutique clothing and accessory stores with current fashion trends. If you’re hungry, there are plenty of places to have a snack. Try the multi-colored cotton candy that is larger than the size of your head at Totti Candy Factory. Or, visit a crepe shop for some kawaii crepe with ice cream and fruits. 

Our favorite things to do is to visit the Daiso store and go crazy with the buying stuff for 100 yen ($.90 USD.) This is a large Daiso store with multiple floors so there are a lot of souvenirs and stuff to buy. It’s a dangerous store since everything is so cute and affordable. Did we need to buy shiba inu post-it notes and hand towels?! Yes, we did! 

Sign up to take a walking tour of Harajuku area here

Address: 1 Chome-17 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan (〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前1丁目17)

Opening Hours: 24 hours but you’ll need to check for specific store hours. (Daiso opens from 9:30am-10:00pm)

How to Get There: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station (原宿駅) and cross the street.


13. Awe at the beautiful cherry blossoms bloom in spring. 

Visiting Japan during the springtime for hanami, cherry blossom viewing is a bucket list item. The country is gorgeous with the sakura trees blooming with white and pink flowers. In Tokyo, the cherry blossom season is usually around the first week of April to see the full bloom. However, you’ll need to check the calendar on the expected full bloom date. 

While you can see the light pink flowers throughout Tokyo along residential neighborhoods, it’s extra special to see them at specific spots. Our two favorite spots to view sakura are Meguro River (目黒川) and Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden (新宿御苑). 

Meguro River celebrates with a lantern festival so there are lanterns along the river and stalls selling various snacks such as mochi. It’s a lovely place to stroll around the riverfront to see the cherry blossoms. Just note that the area can get crowded during the daytime as there is free admission. 

Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden is a 58.3 hectares (145 acres) park area where you can see the sakura trees everywhere. The garden is well worth the trip as you can explore the park for a few hours. Some areas are not crowded but the crowds are controlled as there is an admission fee to enter. 

Both of these are picturesque spots in Tokyo!

Meguro River Address: Nakameguro area

How to Get There: 

  • Take the train to Meguro Station (目黒駅) via JR Yamanote, Tokyu Meguro, Tokyo Metro Namboku, or Toei Mita Line and walk five minutes towards the river,
  • Or Nakameguro Station (中目黒駅) via Tokyu Tokoyo or Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and walk a few minutes to the river.

Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan (〒160-0014 東京都新宿区内藤町11)

Opening Hours: 9:00am to 5:30pm from March to September (There is an announcement on the PA system before the park closes.) Check out the hours here.

Admission Cost: 500 yen ($4.60 USD) for adults, 250 yen ($2.30) seniors (age 65+) and students, children under 15 years free

How to Get There: 

  • Take the train to Yoyogi Station (代々木駅) on the JR Yamanote, Chuo Sobu, or Toei Oedo Line and walk 10 minutes,
  • Or Sendagaya Station (千駄ケ谷駅) on the JR Chuo Line and walk 5 minutes.
Two people walking through the Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden during cherry blossom season.

It’s gorgeous to walk through Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden during cherry blossom season.


14. Learn about Samurai at the Samurai Museum.

By Ben, Horizon Unknown

If you’re looking to learn about the history of Japan, visiting the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo is what you’re after. 

The ancient art of Samurai shaped the history of Japan and many modern-day traits can be seen in Japanese society. This look into a unique way of life can teach much about the world’s biggest city and the country as a whole.

Relics from the samurai are hung from the walls and behind glass cabinets – from armor, poetry, swords and even guns that made these warriors so respected. 

Included in the entrance fee is a guided tour in English that leaves every hour. You can also watch a performance of a ceremonial dance and sword techniques with a professional actor and try on replica armor sets.

This museum is a unique way to learn about an ancient way of life and how these warriors shaped the history of Tokyo and all Japan.

