The Weirdest Things to Do in Tokyo

 Japan has a solid reputation as a place with lots of fun and unique stuff to do, from trying strange food and drink, to using futuristic toilet seats, to a visit random desert just across the way from China. Given this fact, it makes sense that Tokyo should be one of the quirkiest cities in the world.

The good news is that if you're on the lookout for weird things to do in Tokyo, you have a lifetime worth of them to do. The bad news is that it would literally take a lifetime for you to see all the weird things there are to see in Tokyo, so follow the list below to save yourself a few decades.

  • 01 of 05
    Robot Restaurant
    ••• Yep, they're actually robots. Cory Doctrow via Wikimedia Commons

    Japan is not only ultra-weird, but ultra-modern, so it wouldn't be entirely surprising if the robots at the so-called "Robot Restaurant" in Shinjuku were actually, well, robots. Unfortunately for you A.I. aficionados, while much of the paraphernalia at the Robot Restaurant, which has a hefty 6,000-yen entry fee, are indeed fully mechanized, the scantily-clad robogirls who dance and serve food here are mere humans dressed in android costumes.

  • 02 of 05
    Cat Cafe
    ••• Kitties in the city – visit one of Tokyo's Cat Cafés. Robert Schrader

    Located several stops north of Tokyo station via train or metro, Ikebukuro is slightly removed from the mayhem of Tokyo, but don't let its (relatively) quiet ambiance fool you: There's plenty of weirdness to go around. After having lunch at a dirt-cheap, conveyor belt sushi restaurants, head east away from Ikebukuro staton until you reach Nekorobi Cat Cafe, where you can pet as many as two dozen cats (depending on the day) as you sip a variety of coffees, teas and other beverages.

  • 03 of 05
    ••• Akihabara is paradise for anime addicts. Danny Choo via Creative Commons

    Unless you were living under a rock during the Pokemon craze of the late 1990s, you associate Japan with anime. If you've still "gotta catch 'em all," head to Tokyo's de-facto anime district of  Akihabara, whose shops are close to a real-life Pokeball as you're going to get. Akihabara is also a hub for non-anime movies and videos games and really, tech in general, so even if you're a geek of the less anime-obsessed sort, you're sure to feel at home here.

  • 04 of 05

    Street Style in Harajuku

    Harajuku Street Style
    ••• Just another day in Harajuku!. Robert Schrader

    Speaking of things that were popular in the past, who can forget the first chapter of Gwen Stefani's solo career, when she sang about "Harajuku Girls" and their "wicked style"? Gwen Stefani for one probably, given the controversy that arose during that era. Casual racism notwithstanding, the former No Doubt frontwoman was right about one thing: few spots in Tokyo are better for scoping out otherworldly street style than Harajuku, and in particular Yoyogi Park on Sundays. 

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Capsule Hotel Tokyo
    ••• Nope, that's not a morgue – it's where you're sleeping!. Chris 73 via Wikimedia Commons

    It takes mere seconds on the streets of Tokyo (or in its metro system, or flying over it in the air for that matter) to realize that space is limited here, to say nothing of how much the price of real estate here hammers that point home. Thankfully for travelers who are on a budget, several hoteliers have turned both these truths on end to offer one of the most creative accommodation options ever: The Capsule Hotel.

    As its name suggests, a capsule hotel consists of tiny sleeping "capsules" that are built into a wall like honeycombs. Note that many capsule hotels are male-only, and that you if you stay in Tokyo for many days, you probably won't be able to store your things in your capsule during the daytime due to cleaning.