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Parasitological Museum

You know that you’ll find weird and interesting things once you come to Tokyo. Check out our article on Bizarre Museums in Tokyo you might want to visit while you’re here!

 

Bizarre Museums in Tokyo: Meguro Parasitological Museum

Parasitological Museum Bizarre Museums in Tokyo

 

If you like weird stuff, this is the right place for you. This place is known as the number one most bizarre museum in Tokyo. Meguro Parasitological Museum is a private research facility focusing on parasites. A must-see at this museum is definitely the world’s longest tapeworm that is 8.8 meters long. Don’t forget to visit their museum shop where you can buy parasite-related merchandise!

 

Parasitological Museum Bizarre Museums in Tokyo

Hours: 10:00-17:00
Holidays: Monday and Tuesday (when a national holiday falls on Monday or Tuesday, the museum is opened and closed on the following day), New Year Holidays
Admission fee: Free (donations are welcome)
Access: 15 min walk from JR Meguro station

Bank of Japan Currency Museum

This museum was opened in 1985 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Bank of Japan. Here you can find exhibitions of money from ancient Japan up to the present day as well as money from all over the world.

Hours: 9:30-16:30 (No entry after 16:00)
Holidays: Monday (opened when Monday is a holiday) and New Year holidays (Dec 29 – 4 Jan).
Admission: Free
Access:

1 min walk from Subway Mitsukoshimae Station (Hanzomon line Exit B1)
2 min walk from Subway Mitsukoshimae Station (Ginza line Exit B5)
6 min walk from Subway Nihonbashi Station (Tozai line Exit A1)
8 min walk from JR Tokyo station’s Nihonbashi Exit

 

Tokyo Trick Art Museum

Tokyo Trick Art Museum comprises of 3D artworks and optical illusions that will blow up your mind. There are different areas for you to explore, including the “Edo Area,” “Japanese monsters” and the “Trick Art Gallery.”

WARNING: MUST BRING CAMERA!

Hours: 11:00-21:00 (No entry after 20:30)
Holidays: Closing days are not fixed
Admission: Adult (ages 15&over): 900 yen, Child (ages 4-14) 600 yen, free admission for children ages 3 and under.
Access:

2 min walk from Odaiba Kaihinkouen station (Yurikamome line)
5 min walk from Tokyo Teleport station (Rinkai line)

 

Tokyo Kite Museum

Kites are known to have a long history in Japan. At every corner of the museum, you will find a collection of over 250 kites on display from all over Japan and other Asian countries.

 Hours: 11:00-17:00
Holidays: Sunday, National Holidays
Admission: Adult: 200 yen, Child: 100 yen
Access:

10 min walk from JR Tokyo station (Yaesu exit)
1 min walk from subway Nihonbashi station (Exit C5)

 

Showa Retro Packaging Museum

This museum gathers product packages such as tobacco, medicine packages, snacks and confectionery from the Showa period (1929-1989). The building is a refurbishment a former furniture shop, which gives you a nostalgic feel once you step inside.

Hours: 10:00-17:00
Holidays: Monday (closes the following day if Monday is a national holiday) and New Year Holidays
Admission fee: Adult 350 yen, Child 200 yen
Access: 4 min walk from JR Ome station.

 

Postal Museum Japan

Located on the 9th floor of Tokyo Skytree Town, the Postal Museum Japan exhibits collections that are related to postal service and communications.
Hours: 10:00-17:30 (Last entry 17:00)
Admission fee: Adult 300 yen, Child 100 yen
Access: a short walk from Tobu Skytree line (Tobu Skytree station).

 

Philatelic (Stamp) Museum

 

Stamp Museum Bizarre Museums in Tokyo

 

With a collection of 300,000 stamps from Japan and other countries, over 850 stamps are being displayed at special exhibits at the Philatelic Museum. The theme changes every three months. There are also workshops where you can participate and even make your own stamp!

 

Stamp Museum Bizarre Museums in Tokyo

Hours: 10:00-17:00
Holidays: Monday and Tuesday (when a national holiday falls on Monday or Tuesday, the museum is opened and closed on the following day), New Year Holidays
Admission fee: Adult 200 yen, Child 100 yen
Access: 3 min walk from JR Mejiro station

 

Tokyo Museum of Sewage

You can spend a whole day learning about Tokyo’s sewage system. If that’s not enough, here you can even get a chance to go inside the main sewer pipe!

Hours: 10:00-16:00

Holidays: Monday (when a national holiday falls on Monday the museum is opened and closed on the following day), New Year Holidays (Dec 27- Jan 5)
Admission fee: Free
Access: 7 min walk from Takanodai Station (Seibu Kokubunji Line)

 

Tobacco and Salt Museum

 Here you can get to know more about the history and culture surrounding tobacco and salt in Japan. The museum has a collection or resources and researches about tobacco and salt, and besides the normal exhibition, sometimes there are special exhibitions held for a limited time

Hours: 10:00-18:30 (Last entry 17:30)
Holidays: Monday (when a national holiday falls on Monday the museum is opened and closed on the following day), New Year Holidays (Dec 29- Jan 3)
Admission fee: Adult 100 yen, Senior 50 yen, Child 50 yen. (There is an extra charge for special exhibitions).
Access:
12 min walk from Subway Oshiage station (Exit B2)
8 min walk from Subway Tobu Skytree Line Tokyo Skytree Station (Exit 1)
10 mins walk from Honjo Azumabashi Station

 

Tokyo Toy Museum (Toy Communication Museum)         

The building of this museum was once an old elementary school and the goal of this museum is to promote friendship among different generations in the family. Feel free to play with the toys and join the toy workshops they offer!

Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Last entry 15:30)
Holidays: Thursday, New Year Holidays and special holidays in February and September
Admission fee: Adult 800 yen, Child 500 yen, Child and Adult pair ticket 1200 yen
Access:
7 min walk from Yotsuya- sanchome station
8 min walk from Akebonobashi station.

 

March 20, 2017 0 comment
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Harinezumi Cafe Harry Roppongi Tokyo Japan 2

Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are undoubtedly one of the cutest animals on the planet. And lucky for you, the world’s first hedgehog café has opened up right in Roppongi! The Harinezumi Café Harry (called “Hedgehog Café Harry” in their social media) is the Roppongi Hedgehog Café to go to! The café sits in a quiet little alley near Roppongi’s crowded streets. Usually there is a small line outside, because there is limited room and seating area in the café. But once you get inside, you’ll find it is well worth the wait. Or you can skip to the front of the line with a reservation by our good friends at Voyagin!