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−25−6 1F・2F 永和ビル 6 (〒160-0021 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町2丁目25−6 1F・2F 永和ビル 6)

Opening Hours: 10:30am-9:00pm (Last admission at 8:30pm) Sunday-Friday, 10:30am-8:00pm on Saturday

Admission Cost: 1,900 yen ($18.30) for adults, 800 yen ($2.90) children under 12 years old, free for children under 3 years old

Save money on the Samurai Museum admission by clicking here.

How to Get There: 

  • You can visit the Samurai Museum easiest by an easy 8-minute walk from Shinjuku Station (新宿) East Exit on the JR Yamanote Line,
  • Higashi-Shinjuku Station (東新宿駅) Exit A1 via the Toei Oedo Line or Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line,
  • Shinjuku-sanchome Station (新宿三丁目駅) via Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line,
  • Or Seibu Shinjuku Station (西武新宿駅) via railway.
Two men practice samurai sword fighting at the Samurai Museum in Tokyo, Japan

Practice your samurai sword fighting skills at the Samurai Museum. Photo credit: Horizon Unknown


15. Watch the crazy show at the Robot Restaurant.

The Robot Restaurant is top of the list of the craziest things to do in Tokyo. It’s super touristy but oh so fun. While it’s more of a show than a restaurant (although you can order popcorn, snacks, and pre-order a bento box), it has everything you can imagine – colorful lasers, flashing lights, loud music, tons of dancing, taiko drumming, ocean animals, and even dragons. As the name implies, robots do show up too in a few of the acts. The four-act show is like watching the Pokemon episode that is known to cause seizures in children for two hours. 

Just come here with an open mind and enjoy it. It’s a fun show for everyone including children. Either before or after the show, don’t forget to take a photo of the flashy oversized chairs in front of the venue. You can also take photos with the cast after the show ends.

Helpful tips about the Robot Restaurant:

  • Robot Restaurant requests everyone to arrive 30 minutes before the show starts. You’ll wait in the super pink and flashy waiting area where you can order drinks and snacks or enjoy the live music. 
  • If you’re claustrophobic, you may want to avoid this show. The venue is small and the seating area is tight. Even though there are several breaks in between the acts, it’s a challenge to go in and out of your seat due to space. 
  • If you have sensitive ears, please bring earplugs or borrow ear protectors from the venue. The music is really loud.

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−7 新宿ロボットビル B2F (〒160-0021 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1丁目7−7 新宿ロボットビル B2F)

Opening Hours: Opens at 4:00pm (Monday-Thursday) and 2:30pm (Friday-Sunday)

Admission Cost: 

  • If pre-purchase tickets: 7,500 yen ($73.40 USD) (excluding meals)
  • If buy same-day tickets: 8,500 yen ($83.20)

Save money today! Purchase discount tickets for the Robot Restaurant here and get a free gift.

How to Get There: It’s a 5-minute walk from the Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) via JR Chu-Soba, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Yamanote Line, Keio Line, Toei Oedo Line, and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.

Robots dancing at the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. It's one of the unique things to do in Tokyo.

Robot Restaurant is a fun and quirky show to watch.


16. Find Godzilla on top of the building in Shinjuku.

To be honest, we had no idea Godzilla was in the Shinjuku area. We happenenly found it when we meandered around. Godzilla’s head is located on top of the Shinjuku Toho building. You can also have a closer view of Godzilla from the restaurant on top of Hotel Gracery. Godzilla roars and has fire at the top of each hour from 10:00am-8:00pm.

Address: 1 Chome-18-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan (〒160-0021 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1丁目18−8)

How to Get There: 

  • Go to the Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) via JR Chu-Soba, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Yamanote Line, Keio Line, Toei Oedo Line, and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line,
  • Or Shinjuku-nishiguchi Station (新宿西口駅) via Toei Oedo Line.
  • Walk for 5-8 minutes from either station.
Godzilla's head peeps on top of the Shinjuku Toho building in Tokyo, Japan.

