Hop aboard a swimming bus… and 87 other great things to do in Tokyo. Whether you're watching bikini-clad women battle it out with steel clunkers at Robot Restaurant, seeing the sights from the sky at one of the many fine rooftop restaurants or slurping down some heavenly noodles at one of Tokyo's best ramen bars, there's always something going on in the neon city. Time Out Tokyo has your ultimate guide.
Opened in 2012, the unique-looking truss cantilever bridge that stretches across Tokyo Bay is nicknamed ‘Dinosaur Bridge’ (it’s obvious why when you see it) and features a pedestrian walkway offering superb views of the cityscape. (Note that the bridge is accessible from Wakasu Seaside Park.) Pedestrian pass of Tokyo Gate BridgeRead more
Siesta in a capsule...
Stay overnight or for a power nap or even just for a shower (¥700) at this neat and tidy capsule hotel that's just one minute from Ebisu Station. They have several reasonable rate plans so you can choose what's best for your needs – if you're staying the night the price starts at ¥3,500. Booking is not essential. Siesta
Tenugui (traditional Japanese hand towels made from dyed cotton cloth) are back in vogue and here you'll find classic patterns and seasonal motifs such as flying carp streamers and fireworks. Wear one as an accessory or hang it up on the wall as part of your decor. KamawanuRead more
Want to find out what Tokyo's animal cafés are all about? This new owl café recently opened in Shinjuku and for ¥1,500 per hour (¥1,800 on weekends and holidays) you can feed the big-eyed birds at certain times and let them sit on your shoulder. Booking essential. MohumohuRead more
Freeze-dried food manufacturer Amano Jitsugyo's shop carries everything from miso soup to Japanese-style curry, all in rock-hard, moisture-free form. Use the store's free hot water supplier to dig into your space food right then and there. Amano Freeze-Dried StationRead more
Fall in love with scribbling all over again at this specialist stationery shop. Kakimori’s range of pens, inks and letter sets are chosen for comfort of use, while the order-made notebooks come in an infinitely customisable selection of covers, paper and bindings. KakimoriRead more
Yanagi Soetsu, a central figure in the Japanese folk art movement, created this museum in 1936 to spotlight such mingei pieces. See ceramics, woodwork and other everyday items from Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, collected at a time when their beauty wasn’t recognised. Japan Folk Crafts MuseumRead more
The hamburg, as they call it in Tokyo, is a beef patty served like a steak. This restaurant, found on the second basement floor of Coredo Muromachi 2, specialises in aged wagyu and lets you choose your own mix of meat (beef, pork or mixed) for your hamburg along with a sauce. At dinner time, it turns into an izakaya-style restaurant, but you can still order the hamburg although availability may be limited. NakaseiRead more
Packed with all things kawaii (cute), this kooky café is like a fantastical merry-go-round thanks to the decor by Harajuku heavy-hitter Sebastian Masuda. It features four OTT seating in areas labelled Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, Bar Experiment and Mel-Tea Room. Kawaii Monster CafeRead more
Kabukicho’s entertainment options just got better with the launch of this fun new museum that shows off real Japanese samurai armour (you can even try it on and take pics of yourself dressed as a warrior). Each piece has caption info written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Samurai Museum
A good falafel joint is hard to find in Tokyo, and it's one of those rare foods that we'd walk halfway across town for. The ¥1,380 falafel lunch set here starts with a small cup of pumpkin soup and moves on to Israeli salad, hummus, falafel, pita and fries. Ta-imRead more
Shop up an electric storm...
Labi – the ‘city’ version of the ‘country’ electronics chain Yamada Denki – has just launched its concept store near the Yaesu exit of Tokyo Station. Spanning 11 storeys, with each floor called a ‘stage’, this is your new go-to shop for electronic products and services. Tax-free shopping and multilingual guides for foreign tourists available. Concept Labi Tokyo
One of Japan’s traditional crafts, Amezaiku is the art of making tiny candy sculptures. Using a special pair of tiny scissors, craftsmen produce detailed chiselled treats, often in the shape of animals. Buy a selection here or head over to the main store in Asakusa, Amezaiku Ameshin, to try a workshop for ¥3,000 (booking essential). Ameshin Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi branchRead more
One of Japan’s most popular sake brands, Dassai has opened this bar on the first basement floor of Tokyo Square Garden. Enjoy the brand’s various types of sake, including sparkling and nigori, and choose from five sake tasting sets, most notably the exclusive Dassai Beyond. Buy your favourite bottle from the inhouse store for later. Dassai Bar 23Read more
The main bonus of this hotel is that the rooms come equipped with cooking facilities, but we also love that it's close to Shinjuku Station; you can choose between 'simple' and 'renovated' rooms; and there's an antiques store with Japanese vintage clothing and furniture on the premises. Apartment Hotel ShinjukuRead more
Kenzo Tange's domineering building is worth visiting purely to have a good look at its spectacular edifice, but it's also home to a pair of free observation decks that have become a popular stop on many tourist itineraries. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building ObservatoriesRead more
Its decor might be more fitting for a fancy café than a vinyl store, but this doesn't mean they're not serious about records. They stock more than 3,000 albums, predominantly rock, folk and jazz, mainly imported from California. Be sure to check out the ¥1,000 section, great for uncovering classic rock recordings. Best Sound RecordsRead more
A fire destroyed this traditional soba shop in February 2013, leading to a lengthy break in operations and much hand-wringing among Tokyo’s buckwheat noodle enthusiasts. Fortunately enough, Yabusoba rose from the ashes in October 2014 and is now back to serving both excellent soba and a wide variety of tasty side dishes. Kanda YabusobaRead more
Even in the middle of Harajuku, Sebastian Masuda’s lurid pink boutique stands out. This shrine to the ‘shockingly cute’ offers an array of accessories and clothing in some truly eye-popping colours, with motifs such as hearts, stars and unicorns. 6% DokidokiRead more
A hip darts bar with an even hipper 'i TOWER' drinks machine that serves a cocktail of Hennesy Cognac and iced black tea. Look out for seasonal events – Halloween and Christmas are the obvious ones, of course, but in summer join in the traditional Japanese 'flowing noodle' event. i Darts Tokyo
December 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of Tokyo Station whose red-brick facade is a prominent reminder of Japan’s rush to modernisation in the early 20th century – and it’s looking even better after its six-year restoration, completed in 2012. Tokyo StationRead more