Harinezumi Cafe Harry Roppongi Tokyo Japan 2

See?

The room is filled with glass tanks containing hedgehogs. Although some are ambling about, many are in little balls, sleeping. When you sit down, attendants will bring you a tiny hedgehog in a shoebox for you to play with for a bit. In one 30-minute session you will play with multiple hedgehogs, since they can be overwhelmed if they are played with for too long.

Harry's Hedgehog Cafe 1

When held, the hedgehogs are friendly, but also very squirmy. Make sure you hold onto them and be careful so they don’t fall. Also, I don’t know what I was expecting, but when their quills prick you, it hurts. It’s not the worst feeling in the world, but be ready to feel like you’ve just played with a really cute cactus.

Hedgehog 3

Most visitors only stay for 30-minute periods, but their website can be used to make one-hour reservations (English). English service is available, because 1/3- 1/2 of their customers are visitors and tourists. And if you fall in love with these little guys (and have a home in Japan where they can live), Harry’s hedgehogs are also available for adoption. Hedgehog adoption prices range from ¥30,000- ¥100,000. If you are not accustomed to caring for a hedgehog (or just want to know what you might be getting yourself into), they also have a hedgehog care manual online. (“Let’s Embrace the Hedgehog” is my favorite part, but the list of “Hedgehog Personality Types” also triggers an awww…)

Hedgehog

For people concerned about the animals’ well-being, the hedgehogs are well taken care of. The workers take extra caution to ensure that the animals are comfortable. The cages are a good size, and the hedgehogs seem happy and healthy. If a hedgehog is asleep, they will be left alone. If you are visiting with small children, please be aware that hedgehogs are prickly, and a quill-sting might surprise a child and result in a dropped hedgehog if we are not careful. Please be kind to our pokey little friends!

I would really recommend going so long as you don’t mind being prickled a bit. The hedgehogs are all friendly and quite adorable. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are allergic to animal dander, you can react from the quill pricks. Wash your hands often. Visiting is a great experience and you will get a lot of great pictures from your trip.

Harinezumi Café Harry – Roppongi Hedgehog Café Location Information

Website  |   Facebook (Japanese only)  |   Twitter (Japanese only)

Nearest Station: 1 minute walk from Roppongi Station (Hibiya Line Exit No. 3). Located under the Ms. Bunny Cafe.

Hours of Operation: Open everyday 12:00 pm- 9:00 pm. Hedgehogs often sleep in the morning and the middle of the day, so this café is open later than other animal cafés, so the hedgehogs will be fully awake.

Average Cost: On weekdays, a 30 minute stay is ¥1,000, and on weekends and holidays, 30 minute is ¥1,300. Let Voyagin help you with your reservation!

Why Go?: Harry’s Café is the only hedgehog café in the world; where else will you get the chance to hold an sweet little hedgehog?

For other sightseeing options in Tokyo, click on the links below–

September 9, 2016 0 comment
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Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo

When I heard that I was going to Kawaii Monster Café, I had no idea what to expect. However, stepping inside was leagues beyond what I anticipated; this place is insane. Harajuku is known for its wacky and colorful fashions, and this café embodies everything Harajuku stands for (and more). Walking through the restaurant solicited reactions like, “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” to, “this is so weird and I’m uncomfortable.”

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 11

The weird starts at the café entrance, which is a monster’s mouth (named “Mr. Ten Thousand Chopsticks” or “Mr. Choppy’s”). The restaurant itself? Legend has it that it exists in his stomach. But wait, it gets weirder!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

After you walk inside Mr. Choppy’s mouth, you see the Sweets-Go-Round. It’s a giant rainbow carousel with different objects, with animals that look like they are made out of melting candy. The whole ceiling is covered with broken mirror pieces, and flashing lights and pop music add to the wild atmosphere of the place.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 12

There are four different seating areas of the café. The Mushroom Disco has tables under giant poisonous mushrooms and extraterrestrial plants. Hidden behind the Mushroom Disco is a secret room, decorated with red lips, called the “Secret Area for Talkative Ladies.”What do they talk about? Well, you have to go there to find out…

 Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 14

The show is held right in front of this area. The next area is called the Milk Stand, which is themed like a wacky baby’s room. Milk bottles hang from the ceiling, and giant animal heads drink from these bottles over the tables. This area of the restaurant really made me think, “This is either the strangest thing ever, or the most Japanese thing ever.”

The Mel-Tea Room is next. In here, the walls look like pastel chocolate and giant ice cream cones are dripping down from the ceiling. Giant macaroons are stacked up against the walls (along with giant ants going after these sweets). Right next to the Mel-Tea Room is the “Experiment” Bar, for adults only. The bar is lit up by a huge jellyfish hanging over the counter. There is also a secret VIP room with a pink cat theme.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Monster girls run around the café and put on shows. They have colorful hair and weird outfits- the monster girl I met had purple hair and a bracelet made out of baby shoes. The food in Kawaii Monster Café is just as bonkers as the rest of the place. It’s all rainbow; no matter what you order, you’re guaranteed to get a good picture for your Instagram. They claim that the coloring for their food is healthy and natural. Some popular menu items are rainbow pasta with “paint” dip, and the “colorful poison parfait extreme,” which is a giant rainbow parfait.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 13

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

The restaurant is non-smoking, but does have a smoking area for you to duck into. There is an English menu, and most of the workers and some of the monster girls can speak English. It is possible to reserve parts of the restaurant in advance for parties (which would be necessary if you have a large group, because there are 193 seats in total). Reservations can be made via Facebook Messenger or through this Voyagin link.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan 15

In short, this place looks like Tim Burton’s fantasy, if Tim Burton were a kawaii Japanese schoolgirl. I know I am definitely coming back, and bringing everyone I know with me. Kawaii Monster Café perfectly captures what Harajuku is about: the weird fashions, the bright colors, the over-the-top atmosphere, and even the slight creepiness of it all. So if you find yourself in Harajuku, definitely go to Kawaii Monster Café for the strangest and most fun meal you’ll ever have.

