Japan has never ceased to amaze us with its ideas since most of them take technology to the next level. It is one of the most technologically advanced countries on this planet and there is absolutely no doubt about it. This is reflected in just about any service they provide including restaurants.
Even though this is mostly something that leaves us amazed, sometimes the ideas are so wacky we need some time to process it. This is after all the place that came up with Rent-a-cuddle, a place where people go for a coffee and a cuddle. But nonetheless, they do make it work considering Japan has the most Michelin star restaurants in the world. One of those Michelin star restaurants is a car dealership for crying out loud! They are putting the rest of us to shame.
A lot of restaurants offer you great food, amazing ambiance, and a pretty interior but the bolder among us will sometimes take the path less traveled which gave rise to a lot of wild restaurants in Japan.
These are perfect if you are looking to discover more about the place you grew up in or are trying to impress a tourist but either way these ideas will surprise everyone at the table. If you do decide to take a Japan tour which is something we support 100%, you should also take a look at the wild food products Japan has to offer!
22 Kawaii Monster Cafe
If you want something a little crazy that is not too expensive, this could be it. The Kawaii Monster Cafe is great if you want something that reminds you of a fictional movie. The design is based on the idea that Tokyo is a monster which is where the interior ideas come from. It consists of four different zones that a diner can choose from and it is like walking into a whole different world. Your decision begins at the merry-go-round that has different scary characters. The four zones are: Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, Milk Tea Room and Bar Experiment.
You can even benefit from becoming a regular by getting location stamps. You can then get additional benefits once you manage to lay your hands on a member card. Make sure you try their sundaes!
21 Vampire Cafe
If you are a Twilight fan, this is going to be far better than the book because let's face it- the book did not set the standards too high now did it? This restaurant is part of the Ginza shopping district. It is overall pretty spooky but it does have an element of fun to it as well. Most of it is pretty bloody, like the door that is covered in blood or curtains that are dipped in. You can also find you well-known Bloody Mary mirror at this place. To be fair, you can find the entire shop of mirrors at this place. The whole staff is trained to speak like Dracula with the entire outfit reflecting the character.
20 Planetarium Starry Cafe
If you are lucky enough to be flying out from the Haneda Airport, do not pass through security just yet. There is a row of cafes and restaurants that lead to security and immigration with one of them being the Planetarium Cafe. The idea behind it is evident- dine with the stars. Not many stars give you the chance to visit a planetarium at the same time so make sure you do not miss out on this one. You can even watch one of their animation shows while you wait for your food. The costing is pretty average and their green veggie drink is really famous for a reason.
19 Moomin Bakery and Cafe
If you have been reading the news, you would know that Japan has been dealing with a recent issue where a lot of people are staying single pretty much indefinitely. With this new trend becoming more common, services are learning to accommodate. The Moomin Bakery and Cafe adds some fluffy company complementary along with your meal. Do not get too excited, it is not a puppy. It is a stuffed toy. This idea came about because the owner did not want people to feel awkward when they were having a meal alone. So, now you can have a really gigantic Moomin character sat across from you. Moomin Papa is a favorite for many. This cafe is most famous for its desserts with people having to deal with lines on the weekends. Moomin Bakery is currently at two locations - Tokyo Dome City and one in The Sky Tree Oshiage complex.
18 The Lockup: Dungeon Café
If you fancy a meal in a jail cell, The Lockup is the place for you. You enter the restaurant through an alleyway and then you are lead down to the basement. By this point, most diners are already dealing with a quickly increasing heart rate. Once the door is opened you will hear soft screams and drilling noises before you are lead to your cell where you will be served. You have to mix your own drinks with the help of test tubes and beakers like a big mad scientist experiment. There will be monsters running around constantly and popping their heads into your cell to freak you out so be warned- this one is not for the faint of heart.
17 Alice in Wonderland
I absolutely adore this one because of how beautiful it all is. They have five locations overall and each one goes above and beyond to transform the place into a land of its own. The whole thing is like a mini-fantasy. You will find antique lounges, teacups that hang from the ceilings, masquerade mirrors, giant books and chandeliers at these locations and you do really feel like you are in a story of your own. The food is great as well and if you have children they will really appreciate this one. If you have ever read the book, this one will bring back a lot of memories.
