40 Weird and Unique Things To Do In Tokyo

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Tokyo is filled with countless weird and wacky things to do! Everyone’s Tokyo bucket list should include something uniquely Tokyo, something you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. Luckily, Japan’s lively capital city is filled with many genuinely weird activities that are sure to entertain you.

Take a break from the serious cultural and historical excursions during your Tokyo Itinerary and check out some weird and unique things to do in Tokyo. I guarantee by the end of this list you’ll be shaking your head saying, “Only in Japan.” 

Be sure to also check out my ultimate list of weird hotels in Japan too, to go along with your weird Tokyo activities.

Finding a Sharehouse in Tokyo, how to find the best Sharehouse in Tokyo for you, including tips on where to search, location, budget, and sharehouse characteristics in Tokyo, Japan

Weird and Unique Things To Do In Tokyo

1. Real Life Mario Kart

First-timers to Tokyo might be thoroughly surprised when they see Mario, Peach, Yoshi and the crew zooming by on real-life Mario Karts. The locals won’t even blink an eye. Tokyo’s streets are no stranger to go-carts, and in fact, it’s one of the best ways to see the many highlights of Tokyo. Get your international driver’s license before you come to Tokyo, so you can take part in this incredible weird thing to do in Tokyo.

Check out this Mario Kart tour that starts west of Shinjuku and takes you to Harajuku, through Shibuya crossing, and more. 

If you have a bit of need for speed, take the Akihabara go-karting tour, which takes you over the Rainbow Bridge and you can hit speeds up to 60 km/hr! (It feels faster when you’re exposed to the elements)

Reserve the Shinjuku Tour if location-wise that’s the best for you.

Note: Throwing banana peels and turtle shells are not allowed, even though it’s weird Tokyo.

2. Visit a Maid Cafe

Visiting a maid cafe is undoubtedly one of the top weird things to do in Tokyo. Maid Cafes were first started in Japan to cater to otaku, young (usually) men obsessed with computer games, manga and/or anime who wanted to see a cosplay of their favorite female characters. This gradually evolved into a whole maid cafe culture, and now there are hundreds of these cafes across Japan. 

Akihabara, or the manga and electronics center of Tokyo, is the neighborhood most famous for maid cafes (and otaku too). If you want to experience this weird thing to do in Tokyo, I recommend booking Maidreamin, a family-friendly Akihabara maid cafe in advance. Akihabara is home to some seedy maid cafes too. 

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3. Visit the Robot Restaurant - Now Samurai Restaurant!

One of the most over-the-top, weirdest Tokyo experiences was dining at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. Although it was temporarily closed, it officially re-opened in 2023 as a re-branded Samuri Restaurant! This weird and unique thing to do in Tokyo is wildly popular and actually hardly a restaurant. It’s an assault on all your senses as flashy dancers and samurai, echoing drums, neon props, and laser beams fill the stage in front of you. 

Visitors have described this as “life-changing”, or so strange it was “like a dream.” No matter what, this weird Tokyo attraction will make you think, “yes, this is Tokyo.” 

Again, the famous Robot Restaurant has re-opened and re-branded as the Samurai Restaurant. Same colorful chaos, different theme! Check out tickets at a discount from Rakuten here.

If robots are your thing, consider staying the night at Henn na Hotel, which us run by robot receptionists! Read more on my list of Weirdest Hotels in Japan

Source: Klook

4. Visit Gotokuji Cat Temple

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path but still weird place to visit in Tokyo, head to Setagaya. This neighborhood in south-west Tokyo is home to Gotokuji Temple, a Buddhist Temple home to thousands of beckoning cat statues. This is a family-friendly and more calm, weird thing to do in Tokyo. 

Maneki-Neko, as they are called in Japanese, are often placed in front of businesses and stores to beckon customers in. If you purchase one at Gotokuji Temple and leave it here, it is said to bring in more customers and bring success to your business. 

You can purchase a maneki-neko for as little as ¥300 ($2.70 USD) for a teeny-tiny one, or as much as ¥5000 ($47 USD) for the largest size. 

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5. Eat Pufferfish - a meal that could kill you!