Kawaii Monster Cafe Location Information

Website ||| Facebook (Japanese only) ||| Twitter (Japanese only) ||| Instagram

Make a Reservation!

Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line (click on the Google Map for directions)

 Hours of Operation: Weekdays and Saturdays 11:30 am- 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm. Sundays and holidays 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. If it is crowded, there is a time limit of 90 minutes on your stay (or 2 hours for dinner).

Showtimes: Lunch shows are weekdays 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, weekends 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm , and 3:30 pm. Dinner shows are only on Fridays and Saturdays, at 6:45 pm. Another event called “Pink Fat Cat with Yuka” is on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:55 pm and 8:45pm.

Estimated Price: There is an entrance fee of ¥500 for each person, and the average fee per person is ¥2500. Kawaii Monster Café takes VISA, UC, DC, UFJ, AMEX, JCB, and SAISON credit cards. Kawaii Monster Cafés also sells 13 different souvenirs, so be sure to pick up a totally sweet “Kawaii Monster Café” T-shirt! If you visit often, you can earn a Monster Card–the more you return, the more your rank will increase. Customers with high rankings get special privileges!

“Why Go?”: Scroll up and look at the pictures. Do you mean to tell me you are willing to go through life without seeing all of that in person?!?!?

July 26, 2016 0 comment
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Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The Robot Restaurant Shinjuku is insane. There is nothing quite like it in Tokyo, nor anywhere else. I don’t even know if we can refer to it as merely a restaurant–the Robot Restaurant is an energetic, robo-centric show located in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku. And you certainly can’t miss it, seeing that it is a huge building with large flashy lights and robot techno music blaring from the speakers.

The Pre-Show Experience

The Robot Restaurant is touristy–they know it, and they love to flaunt it. From what we saw, more than 90% of the guests were foreign visitors, mostly North Americans. All the signs are shown prominently in English, and there are a number of foreign staff that speak native-level English.

A single ticket is a hefty ¥8000, though you can get ¥500 off when buying tickets in advance from their site, or 15% off through Voyagin. A bento to eat during the performance costs another ¥1000, which must be reserved before the performance, and beers and soft drinks are another ¥500-¥600 each. There are three shows per day during the week and a fourth on Saturday (showtimes), and each show runs for 90 minutes. However, you must be in the building at least 30 minutes prior to the performance, meaning that you should set aside a minimum two hours for the experience.

As soon as you enter, you are struck by the outrageously tacky décor, designed with a wink-and-nudge of giggly self-awareness. All guests are funneled to the third floor waiting room, and from there are directed to the bar and the seats by the English-speaking staff. There was a robot-costumed saxophone and guitar player playing jazz while we waited for the start of the performance, perfectly setting the mood for the wacky night ahead. Food and drinks could be ordered from the waiting room, and the prices are what you’d expect for such a tourist-heavy establishment (Eg. ¥600 for beer and ¥1400 for an American-styled “Mega Burger”).

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The Show

When it’s time for the performance to start, the staff leads the guests down a staircase of lizard sculptures and tactile paintings to the performance area. The seating is cramped, a tight spot to sit for a 90-minute performance. If you pre-ordered a bento during reservation, then you’ll collect them here, or you can purchase popcorn and drinks from the staff circulating through the room. There are three bento options available–grilled boneless short ribs, ginger-simmered beef in sweetened soy sauce, and sushi. All three bento are on the small side, but you aren’t actually here for dinner, are you?

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

The show itself is excellent. The action is loud and flashy, with a surprisingly large and varied cast of robots appearing throughout the performance. The first segment is an eclectic taiko performance, fusing a traditional Japanese drum with—well, robots, obviously! The part we liked the most was the “Robot Wars” segment, which tells us the laughably wacky story of a war between animals and the “Robot Empire.” The action-packed story between the animals and the robots was funny and familiar, almost as if the action figures from my childhood came to life off of my bedroom floor and played out their battles in grand fightin’ robot fashion. The scale of the performances is quite extraordinary, and the performers are well-rehearsed and had lots of energy.

There is a 15-minute intermission every 30 minutes so the set pieces can be changed for the next performance. During intermissions the staff circulates through the audience, selling souvenirs and refreshments. There’s plenty of time to get another drink or make that bathroom trip without missing the action, not to mention the opportunity to get one of those sweet Robot Restaurant T-shirts!

The Robot Restaurant might be a touristy thing to do, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. It might be pricey, but you are guaranteed a fun night full of battlin’ robots!

Robot Restaurant Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Reservations Online | Get 15% off with a reservation through Voyagin!

Reservations by Phone in English: 03-3200-5500

Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the map for walking directions)

Showtimes: 4:00PM (Sat only), 5:55PM, 7:50PM, 9:45 PM. Shows are 90 minutes in duration; guests must arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Estimated Price: ¥8000-¥10000 for tickets, drinks, and bento; more for souvenirs

“Why Go?”: Watch the crazy fun robot performance!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping and entertainment options in Tokyo–

June 28, 2016 0 comment
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Did you come to Tokyo looking for ninja? Of course you did! Why else would you come?!?!

Ninja Restaurant

The best-known enclave of most-honorable shadow warriors is located at the Ninja Restaurant in Akasaka. But finding them is not an easy task! First, one must make contact with shadowy figures in order to make a reservation. Reservations may be made up to two months ahead of time via the Ninja Restaurant website reservation form (Google translated, but usable). For reservations of less than two days’ notice, one must use the telephone device.

What? One does not speak Japanese? It does not matter! The ninja are skilled in the speaking of English, both in person and on the telephone device! Call the number 03-5157-3936 and humbly request dining space for your unworthy self! If space is available, they shall accommodate! Honor demands it!

Ninja RestaurantAnd now, one must journey to the restaurant itself. The door is hidden to the common passerby. But it shall be revealed to you! But when you discover it, the journey is not over! To learn the secrets of ninja dining, one must cross the bridges, pass over the river of ninja smoke, and brave the corridors until one reaches the ninja village. Failure is not acceptable!

Ninja Restaurant

Upon arrival, you will be seated in one of several secluded dining areas, where a server shinobi will see to your dining needs. The Ninja Restaurant offers 10 main courses, which you will have selected while making your reservation. For those who refrain from meat, the Ninja Chefs have thoughtfully accommodated with a vegetarian main course option. Do you have other dietary restrictions? The ninja have thought of this! One cannot surprise a ninja! The Ninja Chefs also offer a main course option which excludes the serving of pork and alcohol.