Check out Godzilla at the top of each hour for a quick show in the Shinjuku area.


17. Stroll through the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden.

By Lena, Nagoya Foodie

If you want to get away from it all and experience a bit of nature in Tokyo, head to Koishikawa Korakuen Garden (小石川後楽園), one of the nicest landscaped gardens in the city. 

The garden with its ponds, stones, hills, and walkways are perfect for a stroll. During different times of the year, seasonal flowers are in bloom. Early spring has plum blossoms, spring sees cherry blossoms, summer blooms irises, and autumn sees beautiful foliage on the maple trees.

After your visit, have some traditional Japanese sweets and tea at the tea house next to the entrance gate. They serve a delicious matcha and wagashi set. The zenzai (azuki red bean soup) is also sweet and flavorful. 

Address: 1 Chome-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan (〒112-0004 東京都文京区後楽1丁目6−6)

Opening Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

Admission Cost: 300 yen adults ($2.90 USD), 150 yen ($1.45) (ages 65+), free for elementary, junior high, and high school students

How to Get There: 

  • Reach Koishikawa Korakuen either from Iidabashi Station (飯田橋駅) via JR Chuo-Sobu Line, Tokyo Metro Tozai, Yurakucho, or Namboku Line, or Toei Oedo Line,
  • Suidobashi Station (水道橋駅) via JR Chuo-Sobu Line and Toei Mita Line,
  • Or Korakuen Station (後楽園駅) via Tokyo-Metro Namboku Line and Marunouchi Line. 
  • From all stations, it’s roughly a 5 to 10-minute walk.
Eating sweets and matcha desserts at the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden Tea House in Tokyo, Japan.

Try the Japanese sweets at the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden’s tea house. Photo credit: Nagoya Foodie


18. Watch a baseball game at Tokyo Dome.

By Stella, Around the World in 24 Hours

Even though the United States calls its yearly baseball championships, “The World Series,” baseball is not a widely-played game in most countries outside of the U.S. Japan is a great exception as baseball is a hugely popular sport in Japan. Each team in the country has raving fans who follow them around and watch all their games. 

So when you’re in Tokyo and it’s baseball season, you have to see a home game of the local team, the Yomiuri Giants. They play in the Tokyo Dome (東京ドーム), which is an indoor baseball stadium, so you can go see a game in rain or shine. 

Most of the fans are rooting for the home team, and they’ll show their team spirit by wearing the team colors, orange and black. Fans will also wave orange towels for their favorite players. You can buy your own orange towel at the ballpark which makes an excellent and affordable souvenir. When the home team is up, Giants fans dance, cheer, and perform chants to encourage the team. Join in the fun and cheer along!

Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan (〒112-0004 東京都文京区後楽1丁目3−61)

Admission Cost: It’s easy to buy a ticket for the games at the ticket stands outside of the Tokyo Dome or online. The price varies depending on how close you sit which starts at 1800 yen ($17) per person. 

How to Get There

  • Get off at Suidobashi Station (水道橋駅) via JR Chuo-Sobu Line and Toei Mita Line,
  • Korakuen Station (後楽園駅) via Tokyo-Metro Namboku Line and Marunouchi Line, 
  • Or Kasuga Station (春日駅) via Toei Mita Line and Toei Oedo Line.
We're inside the Tokyo Dome to see a baseball game with the Giants home team.

Cheer for the Giants team when you’re watching a baseball game in Tokyo Dome. Photo credit: Around the World in 24 Hours


19. Go arcade hopping in Akihabara.

By Sean, Living Out Lau

Japan is a place filled with many unique and borderline strange attractions. From the fetishized maid cafes to the Robot Restaurant where robots battle each other out, Japan does not lack in quirkiness. 