If you don’t know this already, fugu, or pufferfish, contains enough poison in its one puffy body to kill eight humans! Despite the possibility of death, one of the weird things in Tokyo is that fugu is treated as a delicacy. Over 10,000 tons of it are consumed here each year. Chefs are required to train for years, and pass a national written and practical exam before they are allowed to prepare are serve fugu to customers. 

Enjoy fugu at Guenpin Fugu, one of Tokyo’s most popular pufferfish restaurants. Reserve a table and meal through Klook to and yourself to a traditional Japanese meal… and hopefully walk away with your life. 

Read more about eating pufferfish in the Food & Wine Article, “How to Eat Pufferfish and Not Die.”

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Looking for non-weird and wacky things to do in Tokyo? Here are some more ideas:

6. Visit a Kawaii Monster Cafe Pop-Up Shop

The Kawaii Monster Cafe is another quirky dining experience that deserves a spot on the weird things to do in Tokyo list. It was visited by Netflix’s Queer Eye cast while filming in Japan, and is known for serving rainbow, monster-themed foods and drinks in an out-of-this world setting.

While the full cafe and monster experience is still officially closed, their Instagram page posts about pop-up events around Tokyo, like parties, make-up booths, and street food stalls. Is there anything weirder in Tokyo than partying all evening with some colorful monsters?

If you want to take a piece of kawaii monster home with you, check out their online shop.

Love the kawaii vibes? Make sure to take on this kawaii Harajuku walking tour.

7. Eat burgers with rice buns

That’s right – rice buns! At Mos Burger, which is the Japanese answer to McDonald’s, there are two fast-food burgers available with rice patties for buns instead of bread or lettuce. This ain’t your average Big Mac!

Mos Burger is a must-visit Tokyo restaurant with vegetarian options. It’s a great place to get a fast-food fix, but because it has smaller portion sizes than Western fast food chains, it won’t make you feel sluggish for the rest of the day. 

At the time of writing, the two rice-patty burgers available from Mos Burger are a seafood medley burger and a chicken teriyaki burger. Check Mos Burger’s entire drool-worthy menu here

McDonalds Japan also on occasion serves rice burgers on their dinner menu! Three varieties of burgers, a beef, chicken, and teriyaki, are served with fried rice buns for limited times of the year. Check out the English menu here

8. Eat Rainbow Food in Harajuku

No, I’m not talking about the monster restaurant. I’m talking about street food – rainbow cotton candy, rainbow grilled cheese, and rainbow ice cream! 

Visiting Takeshita Street in Harajuku should be on everyone’s Tokyo itinerary. Part of the charm of this kawaii neighborhood is discovering all the colorful food that it offers. Classic weird Tokyo. 

Check out Le Shiner for unicorn-themed foods, including unicorn-shaped ice cream and rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches. Totti Candy Factory is famous for its picture-perfect, massive rainbow cotton candy. You’ll definitely need a friend to help you finish these. 

Don’t forget to take an Instagram picture and show all your friends at home the weird things to do in Tokyo! 

9. Check out Tokyo Station's Character Street

On the B1 floor of Tokyo Station is a whole street filled with shops that highlight one special character or show. 

Find Studio Ghibli, Pokemon, Crayon Shinchan, Ultraman, Dragonball, Miffy, and more at Tokyo Station’s Character Street! It’s a perfect place to get some souvenir shopping done, because there are gifts you can find here that you’d be pressed to find anywhere else, especially outside of Japan. 

It’s a favorite place for kids to visit in Tokyo because of the characters but also for large stores like Lego and Tomicar, the Japanese version of Hotwheels. 

If you’re into some of these fandoms, be sure to check out my post about Pokemon things to do in Tokyo and Studio Ghibli things to do in Tokyo

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10. Visit the Yayoi Kusama Museum

Yayoi Kusama is one of Japan’s most well-known artists. Her quirky style and unapologetic fashion sense makes her a weird and wonderful Tokyo icon. Yayoi’s most popular works are her polka-dot pumpkins, which you won’t be able to get enough of in this museum! 

Book tickets in advance here. No tickets are sold at the door, and entry is limited to 90 minutes.

