Funky things to do in Tokyo.
Updated: Jan 13
Japan itself is full of new experiences and a culture that I’d never experience before. I wanted to write about all of wacky, crazy adventures we had on our trip!
It’s actually called Henn na Hotel in Tokyo Ginza, but we just referred to it as Robot Hotel while we were there. We didn’t stay the night, but you certainly can book yourself a night there! I’m not sure if I’m there yet… Yes, the robots actually do talk to you! It felt so futuristic, and I would suggest popping by.
Where to begin? Harajuku is a MUST when coming to Tokyo. It’s exactly what you picture. Bright colorful walls, crazy souvenir shops selling puff ball shoes & sweaters, rainbow makeup, funky hats, anything that relates to “pop-culture,” you name it! We basically spent a full day in Harajuku.
We were there around the New Year, and during that time some of the stores will sell Fukubukuro aka Lucky New Year shopping bags. If you go to a store, like everything and aren’t sure what to buy, you can buy a Lucky Bag that will have a little bit of everything inside of them. It’s a great way to spend your money if you’re on a budget and get a little slice of Japanese pop-culture. You are basically getting a lot of items for way less than you’d regularly pay for them, but there are limited amounts of Fukubukuro’s, so hurry!
When we were in Harajuku we sought out the rainbow cotton candy & snacks at Totti Candy Factory. Of course, like all touristy spots, there is a long line but it’s totally worth it. The cotton candy counter is upstairs, and the savory-rainbow-food is downstairs. I split from the group and went downstairs to get the rainbow grilled cheese. Say what you want, but it was one of the best I’ve ever had! All my friends played it safe and got the cotton candy.
While you’re in Harajuku, you have got to stop by the photo booths called Purikura. They’re photo booths that you can go to with your friends (or by yourself) and design how you want the photos to be printed. After you take the photos there is a large computer screen that lets you add text, stickers, effect, anything you want. It’s inexpensive and a great memory to save in your wallet!
Order ramen through a vending machine
This isn’t the most revolutionary invention, but none the less a cool part about being in Japan. Instead of going up to a counter and ordering your food, or ordering from a waiter, a lot of restaurants have vending machines. You can order what type of ramen you want based on the photo and price, pay for it, then give your ticket to the counter. The Japanese like to keep to themselves, and honestly, I respect that! This is such a great way to order.
Go to a pet store
This was a huge culture shock for me. We went to a pet store, but the catch was there were pets out of the cages. There were owls (tethered to a stand), but still out and about, a tortoise and dogs walking around the store. There are tons of these pet stores around that you can find. There also are hedgehog and cat cafés all around Japan, but I heard they’re a rip off and not worth your money.
Go to a Japanese Arcade
If you’re over seeing all the tourist things, stop by a Japanese arcade in Shibuya! It wasn’t much different from a regular arcade, you still have to pay to play the games, but the prizes are different and the games (I swear) are more fun.
There are so many funky things to do in Japan, after all, it's one of the largest cities in the world. I hope these give you an idea of what to do in Japan that's not the "norm" other places!