The unofficial (but wholly uncontested) land of the weird and cute, Japan – with its bustling, neon-lit capital, Tokyo, possibly encapsulating Japan’s condensed weird concepts in one city, there is no better way to experience some of Japan’s weirdest and cutest themed cafés than in Tokyo.
Think super cute kawaii cafés that make you absolutely want to squeal, or cafés that seriously gross you out (but also simultaneously intrigue you, and tickle the horror bone in you!) with their horror-themed creativity, to cafés that… just are.
Here are 21 themed cafés in Tokyo that you should visit – whether you’re looking for a unique dining experience or want to snag some really Instagram-worthy shots.
1. Moomin Bakery and Café
Hate the idea of dining alone (or straight up just want more company)? At this super cute Moomin-themed café, you can sit with Moomin and his various pals to accompany you, literally, as the giant plush Moomin toys will be seated right across, or beside you as you sip on a tasty cuppa latte.
Enjoy free-flow bread from their bakery, and hearty European-Japanese fare like their Curry Rice (¥1,300), Swedish Meatballs (¥1,800), or their own Moomin Marshmallow Royal Milk Tea with Cocoa (¥850).
Rather popular with the local folks as well, the café sees long, snaking queues. So be prepared for waiting time to dine with your favourite Moomin pals.
Open daily from 10am – 10pm (last order at 9pm) | Tokyo Dome City, 1-1-1 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0003 | 1-Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045
2. The Lockup
Want a terrifying dinner experience to truly tickle your horror-loving bone?
Go to The Lockup, a horror-themed izakaya (which serves alcoholic drinks and bar snacks!) where the wait staff will chain you to your seat, drag you to your ‘cell’, serve you drinks in test tubes, and beakers with floating eyeballs, a skewered hand that looks like it could start moving any time, and other… arguably gross, spooky-looking food.
(And yes, you won’t be let to eat in peace, as the staff will occasionally roam the halls to scare unwitting customers like yourself – so if you’re really into horror, spooky stuff, this should be your paradise.)
Be sure to stay for the monster attraction show – we won’t spoil you on what’s going to happen – you’ll just have to see and feel the excitement for yourself!
Opens 5pm – 1am (Mon – Thurs), 5pm – 5am (Fri-Sat), 5pm – 12am (Sun) | Shibuya Grand Tokyo Building B2F, 33-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 160-0021, other locations throughout the city in Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Ebisu.
3. Shiro-hige’s Cream Puff Factory
A cute café that pays homage to a Studio Ghilbi classic – Totoro, enjoy cute, Totoro-themed profiteroles (which come in four flavours: custard & fresh cream, chocolate, chestnut, raspberry & cream cheese), at ¥400 each, and other light café eats like various pastas, which come in a set of salad, and bread at 1,000.
Relatively affordable compared to the overpriced eats you often find at kawaii themed cafés, enjoy your meal without burning a hole in your wallet in this quaint little café.
Open daily from 10.30am – 7pm | 5 Chome-3-1 Daita, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0033
4. Alice in Fantasyland Café
If there’s one thing you need to know about Japan, it is that they absolutely love anything related to Alice in Wonderland, a classic childhood favourite.
So naturally, we had to include an Alice in Wonderland café, too. With everything and anything related to Alice in Wonderland, from the giant playing card tables flanked around an opulent, fairy tale-like room, to hedges that surround you when you make your way through the restaurant, reminiscent of the maze Alice herself got lost in, to giant storybook replicas that greet you at the entrance.
But that’s not all – you’ll also be served by wait staff, who’ll be appropriately dressed in Alice-inspired dresses, serving you incredibly cute Alice-themed food. The must-tries include their Ragout Sauce Spaghetti (¥1,000), meant to look like the Cheshire Cat, and their Cheshire Cat Tail Pizza, a pizza meant to look like the shape of a foot.
Opens daily from 11am – 3pm (last order 2.30pm), 2.30pm – 5pm (last order 3.30pm), and 5pm – 12am | T-wing building B2, 1-6-2, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0021
5. Shirokuma Polar Bear Café
Based on a popular children’s anime featuring the adventures of the eponymous white bear and a polar bear, Shirokuma Polar Bear Café features all food items and décor related to the two bears.
Even if you haven’t watched or heard of this anime, if you love all things cute – this should be right up your alley.
Prepare yourself for sandwiches, Swiss rolls, and hamburger buns imprinted with a motif of a bear and bear-shaped rice domes. Plus, there’ll also be a hanging TV screening the various episodes of this cute anime, so if you’re feeling lazy and just wanna hang back, eat some good food, and watch some TV, this is the place to go.
P.S. Don’t forget to go to the store, where you can snag a cute bear plushie home!