One of the top things to do in Tokyo is arcade hopping in the electric town called Akihabara. A mega-sized part of the city filled with neon signs, the latest technological gadgets, and anything and everything anime-related, it’s a paradise for nerdy travelers. There are numerous arcades spread out across Tokyo and the majority of them are located in Akihabara. 

Arcades in Japan are very different from their western counterparts. The ones in Akihabara are usually 5+ stories tall and feature any genre of game you could imagine. The most famous arcade establishment in Akihabara is SEGA. From the latest Virtual Reality (VR) systems to the countless number of crane games, you can spend hours exploring these Japanese attractions and visit one arcade after another.

Address: Akihabara, Tokyo

Opening Hours: 10:00am-11:30pm for SEGA arcades

How to Get There: Take the Akihabara Station (秋葉原駅) via the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Yamanote Line, and Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. 


20. Dress up as a geisha.

By Mar, Once in a Lifetime Journey

A fun and quirky thing to do in Tokyo is to dress up like a geisha. It’s a full-on journey into one of the oldest professions in Japan and will give you first-hand experience of what these incredible women went through to transform into their alter ego. 

The entire experience takes roughly 4 hours. While it’s super fun, you have to master your inner zen as the heavy headpiece that pulls your hair back for several hours is straining. Picking the dress is such a great experience with gorgeous colors to choose from. When the experience is done, you’ll learn how to pose perfectly so you look like a character in one of the best Japanese movies. You also get to take your professional photos home with you. 

Studio Geisha Cafe is a recommended place to experience this photoshoot. The team is incredibly meticulous, friendly, and professional. You can contact them at [email protected], where you’ll need to pay in advance and in full. 

Address: 2 Chome-21-4 Morishita, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0004, Japan (〒135-0004 東京都江東区森下2丁目21−4)

Admission Cost: 15,000 yen ($141) per person

How to Get There: It’s a quick 5-minute walk from Morishita Station (森下駅) via Toei Shinjuku and Toei Oedo Line.

A woman dresses up as a geisha in a turquoise kimono and has a photoshoot in Tokyo, Japan.

Dressing up as a geisha is a unique experience when you’re in Tokyo. Photo credit: Once in a Lifetime Journey


21. Watch a sumo wrestling tournament.

By Matilda, The Travel Sisters

A unique thing to do in Tokyo is to watch a sumo wrestling tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan (国技館). Watching sumo at a tournament is a fun and interesting cultural experience. There is more to sumo than wrestling. Matches involve traditional ceremonies and rituals, including singing, salt tossing, and foot-stomping, that take place before and after the wrestling. 

The tournament days are long starting with the lower-ranked wrestlers in the morning. Most spectators arrive in the afternoon when the higher-ranked wrestlers compete. 

Professional sumo tournaments are held in Tokyo three times a year (every January, May, and September) for a duration of 15 days each. Tickets can be purchased online. The best seats and dates sell out quickly so it’s best to buy them as soon as they go on sale (about a month before the first day of the tournament).

Address: 1 Chome-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo 130-0015, Japan (〒130-0015 東京都墨田区横網1丁目3−28)

Admission Cost: Ticket prices vary depending on type of seat and location. The price of an arena seat starts at approximately 3,500 yen ($32) and the price of a Japanese box (which seats up to 4 people) starts at approximately 34,000 yen ($312).

How to Get There: Take the JR Chuo-Sobu Line or Toei Oedo Line to Ryogoku Station (両国駅) which is a short walk from Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Watching a sumo wrestling tournament is one of the unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan.

Watching a sumo wrestling tournament is one of the unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan. Photo credit: The Travel Sisters


22. Browse the fake food/food replicas along Kappabashi Street. 

Whenever you pass by a restaurant in Japan, the first thing that you’ll notice is the food replicas of what is served. It gives you an idea of what to expect when you order the dish. To see the fake food in person, head to the Kappabashi Street (Kappabashi Dogugai かっぱ橋道具街) which is close to the Asakusa Temple. While the area is known for selling kitchenware, there are lots of stores that sell fake foods. Stop by to create a replica dish or grab souvenirs such as sushi keychains and other fun items. 

