15 Tokyo Cafes that are Downright Weird
Over the years, Tokyo’s love affair with “weird” has combined with its cafe culture, creating some of the world’s quirkiest cafes. We’re talking restaurants with robot monsters, a cafe where you can cuddle with cute girls and a seafood restaurant that lets you catch your meal.
Although some of these might raise one or both of your eyebrows, they’re also strangely charming in how they fight to break down the mundane of everyday life. That’s what travelling is all about, isn’t it?
Our friends at Klook have discovered 15 of the weirdest cafes in Tokyo, including where you can find them. With help from over 300 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve also highlighted unique hotels that pair perfectly with the memorable experiences you’ll have on your next Tokyo holiday.
Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant is one big, out-of-this-world performance. The show begins from the moment you sit down, and the dining experience continues to get crazier with every passing minute. Robot dancers, monsters and animals take to the stage alongside human performers while lasers, frenetic music and flashing neon electrify the room. You will undoubtedly forget about your food while experiencing the heart of Japan’s eccentric pop culture.
Robot Restaurant Location
B2F Shinjuku Robot Bldg, 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku
Most of us have experienced sushi trains, boats and conveyor belts, but have you ever had your sushi delivered via a high-speed chute? This is the reality at Uobei, an uber-affordable sushi restaurant in Tokyo. We’re pretty sure this is what it’s like to eat sushi on a spaceship. The futuristic restaurant also has multi-lingual touch screens, so you can forget about language barriers and accidentally getting tuna instead of crab.
2-29-11 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
3. Soineya: Cuddle Cafes
Soineya translates to “sleep together shop”. The idea is a cafe where you can enjoy a platonic relationship with one of the cafe’s girls. This could mean cuddling, napping together or laying in her arms for 20 minutes or up to 10 hours. Aimed at single men, Soineyas are thought to be the perfect remedy for a lonely heart. Already have a significant other? Book one of the 30 themed rooms at Hotel Meguro Emperor, one of Tokyo’s many “love hotels”, known for its fairy tale castle facade.
Cuddle Cafe Location
Multiple locations around Akihabara.
4. Vampire Cafe
Vampire Cafe, part of the Ginza shopping district, brings a spooky ambience with a sense of mischievous fun. The restaurant is draped in blood-red and creepy decor, such as a coffin and blood-smeared mirrors, and each booth has a bell to ring for service. The staff are dressed and speak like Dracula and serve modern Izakaya cuisine with blood-themed cocktails. Capsule hotels are the modern-day coffin, except a lot more comfortable. Tokyo Kiba Hotel has capsules with TVs and internet access, along with an on-site sauna and communal lounge.
Vampire Cafe Location
Lape Bldg. 7F, 6-7-6, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
5. Maid Cafes
Since the first maid cafe opened in Tokyo in 2001, these quirky establishments have started popping up all over the city. Maid cafes provide a truly memorable dining experience, where you’ll find girls dressed in cute maid outfits. These “servers” treat you as their master, roleplaying as schoolgirls, swimmers and sometimes little sisters. Curious travellers will certainly find something to write home about, but maid cafes are probably best avoided while on a family holiday.
Maid Cafe Locations
Cure Maid Cafe (the first maid cafe): Gee Store 6F, Soto-Kanda 3-15-5, Chiyoda-ku
Schatz Kiste: Hasegawa Building 1F, Soto-Kanda 6-5-11, Chiyoda-ku
@home Cafe: Moe Maid Heaven: Mitsuwa Building 4F-7F, Soto-Kanda 1-11-4, Chiyoda-ku
Cos-cha (back to school): Soto-Kanda 3-7-12-2F, Chiyoda-ku
Nagomi (little sister cafe): Zenitani 2F, Soto-Kanda 1-8-4, Chiyoda-ku
Popopure (English friendly): 2F, Soto-Kanda 1-8-10, Chiyoda-ku
Still haven’t filled your cuteness quota? You’ll be amazed by the hedgehogs at Harry, with their tiny snouts, little smiles and soft underbellies. Possibly one of the best animal cafes in Tokyo, Harry is home to numerous hedgehogs. You’re allowed to pick out your favourite hedgehog for a long cuddle and play. Make a reservation and get ready to have your heart stolen by one of these cuddly creatures.
2F, 6-7-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
7. Cat Cafes
Although they’re a novelty for visitors, cat cafes are actually a staple in the Tokyo dining scene. Japan has more cat cafes than any other country in the world and Tokyo is home to about 39 of them. Duck into one of these cafes, and you’ll be able to eat, drink and lounge while playing with the cute and cuddly felines. Travelling with your own furry companion? Stay at the pet-friendly Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, a five-star hotel with an on-site day spa.
Cat Cafe Locations
Neko Jalala: 3-5-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo Prefecture
Nyafe Melange: 1-7-13 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku
Hapi Neko: 2-28-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
Temari no Ouchi: 2-13-14 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino-shi
Cat Cafe Kyariko Kichijoji: 1-5-7 Kichijoji Minamicho, Musashino-shi
Like many of the dining establishments on this list, Tokyo’s Alice in Wonderland cafes transport you to a land of mythical beauty. Inspired by the classic fairy tale, each of the city’s five restaurants boasts fantasy-fuelled decor including antique lounges, masquerade mirrors, giant books and chandeliers. One cafe has tea cups hanging from the ceiling, while another has a Cheshire Cat dance floor. Lovers of literature will find their perfect home base at Book and Bed Tokyo, a budget hotel with a comprehensive library.
