Sakura season is upon us! Okay okay, in a month’s time. Nevertheless, that means throngs of Malaysian tourists are going to be heading to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Since there’s only so many of temples, sushi and sakura blossoms one can take it, we’ve prepared a list of uncommon places to visit and things to do in Tokyo, that truly represents Tokyo’s fun side. And chances are they’re located around areas you’d be at if you Ganbatte kudasai!
1. Experience the gaming and geek culture at Akihabara!
From Tekken, Taiko, or any other vintage or futuristic games at Club Sega at Akihabara, there’s enough for you to play and be a Master at. Besides being dubbed Electronic City, where hi-tech gadgets clash with geek culture, Akihabara is also home to maid cafes…
…and the Gundam Cafe. Fans of the Mechas will have a great and fun time there.
But of course, nothing in Akihabara can be as weird as the Geek Culture.
2. Go from kawaii to scary at Harajuku’s Kawaii Monster Cafe
Some say that Harajuku has tamed down a lot over the years and that the cool kids and fashion rebels have moved on with their outrageous outfits. However, Harajuku has not lost its oft-kilter charm. Apart from streetwear, cosplay and hip record stores, it is also the place where the Kawaii Monster Cafe resides.
In line with the neighbourhood’s loud funky vibes, KMC is “the largest restaurant cafe in Tokyo that combines elements of Japanese pop culture such as the symbolic sweet-go-round, the BAR of shining jellyfish, the fluffy PINK FAT CAT room, and changes into a deep and sexy space at night,” according to its website. Think of it as kawaii-cute by day and horror-gothic by night.
The cafe’s atmosphere is like something out of a burlesque-Tim Burton movie set and all in there are 5 areas to explore that transform into a “deep sexy and space” at night. From the cake shaped merry-go-round to the Monster Girls–iconic Harajuku girls who are the visual icons of Kawaii Monster Cafe–luxury cabaret would be the best way to describe the feel. Everything is designed by art director Sebastian Masuda to give patrons an experiential treat. Masuda himself described it as an “off broadway project” reminiscent of Broadway or a show restaurant in New York.
Wow… even Steve Aoki paid a visit.
The food here is pretty interesting as they have stuff like Candy Salad, Colourful Rainbow Pasta (that looks like a painter’s palette) and Chocolate Chicken Mole Amore, and creatively-named drinks like the Non-Druggy Cocktail.
They also offer special “adults-only” events at night like their own rendition of A Mid Summer Night’s Dream paired with food, served in the dark. It doesn’t get any more twisted than this.
3. Pre-love shopping at Shimokitazawa
As mentioned previously, Harajuku might have lost some of its edgy fashion sense unless you go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe, but its younger cousin Shimokitazawa is just starting to bloom. You’ll find countless street shops selling pre-loved items. Everything is in good condition and well-displayed. Bargaining is not very common here (or in the rest of Japan) but shopkeepers won’t mind a bit of a haggle in Shimokitazawa especially if you buy more than one item.
4. Have a beer at the top of the Asahi building
It’s a must for tourists to visit high observation decks overlooking the cities these days, if not for the view than to get marvellous pictures of it. There are several options to see Tokyo’s skyline from above, but we like getting our high-views from the Asahi building in quiet and rustic area known as Asakusa. You can chill out with a ice cold pint of Asahi while you take in the view. And if pricey beer is not your thing or if you want to get to a higher point, you can hop over to Tokyo Skytree.
5. Relax and just cruise around the Tokyo river with a boat
After your encounter with Gojira, speeding your way through the traffic of Tokyo in a real-life Mario Kart Race and chillin’ like a bawse on top of the Asahi building, make sure to recap all that walkabouts with a boat cruise on the river of Tokyo.
You can choose the houseboat (If you’re feeling fancy) and for small group of passengers, we recommend the shipbuilding plan. On it, you get to experience mouth-watering food with your friends while the cruise takes you away into the stunning landscape of Tokyo. Of course there’s more than just food, there’s also karaoke. Yes, you heard us – karaoke on a boat. What better way to end the trip than singing your hearts out to the Naruto theme song with your buddies?
Tokyo is a place where old meets new, from technology to art, cultural to traditional and from wisdom to environment that you can enjoy the overall beauty of Japan.
This Article is Sponsored by Tokyo Tokyo.