If you want to see more of Yayoi, consider visiting Naoshima, home to her massive polka-dot yellow pumpkin statue. 

11. Visit the Crappy Unko (Poop) Museum Tokyo

I don’t think I need to explain why this is on the weird things to do in Tokyo list. A museum dedicated to the cuteness of poop? Only in Japan. A permanent poop museum opened in Tokyo in August, 2019, after its brother museum in Yokohama saw so much success.

Here are some quotes from the website to get you hyped up about visiting this weird place in Tokyo:

  • “Take pictures of various poops like the surreal flying poop and colorful shiny poop”
  • About interactive rooms: “Games using your body such as stepping on poop projected onto the floor”
  • About their arcade games: “Getting a high score will be more satisfying than taking a big dump!”
There’s also a wall of poops drawn by celebrities, and an “enshrined poop power spot”. Definitely a weird Tokyo attraction.
 
Purchase tickets in advance from Klook!

12. Shop at Mega Don Quijote, Shibuya

Here’s another place to have your senses assaulted on this weird things to do in Tokyo list: Don Quijote, or Donki, is a hyperstore chain that took Japan by storm with its one-stop-shop magic. Think Target meets Costco meets Tokyu Hands.  Floor-to-ceiling shelves are overflowing will all sorts of crap that you never thought you needed. There are plenty of little screens shouting advertisements at you too.

The Donki in Shibuya is one of the the biggest and baddest in Tokyo. Looking for candy, booze, board games, sex toys, costumes, household goods, or all of the above? Come to Don Quijote.

But actually, it’s Donki is a great place to shop for souvenirs in Tokyo. It has a large Japanese souvenir section on one of the top floors, and its first floor has many different matcha tea, ramen, and flavored Kit-Kat souvenirs. 

13. Have a soak at Oedo Onsen Monogatari

~Update: Oedo Onsen has closed indefinitely…Check out an awesome alternative in Hakone: Yunessun hot spring theme park where you can bathe in wine, coffee, green tea, and more! Although not in Tokyo, this is definitely an awesome, weird thing to do in Japan~

Ready to let it all hang out in front of friends, family, and strangers? Head to Odaiba, home to Oedo Onsen Monogatari. This onsen, or nude hot springs, theme park is decorated to feel like Edo Tokyo. It’s a great place to experience how Japanese have relaxed and rejuvenated for centuries.

With your entry ticket you get a beautiful yukata to wear around. There’s a dining area with a wide variety of Japanese street food, and a place where you can try your hand at traditional Japanese festival games too.

The hot springs? Besides the outdoor footbath, you have to go in the indoor hot spring baths completely nude (rooms are divided by gender).

Note: No tattoos are allowed at Oedo Onsen.

14. Take Purikura Photo Booth Pictures

Wildly popular with the local girls, purikura is a fun activity for friends and family. You’ll have a nice souvenir to bring home from Japan too. Each session costs about ¥400 yen ($3.00 USD).

There aren’t your ordinary strip mall photo booths. You can decorate them with stamps and stickers before they’re printed, and the weird Tokyo part – they can make you look skinny and make your eyes look extra big! 

Instructions for most purikura are Japanese, but all you have to do is pick settings like which frame color you want and photo exposure levels. Input your email address into the machines so you can get a digital copy of the photos sent to you! 

15. Dress Up And Sing Karaoke

The Japanese love their karaoke. Walking around any neighborhood, especially close to the train stations, you’re bound to see “KARAOKE” or “カラオケ” lit up across the buildings. 

Going to karaoke is easy. Choose how many hours you want to sing for, and if you want to include all-you-can-drink options (not available at all stores). Expect to pay around ¥2,500 yen ($23 USD) per person, for two hours of karaoke plus all-you-can-drink beers and soft drinks. 

Many karaoke joints have free musical maracas and tambourines to smash while someone is singing – some even have costumes you can wear! 

16. Enroll in Ninja Training

I’m not the only one who wanted to grow up to be a ninja, right? Relive your childhood dreams by going through ninja training, a weird thing to do in Tokyo. 

Activities include shooting shuriken ninja stars, practicing shooting a blow dart, and touring around historic Asakusa. All while wearing the most fashionable of ninja outfits. 