Some restrictions must apply to dining in such a dangerous environment. As befitting a stealthy warrior, the environment inside of the restaurant is as dark as a moonless night. Reservations including children (up to 14) may only be scheduled at 5 PM on weekdays, and one must accompany one’s children whenever they depart from the dining area. The Ninja Restaurant must be kept safe for guests!

Also, please note that normal persons are not usually not able to photograph a ninja due to their speed and stealth. But one may ask any ninja encountered to refrain from escaping in a cloud of smoke long enough for the photograph to be taken. The ninja is most hospitable and accommodating!

Ninja Restaurant

The Ninja Restaurant serves good food and provides quality entertainment (complete with vanishing ninjas). Ninja will not accept less than the best! But you may find that your money has vanished as well, as plates can be upwards of 20,000 yen. But it is of no matter! If sleight-of-hand illusions, hidden passageways, and a taste for theatrics—and good food—piques one’s interests, one must accept the hospitality of the Ninja Restaurant! There is no other choice!

Ninja Restaurant Akasaka Location Information

Website (via Google Translate) | Facebook | YouTube | Reservations Online

Reservations by Phone: 03-5157-3936

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Akasakamitsuke Tokyo Metro Subway Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line) (click on the google Map for directions)


Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Sundays and Holidays 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

“Why Go?”: You will go! You will accept the hospitality of ninja and good food! It is too late to refuse! They know who you are!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

 

June 24, 2016 0 comment
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Karaoke in Tokyo FI

Hi, I’m Tracy! I love karaoke!

It’s Friday night, you’re out with friends, and one of them brings up a crazy idea: “Hey! Let’s go to KARAOKE!!” We all love Karaoke, but can we tell the difference between the different types of karaoke shops? Which one offers more English songs? Which one offers a student discount? Which one doesn’t smell of “teen spirit”?

For those of you who love Karaoke and can actually tell the difference between the establishments, go forth and sing your heart out. But for those of you can’t, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in our comprehensive guide to the most popular karaoke spots in Tokyo.

 

Utahiroba (歌広場)

UtaHiroba watermark tokyo karaoke shopsOne of the most popular karaoke chains in Tokyo, Utahiroba can be easily identified by its logo—a big smiling pink face, usually wearing yellow gloves.

Utahiroba is regarded as one of the cheapest, major chain karaokes in Tokyo and many of their stores stay open 24hrs depending on location. Their food menu is quite extensive as well and you can expect the usual fried snacks and dishes that you can easily get at any low-end izakaya.

Utahiroba Information

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Facebook (via Google Translate) ||| Twitter (via Google Translate)

Store locator (via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥140 – ¥500 every 30 minutes, with all-you-can-drink (non-alcoholic) (depending on time of day and day of the week)
  • ¥1,000 – ¥1,980 for free-time (Open – 8:00pm / 11:00pm – 5:00am), with all-you-can-drink (non-alcoholic) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Time slots may be different depending on branches

Tips to save your money:

  • Making a reservation in advance can get you a discount of 10% off the room charge
  • Lunch Pack: ¥580 with a meal, all-you-can-drink (non-alcoholic) and 2-hour karaoke (Prices are different depending on branches) *Only for entering rooms before 2:00pm

 

Karaoke-kan (カラオケ館)

KaraokeKan_watermark tokyo karaoke shopsKaraoke-kan is another popular karaoke chain, with branches across Japan. Famous for its appearance in Lost in Translation with Bill Murray (the Shibuya branch, 6th floor), Karaoke-kan is one of the most recognizable karaokes in Japan due to their big blue neon signs with its name in red.

Karaoke-kan offers a variety of rooms, from VIP to party rooms, as well as an extensive variety of food and snacks including everything from “Italian” pizzas to Japanese snacks and desserts. A few of their locations even have a darts bar separate from the karaoke rooms if you want a break from hitting the high notes.

Karaoke-kan Information

Website (via Google Translate) |||  Facebook (via Google Translate) ||| YouTube

Store locator (via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥100 – ¥800 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1 drink is required
  • ¥1,200 – ¥1,800 for free-time (11:00pm – 5:00am) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1 drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

 

BIG ECHO

BigEcho_Watermark tokyo karaoke shopsBIG ECHO is yet another popular sight on the streets of Tokyo. BIG ECHO offers a variety of services that a lot of chains seldom do. For example costumes for cosplay, free Wi-Fi, and popular anime songs for the anime lovers out there.

They also offer a large selection of rooms and often do “Colabo Rooms” (コラボルーム)where the entire room is themed in styles of popular anime, J-Pop or K-Pop groups, and even baseball teams.

BIG ECHO Information

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Facebook (via Google Translate) ||| Twitter (via Google Translate)

Store locator(via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥100 – ¥800 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1 drink is required
  • ¥1,200 – ¥3,500 for free-time (Open – 7:00pm / 11:00pm – Close) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1 drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

Tips to save your money:

  • Showing a coupon with your smartphone can get you discounts (10% off room charge for 1-drink course, 5% off total bill for all-you-can-drink course)
  • Party Course: From ¥2,000 with a food course and 3-hour karaoke (Prices may be different depending on branches) *Order of minimum 1 drink or all-you-can-drink is required *Reserve in advance can get an extra 5%off discount

SHIDAX

Shidax watermark tokyo karaoke shops

SHIDAX is known to be a bit more upscale compared to the former three, and rightly so as SHIDAX specializes in more than just karaoke.

SHIDAX is a bit pricier, but you pay for what you get, as the food and drinks are of a higher quality. Rooms are also nicer, with less tobacco burn stains on the tables and comfier couches. That being said, SHIDAX caters more to a Japanese audience, therefore you might not be able to find your favorite underground title from your home country here.

Shidax Information

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Facebook(via Google Translate) ||| Twitter (via Google Translate)

Store locator (via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥200 – ¥500 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • ¥1,200 – ¥2,500 for free-time (Open – 7:00pm) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

 

COTE D’ AZUR

Cote D'Azur watermark tokyo karaoke shops

This is another somewhat expensive, fashionable karaoke, with well-furnished modern rooms. The food menu here is restaurant quality.