16 Swallowtail Butler Cafe
Japan is famous for maid cafes where waitresses are dressed up as maids and customers get to pretend like they own the place. Swallowtail is a Victorian version of this well-known theme. The staff is only men in this one though, and they are dressed up as butlers. The restaurant gets a lot of female customers who just want to be treated like princesses for a day. The food is absolutely beautiful and it is considered to be a pretty high-end place. If it helps, the butlers/waiters are known to be pretty handsome so don't be surprised if your boyfriend is not too keen on visiting.
15 Robot Restaurant
This restaurant is Japan's culinary claim to fame and it is easy to see why. You are going to have an experience from the moment you walk into this place. It will actually be hard to stay focused on the food with the amount that goes on around it. Dancers acting like robots, animals, monsters, neon lights and electro music is all part of the experience. The cost for this one is a little more than the other but you are paying for the experience so do not leave Japan without going there at least once. It is actually hard to decide what you want to focus on considering there is always something going on in every corner.
14 Alcatraz ER
Located in the Shibuya area, Alcatraz ER is one of Japan's oldest theme restaurants so you are getting a taste of history here as well. This one needs a little liquid courage or just courage, in general, to even walk in because you are going to remember your experience at this place for months after. Alcatraz is supposed to resemble a medical jail and you are handcuffed the minute you walk in. Once you are seated in your cell, you can order your food which is not only graphic in the medical sense but has some PG-13 references as well, so get ready to pretend you are auditioning for Fear Factor. You can even order body parts that are build out of beef(thankfully). This place is definitely a little much but if you are looking for an experience, go for it.
13 Cat Cafes
I am not a big fan of cats myself after a friend's feline friend tried to rip my eye out while I slept but for those of you who are luckier, the cat cafe is a great way to get your cat some new friends and coddle your own. Japan as a country is home to the most cat cafes in the world and Tokyo has the most within the country. At this restaurant, you can eat and relax along with multiple cats. The only real problem is that no one wants to leave. There is even a hotel nearby to stay at if you are traveling with your own feline buddy.
12 Zauo Shinjuku: Catch Your Dinner
Remember those fishing trips your father took you on where you froze to death and caught absolutely nothing due to your lack of fishing abilities? Well, get ready to go down memory lane. This restaurant gives you the freshest produce in all the land. This restaurant contains a little pond and a ship of its own. Your experience begins with catching your own dinner- or in my case starving because of my rather lacking skills. Your dinner is then prepared to your liking by a chef. It can be anything from grilled to fried so get adventurous!
11 Christon Cafe
Remember that aunt of yours that goes to Church every Sunday and cannot imagine skipping? Here is where she gets food straight after. This restaurant is actually dedicated to Jesus so it is perfect for someone who is really religious. Leave it to Japan to figure out how to make even religion a crazy affair. This place serves a fusion of food from Asia and Europe. You can get some cleverly named drinks like 'Angel's Trap' and you also get to go home and have one hell of a story to tell. It is 100% worth a visit because you will be left talking about it for months after.
If you love marine life, Luxis is a great place to grab a bite. You are surrounded by fish and even a few sharks while you are eating. There are fish tanks on every inch of wall space in the restaurant.
It is essentially a poor man's version of Ithaa which is an extremely expensive restaurant but it still isn't cheap by a long shot. The food at Luxis is not supposed to be too great though so only bother visiting you if you want to be part of an aquarium. The sea turtles are adorable enough to make it all worth it. The cuisine is mostly Italian but do not expect too much out of it.
9 Thunderbirds Cafe
Only 1960s British Television fans are going to recognize this one immediately and surprisingly enough it lives on in Tokyo. The entire cafe is packed with various Thunderbirds memorabilia and every episode of the tv series is shown on a loop. Japan's thunderbirds cafe puts a lot of its competition to shame because of the way they serve up the massive fandom. There are rare items from the show as well as replicas in the restaurant. You will actually wish your food took longer coming because of the amount of stuff there is to see. Most of the people that come in actually live nearby or are old enough to have been around when the show originally aired.