Read more about it on Klook.

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17. Shop Fake Food

First-time visitors to Tokyo will notice a weird phenomenon: Many Japanese restaurants have a display case out front filled with food. They’re all fake versions of what the restaurant serves inside. If you’ve ever wondered where storefronts purchase these fake food models, head to Kappabashi-dori, the Kitchen Goods street near Asakusa.

Ganso Sample-ya is example of one of these shops. Find amazingly weird Tokyo souvenirs including phone cases covered in different Japanese foods (shown below), sushi-shaped key chains, magnets, and more. 

Own a Japanese restaurant in your home country? You can pick up real-life sizes of (fake) Japanese staple foods here too, including ramen, udon, tempura, and omurice. 

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18. Visit Hello Kitty Land

Did you even visit Japan if you don’t have a something Hello Kitty-related to prove it? 

Visit some of Japan’s most famous characters at Sanrio Puriland. Take pictures with Hello Kitty and My Melody, watch performances by your favorite characters, and take home plenty of souvenirs from the gift shop. 

Book through Klook to get discounted tickets for Sanrio Puriland.

If you love Hello Kitty but don’t have time to visit a theme park, check out one of many Sanrio Cafes across Tokyo, or stay the night in the Hello Kitty room at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo. Definitely a weird thing to do in Tokyo! 

19. Meet Godzilla

Did you know Shinjuku is the new home to the king of monsters, Godzilla? Check him out peeping over the top of the Toho movie complex in the heart of Shinjuku. 

If you dare, enter through the connecting Hotel Gracery to visit Godzilla at head-level. He lights up, roars, and spews out steam at the top of every hour.

If you love Godzilla, be sure to check out the Tokyo Godzilla store in Shinjuku as well, or try to get a reservation to stay in the Godzilla room at the Hotel Gracery. An epic and weird experience, only in Tokyo! Check out other weird Tokyo hotel options on my list here.

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20. Visit an (Ethical) Animal Cafe

Sipping on lattes while patting furry (or spiky, or slithery) friends has been a growing trend in Japan. Animal Cafes allow you to interact with different animals while enjoying a drink and a meal, giving off a classy petting zoo feeling. Animals featured in Animal Cafes across Tokyo include dogs, cats, hedgehogs, owls, otters, mini pigs… even meerkats and lizards! 

In order to make your visit an ethical one, I recommend doing your research before you choose which cafe to visit. At the top of my list of animal cafes to never visit are owl cafes, where the poor birds are chained up under blaring lights all day. 

Check out Inu Neko Lua Cafe, which fosters dogs and cats that are looking for their furr-ever homes. Neko Republic is also a cat cafe chain where all of their friendly felines are adoptable. 

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21. Visit Kanayama Jinja Shrine (home to the penis festival)

Kanayama Jinja is a shinto shrine located in Kanagawa, just south of Haneda airport in Tokyo. This shrine is where the world-famous Kanamara festival, nicknamed the ‘penis festival’, takes place in April each year. Both the shrine and the festival celebrate this male appendage, as evidenced by the number of phallic statues present on the shrine grounds. Although it’s a weird and hilarious concept, be mindful that it is still a holy place so treat the penis statues with respect! 

Visitors here have historically come to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases, but can also come to pray for fertility and protection in childbirth. 

To reach Kanayama Jinia, navigate to the Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine first. The Tokyo penis shrine is located on the grounds here. 

22. Soak in an electric onsen

I listed visiting an onsen hot springs theme park up above in my list of weird things to do in Tokyo. What about relaxing at a traditional Japanese onsen – one that has an electric bath? 

Tsukimi-yu is an old Japanese sento or bath house in Tokyo’s Setagaya neighborhood. This public onsen has many baths that are fed from natural hot spring waters. It’s also home to a denki-buro, or electric bath. Who said electricity and water don’t mix?

Electric currents run through the onsen bath water in the denki-buro, which is meant to ease tired muscles and is said to have a number of health benefits. Visitors stepping into the waters might get a little zap before enjoying tingling electric sensations as they soak. Be aware it’s not recommended for people with heart conditions or with pacemakers. 