Alice in Wonderland Cafe Locations
Alice in a Labyrinth: Sun building 5F, 8-8-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Alice in a Fantasy Book: Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 1-6-2 T-wing building B2F
Alice in Magical Land: 3rd Floor 160-0023 Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 1-5-1 Shinjuku Nishiguchi Hulk Underground
Alice in an Old Castle: Building 3 B1 171-0022 Tokyo Toshima-ku, 2-16-8 Minami-Ikebukuro Fujikyu building east
Alice in a Dancing Land: 150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Udagawa-cho No. 16 No.9 zero gate Underground 1F
You don’t need to love ninjas to appreciate Ninja Akasaka, but it certainly helps. This cafe is fully committed to its theme with Japanese castle-style decor, ninja guides, katanas, ninja stars and ninja waiters who sneak up on you. It all contributes to the lively ambience, but it’s not the lone highlight. The creative dishes served here include Japanese cuisine along with French, Italian and Chinese.
Ninja Akasaka Location
2-14-3, Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyu plaza Akasaka 1F
This particular Tokyo restaurant has embraced the history and youthful novelty of trains. It opened one year after the Tokaido Shinkansen, better known as the “Bullet Train”, and has captured the dreams of train lovers everywhere. Niagara is actually a curry house, filled with train memorabilia including station signs and railway lights. You pick your meal at a ticket vending machine, sit in old train carriage seats and have your meal delivered via a model railway.
1-21-2 Yutenji, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
11. Owl Cafes
You’ll learn soon enough that Japan loves pairing coffee with animals. Owl cafes are another magical world where you can pet, hold and take photos with owls while enjoying your morning coffee. The owls are very familiar with humans, but you will need to avoid sudden movements and heavy petting. Most owl cafes allow children older than three to enter, which means the whole family can meet the cute owls.
Owl Cafe Locations
Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe: 67 Kanda Neribeicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to, 101-0022
Ikefukuro Cafe: 4-24-8, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Cafe Baron: 3 Chome-10-5 Koenjikita, Suginami, Tokyo
Tori no Iru Cafe: Seven Star Mansion, 1st floor, 2-6-7 Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Imagine a restaurant with a mushroom disco, a giant bunny drinking milk like a baby, an enormous jellyfish over its bar and macaroons on the walls. This is exactly what you can expect at Kawaii Monster Cafe, one of Tokyo’s strangest eateries. The servers appear just as crazy, dressed as candy-toting avatars with fairy floss hair.
Kawaii Monster Cafe Location
4-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
This artsy cafe in the middle of Shibuya definitely fits in with the neighbourhood. Its most recognisable residents are two utterly adorable goats called Sakura and Chocolat. Best buddies for life, the friendly goats are always eager for a pat, and you can take them for a walk by pre-booking. The affordable and hearty fare is another highlight, including pasta, pizzas and beef stew.
Sakuragaoka Goat Cafe Location
23-3 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
14. Zauo Shinjuku: Fishing Restaurant
We challenge you to find fresher seafood than that served at Zauo Shinjuku. Tokyo’s famous “fishing restaurant” has a massive aquarium in the middle, complete with a wooden ship. After you’ve been seated, it’s time to cast a line out and catch your dinner. It’s tougher than it looks, but once you reel one in, the expert chefs will prepare it to your liking, whether you prefer sashimi, deep fried, sushi or grilled.
Zauo Shinjuku Location
Shinjuku Washington Hotel 1F, 3-2-9, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Do you prefer scales over fur? Yokohama Subtropical Teahouse is home to dozens of reptiles including lizards, snakes and giant tortoises. While most are in glass tanks, the tortoises can be seen roaming around the cafe. Numerous varieties of craft tea are paired with delicious treats including pork scones. Cuddle sessions take place regularly throughout the day, or you can simply watch the animals from your table. The four-star Hilltop Yamanoue Hotel Tokyo boasts an equally unique atmosphere with an old-school decor, a wine cellar and a boutique bar.
Yokohama Subtropical Teahouse Location
Naka-ku, Yokohama, Chojamachi 8-133, 2F
Embrace the Weird in Tokyo
You shouldn’t visit Tokyo if you’re seeking another mundane holiday full of the usual run-of-the-mill experiences. Tokyo offers strange and wacky attractions around every corner, including unique restaurants and cafes, which present memorable dining moments you won’t find anywhere else.
You’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world that does better-themed dining than Tokyo. The same goes for its quirky hotels, which range from cosy capsules and castles to libraries and pet-friendly havens. These accommodation choices also provide excellent affordability, service and on-site extras, such as saunas and bars.
When it comes to dining in Tokyo, you can’t pass up experiencing at least one of these weird cafes. We’d probably pick the hedgehog cafe or robot restaurant. What about you? Let us know in the comments below.