Tokyo was one of those places I've always wanted to go, but admittingly it wasn't high on the travel bucket-list - but now having gone, I cannot wait to go back. It's somewhere that totally over delivered on my expectations, and I think it's because for a densely populated city - there is SO much to see and do if you're new to the city.
When it comes to googling some weird and wacky experiences in the golden town, the usual suspects (ah hem Robot Restaurant) will of course pop up, but I thought I'd document a few of the experiences we had researched that made our list, and some we were fortunate to pack in to only a few days.
Bar Hop in Golden Gai
Even if you don't drink - treat yourself to a lemonade in this maze of 200 miniature bars in the neighborhood of Shinjuku. Formulated by 6 tiny alleyways, the bars are made for on foot exploring with each accomodating up to 10 people maximum. It's a sight to see, and one of the best places to meet some incredibly friendly local bartenders who love nothing more than putting on a show for tourists.
We didn't make it to this one but other travellers we met raved about catching a sumo practice session at the Hakkaku Sumo Stable. There's of course plenty of stables to research and visit, but we heard first hand that at Hakkaku you can really be up close and personal during practice and see them in all their glory.
It's a 4am start, but if you're lucky to get a spot to check out the famous tuna auction in Tsukiji Fish Market - your a lucky traveller! It's becoming harder and harder for travellers to get a spot at this traditional routine of buyers checking fish quality of incredible tuna in all shapes and sizes. We didnt end up getting a spot, but made the most of exploring the outer market where you can see them delicately carve up the tuna they have purchased, and also see vendors selling every type of seafood you can imagine! Be warned though - samples of raw fish are commonly offerred to tourists, and whale samples are included in this also - so be careful to know what you're sampling!
It's iconic thanks to the Harajuku girls that made this precinct famous - and it's absolutely worth a visit to see perhaps the busiest street in Tokyo come alive with the fashionably free gents and ladies who socialize along the cafes and bars in this area. Aside from insane people watching, there's actually some great shopping to be had (particularly for the ladies) and some great places to eat to absorb the atmosphere.
Karaoke your heart out
Absolutely we made it to a karaoke bar, but we didn't make it to the famous Twenty-Storey Karaoke Hotel which is located across the road from the Robot restaurant and contains 20 levels of rooms dedicated to themed karaoke including outrageous costumes you can hire to match your performance!
Owl, Kitten and Rabbit Cafes
If you're a animal lover this is probably already on your travel radar. I do recommend reading which animal cafes you plan to visit beforehand - we did some googling to find some were less than perfect when it came to animal care reviews. We visited a rabbit cafe that seriously put my own pet ownership to shame, not only were these the most pampered domestic rabbits on town, but the owners were very clear about protocol and safety of animals too. Absolutely recommend it for something different, we each got to pick one to cuddle for 15 mins, and then take into a special room and have a cup of tea while we watched them play - but definitely do your homework to make sure your visiting a reputable cafe!