5 OF TOKYO’S WEIRDEST CAFÉS
No force in existence can put a halt to Japan’s love affair with the bizarre. From ridiculous game shows to wild beauty trends, Japan never fails to disappoint those on the hunt for the unusual. One of Japan’s most popular oddities is its famed themed cafés. Allow yourself to be charmed by Japan and its classically weird culture with these 10 themed cafés.
1. Cat Cafés
Lounge on a cozy sofa, drink in hand, and close your eyes to the sweet chorus of cats purring. No, this is not the memoir of a crazy cat lady—it’s something just as riveting. Open your sheltered eyes to the happiness and magic that is a cat café. Japan holds the record for the most cat cafés in the world, with as many as 39 in Tokyo. These enchanting places allow people to eat, drink and lounge in the company of cats. From pure breeds to ex-strays, cat cafés house a variety of felines eager to play and cuddle with customers. The real beauty of these cafés lies with their support and promotion of cat adoptions. Most of these lovable balls of fur are open for adoption and entrance fees are used for the care of the cats. So, get your fix of fluffy love and help a whiskered friend at one of Japan’s famed cat cafés!
2. Robot Restaurant
Visit Robot Restaurant and you’ll believe in placebo acid trips. You’ll have no idea what happened or what you just witnessed, but trust me—you’ll have one hell of a time. Multi-colored laser lights, flashy half-naked dancers, giant gaudy robots doing who knows what, this restaurant provides a trippy energetic experience you won’t find anywhere else. The restaurant’s non-stop energy and strange routines will fulfill anyone’s lust for a taste Japan’s eccentric pop- culture. You’ll get more of a taste though, we’re talking an hour’s worth of bizarrely fantastic entertainment. Your face will hurt from smiling!
3. Soineya: Cuddle Cafés
For all of those cursed with the self-inflicted “forever alone” status, I challenge you to abandon your waifu pillows and visit Soineya. This cuddle café gives customers the opportunity to sleep with cute girls. Calm down, Klook does not promote brothels. By sleeping with a girl, I mean just that—unadulterated sleep. After a long day of work or school, customers can pay to rest in a girl’s arms or lap, or both…the choice is theirs! The cost of cuddling with strangers does come with a hefty price. The options range from a 20-minute nap (US$38) to a 10-hour full night package (US$640). Add-ons like choosing the girl you sleep with, having the girl change her clothes, or spooning costs extra. Despite the bizarre nature of Soineya, cuddling with strangers may be the perfect fix for any lonely soul.
4. Owl Cafés
If cat cafés don’t suit your liking, then perhaps a café filled with owls will. It’s no surprise that Japan coined this concept too! Enjoy a cup of coffee and experience the healing therapy of surrounding yourself with owls. Customers can pet, hold and take pictures with the owls. Most of the owls were raised around humans, so they’re quite friendly and easy-going. Hanging out with birds of prey does require certain precautions: no flash photography, sudden movements and of course, don’t squeeze the birds. The owls at the cafés come with different names, perches and personalities. Visit an owl café and experience the heart-stealing, stress-healing magic from these majestic wide-eyed creatures.
5. The Lockup: Dungeon Café
Enter through a sketchy alleyway entrance and follow a small flight of stairs leading to a basement. Open the giant rusted door and follow the almost pitch dark path resonating with torturous screams and drilling noises. Finally come across a woman in scanty cop attire, who utters one phrase, “Who’s been a bad boy/girl and needs to be punished?” The sexy cop then takes you to your cell where you will serve a sentence of 2-hours behind bars. This is a common occurrence at The Lockup, one of Tokyo’s popular horror themed restaurants. Mix your own drinks with test tubes and beakers; this dungeon stays true to its theme, even the restrooms are terrifying.