Love onsen? Check out my list of amazing hotels in Hakone, Nikko, and Beppu with private onsen! 

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Source: Tsukimiyu.com

23. Eat Michelin-starred cup ramen

Tokyo is home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world. Among these is a number of Tokyo ramen restaurants, that were awarded the star based on their version of this humble noodles and broth bowl.  You can either spend hours waiting in line to try a bowl of Nakiyru’s spicy dandan noodles, Soba House’s tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen, or Ginza Hachigo’s chuuka soba, or buy a cup noodle version at the convenience store! 

For example, Nakiryu has paired with 7-Eleven to provide their dandan noodles in a cup ramen form. Tsuta, the first ramen restaurant in Japan to receive a Michelin star, also has a cup noodle available at 7-Eleven. These cup noodles make a perfect keepsake and gift from Japan as well. You’ll never look at cup ramen the same way again! 

Depending on your location, you can purchase these on Amazon as well.

24. Stay in a hotel with robot dinosaur receptionists

Henn na Hotels are located in many large cities across Japan including Tokyo, and are undoubtedly some of the weirdest hotels in Japan. In fact, the name “Henn-na Hotel” literally translates to “Weird Hotel” in Japanese. 

Here, human-like robot staff and even dinosaur robots greet guests at the front desk upon arrival! Other robots like ones that carry your luggage, and mini robots to take your breakfast order, are available in some of the Henna na hotels too. 

During lockdowns, this funny headline made the news, bringing this weird hotel in Tokyo back to the top of everyone’s Tokyo bucket list. Staying at the Henn na Hotel in Tokyo is definitely one of the top weirdest things to do in Tokyo! 

(Henn na hotels can be found in TokyoOsakaKyotoNaraNagoyaFukuoka, and even as far away as Seoul, South Korea too)

Check out my full list of weirdest hotels in Japan here!

25. Watch sumo wrestling

Sumo wrestling may seem like a very weird sport to those not familiar with Japanese culture. Watching either a sumo wrestling tournament or observing a sumo wrestling practice session, is a weird thing to do in Tokyo that is uniquely Japanese.

Tokyo is home to the Ryogoku Kokugikan, a famous sumo wrestling stadium built in 1909. If you’re visiting Japan when a sumo tournament is happening, I highly recommend attending for the electric atmosphere and shows of Japanese tradition. Read about my experience and how to get tickets here.

Sumo wrestlers, when they’re not taking part in tournaments, live together in special sumo dorms. They train, cook, and sleep all together in preparation for exhibitions and tournaments. Their training and lifestyle centers around respect for one another and their coaches, and follow many traditions that have been followed for centuries. Visitors to Tokyo can join a tour to watch one of their morning training sessions, or for an extra level of weird, dress up like a sumo and wrestle with retied sumos! 

How to see the grand sumo tournament in Tokyo, Japan. Watch sumo wrestling at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. How to buy tickets for sumo wrestling matches in Tokyo

26. Catch your own meal at a fishing restaurant

Zauo Fishing Restaurant provides visitors to Tokyo (and other Japanese cities like Osaka and Fukuoka) with the weird and wonderful experience of catching your own fish before you eat it. If you opt to catch your own fish for eating (instead of just eating) you even get a few hundred yen discount for your hard work! Fish are swimming in designated sections of the indoor “rivers” can be be caught by fishing net or fishing rods for 110 yen extra (bait included). 

Once you’ve caught one of the red snapper, flounder, or other fish swimming around, choose how you want it prepared: sashimi, fried, grilled, or made into sushi. Other food is served here also, including tempura and oysters.

Visitors will also love the interior of this weird restaurant in Tokyo, which is shaped like a number of wooden boats, with water surrounding them. Tokyo locations of Zauo Fishing Restaurant include Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Meguro neighborhoods. 