Address: 3 Chome-18-2 Matsugaya, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0036, Japan (〒110-0036 東京都台東区松が谷3丁目18−2)

How to Get There: Take the train to Asakusa Station (浅草駅) via Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, or Tobu Skytree Line and walk about five minutes. 


23. Learn a traditional dance.

By Alison, Dance Dispatches

There are many unique traditions in Japanese culture: whipping matcha green tea, bathing in hot springs and picnicking beneath fragrant cherry blossom trees. When you go to Tokyo you can also participate in a lesser-known tradition called nihon buyo when you take a traditional Japanese dance class with Grandma Shizuko which includes kimono rental, tea, and snacks. 

When you first arrive, you will be fitted into a bright silken kimono and a wide sash called an obi. Then, the instructor and her students will demonstrate the dance routine – which is probably much harder than it looks. You get to try the fluid, graceful movements before taking a well-deserved snack break where you can chat with your classmates. At the end of class, you can take photos in the Japanese garments as a special keepsake – or you can set up your camera to record yourself performing the dance routine.

Address: Address will be provided after making a booking. It’s in a studio near Minowa Station.

Admission Cost: About $40 USD

How to Get There: Take the train to Minowa Station (三ノ輪駅) via Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. 

Four women in kimonos learn the nihon buyo traditional dance in Tokyo, Japan.

Let’s learn a traditional dance, nihon buyo, which is a cool activity to do in Tokyo. Photo credit: Dance Dispatches


24. Visit Nezu Shrine.

By Alyse, The Invisible Tourist

Do you love the idea of visiting the famous red torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto, but without the crowds? In Tokyo’s Ueno neighborhood, you’ll have this chance! Practically undiscovered by foreign tourists, the stunning Nezu Shrine (根津神社) is a great alternative to one of Japan’s most popular (and usually overcrowded) tourist attractions. You can pretty much have the entire place to yourself, which is rare in this Japan’s capital city.

As an older shrine in Japan, Nezu Shrine dates back over 1000 years and is surrounded by breathtaking gardens. As well as hundreds of vermilion torii, the grounds also feature a koi pond, turtles, and a lovely viewing platform to take in the tranquil ambiance. The gorgeous Shinto buildings of the shrine are modeled off the World Heritage Site of Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. Their similarities are beautifully obvious, especially in the small details.

Nezu Shrine will quickly become one of your favorite Tokyo hidden gems! If your visit coincides with the summer azalea festival, you’ll witness the perfectly manicured gardens burst into many vibrant colors. The shrine is free to visit. 

Address: 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0031, Japan (〒113-0031 東京都文京区根津1丁目28−9) 

Opening Hours: 6:00am-4:30pm

How to Get There: It’s a 3-minute walk from Nezu Station (根津駅) via Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.

Visit the Nezu Shrine with the orange torii gates in Tokyo, Japan. It's a hidden gem and a unique place to visit in Tokyo.

Nezu Shrine is a hidden gem to visit in Tokyo, Japan. Photo credit: The Invisible Tourist


25. Use your leftover change and play the gachapon machine.

As you explore Japan, you’ll see gachapon coin-operated machines (also known as gashapon) filled with small colorful capsules. The capsules contain a collectible item or toy. 

In Tokyo, these machines are everywhere. You can even see them at the Tokyo Haneda airport. For 300-500 yen ($2.80-$4.70), you choose your collection and get a surprise. There are some random collections such as tuna can rings, giant insects, shiba inu, Sanrio characters, and more. Since you don’t know what you’re getting, you could get the same item twice! It’s such a gamble and oh so addicting to see what you’ll get. 


Final Thoughts

We hope you consider doing many of these cool and unique experiences in Tokyo on your upcoming trip! As you can see, there are many activities suitable for all ages. 