From ‘Ladies Rooms’ to ‘VIP party rooms’ and even children play rooms with karaoke machines inside, Cote D’Azur can cater to a girls’ night out or husband and wife with children in tow. And when you want a break from singing you can always go throw some darts and even play billiards.

As with Shidax, Cote D’Azur caters to a more Japanese audience, so English song selections are rather limited.

Cote D’ Azur Information

Website (via Google Translate)

Store locator (Japanese)

Average price:

  • ¥70 – ¥500 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • ¥1,000 – ¥2,300 for free-time (6:00pm – 5:00am / 11:00pm –5:00am) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

Tips to save your money:

  • Early bird discounts with a reservation in advance
  • Show a coupon with your smartphone and get discounts (20% off room charge for 1-drink course, 5% off total bill for all-you-can-drink plan or free-time course)
  • Party Course: From ¥2,500 with a food course and 3-hour karaoke (Prices maybe different depending on branches) *Reserving one week prior can get a ¥500 discount

 

FIORIA

Having 3 branches in the upscale districts in Tokyo – Roppongi, Ginza and Shinjuku, FIORIA is a restaurant provides luxury private rooms and high-quality food that fit your wants. Rooms are all furnished with different themes such as Botanical Saloon, Star Dust Saloon and Grotto Saloon.

My most recommended room is the SPA Saloon in Roppongi branch, where you can sing your favorite songs while enjoying a warm footbath. FIORIA is the most costly one in these 10 karaoke shops, but the food and environment worth the price with no doubt.

FIORIA Information

Website (Languages can be changed at the top right corner)

Store locator (Japanese; use the “English” button on top to switch languages)

Average price: From ¥3,500 for 2hours (depending on courses)

 

PASELA RESORTS (カラオケ パセラ)Pasela Resorts akihabara showa-dori tokyo karaoke shops

PASELA RESORTS has been rated highest in customer satisfaction among all Japan karaoke shops for 2 years. As what its name stated, PASELA RESORTS are furnished like tropical resorts and amenities are well prepared—just like what hotels do.

Akihabara Showa-Dori branch is definitely the most special one that rooms are designed in an early Showa style, where you can enjoy karaoke in retro Japan rooms like Sento (Japanese communal bath house) and old-style train.

Besides making you feel like being in a resort, “Colabo Rooms” of popular anime are also one of the most attractive points here. Listen, all fans of “Monster Hunters”, “Evangelion”, “Sengoku Basara”, “FF Series” and “Hakuoki”, coming here to take lots of photos and “Check in” on Facebook is a must-do in Japan!

PASELA RESORTS Information

Website (via Google Translate)

Store locator (via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥200 – ¥600 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • ¥1,500 – ¥2,800 for free-time (11:00pm – 7:00am / 10:00pm –5:00am) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

 

MANEKINEKO (まねきねこ)

Manekineko tokyo karaoke shops

Another popular karaoke chain in Japan! MANEKINEKO is the cheapest karaoke chain in the morning time. Guess how much is it? It’s only 10yen (≈$0.09USD) every 30minutes! If you are going to burn off your calories or blow off your steam in the morning, come to MANEKINEKO!

MANEKINEKO Information

Website (via Google Translate)

Store locator (Languages can be changed at the top right corner)

Average price:

  • ¥10 – ¥500 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • ¥500 – ¥2,500 for free-time (8:00am – 8:00pm / 4:00pm – 12:00am / 10:00pm – 5:00am) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required *Only for ten first-come groups in each time slot *Time slots may be different depending on branches

 

ROUND1

round1 tokyo karaoke shopsRound1 is the amusement shop chain of the highest sales in Japan. Being a multi-purpose entertainment center, Round1 offers sport games like bowling, billiard, as well as karaoke. Round1 caters to families that you may bring your kids here to karaoke and game center after doing some exercises.

Round1 Information

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Facebook (via Google Translate) ||| Twitter(via Google Translate)

Store locator (Japanese)

Average price:

  • ¥200 – ¥600 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • ¥1000 – ¥2,200 for free-time (Entering between 6:00am – 1:00pm / 1:00pm – 6:00pm / 6:00pm – 1:00am / 1:00am – 6:00am) (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Until 6:00am of the next day *Order of minimum 1drink is required *Time slots may be different depending on branches

Tips to save your money:

  • Morning free-time discount: Weekdays ¥580 (Entering between Open – 11:00am), Sat-Sun-Holidays ¥880 (Entering between 5:00am – 9:00am) *Until 6:00am of the next day *With all-you-can-drink *Order of minimum 1drink is required
  • Weekdays free-time campaign: ¥780 (Entering between 11:00am – 1:00pm) *Until 6:00am of the next day *Order of minimum 1drink is required

 

Karaoke Adores (カラオケアドアーズ)

adores akihabara tokyo karaoke shops

Adores is one of the largest game center chains in Japan. The 2 karaoke shops under the company is similar to the Round1, where you can play arcade games, UFO catchers and sing karaoke in one-building.

The Akihabara branch is a little different from the other game centers in Akihabara that it is the only game center equipped with karaoke rooms. 6 concept rooms including “Princess Rooms”, “Gothic Rooms” and “Live Stage Rooms” are offered, catering to not only karaoke singers, but also the cosplayers who want to take beautiful photos in the rooms.You can also borrow free cosplay costumes of idols, maids or popular anime here!

Karaoke Adores Information

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Twitter (via Google Translate)

Monzennaka-cho branch (via Google Translate)

Akihabara branch (via Google Translate)

Average price:

  • ¥90 – ¥800 every 30 minutes (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink may be required
  • ¥1,400 – ¥3,500 for free-time (depending on time of day and day of the week) *Order of minimum 1drink may be required

Tips to save your money:

 

The times you’ve wandered into a strange karaoke building only to find out they don’t have or offer certain services are over. Go forth, and “rock the mic” at which Karaoke fits you best.
Happy Karaoke-ing!

June 12, 2016 0 comment
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Tori No Iru Bird Cafe featured image

Wear the raincoat. No, not your own, use the one from the shop. You’ll thank me later.

The Tori no Iru Bird Cafe is a nice side-excursion from your trip to the Sensoji Asakusa Shrine. You won’t miss it–they have a large outdoor display and video monitor, and the arrow pointing to the basement cafe is easy to find.

