The most entertaining eateries in Tokyo

If what you’re looking for is fabulous food, go to the Restaurants I Like page instead. This is the page for crazy only-in-Japan restaurants & cafés. 

Calico Cat Cafe in Shinjuku


Play with many kinds of kitties while sipping a latte


Chaya Kado in Kamakura

Catch-your-own nagashi somen (cold noodles with dipping sauce)


Catch your own noodles as they float down the bamboo trough in the middle of your table • Cold noodles and tempura are the only thing they serve • May through October only


Christon Café in Shinjuku

Western-style small plates, snacks & cocktails, with a side of extra-Goth atmosphere


Amusing cathedral/gargoyle/stained glass theme • Fanciful menu and drink items • Customers tend to be cosplayers and Lolita/Gothic Lolitas


Foreign Butler Café iShibuya


The gurlz version of a maid café! • Get treated like royalty by attractive young foreign men

Tell me more!

Directions & map

Gundam Café in Akihabara & Tokyo Station


If you’re a Gundam fan (or just love robot stuff), you can’t leave Akihabara without eating here once! • Lots of photo ops with Gundam-themed restaurant design & food styling • Stand selling Gundam tai-yaki outside • There’s also a Gundam café at Tokyo Station

Akihabara map • Tokyo Station Map

Gyoza Stadium & the Weird Ice Cream Store in Ikebukuro Sunshine City’s Namco Namja Town


An indoor street lined with stands selling the most famous savory dumplings from all over Japan • A shop selling super weird flavors of ice cream, like eel, beer, wasabi & more! • Both are in Namco Namja Town, an indoor theme park inside the Sunshine City shopping complex

Tell me more!

Directions & map

Hoshino Coffee Shop in Shibuya

Extreme pancakes


Extreme pancakes are absolutely delicious • I like the ones with kuromitsu (syrup made from Okinawan brown sugar)


The Lock-Up in Shinjuku, Shibuya & Ikebukuro

Haunted Prison Restaurant


Each group dines in its own cell • Entertaining drinks served in test tubes, beakers, and IV stands often feature edible eyeballs • Live monster show takes place during every seating

Maps to the ShinjukuShibuya and Ikebukuro locations

Maguro Bito in Asakusa

Conveyor Belt Sushi


Fun “conveyor belt sushi” restaurant • Inexpensive & excellent selection • Don’t need to order – just grab plates as they go past and pay by the plate at the end • There are plenty of cheap conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Tokyo, but the sushi at Maguro Bito is always fresh and delicious.


Maid café in Akihabara


Have the ultimate otaku lunch, being served by uniformed maids who call you “Master of the House”!

Tell me more!

Directions & map

Nihon Minka-en Soba Noodle Restaurant in Mukugaoka-yuen


Eat  lunch in a genuine thatch-roofed farmhouse, built without nails • This lunch spot is at the midpoint of a village of beautifully restored thatch-roofed farmhouses, less than an hour from central Tokyo!

Directions & map

Ninja Akasaka in Akasaka-mitsuke

A la carte Japanese small plates


Entertaining “ninja castle” setting has drawbridge and dungeon-like atmosphere • Servers are ninjas who bring the food along with a little magic • Not cheap, but food is delicious and not too challenging for non-Japanese


Ohisama Rabbit Café in Shimo-kitazawa


Pet the curious bunnies in the back room, then enjoy some café time


Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku


Vegas meets New Japan in this music, dance and laser light show extravaganza • Taiko drumming and pole dancing alternate with battling robots • Food is meh (cold bento box) but the show is worth it • More info & ticket reservations here


Steam Locomotive Cafe & Bar in Hibiya/Yurakucho


Café surrounds a huge model train set with Tokyo landmarks that light up • Adorable train-themed food is a big hit with kids


Sweets Paradise in Shinjuku


All-you-can-eat for 70 minutes dessert bar (adults: ¥1480, children: ¥840) • Has Japanese desserts like make-your-own anmitsu sundae, as well as western-style sweets & a chocolate fountain • Included is an all-you-can-eat lunch/dinner buffet offering a limited selection of kid-friendly western staples like spaghetti, hot dogs, etc.


Yuki Daruma in Nakano


Grill your own meat and vegetables at your table • Owned by a former sumo wrestler • All-you-can-eat (various meats & veggies) & All-you-can-drink (beer or whisky-soda highballs): ¥4,480 or ¥4,980 per person (wider selection of foods with more expensive plan)


Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series. And guess what? The first book is finally out in PAPERBACK!

NIGHTSHADE Book Trailer (0:52)

Read more…

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

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