The thing that compels many travellers towards Japan is the fact it is so different to anywhere else on the planet! From ancient culture and history, to ground-breaking modern technology, it truly is a unique travel experience. If you are looking for something a bit kooky, there’s almost no place better than Japan. See the below proof, as we showcase the top 8 crazy awesome things to do in Japan.
1. Robot Restaurant
Let’s cut straight to the chase – the Robot Restaurant is probably one of the weirdest experiences in the world! Imagine 10-foot tall robots, sexy queens of the galaxy, explosions, space gorillas, 40-foot-long robotic snakes, and a ridiculous amount of laser beams! Take all that and multiply it by 100! Yes, it is the craziest bar/restaurant you’ll ever visit, but it’s also very impressive. Word is they spend millions on the production, so tickets admittedly don’t come cheap. Like most shows, prices vary depending on days and times, but you’ll usually be looking to pay between £40 and £70. It may sound pricey, but this bizarre experience is a lot of fun and something that you’ll never forget.
2. Maid Café
Just when you thought things are getting too weird, step it up with a visit to a Maid Café. “What is a Maid café?!” I hear you ask… Well, to put it simply, they are cosplay themed restaurants where you are served by Japanese waitresses dressed as French maids. But don’t worry, it’s a lot more innocent than it sounds! You’ll be welcomed inside by cute hostesses with big smiles (and usually a pair of your very own bunny ears) and sat down to enjoy a coffee or funky food whilst the waitresses perform insanely energetic and fast-paced J-pop songs. Join in, sing-long, embrace the craziness and you’ll have a great time! Food is also often presented in insanely cute designs (see bunny ice cream below) ready made for Instagram! If it it sounds like fun to you, head to Akihabara, Tokyo’s buzzing electronics district, there you’ll find the best Maid Cafés in Japan.
3. Takeshita Street
Even the name is pure gold! This insanely busy shopping street in Tokyo is full of fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Takeshita Street is the place to be for all things trendy, weird and wonderful, with quirky accessorises, crazy boots and kitten t-shirts galore! It really does have next level style and swag, so dress how you like, there’s absolutely no judgement here. Even if fashion isn’t your thing, just admire the unique styles and roll with it. It’s one of those streets you need to take a stroll down just to embrace the buzzing atmosphere and witness the madness!
4. Animal Cafés
Animal cafés are a speciality of Tokyo. You can sit at a traditional coffee shop and enjoy a nice Japanese comic book with the added bonus of an owl on your shoulder, a few kittens sleeping on your lap, a hedgehog in your hand, or a snake around your neck! Animal lovers will never want to go to a regular cafe again after visiting these cute hangouts. If you want to know more, check out our backpacker guide which features a review on the interesting Owl cafe! You’re guaranteed to have a ‘hoot!’
5. Real Life Mario Karts
How many times have you and your mates thought you’d fare better than Super Mario, Princess Peach and Luigi in a real-life game of Mario Karts? If you’ve ever felt victimised by Rainbow Road (the most frustrating Mario Kart track) then here’s your chance to redeem yourself. MariCAR gives you the chance to race round the streets of Tokyo in a super-charged Mario cart dressed as your favourite character. Nip between neon-lit skyscrapers and floor it over the world’s busiest crossroad Shibuya, as you race to the finish line. In order to gain pole position you will need an international driver’s permit, so get this sorted before you travel.
6. Electric City
Akihabara, aka “electric city”, is considered the times square of Japan. It’s famous for many electronics shops where you can find all the Japanese tech you’ll ever need. If you are excited by technology or just want to feel like you’ve been transported into the future, this buzzing area is well worth a visit. It’s also the best place to go to check out the Maid Cafés. Old skool gamers beware: After entering the 6-floor Sega store, expect to come out 2 hours later with no money and a huge smile on your face.
7. Monkey Mountain
Head to Arashiyama in Kyoto to discover the amazing Iwatayama Monkey Park, aka “Monkey Mountain.” Ever wanted to hang around hundreds of wild monkeys, freely running around you? This is the place to do it. Although the monkeys are wild they are now very used to human interaction, so it’s a great opportunity to get up close to the the cheeky chaps. If you really want to win over your new monkey mates you can also purchase a bag of monkey food and feed them from the Rest Hut. To prevent getting mobbed you’ll be safe inside the hut whilst the monkeys are outside, reaching in for a snack. This is another amazing experience you shouldn’t miss, plus you’ll also be treated to great views over Kyoto.
8. Bamboo Forest
Arashiyama Bamboo grove is a natural forest where you are able to stroll through pathways to witness the abnormally tall bamboo. Its inane beauty is guaranteed to take up all of the storage on your camera and warrant a place on your Instagram feed. Surrounding the tranquil natural beauty you will also see many traditionally dressed local men and women who come to marvel at the magical natural landscape. Whilst pictures do admittedly look very cool, they cannot do justice to this fairy-tale like forest. This place can’t be missed.
Well, that’s it… Weird and wonderful Japan, at its very best! If you have experienced any other crazy awesome activities in Japan that you feel should be on the list, let us know in the comments below.
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