Tokyo is a maze of wonder with each turn revealing something new. From the bustling streets adorned in neon flashing excitement, to the tranquil gardens and temples tucked away from it all. Whatever your interest, Tokyo has you covered. It is no wonder that Tokyo has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with over 24 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2016. Each district offers its own unique personality and charm, which is why a trip to Tokyo guarantees an adventure for anyone. If you’re into gaming, however, this place is for you! Here are the musts for any gamer going through Tokyo.
5. Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park is located in the trendy teen fashion district of Shibuya. Its a perfect example of serenity found amidst the chaos of Tokyo. As one of the city’s largest parks, Yoyogi is ideal for a peaceful walk while taking in some of the cities beautiful scenery. It is also home to various street performers, making each trip to Yoyogi a fun and new experience. From traveling magicians dressed in elaborate costumes, to the Japanese “Rokabillies” brandishing a greaser style pompadour and an attitude. It’s a perfect place to meet friends, attend an “Ohanami” cherry blossom viewing in the spring, or to take a breather from the overcrowded madness of Shibuya.
4. Tokyo Arcade
When you think of arcades, you might think of those decrepit relics taking up space at your local mall. Not in Japan. Arcades in Japan are still alive and well! In fact, Japanese arcades are thriving and have something for both young and old. Need some souvenirs for friends back home? Why not test your skills on one of the many types of claw machines. And no, these machines aren’t rigged like the ones back home. Prizes range from your standard stuffed animals, to clothing, food, and even expensive electronics.
Claw machines aren’t your thing? Why not step into a “Purikura” photo booth with your friends and create some unique mementos of your trip to Japan. “Purikura” are an outrageously fun aspect of modern Japanese culture. Basically, you step into a photo booth, choose your theme and settings, and take some pictures. Afterwords, you ca edit the pictures on a screen with your friends. Enlarge your eyes, adjust your skin color, apply fake eye lashes, dress yourself in ridiculous animated clothing, you can do it all in these machines. With floor upon floor dedicated to these machines, your options are endless.
Still not interested? Unleash your inner dork and unload your pockets in to an arcade machine. Japanese arcades have floors dedicated to your favorite retro style games, modern games, and “Pachinko” slot machines. Whats better is that certain floors are adults only, where you can have a drink while playing your favorite arcade games.
J-World is an indoor theme park located in a large shopping center in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City. Inside you will find a variety of games and rides centered around the wildly famous animes Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, and many more. Wield a Dragon radar as you scour a dungeon in search of the dragon balls. Test your kamehameha skills alongside Goku in a VR battlefield. Ride the Mini Merry through a One Piece themed haunted roller coaster. Or, relax in the cafeteria with a bowlful of Naruto’s famous ramen. Whether you’re familiar with the animes or not, J-World is a great place to have some fun after an afternoon of shopping in Ikebukuro.
2. Maid Cafe
A trip to Tokyo is not complete without a visit to Akihibara, Tokyo’s electronic district. This district is home to all the eccentricities that Japan has to offer. With the air of a Disney theme park and the perversions of a high school anime nerd, a stroll through Akihibara is an experience to say the least. It’s definitely worth the trip, if only to watch the maids patrol the streets, looking to lure potential customers to their respective maid cafes.
If you’re not familiar, a maid cafe is a cosplay restaurant where the waitresses dress in maid outfits. Essentially, they are modern Japan’s rendition of geisha. The maid’s job is to entertain through song, games, and ceaseless attention. As a tourist, a trip to a maid cafe can be the literal definition of culture shock. However, it is a type of awkward fun that only Japan can offer. If you’re a woman and this all seems a little demeaning to you, don’t worry, Japan has you covered with equally embarrassing and memorable Butler Cafes. Here, women can receive all the same excitement and unnecessary attention while simultaneously treated like a princess.
1. Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo’s Kabukicho is best described as utter insanity. It is half video game induced acid trip, half remarkably orchestrated theatrical performance. The shows here are the embodiment of all your “crazy Japan” stereotypes. You’re sure to leave in awe as you fail to make sense of what you just experienced. The restaurant is filled with seizure inducing lights, giant battling robots, bikini clad warriors, giant animals, insane pyrotechnics, and absurdities beyond imagination. The Robot Restaurant is a guaranteed once in a lifetime experience that can not be adequately described with words. If you’re in Tokyo and looking for something different, the Robot Restaurant is the quintessential Tokyo experience.
Tokyo is like no other city on the planet. From the parks, to the entertainment, to the way it caters to its own outlandish stereotypes. A trip to Tokyo will provide lasting memories and stories to tell for a lifetime. If you’re planning to go, don’t hesitate. It will be an experience you won’t regret.
**Feature image credit DocChewbacca