21 Hidden Secrets in Tokyo
These are my carefully selected 21 hidden secrets & best places in Tokyo which I've visited 4x times and includes gems like the Parasite Museum, Robot Restaurant, Kawaii Monster Cafe and tips for the vivid Tokyo nightlife.
Too many boring travel guides are available these days for Tokyo and are all-the-same, that's why I dug deep into this city to bring you the best hidden spots.
1. Memory Lane
Best place for Yakitori meat skewers and traditional atmosphere.
Japan, 〒160-0023 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−2 埼玉屋弍号店
Most bizarre show in Japan with scarcely dressed girls.
Japan, 〒160-0021 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukichō, 1 Chome−7−4 ＴＡＲＯ’ＳＢＬＤＧ
3. Golden Gai
257 bars with some fitting no more than 5 guests.
1 Chome-1-5 Kabukichō, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0021, Japan
4. Shidax Karaoke
Most epic karaoke room in Tokyo on the top floor with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Japan, 〒160-0021 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukichō, 1 Chome−5−2 ＫＵビル
5. New York Bar
The famous bar from the movie Lost in Translation with Scarlett Johansson & Bill Murray
Shinjuku Park Tower, 3 Chome-7-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0023, Japan
Grotesque parasites and strange organisms at the Parasitological Museum.
Japan, 〒153-0064 Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku, Shimomeguro, 4 Chome−1−1 公益財団法人目黒寄生虫館
Local traditional mix in combination with Shochu which is 25%
Japan, 〒166-0003 Tōkyō-to, Suginami-ku, Kōenjiminami, 3 Chome−58−17 ゆたか荘
8. Quail Eggs
Chewy & delicious but strange appetizer
Japan, 〒166-0003 Tōkyō-to, Suginami-ku, Kōenjiminami, 3 Chome−58 Ｔ・Ｕ・ＣＳＨＯＰ高円寺中央店
9. Cafe Crepe Laforet
Most delicious crepes in Harajuku, try the custard, chocolate & banana.
1 Chome-11-6 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0001, Japan
10. Harajuku Kawaii!! Room
Are you broke? Visit the FREE karaoke room in Harajuku, score 90% and win a FREE crepe.
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 3 Chome−22−12 昭和軒
Brand-new and super colorful cafe in the heart of Harajuku, try their spaghetti.
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 4 Chome−31−10 ＹＭスクウェア原宿
Most epic fashion in the world, usually years ahead of global fashion world.
13. Campus Summit
Annual youth & gyaru festival in August including live music shows and fashion shows of popular brands.
14. Gal Cafe 10sion
Meet the Japanese Gyaru girls at their own cafe 10sion, only Japanese is spoken though.
Cute and delicious French wine bar located behind Shibuya 109, try their ratatouille.
Try the most bizarre Ice-Cream in the world like Indian Curry, Beef Tongue, Shark Fin & Basil.
17. KitKat Chocolatory
Did you know Japan is crazy for KitKat, with more than 40+ flavours, this place will surprise you!
18. Ukon No Chikara
Want to have a productive day after drinking? Ukon-no-chikara will prevent a hangover! Drink it before you go out.
Most fashion-inspired and up-scale nightlife in Tokyo, gorgeous Japanese girls and guys hit the clubs usually after 1am. Not much English is spoken. Go to: T2, Vision & Camelot.
Nightlife in the Roppongi district may be more fitting for you if you don't speak Japanese, enjoy great clubs like: New Lex, Jumanji 55 & Muse.
Japan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 5 Chome−5−1 ミニヨンビル
21. Wagyu Beef
Most expensive and delicious meat available due to the high-levels of fat marbling. Make sure to try it at Takafuku, Haneda Airport before you fly out.
Haneda Airport International Terminal, 2-6-5 Hanedakūkō, Ōta-ku, 東京都 144-0041, Japan
The places featured in the detailed video above are split up by district so you can easily do multiple things in the same area to save yourself precious time.
My favorite place in Shinjuku is memory lane for the best Yakitori skewers and raw whale meat and raw horse meat if you really want to go hardcore.
Tokyo can be very expensive if you don't know what you are doing but luckily there are some FREE things to do as well, like Harajuku Kawaii Room where you can win a FREE crepe if you sing like an angel and score 90%.
I personally recommend going all out because there are so many amazing things to do you do not want to cheap-out, saving up a few months extra will be worth every penny in the end. A very-rough budget for 2 awesome weeks for 1-person would be around a $1000 flight, $1000 hotel and $1500 for transit, shopping, food, events, museums & party = around $3500 to start.
The first thing you have to remember about Tokyo is that it doesn't have an actual city center, but has huge districts with each their own city center. Everything is very spread out in this massive metropolitan city so try to at least visit a new district every day. For instance: Shinjuku, Harajuku & Shibuya on day 1. Roppongi, Chiyoda, Akasaka, Tsukiji & Ginza on day 2 and Akihabara, Ikebukuro and Koenji on day 3.
My favorite way to explore a city is to go jogging, you'll be surprised what you may find. Many of these photos where taken at places I randomly walked into, places you will never see on a guided tour.
After a long jog you'll be energized enough to explore the vivid and insane Tokyo nightlife. I recommend either Shibuya, if you know a little Japanese, or Roppongi if you feel more comfortable in an environment where people are able to speak English. But remember the nightlife doesn't really start until 1am, the Japanese party hard until 5am at most places.
I would love to know if my article was helpful and if so, please leave a comment below and let me know which place seems most interesting to you? Or let me know if you want more information about a specific place I mentioned.
Do you want more travel tips for Tokyo? UPDATED: Wed 18th, January, 2017
- Tokyo Snake Center, Owl Cafe, Penguin Bar and Bunny Rabbit Cafe are 4 amazing animal cafes in Tokyo worth a visit.
- 21 Incredible Places in Tokyo is my initial guide for Tokyo with touristy places-of-interest in this massive city.
- Hayama Beach in Zushi has mesmerizing views of Mount Fuji, check it out in summer when time permits.
- Sumo Wrestling is Japan's national sport. At Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium you can watch the national competitions. This guide includes my 17 Sumo Secrets to prepare yourself accordingly.
- Zauo self-fishing restaurant in Shinjuku is a restaurant where you have to catch your own fish for dinner.
- Ultimate Sushi Guide for Tokyo is my latest guide that will provide you with my carefully selected best sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
- Pig Ears or Raw Chicken are some of the bizarre dishes you can try in Tokyo.
- Sensation Tokyo, Agefarre & Ultra Japan are the most popular music festivals in Tokyo and worth every penny, a sound-feast for EDM fanatics.
- Edo-Tokyo Museum exhibits the history of Tokyo, its glorious days and less glorious days.
- Comiket is the largest comic book festival in the world and cosplay eye-candy for any Anime fanatic.
- DisneySea considered the best theme park in Japan by many locals.
- 12 Amazing Places in Shinjuku is a great guide if you're staying primarily in the financial district of Tokyo.