27. Try one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors

Japanese businesses love to showcase regional and traditional flavors in many different ways. Lucky for us, soft serve ice cream is one of the many ways that local flavors and ingredients are showcased. Find your new favorite ice cream flavor as part of this weird thing to do in Tokyo. Here are some unique local ice cream flavors to try and where to find them:

  • Uva (tea), Hojicha (tea), and other seasonal flavors at CHAVATY in Omotesando
  • Adzuki beans, black sesame, brown sugar roasted tea, Japanese chestnut, persimmon, and other seasonal flavors at Japanese Ice Ouca in Ebisu
  • Hokkaido milk, purple sweet potato, rice, Nagano dates, and other regionally-sourced ingredient flavors at Premarche Gelateria in Meguro

Other examples of regional soft serve flavors that can be found around Japan include wasabi ice cream in Nagoya, soba ice cream in Sapporo, and soy sauce ice cream in Shodoshima – yum! 

28. Indulge in all-you-can-eat KFC

The fast-food chicken brand Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, or just “Ken-tah-kii” in Japanese has an all-you-can-eat restaurant located in the Minami-Machida neighborhood of Tokyo. For around 2000 yen per adult for lunch and 2500 yen for dinner, enjoy buffet-style KFC fried chicken, sides, soft drinks, even rice, pastas, soups, and desserts for 80 minutes.

If you find yourself in Japan craving a bit of deep-fried, crispy chicken with 11 secret herbs and spices, definitely check out this weird and unique thing to do in Tokyo! 

Here’s a bonus weird fact about KFC in Japan – Due to a super-successful advertising campaign stating “Christmas=KFC for dinner”, it’s now a popular custom for Japanese families to have KFC on Christmas day! 

29. Visit the Gashapon Department Store

Gashapon, or gacha-gacha, machines are famous in Japan, and visiting the Gashapon Department Store in Ikebukuro is a quirky, weird thing to do in Tokyo. 

Gashapon machines are simple: insert 100 yen coins into the machine, turn the handle, and get a prize! Photos listed on the front of the gashapon show you the variety of prizes you might win, and each machine usually has a theme to it, including various anime characters, keychains, and other collectibles. Gashapon toys make a great, affordable souvenir and gift from Japan too. 

The Gashapon Department store is located in the Sunshine City complex at Ikebukuro (also home to one of the best viewpoints in Tokyo). Be sure to bring a lot of 100 yen coins with you! 

30. Relax at a footbath cafe

Let’s face it, you will be walking a LOT while visiting Japan and Tokyo. Be sure to add a foot-bath cafe to your itinerary to give your feet a break and a pamper. When I say foot-bath, I mean an onsen-style hot springs bath for your feet called ashi-yu! Only in Japan. 

These five cafes around Tokyo offer the awesome experience of dipping your feet in hot bath waters, while you relax with a snack or drink. Many come with a view,  healthy drink options, and other spa treatments on-site as well. Your feet will definitely thank you for taking part in this weird thing to do in Tokyo! 

31. Rock out with the Yoyogi Rockstars

Every Sunday afternoon across from Yoyogi Park near Harajuku, you might hear some rock music in the distance and a crowd of people on the street. Get closer and you’ll see a variety of middle-aged Japanese rockstars dressed in denim and donning mowhawks, dancing and air guitaring wildly to popular rock songs. The Yoyogi Rockabilly rockstars have been dancing here for decades, and visiting them is a weird thing to do in Tokyo that is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Whether you visit to take some photos, to dance along, or just to admire their enthusiasm and rockstar qualities, don’t miss this unique Tokyo experience during your next Sunday visit to Harajuku.

32. Symbolically Climb Mt. Fuji

Did you know you don’t have to actually hike Mt. Fuji to complete the Mt. Fuji pilgrimage? Tokyo has a number of Fujizaka mounds, located at Shinto shrines around the city, where you can symbolically climb Mt. Fuji. Fujizaka are made of volcanic rocks sourced from the real Mt. Fuji. They’re shaped in a way that represents the real mountain too, with (steep) pedestrian paths that follow similar routes as the four trails to summit Mt. Fuji. The Fujizaka even have smurf-sized shrines and torii gates presented in the same location as the real Mt. Fuji.

Fujizaka were built so that the sick and elderly (or anyone else not interested in hiking all 3776m to the Mt. Fuji summit) can still attain similar religious blessings as if they completed the real pilgrimage. 

The most accessible Fujizaka is at the Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine in Yoyogi, conveniently located near Shinjuku Gyoen gardens. 