Tori no Iru Tokyo Asakusa Bird Cafe Entrance

Once inside, the door-bird–some kind of burrowing owl–squawked at us, making for a unique sort of visitor bell. We turned over our jackets and bags to the staff, sanitized our hands and shoes for the safety of the birds, and went to go visit our avian friends!

The owls are the first birds you’ll see once you turn around from the counter. Most are of the small burrowing type, but there are a few medium-sized birds and one larger barn owl. Their area is a little darker, for their comfort. They seem amenable to being petted, so long as you don’t surprise them while they are looking at something else. If you ask, the staff will pick them up and put them on your hand for photos.

Owl Tori no Iru Asakusa Entrance

After that, it was time for the main event. the raincoats are right next to the door, and you do want to put one on. There be parrots beyond this point! After going through a short corridor, you will emerge into what amounts to a giant birdcage.

The birds at this bird cafe are not shy. As soon as we were inside, three parakeets landed on me, and a handful more on my trusty camera-woman. And keep your hood up–birds like long hair, earrings, necklaces, and any other bright and shinys that they can reach with their little beaks. Also, please be careful where you step–some of the parakeets like to walk on the floor, especially if they think you may have dropped something or mistake your shoelaces for worms.

Curious Bird at Tori no Iru Bird Cafe Asakusa Tokyo Japan

Making New Friends at Tori no Iru Bird Cafe Asakusa Tokyo Japan

And then I went and did it. On the far side of the entrance is a small table, upon which is a box. Inside this box, you can buy birdseed treats at 100 yen for a small plastic container. I moved towards the table–

And was immediately mobbed. Every bird in the room swooped down on me, Hitchcock-style. It took a few moments for me to have enough mobility to even open the box, put in the coin, and pull out a birdseed container. At that point, the birds turned into little flying piranhas, with two or three trying to pry open the container with their beaks while the rest jostled for position on my arms and head.

The parakeets and parrots were the most active, but they weren’t the only residents of the room. Huddled in the corner were a pair of ducks trying to sleep. A trumpeter horn bill blasted by, obviously on pressing business on the other side of the room. And in one corner a small, shy toucan delicately nipped the birdseed we offered.

Once we left the Parakeet Room, we were able to browse the wide variety of souvenirs available at the front desk of the bird cafe. I bought a little packet of owl buttons for my bag (500 yen).

Although the Parakeet Room was a lot of fun for us, we could see how it could be terrifying for children to suddenly have a number of birds land on them. Although the Tori no Iru Bird Cafe allows children of all ages, please be aware that the experience could be frightening for small children and possibly dangerous for the birds. Please look out for our new feathered friends at Tori no Iru!

Tori no Iru Bird Cafe Asakusa

English Site

5 minutes from Asakusa Station, Exit A4 or A5 (click on the pin to get directions via Google Maps)

Hours: Weekdays 13:00-20:00, Weekends 11:00-20:00. No reservation required.

Prices Per Person: 1500 yen for 1 hour, 1000 yen for 30 minutes, 300 yen for 15-minute increments. Half price for 4-6 year olds, free to age 3 and under. Souvenirs available.

“Why Go?”: See the owls, get mobbed by parakeets looking for birdseed!

February 18, 2016 0 comment
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As with many long-lived fictional characters, Godzilla’s popularity has waxed and waned over the decades. He’s changed with the times, changed back, and became goofier or more hardcore as the zeitgeist dictated. But the Terror of Tokyo has always had legions of fans. And if you’re one of those fans, you can turn one of your days in Tokyo into a tour of the Godzilla sites!

The Shinagawa Station Tile

Our first subject is located on the #1 platform of the Yamanote Line at Shinagawa Station. Near the mid-point of the platform (underneath a pair of security monitors) is a floor tile, depicting a suspiciously dinosaur-like creature in a circle. The kanji on the tile tells us that this exact point is the 0 kilometer mark–that is, the spot from which all other distances on the line are measured.

But why a dinosaur? Well, that depends on who you ask. One popular story holds it that JR East (the rail company on the line) asked permission to use Godzilla’s likeness on an anniversary tile of some sort, due to his association with the area (see the Yatsuyama Bridge, below). This plan hit a snag when it ran up against an expensive licensing fee from Toho. So instead, the station decided to use a “dinosaur” as a symbol. Sort of like painting a triceratops costume green and calling him Blarney, the Lucky Irish Dinosaur.

There’s nothing official here, and no advertisement of the tile’s presence beyond a few blog posts here and there. But since you’re going to be at Shinagawa Station at some point during your trip, you should have a look!

First Godzilla Attack – the Yatsuyama Bridge

In the 1954 classic, this intersection is the spot where Godzilla first stepped in Tokyo to give the Shinagawa ward a serious monster beating. Well, it’s not exactly this spot–years after the film was made, railroad tracks were laid down, and a bridge was built over them. But it’s as close as you’re going to get without playing dodge-train.

Nice, but how do I know what you say is true? Well, do you remember that map board you passed outside of Kitashinagawa Station? Go take a look again. And there you’ll see it–a spot marked on the board with a cutesy giant lizard-monster. This is the closest approximation of where our hero first placed his three-toed foot on the city he loves to hate.

Yatsuyama Godzilla

But why are there no other markings at the intersection? The locals did want to mark it, but Toho’s licensing fees were far outside what the community could afford. So besides the map, there’s nothing to mark this piece of cinematic history.

You might also have another question. Godzilla was fifty meters tall in the original film. Where’s the water he came from? There is no water near the intersection that is deep enough to hide a towering radioactive lizard.

The reason for this is simple modernization–the landing spot was much closer to water in 1954, but a reclamation project in the 60s and 70s diverted the water into a river in order to make land available for Tokyo’s expansion. Godzilla may be able to take on Ghidrah, but there’s no way he can defeat real estate development.

The Yatsuyama Bridge Information

Nearest Station: 3-minutes walk from Kita-Shinagawa Station (South exit) (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hibiya Chanter Square

Our third spot will be at the Hibiya Chanter Square. The Godzilla statue and faux-marble plinth it stands on is around two and a half meters tall. The ground nearby is covered in plaques, Hollywood-Walk-of-Fame style, with the metal-casted handprints of various Japanese celebrities. It’s a nice photo op in a small park.

