Tokyo is known for its cleanliness, efficiency, technology... and its high degree of quirk. The massive Japanese capital is home to approximately 35 million people, and seemingly just as many “only in Tokyo” experiences to be had.
Ready to explore? From interacting with hedgehogs over tea to eating at a vampire-themed restaurant to having a mini clone of yourself made, here are seven unusual things to do in Tokyo.
Go to a Pet Cafe
Japan is a massive salute to cute, and nowhere is that more evident than in Tokyo’s bustling pet cafe scene. Since apartments in Tokyo tend to be tiny, it’s rare for residents to own pets. So when they want to spend time with furry (or occasionally feathered or scaly) friends, they visit a pet cafe.
Niche pet cafes abound in the city, with designated cafes featuring a variety of animals, including cats, owls, hedgehogs, rabbits, goats, and — who could forget — mini pigs.
Dine like Dracula
Steak isn’t the only thing that’s bloody on the menu at Vampire Cafe. Entering the establishment is like walking into Dracula’s personal dining room: It’s decked out with red velvet everywhere and a floor printed with a red blood-cell pattern.
From tiny skulls decorating the tables to coffin-shaped desserts, spooky details abound in this Gothic wonderland. It’s truly a dining experience to die for!
Visit the Statue of Liberty
Nope, that’s not a typo. While the original statue is still standing in New York, there’s a smaller replica you can visit in Tokyo.
It was originally a temporary display to honor Japan’s relationship with France, but it was so beloved that it was brought back from retirement and remains standing.
While the statue is large, it’s only about 1/7 the size of the original. However, with a suspension bridge visible in the background, if you squint and position yourself just-so, you can imagine yourself in the Empire State for a New York minute.
Fun fact: This is just one of three replicas of the famous statue in Japan. The other two are in Osaka and Aomori.
Create a Clone
Looking for an easy way to immortalize yourself? At places like The Clone Factory and Create Me in Tokyo, you can create an alarmingly realistic synthetic doll in your own image.
The process involves mapping and then printing a 3-D model of your head. Then, your mini-head is paired with a body and outfit of your choosing to create a mini doll that looks just like you. Voila! The perfect toy to creep out your family and friends.
Artists rejoice! Pigment Tokyo is an epic art supply store unlike any other. Their specialty? Color pigment.
To the uninitiated, pigment is the condensed powder from which paint is made. Purchasing the pigment itself offers artists much greater versatility and the ability to use it with any sort of base, depending on their artistic style.
With a gorgeous interior designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the simple design lets the pigment, available in a huge variety of colors, really take center stage. Even non-artists will be wowed by the experience of walking into this unique space.
Get Up Close and Personal With Parasites
The Meguro Parasitological Museum was established to present the diversity of parasites to the world.
In this museum, you’ll find all sorts of creepy-crawly exhibits, including sections dedicated to parasites that infect humans and parasites that infect animals. But the big draw? The world’s longest tapeworm, which measures in at 8.8 meters (or just shy of 30 feet).
Grab a token to remember your visit forever: the museum shop has plenty of parasite-themed paraphernalia, including t-shirts, keychains, and more.
Pay Homage to Man’s Best Friend
Near Shibuya Station in Tokyo, there’s a monument of a dog. But not just any dog.
Hachikō was a purebred Akita and the pet of a professor in Tokyo. Every day he’d walk his master to the train station and then meet him when he got off the train in the evening so that they could walk home together.
Sadly, one day the professor had a stroke and never returned home on the train. Undeterred, Hachikō continued to meet the train at the appointed hour — for the next nine years. Viewed as an inspiring example of devotion, the bronze statue of Hachikō is a popular meeting spot near bustling Shibuya Station.
Get a Taste of the Real Tokyo
Why stick to traditional tourism when you can really experience something different? From cute to quirky to downright weird, you can enjoy all sorts of unusual and unique experiences in Tokyo.