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33. Eat Monster-Sized Ramen

Visit Hyori Ramen in Takadanobaba or Yarou Ramen in Asakusa and indulge in monster-sized ramen. You’ll definitely need to bring some friends and family with you to help tick off this weird thing to do in Tokyo! 

Hyori Ramen’s monster ramen serving comes with karaage fried chicken, a mountain of bean sprouts, spice levels of your choosing, and of course a massive portion of thick ramen noodles and broth.

Eating the monster ramen at Yarou Ramen in Asakusa has become a social media trend due to the Instagram-perfect ginormous ramen. Their ramen comes with large slabs of char-siu pork belly, bean sprouts, and enough ramen to feed a whole family!

34. Visit a Themed Cafe or Bar

Take your café or bar-hopping experience in Tokyo to the next level by eating with vampires, drinking with muscle girls, or pretending to be in a prison! Visiting themed cafes is a weird thing to do in Tokyo and a popular activity for both locals and visitors who want to escape reality or just try something new.

Enter into the fantasy world of a vampire den at the Vampire Cafe in Ginza for example, and eat food out of coffin-shaped bowls while surrounded by blood red, velvety decor. 

The reel below showcases an experience at the Tokyo Muscle Girl Bar in Ikebukuro, where super-fit girls will squeeze drinks for you with their bare hands and challenge you to lift some weights. 

Whichever themed café in Tokyo you visit, it is sure to provide you with a memorable experience!

35. Buy (or just admire) expensive fruits

Gifting fruits in Japan is a cultural phenomenon not seen in many other countries around the world. Gift-worthy fruits in Japan are meticulously grown, sometimes one fruit per stem, and consciously and beautifully packaged (not your average grocery store quality!) Expensive fruit in Japan is a marvel to behold and even better to receive, and can be purchased in specialty stores around Tokyo. 

If you want to give a gift to someone special, or gift to yourself, check out Sembikiya in Nihonbashi, a store famous for its fancy and expensive fruit boxes. Example prices include one mango for 5,400 yen (below), a melon in a wooden box for 17,280 yen, 15 strawberries for 18,600 yen, and more. 

You can also opt to try a luxurious fruit parfait in the café on-site for only 2,000 yen. Sembikiya celebrates seasonal fruits grown around Japan, both for gifting and what’s available for desserts. 

36. Have a Pokemon-themed day

Tokyo is the perfect place to for Pokémon fans to explore. Japan is the birth place of Pokémon afterall! Spend a weird and unique day in Tokyo exploring everything Pokemon that Tokyo has to offer. Tokyo has so many Pokémon-themed activities that I’ve made a whole blog post listing various things to do for Pokemon fans. 

Top attractions include Tokyo’s Pokemon Centers, which are large Pokemon gift stores that sell everything from Pokémon cards to plushies to home goods to stationary, even limited edition collectibles only available in Tokyo! Tokyo also has the famous Pokémon cafe and a bakery called Pikachu sweets

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37. Dine alone in a cubicle restaurant

It’s no secret that Japan has some loner residents that prefer only their own company. After days of exploring Tokyo’s flashy lights and crowded streets, you might feel similar too. Whether you’re wanting to eat a meal in peace and quiet, traveling solo, or are just interested in what a secluded, one-person table entails, eating at a cubicle restaurant is one weird and unique thing to do in Tokyo.

One of the most famous and popular cubicle restaurants is Ichiran Ramen. Here, one-person tables available for guests have barriers between each seat. Order ramen using a screen or writing on paper, then have it delivered through a ramen bowl-sized curtain in front of you. Aside from the sound of others slurping their ramen (as is the norm in Japan), you can enjoy your Ichiran Ramen in solitary peace and quiet. 

It’s worth mentioning Ichiran, which was founded in Fukuoka, is known for its amazing tonkotsu ramen too, not just the loner seats! Ichiran ramens are popping up all over the world, and you can even take a Ichiran ramen-making kit home with you. 

If you love ramen, check out my post about Tokyo’s Cup Noodle Museum and Shin-Yokohama’s Ramen museum.