8 Kamen Rider The Diner
For those of you who are not heavily into TV from Japan (probably all of you), Kamen Rider is a superhero from a manga television show and is pretty famous within the country. This restaurant is dedicated to said superhero and you can even eat parfait shaped like him. The cuisine is Asian and there are also some cleverly named drinks on offer. The restaurant is decorated like the secret lair that is featured in the series. You will also find costumes and vehicles from the TV show on display. Essentially, it is a mini fandom. You can take a look at tons of merchandise that cover the entire history of the show.
7 Yurei Izakaya
If your favorite movies always tend to come from the haunted section, you should take the time to visit Yurei Izakaya. This ghost bar and restaurant has a ton of ghosts to keep you company throughout your meal. There are also countless booby traps that you need to keep an eye out for. This restaurant is located in a quiet alleyway behind a department store so its spooky from the word go. The waitresses are dressed up as various ghosts and there is a spider that will lower itself from the ceiling to keep you company through your meal once you are seated. The food has average prices and is known to be pretty good. Worth a visit if you can handle a bit of spookiness.
6 Hananomai Ryogoku
Hananomai Ryogoku is a sumo themed restaurant in Japan where you can watch real-time sumo fights while you eat. The authentic cuisine can be enjoyed in an all-you-can-eat buffet while you take in the excitement that comes from one of their shows. There is also a sumo demonstration at the end which is a great way to finish the night. The food itself is also supposed to be really good and countless reviews have praised this restaurant to no end. The cost is a little much though at around 3,500 yen per person and you will have to book your spot in advance since it is always in demand.
5 Capcom Bar
Capcom is in actuality a game maker that decided to dabble in the space of restaurants. All of their dishes are based on some of their most famous video games. So each dish has an inspired name like Resident Evil, Ace Attorney or Monster Hunter. There are plenty of consoles to play on as well while you wait for your food. There are also loads of options to choose from when it comes to the food and drink which is always a plus. You are essentially surrounded by Capcom memorabilia. So, if you are a gaming nerd- this is heaven.
4 Little TGV
For people who love traveling and love trains in particular (here is looking at you Sheldon), this could be a great meal. This eatery is full of stuff that train nerds would love. You are seated in carriage seats and are surrounded by various railway items. There are also tons of railways sets around you with mini trains whizzing by. The Railroad bar has become famous in Japan among tourists who want a glimpse into the craziness that they would not be able to experience at home. Little TGV has even created a fictitious railway company of their own - New Akihabara Electric Railway. This company is mentioned across their restaurant and in their menu. All of the waitresses are dressed up as conductors to complete the look.
3 Uobei: High-Speed Sushi
You can find restaurants across South-East Asia that serve sushi on conveyor belts but this one takes it a step further. This restaurant delivers your sushi order on a really fast chute, kinda how it would be if you were on a spaceship. Everything is extremely affordable which is a major plus. So if you are looking to dine and dash under a budget- try this place. Some places that provide this service actually have robots doing the dirty work to keep up with the speed that is needed. This is the future evidently since many restaurants are hitting into millions with their revenue.
2 Ninja Akasaka
This restaurant takes its theme very seriously. It does not just give you the Ninja experience but acts like one itself. The restaurant is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and you have to know what you are looking for to be able to find it. When you enter the restaurant you are actually reminded of a little village- the kind where ninjas would creep around. Waterfalls and little stone huts surround you. You can even donate while you are there by throwing coins into one of the many ponds. The coins are later donated to the Hiseda Shrine and the act in itself brings you luck. Their eleven course meal is considered to be pretty high-end though so be prepared to dig a little deep into your wallet.
1 Self Kitchen
Every thought a restaurant would have the audacity to literally tell you to serve yourself? Well, this place tells you to do just that.
Higashi-Nakano’s Self Kitchen is actually something only one person can use at a time. In a place as crowded as Tokyo, having space for your kitchen is a luxury that many people live without. So, for those people who still want to enjoy a homemade meal every now and again, this is the perfect option. A state of the art kitchen for hire. You can hire it for as long as necessary, make your own meal and leave. It definitely is an experience, you have to give it that.