Hibiya Chanter Square Information

You can visit Hibiya Chanter’s website here. Website (English). Follow it on social media at Facebook (English) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 4-minutes walk from Hibiya Station (Southwest exit) (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Toho Studios

It ‘s a long walk to reach this location. Movie studios need a lot of room for sound stages, and land is at a premium in Tokyo. Also, it does no one any good to have tourists tramping through when you’re ready for your close-up, right?

Walk under the sign towards the lot entrance. Do note that you cannot get onto the lot itself–there is a security guard posted. Moreover, you don’t want to be rude by interrupting someone’s next blockbuster, do you?  The best you can do is to see the mural outside, the gate, and perhaps snap a shot or two of the person-sized Godzilla statue out front. Security can be lax or strict, depending on who-knows-what. The best bet is to be polite, be quick about getting your pictures, and be gone.

Toho Studios Information

You can visit Toho Studios’ website here. Website (English). Follow it on social media at Facebook (English) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 10-minutes walk from Seijogakuen-Mae Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku has become a landmark due to the Godzilla’s head statue mounted on top of the hotel. The Godzilla Head roars and breathes non-radioactive steam nine times a day. The event starts at noon, and then repeats every hour until 8 p.m. The best video/camera footage for this event is on the street leading up to the hotel. the roar is much more colorful at night, so please plan accordingly.

The hotel lobby has a number of Godzilla movie posters, a small souvenir store, and a cafe. You give your Godzilla pass to the host, who then seats you (if you’re staying at the hotel, all you need is the room key, but you do have to show them something). And yes, they know you are coming–prices are kind of high, because the Gracery is a fancy sort of hotel. If you want to order a Godzilla cake set with coffee, which will cost you 1700 yen.

After that, it was time for the main event! Outside, you can get up close and personal with Shinjuku’s most famous resident. The statue itself is towering, and at the base you can see a few bas-reliefs and plaques of great moments in Godzilla history. The best angle for pictures is at the front corner.

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku Information

You can visit Hotel Gracery Shinjuku’s website here. Website (English). Follow it on social media at Facebook (English)Instagram, and YouTube.

Nearest Station: 10-minutes walk from Shinjuku Station (East station) (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Tamagawa Sengen Shrine

Leaving Tokyo, our next stop is the Tamagawa Sengen Shrine. If you have seen the movie Shin Godzilla, you might remember the “Taba Strategy.” In the movie, the commander of the Japan Self-Defense Forces sets a defensive perimeter at the Tama River to prevent Godzilla from entering Tokyo. The Shrine was designated as the command center.

Yes, Godzilla stands exactly next to the bridge in the movie. But air forces and tanks cannot stop Godzilla!

Even if you are not a fan, you can still stand at the shrine and see the beautiful landscape of Tama River on the Marukobashi (Maruko Bridge), which is one of the most popular bridges in Japan. Many Japanese dramas have been filmed here.

Tamagawa Sengen Shrine Information

You can visit Tamagawa Sengen’s website here. Website (English). Follow it on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 2-minutes walk from Tamagawa Station (South exit) (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Nishi-Rokugō Park

You only need to spend fifteen minutes on the Tōkyū Tamagawa Line train from Tamagawa to Kamata station. Go to the east gate and walk toward south. We will be nostalgic a little bit because we are going to the Nishi-Rokugo Park, which is a children playground.

Watch out, a sculpture of Godzilla made of rubber tires stands in the center of the park. Children (or children at heart) can climb on its back and step on its tail. If you want to defeat Godzilla, you should come here and join the other kids to finish that mission.

Nishi-Rokugō Park Information

You can visit the website in here. Website (English). Follow it on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 15-minutes from Kamata Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

You can do Godzilla pilgrimage, go sightseeing, and learn about Japanese history through visiting these places. This is a “one stone three birds” trip.

January 2, 2016 0 comment
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In modern Western culture, owls have a reputation for wisdom. Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, took the owl as her personal symbol. In the original Clash of the Titans, when Perseus needed a companion, her owl Bubo (or at least the steampunk robot version of him) was sent to be his advisor. Out of the many downfalls of the remake (and there were many), the most egregious was that they dissed the original Bubo.

But it doesn’t stop there. Mensa, the international high I.Q. society, uses the owl as their unofficial symbol; it is sometimes used to mark the location of their meetings to newcomers. Owl, the blowhard counterpart to Winnie the Pooh, provides the services of a straight-man in E.E. Milne’s classic stories. In the comics, Batman himself battled the fiendish Court of Owls at the beginning of the New 52, and they nearly brought down the Caped Crusader. And there was (the second) Owlman, who stole the girlfriend of a god in the Watchmen comics (we do not speak of the movie around here).

But what of the actual animal itself? Have you ever held one? Have you ever seen one up close? Ever had one steal a lollipop from you under the guise of some scientific experiment to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center? Well here’s your chance!

Getting In

Fukuro no Mise is one of the best-known animal cafés in Tokyo. It is also difficult to get into. You cannot call ahead or make an appointment online. You can only show up early and hope that you can get in one of the waiting list slots. Only ten people are admitted into the café each hour.

 

I arrived one hour and fifteen minutes before the opening, and line was already long. Forty-five minutes prior to opening, the staff began accepting reservations. I was able to get in the second group, so I only had an hour to wait. I had to pay immediately (2000 yen per person) and the lady put my name down on the wait list. She asked me if I was sure–if I didn’t come at least fifteen minutes after the appointed time, I would lose my spot, and there are no refunds. I confirmed that I would return, so she told me to come back five minutes prior to my scheduled appointment.

 

But Once Inside…

The first thing I saw when I went inside was the semi-circle of larger owls. Owls, like cats, seem to regard humans with poorly-disguised contempt. I understood why visiting was limited once I was inside. The entire café is very small, and is dimly lit for the comfort of its feathered residents. As expected, it is decorated in owl motifs–pillows, lamps, and the pictures adorning the wall were all things Strigiforme. Even the TV was playing Harry Potter.

The drink counter is in the back, where I was invited to sit. Perpendicular to the counter was another row of owls, all much smaller than the ones at the door. A small Spectacled Owl named Dave started mean-mugging me as soon as I got close. I was the last person to come inside for this group, and the only available seating was next to him. His head bobbed and swiveled as I passed. His chest puffed out, and his little white mustache bristled. He was adorable!

