Tokyo – the capital city of Japan with cyber-savvy infrastructure, sophisticated railways, expensive retail malls, bizarre fashion and gorgeous food. Speaking of food, Tokyo also has another fascinating sub-culture: it is home to many themed cafes and restaurants. Some are so weird and out there that they have gotten the attention of people across the world!
Here are 12 crazy cafes in Tokyo you should check out.
1. Maid Café
If you spot girls dressed up in different maid costumes standing in the corner, there is likely a maid café nearby. The cheery waitresses of these role-playing cafes treat you like the master of the home and pamper you as they serve your order.
The original maid café is Cure Maid Café, where the waitresses wear traditional Victorian attire. It’s super popular so you might want to reserve your table early. They even have an annual membership for patrons!
2. Robot Café
For cyberpunk and sci-fi fans, there is the Robot Café. It’s one crazy carnival in there, with performers in cosplay, funky props and bright laser lights. The food is pricey but you’d want to be there for its main attraction, the animatronics show.
3. N3331 Café
N3331 Café is right smack in between the world’s busiest train tracks, 5 minutes away from Akihabara Station’s Electric City exit. There are glass walls surrounding it, so you can watch commuters and busy trains go by as you have light snacks and drinks. Priced around ¥500 and ¥1,000, it’s a perfect venue for budget travellers. The experience of people-watching while trains go by can also be therapeutic.
4. Alice in Wonderland Café
There is no story as whimsical and surreal as Alice in Wonderland, which is why it is a popular theme for a concept café or restaurant in Japan! In fact, there are many Wonderland-esque eateries in Tokyo, seven of which are run by Diamond Dining. Every detail from the décor to the food is inspired by the famous story – you can’t help but snap, snap, snap away!
Some of the ones you can visit in Tokyo are Alice in a Labyrinth, Ginza; Alice in a Fantasy Book, Shinjuku and Alice in a Dancing Land, Shibuya.
5. Ninja Akasaka
How about channelling your inner Naruto at a ninja-themed restaurant? The space in Ninja Akasaka is made to resemble the belly of an ancient Japanese castle with winding corridors. Ninja waiters sneak up on you with your food. And you get to eat shuriken-shaped yummies!
6. Kawaii Monster Café
Japan has an obsession with cuteness and Kawaii Monster Café really embodies this kawaii culture! You will be served by Monster Girls dressed in colourful costumes. The main dishes and desserts come in vibrant rainbow colours and patterns. You can’t help but post it on Instagram…now if only you could find a way to get pass the “too-cute-to-eat” phase.
7. Vampire Café
Draped with red velvet and baroque décor, the Vampire Café down the shopper’s paradise of Ginza takes you into a Gothic world. You could imagine yourself as Count Dracula in this morbid, dimly-lit setting, served by butlers and maids in dashing outfits.
8. The Lock-Up
As you step into The Lock-Up in Shibuya, you will be hand-cuffed and brought into a prison cell. Along the corridors, you’ll be teased by staff out to give you a playful fright.
While the food on their menu is nothing to shout about, their strongest point is the prison-themed ambience. It’s an interesting place to go if you just want to experience one of Japan’s many themed eateries.
9. Butlers Café
Butlers Cafes are the male equivalent of Maid Cafes, with waiters in smart tuxedos at your service. In this café, you play the role of a wealthy person who has come home to your mansion for tea, and the butlers will attend to your needs. One such popular café is the Swallowtail Butlers Café.
Aiseki means “Sharing a table with a stranger” or “blind date”, so this café in Ginza is all about pairing people at random. As you enter you will be seated at a table meant for a man and a woman. You get to chat over coffee and cakes, then rotate to the next person after 30 minutes until you find someone you are comfortable sharing your phone number with.
Great news for ladies too – you get unlimited coffee and cake at a lower price compared to the men. So how about finding that special someone in a café?
11. Gundam Café
If you’re a fan of the ever-so-popular Gundam series, then you’ll love the fact that the Gundam Café exists, and it is located near the Akihabara Station. Their menu filled with Gundam-inspired food and thematic cocktails. After having a bite, you can even purchase exclusive merchandise at this official café.
12. Totoro Café
What do you get when you put Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro and café food together? These adorable cream puffs in the quiet neighbourhood of Setagaya, Tokyo!
Also known as the Shirohige Cream Puff Factory, the bakery is surrounded by huge trees and looks straight out of a Giblhi film. There are limited flavours for every season and the process of making each Totoro cream puff takes a lot of hard work, so they tend to run out fast, Our advice: book your table early.
Ready to try the cafes in Tokyo? Plan and book your trip to Japan at Cuti.my.