38. Stay overnight or have a "rest" in a love hotel

Tokyo and Japan in general are known for an interesting (efficient and convenient) hotel option called Love Hotels. Love hotels in Japan started off as places for couples to have a little privacy, to engage in “adult activities”. But with amenities like hot tubs, karaoke machines, rentable costumes, and room service food and drinks, love hotels have become a fun place to hang out with friends and hold events too.

Love hotel rooms can be booked in-person for anywhere from 20 minutes (known as a “rest”)  to a full night. Because the real purpose of these hotels is to get a bit of adult-time in, many love hotels can be decorated with tacky hearts, dim lighting, and large beds. Reception is also behind a mirrored wall or screen for maximum privacy of the guests. 

Some examples of Tokyo love hotels bookable through Booking.com include Hotel OldswingHotel Lotus, and Sweets Hotel Ruby (photos below) all in Shibuya. Just don’t arrive expecting free breakfast.

Love hotels are also on my list of weirdest hotels around Japan – check out that list for more weird Tokyo inspiration!

39. Find unique vending machines

Tokyo is covered in vending machines. This cheap and ultra-convenient way of purchasing drinks around Tokyo actually extends to other consumables and items too. Go on a unique vending machine hunt for this next weird thing to do in Tokyo! By weird, I mean have you ever bought alcohol from a vending machine (no ID needed)? What about packets of bug snacks, cans of cake, or fish broth? 

Check out this blog post for specific locations and items that you can score as part of a unique and weird vending machine hunt across Tokyo.

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Pizza vending machine

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Pudding in a bottle vending machine

40. Play retro arcade games in Akihabara

This weird and unique thing to do in Tokyo is one that Akihabara, the electronics, manga, and gaming capital of Tokyo is famous for. Head to Super Potato, a multi-story entertainment store that sells everything from anime character figurines to rare Pokemon cards, to retro gaming consoles and games. Head to the top floor of Super Potato to play some nostalgic retro games like the original Pong and Street fighter! With coin changing machines, drinks and cup noodles available, you could spend plenty of time (and money) indulging in this weird and unique thing to do in Tokyo. 

For a modern twist on gaming, head to the larger game centers like Sega or GiGO. You’ll find all the latest games here including racing games, DDR, and a Japanese favorite, Taiko no Tatsujin (turned into a Switch game). At these game centers, you can try your hand at claw machines and gachapon too.

Hanging out in Akihabara, including gaming and visiting a maid cafe, and both on my list of rainy day things to do in Tokyo

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Inspired by this list of Weird Things to do in Tokyo? Pin it for later!

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Are You Prepared For Your Trip To Japan?

Be sure to check out my Japan home page for Japan travel information, insider tips, reading list, and must-haves for traveling to Japan!

  • Book Your Flights – To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is key. I use both Google Flights for their low fare calendar, and Skiplagged, which uses airfare loopholes to get the lowest prices. For a trip to Japan, check flights to both Tokyo airports (Haneda, Narita) and to Osaka (Kansai). 
  • Getting Around Japan: Prepare your JR Pass and Suica transit card before you depart.
  • Book Your Accommodation – Check out Booking.com for the largest selection of accommodation in Japan. Consider having a bit of fun at one of these Weirdest Hotels in Japan too 🙂 
  • Book Local Excursions – Don’t miss out on world-class experiences, like Teamlab Planets or Tokyo Disneyland, by booking tickets online now. Check GetYourGuide and Klook for fun experiences all around Japan. 
  • Stay Connected: Order a pocket WiFi for airport pickup if you’re traveling with family or with a large group. Solo traveling to Japan? Order a SIM card just for you. 
  • Buy Travel Insurance – It’s better to protect yourself from mishaps when traveling. Get a quote from World Nomads to see how much it’ll cost to get you covered! 
  • Pack Your Essentials – Check out my posts about Long Term Travel Gear, and Carry-On Luggage Packing Essentials
  • Read more on my Travel Resources page!

One thought on “40 Weird and Unique Things To Do In Tokyo

  1. We definitely need to get back to Tokyo. We crossed some of these off our list but still have a few still to do. Great list. I love how there are so many unique things to do in Tokyo.

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