Finding fun things to do in the big city
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This relatively large contemporary art gallery is conveniently located just behind Yokohama City Hall, in one of the beautifullly restored Imperial Silkworm Warehouse buildings that date back to 1926. Run by the BankART 1929 NPO, they exhibit a range of contemporary Japanese artists in solo and group shows. The sprawling museum shop area next to the main gallery showcases the work of local... [Continue reading]
This small building on a Bakurocho side street looks like it's midway through the process of being demolished, but it's actually home to three cutting-edge contemporary art galleries on its three floors. It's definitely worth stopping by if you're doing a gallery tour of the Bakurocho art district. Fourth floor: Con_ Gallery (closed Monday through Wednesday.) [Continue reading]
Located on the second floor of a popular pet shop, Coorikuya has a more relaxed atmosphere than your average cat cafe. Unlike places in more touristed neighborhoods like Shibuya or Akihabara, there were only a handful of visitors on a weekday afternoon in spite of the bustling crowds in Nakano Sun Plaza just downstairs. The cafe occupies a single large rectangular playroom looking out over the... [Continue reading]
Young children who are fascinated by package-delivery services are perhaps the main audience for this rather specialized corporate facility, although professional museum designers and connoisseurs of quirky museums may also find it of interest. Younger visitors can dress up and pose in delivery uniforms and caps, and then explore the inside of an actual delivery truck. For the more nostalgia... [Continue reading]
Clearly someone with excellent taste has curated the cool merchandise for sale at this stylish little design shop. The eclectic wares are all over the place, with area rugs and clothing, desk lamps and audio equipment, cosmetics and plants all neatly arranged on the shelves and display tables. The shop is particularly strong in tableware, showcasing the work of artisans producing beautiful... [Continue reading]
We were greeted by loud squawks as we entered the building - just a small taste of the exotic-bird adventure ahead. In spite of the name, this current incarnation of Tori no Iru Cafe (Cafe with Birds) isn't technically a cafe but a pet store - a very immersive pet store. Several dozen parrots and other birds fly freely around the main bird room, ready to meet visitors and entertain with their... [Continue reading]
Illustrator Chiharu Sakazaki's beloved penguin mascot, Suica's Penguin, now has an exclusive character goods shop inside JR Ueno Station. Images of the efficient urban penguin, originally designed to promote prepaid Suica cards from private railway JR East, adorn everything from stationery goods to folding umbrellas. There's a surprisingly wide range of penguin-themed clothing as well as... [Continue reading]
An extensive collection of Chinese pottery and porcelain, covering several dynasties, is at the heart of this century-old museum's holdings. The 6500-item collection also includes swords, tea ceremony utensils, Chinese and Japanese paintings, calligraphy, lacquerware and wood carvings. Located in the historic Meiji Seimei Kan building in Marunouchi (itself a Tangible Cultural Asset), the... [Continue reading]
This ambitious design museum/gallery has the unusual mission of showcasing commercial, industrial and product design from all 47 Japanese prefectures. Products cover everything from pottery, lacquerware and kitchen utensils to stationery, fabrics, children's toys and even food and drink. Some exhibitions concentrate on one prefecture, while others focus on a particular style of design or... [Continue reading]
Nakagin Capsule Tower, architect Kisho Kurokawa's Metabolist masterpiece, was demolished in 2022, but two of its component capsules have been preserved in this tiny rental gallery. One of them has been restored to its original 1972 splendor, complete with built-in reel-to-reel tape deck and molded-plastic unit bathroom, while the other has been stripped to its skeleton and is used as an... [Continue reading]
This commercial gallery puts on short-term solo and group shows of contemporary Japanese art, from both established artists and newcomers. It moved to the Hikarie complex's Creative Space 8 in June 2023 from Bunkamura (the arts center run by Tokyu department store), and it will remain there until Bunkamura's renovation is complete sometime in 2027. Creative Space 8 is also home to a few other... [Continue reading]
You'll amaze your friends with your deep knowledge of mayonnaise-related facts after a visit to Tokyo's one and only mayonnaise museum, Mayo Terrace. Best-selling condiment brand Kewpie has set up this attractive facility on the former site of their mayonnaise factory, and they've put together a surprisingly entertaining one-hour tour of the museum. The very interactive tour includes a... [Continue reading]
Special Interests
Notable buildings by contemporary architects like Kenzo Tange, Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban
Galleries, museums and artsy bookstores
Graphic-art and product-design galleries and design shops
Anime and manga, toys and more popular culture
Artisanal crafts, Japanese gardens, and history-themed museums
Aquariums and zoos, bird-watching parks and horseback-riding stables
Food markets, ramen museums, brewery tours, professional knife stores and regional food shops
Science and tech museums, planetariums, botanical gardens,
Parks, gardens and other places to enjoy the fresh air
Batting cages, bowling alleys and other sporty spots
Observation decks, skyscraper bars and more viewing spots
Explore Tokyo's rivers and Tokyo Bay
The best jazz kissa (coffee shops) for vinyl fans, and clubs for live jazz
Amusement parks, train museums, Legoland, and other diversions for younger Tokyoites
Venue categories
Eating and drinking
The latest food and drink listings from sister sites and Craft Beer Bars Japan.
"Asian-style deli" is the unifying theme at this all-day dining cafe, where you can custom-assemble a meal from hot and cold dishes of your choosing. They also serve chicken burgers (in six varieties!), pastas and pho. The...
Attached to fancy French restaurant Bertrand Larcher, the Bar a Cidre is a great place to explore French ciders along with modern Breton cuisine. The food is first rate, with very appetizing starters like roast cauliflower...
Malaysian-style snacks and light meals are the draw at this casual cafe, which opened in Bakurocho in summer 2023. With its down-home snacks and sweet drinks, Malay Kampung Kopitiam (it means "Village Coffeeshop" in Malay)...
The "Mixed" pizza at this New York-style pizzeria is piled so high with delicious ingredients that we needed a fork to manage it. Garlic cloves, big chunks of onion, semi-raw green peppers, spicy pepperoni slices - each...
Located in the quiet back streets of Omotesando and running for more than two decades, this trendy little cafe qualifies as a neighborhood institution. They stay open a bit later than their neighbors if you're looking for a...
Maybe it's the luxurious atmosphere of the dining room or the beautifully presented, innovative cuisine, but dinner at Spica feels like a night out. The food definitely takes center stage, as Spica's two talented chefs turn...

Sister sites:
Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, festivals and breweries
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts

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