The Japanese capital is a repository for all things bizarre. These quirky attractions and activities will surely make your holiday one to remember
Sleep in the company of Godzilla
Forget the usual themed hotels. Hotel Gracery Shinjuku (1-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, +81 3 6833 1111; shinjuku.gracery.com) stands out, quite literally, with its life-size Godzilla replica that peeks out from its eighth floor. While regular guestrooms are available, we’d recommend staying in the Godzilla Room to complete the experience. Here, you’ll find a giant Godzilla claw hovering over the bed, posters of the giant lizard plastered on the walls and themed amenities to boot.
Dine in a riot of color
Head to Kawaii Monster Café (4/F YM Square Building, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, +81 3 5413 6142; kawaiimonster.jp) for a meal you’ll never forget. The oddball décor here will stretch the limits of your imagination — think a gigantic merry-go-round in the center of the restaurant, giant milk bottles dangling from the ceiling, and walls festooned with giant macarons. The food — served by “Monster Girls” decked out in over-the-top outfits — is no less bizarre, with dishes like Rainbow Spaghetti on the menu.
Watch a robot cabaret show
At the campy Robot Restaurant (1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, +81 3 3200 5500; shinjuku-robot.com) in Tokyo’s red-light district, androids take center stage. Despite calling itself a restaurant, there’s really not much by way of eating here; instead, you can feast your eyes on bikini-clad women, who use cyborgs and tanks to stage mock battles.
Go on an adventure in Wonderland
Step into the looking glass and join the Mad Hatter for tea. Branches of Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant (alice-restaurant.com) are mushrooming all across the city; each outlet boasts its own unique aesthetic, which makes exploring all of them more fun. Begin your journey through Wonderland at Alice in a Labyrinth (5/F Sun Building, 8-8-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, +81 3 3574 6980), where you’ll get to dine in oversized teacups, or at tables fashioned to look like playing cards.
Game to your heart’s content
Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, is one of the wackiest neighborhoods in Tokyo. From an enormous Gundam statue to a replica of the Statue of Liberty, you’ll be forgiven for losing your bearings! Get your adrenaline pumping at Tokyo Joypolis (1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, +81 3 5500 1801; tokyo-joypolis.com), an indoor amusement park with thrilling rides, virtual reality attractions and even 3D movies galore, all themed around Sega video games.
Stock up on souvenirs
Venture into any Don Quijote (donki.com) store to bring a piece of the wacky city back home. This discount chain, which has outlets throughout Japan, sells it all, from obscure KitKat flavors (like wasabi and bean cake) to adorable bear-shaped eye masks and even electronics. We guarantee that you’ll walk out with more shopping bags full of omiyage than you can carry!
Have a hoot
Cat cafés are so last season. Make like Harry Potter and cozy up with owls at Akiba Fukurou (67 Kanda Neribeicho, Chiyoda; akiba2960.com), home to around 20 resident birds, from large eagle owls to tiny scops owls. Spend hours on end petting and feeding these regal creatures — some will even gamely perch on your arm for a photo.
Also read: How to navigate Tokyo like a pro