As you probably already know, Tokyo is full of some amazing and wonderful things to see and do. You might choose to visit Asakusa to see for an old town vide and to visit its famous Senso-ji Temple. Maybe you’re more into finding your favourite anime or mange and would prefer visiting Akihabara. You might even be in Tokyo for the fashion, in which case Harajuku or Ginza might be more up your alley.
But what if none of these appeal to you. What is you want to visit the truly weird and wacky side of Tokyo. So for all you adventurous travellers out there, here is a list of our top 10 alternative things to see and do in Tokyo.
Tokyo's Hidden Cathedral
The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel or shutoken gaikaku hōsuiro, is a massive cathedral of stone columns that protect Tokyo from flood waters. This structure like something out of a sci-fi movie site 50 meters underground, is 177 meters long and 78 meters wide. When not diverting water, the spectacular space is open to the public. This is also an awesome place for a dramatic photo shoots.
This journey to the centre of the earth is only 650 yen, however, you will need to book four weeks in advance so make sure it’s not in the rainy season. Typically, rainy season is from early June to late July. Like an annual rite of passage, summer in Japan is ushered in by humid days accented by the occasional downpour.
If you want to visit, you can actually find it in Saitama. You can find a link to there official website here.
Henn na Hotel
Staffed by multilingual robots (yes, robots), travelers are sure to have a memorable stay at the Henn-na Hotel located in Nagasaki, Japan. Robots (one of which is an English-speaking dinosaur robot) serve to check guests in and porter robots will carry luggage up to the guest rooms. A human staff is also on hand for guests 24/7 should a problem arise, but robots make up the main staff — and, yes, you can talk to them.
One of the Japanese definitions of “henn” means “to change,” which represents the hotel’s commitment “for evolution in striving for the extraordinary sensation and comfort that lies beyond the ordinary.” Another quirk of this innovative hotel is the use of facial recognition; with keyless locking and entry, guests need not worry about forgetting key cards during their stay. However, if facial recognition technology isn’t your thing, you can request a card key if you wish.
Link to there website here.
Okay, there are some interesting places on our list, but this is by far the strangest one. This is epitome of what most foreigners expect of strange Japanese culture mixed with a bit of tech and neon lights. Dinner and a shoe… and robots, why not.
Production value hear is high, and guests definitely get what they came for. It’s like a glitter factory exploded and the explosion was so loud and violent that it caused a unicorn to vomit rainbows all over the walls. It’s the most amazing sceptical of light and colour you’ll probably ever see in your life. The show isn’t cheap either, tickets start at 8,500 yen with meals starting at 1,500 yen. Although you’ll probably be so focused on the show that you’ll forget to eat.
Find out more through the link.
Okay, lets take a step back from the wild world of neon robots and glitter for a moment. How about a nice relaxing fishing trip?
Tokyo takes fresh seafood to the next level at Zauo, the restaurant chain where you can catch your own dinner. At the Shinjuku branch you’re greeted by a giant, boat-shaped seating area, and surrounding that is a moat teeming with all kinds of fish. Once you’re seated, you’ll be handed a fishing rod and some bait, after which you’re free to go fish. Bear in mind: there’s no such thing as ‘catch and release’ here. If you caught it, you bought it.
Expect to spend ¥4,000 to ¥5,000 on dinner, though the price varies according to catch. Zauo does fish well, and even grilled it’s moist and light.
Make a reservation here.
Mistral Bleu Train Bar
Mistral Bleu is a classic hole in the wall bar, or I guess in the case train car? Whatever it is, it’s good fun.
In Tokyo’s Roppongi neighbourhood, known for its lively club scene and monumental shopping centres, and skyscrapers. What does feel out of place, though, is an eruption of stickers and graffiti engulfing a metal contraption bulging out of this otherwise nondescript office tower. Welcome to the Train Bar, an actual train car just chilling on the streets of Tokyo, that transforms into one of the city’s coolest bars come sundown.
Locals and tourists alike love the Train Bar. The cozy space can accommodate around 30 people, so it’s easy to make friends with fellow patrons. (There’s no room to avoid them.) If you’re feeling especially convivial, ring the bell dangling off the ceiling to buy shots for everyone.
Check it out here.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
This is this largest hot-spring theme park in Japan, maybe even the world. This mega leisure complex in Odaiba near Tokyo Bay that features both indoor and outdoor hot springs, as well as a food and shopping arcade. It is conveniently located near the Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Monorail Line, about 20 minutes from Shimbashi Station. With its many malls, it’s also a great place to go shopping.
With a huge outdoor foot-bath river, Edo themed interior, it may not be your traditional osen experience, but it is definitely worth going to see.
Take a look at their website to learn more.