A careful mix of traditional and trendy, Tokyo is not your average city. Japan’s capital overflows with character down its impossibly crowded streets, at its tables of mouth-watering and often eye-popping cuisine, and amidst its flashing neon lights. The sprawling city, as one would imagine, plays host to a reputation for embracing the weird, wacky and over the top. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, you’ll want to add these quirky attractions to your list of weird things you can do in Tokyo.
Have Your Cellphone Blessed at the Kanda Myojin Shrine
If you can’t seem to hang on to your cellphone or your camera keeps letting you down, it might be time for some divine intervention. In Tokyo, you can have your cellphone blessed, for a fee of course, at the Shinto Kanda Myojin Shrine. Originally built in 730, the shine has been relocated and rebuilt over the years. Its current home is right in the heart of the Akihabara district of Tokyo, known for its shopping scene for electronics. If you don’t want to go through a whole ceremony for your cameras, cellphones and other electronics, you can just purchase a microchip-shaped good luck charm to take home and give your computer the proper support it might need to avoid a malfunction.
Check in to a Capsule Hotel
Space is limited in Tokyo so it isn’t surprising that capsule hotels would spring up around the city and the rest of Japan, offering guests the smallest of hotel rooms. These small sleeping compartments are often just open to men, but more and more are now offering women-only floors. While you probably wouldn’t want to stay for a couple of weeks in what is mostly just a bed, an outlet and a reading light, these quirky hotels showcase the city’s great utilization of space.
Try Not to Be Sick at the Meguro Parasitological Museum
It wouldn’t quite be a trip to Tokyo without a visit to a unique museum space. Perhaps the city’s most unusual and arguably stomach churning museum is the Meguro Parasitological Museum. Founded in 1953, the museum displays hundreds of parasites that found animal and human hosts at some point or another. Your skin will particularly crawl when you come upon the museum’s big highlight, the world’s largest tapeworm measuring in at 8.8 meters! Before you head back out into the real world and with new plans to probably skip lunch, you can pick up all your necessary parasite-themed souvenirs at the gift shop. It’s also supposedly the only parasite museum in the world. Imagine that!
Dine with Robots at the Robot Restaurant
If you’ve always wanted to jump inside a video game, you can (in some respects) make a flight booking to Tokyo just to go to the Robot Restaurant. As its name would suggest, the establishment offers up the ultimate dinner-and-a-show experience with robots, screens, graphics, performers, and laser lights. While it all might appear to be just a chaotic mess, it is actually an orchestrated performance. The Robot Restaurant has become a bit of a tourist draw. As one would expect, it’s not really about a good meal here, but rather a zany performance of tussling robots.
Have you visited Tokyo’s weird side? Share your favorite quirky things to do in the city with us in the comments below!