Open daily from 10am – 10pm | Takadanobaba, 2 Chome−16−3 2 1, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169 0075 | Website
6. Fishing Restaurant Zauo
Taking a break from all the sugary cute cafés for a bit, Zauo is a restaurant where you could literally fish for your own dinner, and be seated in a comfortably cooled or heated restaurant, away from the pains of the seasonal heat or cold.
Diners will be seated in a boat-like area overlooking a moat of sorts where they can net up their finds, pass it to the waiter, and have them cook it up into a fresh seafood feast. Not to worry, there’re even how-to guides if you’re a novice (like many, many others!) at fishing.
After that, you can then choose how you want your fish to be done: sashimi style, grilled, boiled, deep-fried, tempura style, or sushi.
Not so keen on fishing? You could simply soak in the atmosphere, and order directly from the menu itself.
Opens daily from 11.30am – 2pm (Lunch), 5pm – 11pm (Dinner) on weekdays, and 11.30am – 11pm on weekends | Main outlet in Nishi-Shinjuku, 3-2-9, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, with three other outlets at Meguro, Shibuya, and Kamaedo Eki Mae | Website
7. Ninja Akasaka: Ninja Café
Another thing we have to mention when talking about Japan – ninjas. So of course we had to have a Ninja-themed café in this list.
Dark passageways, shuriken (the star blades that ninjas throw), and various other ninja-related décor flanked all about, soak in the atmosphere and simply sit back, relax, and savour their various ninja-themed food.
Look forward to dishes in their tasting menu (¥5,700) that includes the Shuriken Star-Blades Grissini, desserts served atop swords – so on and so forth. But it’s not all about the food. Don’t forget to take photos of (or with!) the wait staff who are dressed up as ninjas. And be prepared to be blown away by some awesome ninja stunts!
Opens daily from 5pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Sat), and 5pm – 9.45pm (Sun) | Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1F, 2-14-3, Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014
8. Robot Restaurant
If you’re not living under a rock, we’re pretty sure almost everyone knows of the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo which has made many rounds around the Internet.
Filled with vivid (and arguably glaring) colours and buzz that Tokyo is so well-known for, be prepared for a bout of bizarre sci-fi, neon-lit, colourful fun as rather skimpily-clad girls dance and engage in mock-battles with the huge robots and tanks as you sit by the side lines eating a sushi bento (well, food isn’t really the main draw here, as you can see).
At ¥8,000 per person, the Robot Restaurant is where you’ll visit if you simply want to experience the intensity of one of Japan’s most bizarre themed restaurants.
P.S. You’re also going to need to turn up 40 minutes prior to showtime to collect the tickets, and they sell out pretty fast! Book here if you’re interested in getting a discounted e-ticket (who wouldn’t be?).
Opens daily from 3pm – 11pm | 1-7-1 Kabukicho, B2F, Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021 | Website
9. Yurei Izakaya
Literally translating to ‘Ghost’ Izakaya, Yurei Izakaya is a ghost themed café, duh. But unlike The Lockup (which is coincidentally situated very near to Yurei Izakaya!) this café doesn’t aim on scaring the living wits out of you, but wants to tell you that a trip to the underworld can be fun. Kind of.
Try out quirky party food like their Russian Roulette (¥162). Instead of guns, this is a seemingly normal finger food platter with kushikatsu. The “Russian roulette” factor? One of the pieces is filled with wasabi.
The poor person who picked up the piece with wasabi will receive a triangular head band (in addition to a scorched tongue!) that Japanese ghosts tend to wear, and apparently, if you walk from the station to Yurei Izakaya wearing the headband on your next visit, you’ll get a free dessert.
And hey, if you’re particularly salty about losing the Russian Roulette, order another round to rope in another unlucky sucker to scorch their tongue!
Opens daily from 5pm – 1am | 1 Chome-8-11 Kichijoji Minamicho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0003
If you go to Tokyo, you absolutely have to go to their maid cafés, to complete your Japanese experience. With wait staff dressed in cute maid costumes, serving cutely decorated food, performing J-Pop songs on the stage or chit-chatting with the guests, you’ll be sure to have a slice of whimsy fun in this maid café.
P.S. The ‘maids’ will also be asking you to do a little cheerful chant with them before drawing a cat on your food with tomato sauce, so don’t be too alarmed, sit back, and join in on the cheerful fun!
Opens daily from 11.30am – 11pm on weekdays, and 10.30am – 11pm on weekends | 3-16-17 Sotokanda, 6F Sumiyoshi Bldg., Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021 | Website
11 Café Swallowtail (Butler Café)
Want the “male” equivalent to a maid maid café? Head to a butler café, where you’ll be waited upon by ‘butlers’ who’ll be serving you classy desserts, tea, and most importantly, will treat you like the princess you know you were meant to be.
Opens daily from 9.30am – 10pm, Showa Building, 3-12-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0013
12. Artnia by Square Enix
Square Enix, the company behind many popular games such as Dragon Quest and the Final Fantasy series, Artnia features an egg-shape exterior on the outside, and an impossibly cool, modern looking interior with shelves upon shelves of the game merchandise like plushies.
