The most entertaining eateries in Tokyo

This is the place to come for crazy only-in-Japan restaurants & cafés. If you’re looking for a photo-worthy experience while also grabbing a bite or a drink, Tokyo offers up the BEST! (But if what you came to this page looking for fabulous food, head over to Restaurants I Like instead. Like eateries with a view, food quality is often inversely proportional to photo upworthiness, just sayin’.)

CALICO CAT CAFE

CatCafe

Play with many kinds of kitties while sipping a latte

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MAP

CHAYA KADO

6NagashiSomen

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

MAP

CHRISTON CAFE

6ChristonCafe

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

MAP

FOREIGN BUTLER CAFE

butlercafe

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

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MAP

GUNDAM CAFE

GundamCafe

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

MAP (Akihabara) • MAP (Tokyo Station)

GYOZA STADIUM & THE WEIRD ICE CREAM STORE

4.GyozaStadium

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

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MAP

HOSHINO COFFEE SHOP

6PancakeKuro

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

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MAP

THE LOCK-UP

lockupivdrink

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

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MAP (Shinjuku) •  MAP (Shibuya) • MAP (Ikebukuro)

MAID CAFE

6MaidAds

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

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MAP

NIHON MINKA-EN SOBA NOODLE RESTAURANT

4Minka-en

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!

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MAP

NINJA AKASAKA

A la carte Japanese small plates served by ninjas in your very own dungeon

6Ninja

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

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MAP

OHISAMA RABBIT CAFE

bunnygray

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

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MAP

THE ROBOT RESTAURANT

RobotRestaurant

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 • Links to more info & ticket reservations here

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MAP

STEAM LOCOMOTIVE CAFE & BAR

traincafe

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

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MAP

SWEETS PARADISE

SweetsParadise

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.

MAP

YUKI DARUMA

Grill your own fresh ingredients at your table

YukiDaruma

Grill your own meat and vegetables at your table • Owned by a former sumo wrestler • Choose between all-you-can-eat (various meats & veggies) & All-you-can-drink (beer or whisky-soda highballs) options

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MAP

Read a novel set in Tokyo

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something
A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car at the local shrine, and the more Yumi Hata learns about her best friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more

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