Huge thank you to our travel bloggers who contributed to the post. Please support them by following their blogs and social media accounts.

Which of these activities are on your Tokyo bucket list? What other attractions should we experience? Let us know in the comments below. 

Save this post to your Japan Pinterest board.

In this post we're sharing the top 25 quirky and unique things to do in Tokyo, Japan. From seeing cherry blossoms to the maneki-neko cats at a temple, you're bound to find something to do in Tokyo.

Pin #1 top photo credit: Amanda Farmer via Scopio Photos

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12 comments

Aditi Sharma March 25, 2020 - 4:50 am

Although I’ve yet to visit Japan which has been on our bucket list for some time, I was so glad to get a virtual tour of Tokyo through your detailed collaborative post and the amazing photographs. I really felt I was able to get a better sense of how much time we need to spend in Tokyo in order to make the most of our trip based on the list of things to do in this post. I had no idea there was an entire theme park devoted to Sanrio there or that there was a mini replica of Statue of Liberty there (the bridge behind it with the view of the city skyline reminds me of Bay Bridge in San Francisco). I love to experience the local culture of the places we visit so I know that a highlight for me Nihon Buyo. Lovely read and very informative indeed.

Reply
Jackie March 25, 2020 - 10:19 pm

Thanks Aditi. Glad you enjoyed this post. We’re from the Bay Area too and the view with the mini Statue of Liberty does look like the Bay Bridge!

Reply
Lerato | Life from a Bag March 25, 2020 - 10:54 pm

Great guide! There are so many incredible and unique activities to do in Tokyo. Once everyone is able to travel again, I would love to visit Tokyo soon!

Reply
Jackie March 26, 2020 - 10:24 am

Thanks Lerato. Hope you enjoy Tokyo as much as we do!

Reply
Olivia March 25, 2020 - 11:06 pm

WOW WOW WOW! So many great ideas! I’d especially love to hike Mount Takao since I love the outdoors. And the Poop Museum!? I HAVE to go see it. My sister also loves the show One Piece so she would definitely appreciate going to the One Piece Tokyo Theme Park. Lastly, I always want to appreciate other cultures in every country I visit, so I would totally learn a traditional dance while wearing a kimono. Thank you for these wonderful ideas, I can’t wait to go to Tokyo when it’s possible to travel again!

Reply
Jackie March 26, 2020 - 10:25 am

Thank you Olivia. Love seeing your enthusiasm for the unique opportunities that you can take in Tokyo. Hope this post brought you some inspiration for a future trip!

Reply
Linn March 25, 2020 - 11:30 pm

What an awesome post! So many fun things to do in Tokyo. Japan is definitely on my bucket list and it seems Iike I could spend a couple of weeks just in Tokyo without getting bored 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Reply
Jackie March 26, 2020 - 10:27 am

Hi Linn. Glad you enjoyed the post. Japan is one of our favorite countries to travel to. You definitely need 2+ weeks to see the major highlights of the country. Although, we wouldn’t mind staying here for a month or longer!

Reply
Marisa March 26, 2020 - 2:22 pm

Love this list of amazing ideas for things to do in Tokyo!! So much more than just the typical touristy stuff and it all seems like so much fun!! I will definitely be using your guide for when I finally make it there one day!

Reply
Jackie March 26, 2020 - 8:23 pm

Many thanks Marisa! There are so many fun activities to try on a future trip to Tokyo.

Reply
CHELSEA MESSINA March 27, 2020 - 4:36 am

I see the most beautiful photos taken at teamLab Borderless exhibits. I WANT TO GO SOOOOO BADLY!!! Your pictures are gorgeous. Great suggestions on unique things to do in Tokyo!

Reply
Jackie March 27, 2020 - 5:36 pm

Thanks Chelsea. TeamLab Borderless is a picturesque place in Tokyo. Hope you can visit Tokyo once we’re able to travel again.

Reply

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