Besides Dave, the owls were disinterested in my arrival. The hand-sized burrowing owl right next to my seat woke up long enough to watch me sit down before nodding off again.

Drinks are included with the cover charge, unless you want something a little stronger (beer and wine are available for another 200 yen). But why would you? That’s not what you’re here for.

An Owl-Handling Tutorial

The first ten minutes of the visit consists of a handling tutorial. The spoken instructions are in Japanese, and there is a sheet written in English for tourists. The rules are easy; allow the staff to help you pick up and put down owls, touch them on the head and back only, and make sure the flash is off on your camera (and no videos, please). Also, there are a few residents who should not be touched.

The day I went, one owl was taking the day off and another was cranky because he was on a diet (“eats like a bird” apparently didn’t apply to that guy). Another no-toucher is Amachan, a blind spectacled owl who lives by the door and becomes frightened if people touch her. Please respect the birds and do not touch them if they have been placed off-limits.

After the tutorial, it’s owl-time! Three staff members circulated through our small group, putting owls on people’s outstretched arms. As birds, none are particularly heavy, not even the larger ones. I held several owls, and their talon grip on my hand was not strong, as one might expect. Even the large horned owl I held was like holding any other bird on your finger. The one possible exception might be the barn owl. I did not hold him, but the people I saw who did wore a thick glove.

Making Owl Friends

At the front of the café, staff members helped patrons hold the larger owls in a falconer’s pose, or you can opt to have one put on your shoulder or head. I passed on the chance to have an owl crap in my hair (“owls cannot be toilet-trained,” said the note card). The staff was also better able to attract an owl’s attention for pictures, given their propensity for turning their head the other way as soon as a camera came out.

About ten minutes prior to the end of the hour, we were invited to sit back down. The staff passed out gifts (also included in the price of admission), after which they thanked us and sent us on our way. There were other items for sale (jewelry and such), so ask a staff member if something catches your eye.

Animal Welfare

Given Japan’s “casual” attitude towards animal welfare (people here still buy dogs and cats from pet stores and “puppy mills”), questions as to the owls’ welfare dominate online discussion.

As far as I could tell (given an hour to observe), none of the owls were being mistreated. Yes, they are lashed into place with a little bit of room to move, but it was no different from the way you would tie up a dog or put a bird in a cage. Mention was given to flight training (the reason the one owl was on a diet, according to its card), but that occurred elsewhere–the café was definitely too small for an owl to get very far. I love animals too, and I would certainly object if I saw evidence of one being mistreated, but I also understand the realities of domesticated animals. In my opinion, the owls looked clean and well-cared for.

Other Helpful Tips

My group consisted entirely of adults. Fukuro No Mise does not allow children under the age of two, but it would probably be better not to take children under age ten here. Some children are obviously more sensitive than others, but I know more than a few kids who consider WHACK-WHACK-WHACK as an ok way to “pet” a dog. We don’t want to hurt our feathered friends, do we?

Fukuro No Mise has an English speaker on Fridays (a Hawaiian, given the number of times I saw “Mahalo” on the written materials), but the staff that was on duty while I was there were able to understand and speak English. There are also many signs in both Japanese and English, which was very helpful.

Fukuro no Mise is a great place, but it might be a bit difficult to get to for visitors. Luckily, Harajuku also has an owl cafe. Let Voyagin help you book your reservation at the Lovely Owl Cafe!

 

Owl Cafe Fukuro no Mise Tsukishima

Check out the Owl Cafe Fukuro no Mise Ameba Blog (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Tsukishima Station exit 10 (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Wednesday and Thursday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fridays 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sundays 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.. Arrive early to get a slot!

Price: 2000 yen per person

August 8, 2015 0 comment
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Assist Harajuku shopping Tokyo Japan

Assist On Harajuku shopping Tokyo Japan

Have you ever been on the internet and saw some kind of wacky invention from Japan and thought, “Who makes this stuff?” or more importantly, “Where can I buy this stuff?” Of course the answer to the latter question can be found just off the wacky and wild Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Beyond the fashion boutiques in this area that is filled with plastic parfait earrings and Barbie doll head necklaces, you can find the mecca where you can buy all of “that stuff” you have heard legends and tales about. The equally bizarrely named Assist On/a++ is past the famous Takeshita-dori and on the halfway point between Harajuku and Omotesando, Meiji-dori. In this small grotto of a shop specializing in all things odd, weird, and strangely cute you can be sure to find a tool to make your life all that much more interesting and (hopefully) helpful.

If you have seen the ubiquitous “Ostrich Pillow,” this is the kind of place that would have it (and they do)! If you want a little do dad for your home, office, school, dorm room, or any place that needs an injection of ease and help then Assist On/a++ should have something to help you out! Although the items for sale in the Harajuku shop may tend to lean towards the bizarre in terms of their purpose, they way everything looks is actually beautiful. The shape and style of each item is simple and clean. For example, a letter opener takes the shape of a mod little song bird or thumbtacks with tops in the shape of tiny sprouts that come in a box with brown foam to simulate a garden. Assist On/a++ also has a variety of items to keep all of your technology neat and organized. Items range from rubber coils with miniature face that are designed to keep wires separate and untangled to water proof smartphone cases with an attachable stand so that when you are using your phone for a recipe there will be no fear of that marinara sauce doing any damage to your phone.

The kids can benefit from the items for sale at Assist On/A++ too! If you have had a fear that your child will take a tumble on the train because they can’t reach the handles over their head, Assist On/a++ has one for sale that you can attach to your bag! You can also get them a lampshade in the shape of a friendly ghost that emits a soft light that is perfect for bed time (this one is also great for the kid at heart).

If you are looking for those particular kinds of wacky and weird gadgets that you have heard of on the internet then head to Harajuku and give Assist On/a++ a visit!

Assist On Harajuku shopping Tokyo Japan

Assist On/A++ Harajuku Store Information

Website

Nearest Station: 13-minute walk from Harajuku JR station (JR Yamanote Line)

 

Hours of Operation: 11:30 am to 7:30 pm daily.

“Why Go?”: You can get the weird stuff!

October 21, 2014 0 comment
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