Serving up printed-themed food after your favourite Square Enix characters, as well as latte art, this is a place that’ll surely capture your heart if you’re a Square Enix fan, alongside your favourite Final Fantasy tunes to truly pull on your heartstrings.
But wait, that’s not all! Before you leave, remember to visit their Final Fantasy shrine, which features a rather epic crystal waterfall, as well as super detailed figurines of your favourite FFVII characters.
Remember to take some figurines home as a memorabilia!
Opens daily from 11am – 10pm | 1F Shinjuku East Side Square, 6-27-30, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
13. Pompompurin Café
The Pompompurin Café may have closed in Singapore, but the cute dog mascot still holds a special place in our heart.
Flanked in bright cheery colours with the cute mascot, this restaurant also serve Pompompurin-themed food. From beautifully presented Roast Beef Donburi (¥1,800) to decadent looking desserts with the signature mascot smiling at you, this is where you want to get your camera ready before you dig into any dish.
Opens daily from 11pm – 9am | 1-7-1 Jingumae, 3F Cute Cube Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 | Website
14. Kawaii Monster Café
Get ready to be transported into a hallucination-like rainbow trance as you are greeted by wait-staff decked in a jumble of different colours at this restaurant. This internationally famous restaurant also features lit-up rainbows and carousels where dancers perform for guests.
Completely encapsulating Tokyo’s (or rather, Harajuku’s) love for the colourful and all things fun and crazy, the restaurant serves tasty food items in all sorts of crazy, neon colours, in the form of cute bunnies or kawaii monsters.
Opens daily from 11.30am – 4.30pm (Lunch), and 6pm – 10.30 (Dinner) on Mon – Sat, and 11am – 8pm on Sun & PH | YM Square Bldg, 4F, 4-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 | Website http://kawaiimonster.jp/
*During Golden Week, the café will be open from 11am – 4.30pm, and 6pm – 10pm on Mon – Sat, and 11pm – 9pm on Sun & PH.
15. Harry Hedgehog Café
Forget about your regular run-of-the-mill cat cafés you see in Singapore – get ready to pet, feed, and go crazy over cute lil’ hedgehogs at this café.
Offering a minimum of 30 minutes of play time for ¥1,400, and ¥1,630 if you choose to purchase the snack set (and a maximum time limit of an hour at ¥2,800) with the cute hedgehogs, make sure to savour every minute of cute, heavenly bliss with these adorable critters.
Opens daily from 12pm – 7pm | Jingumae 1-13-21, 4F, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 | 6-7-2 Roppongi, Iwahori Bldg 2F, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032 | Website
16. Sengoku Buyuden
This izakaya specialises in all things samurai related. You’ll be greeted by the beautiful, historic, wooden-paneled interior, majestic armours, shields, swords all alike, and truly feel like you’ve been transported back to the historical sengoku era (1550 – 1600).
With scrolls of famous sengoku warriors of the past flanked on the wooden panels as you dine on traditional Japanese eats and fusion foods. Don’t miss standout dishes such as their Kabuki Miso Cheese Kushi (¥924), assorted sashimi and sushi, and Chinmi Santen Mori (¥819).
Don’t forget to gulp down some sake in sengoku style!
Opens daily from 5pm – 11.30pm | Kabukicho, 1-6-2, 4F T-Wing Bldg., Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021
17. Café & Bar Owl Village
Always wanted to touch, pet, and absolutely spoil these cute nocturnal bird-of-prey especially after watching Harry Potter movies? This is the café to visit.
Its Harajuku store just received a certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor last year, so you know it’s a place you absolutely cannot miss out on.
This owl café provides a safe and relaxing space to play with the owls at a fee of ¥1,500 per hour, and if you’re hesitant or unsure how to interact with these cute furry critters, don’t worry – the staff will guide you on how to pet and interact with the owls without startling them.
Opens daily from 11am – 8pm | 1-21-15 Jingumae, Harajuku ATM Bldg. 4F, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 | 1-26-1 Kichijoji Honcho, JK Kichijoji Bldg. 201, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0004 | Website
18. Tokyo Snake Centre
Possibly one of the more… exotic cafés out there, this is for the “thrill-seekers” out there.
Pretty self-explanatory, but as with all animal-themed cafés, interact, pet, take some pictures, while sipping on some coffee.
It houses a total of 62 non-venomous snakes in its café that you can pet and interact with.
With an admission of ¥1,000 to interact with the snakes and a drink of your choice (with no time limit!), this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss if you love all cute critters – furry or non-furry, legged and non-legged alike.
Opens daily from 11am – 8pm (except for Tues) | 6-5-6 Jingumae, Sampo Sogo Bldg 8F, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001
19. Peter Rabbit Garden Café
With a similar concept to the famous Moomin Café, Peter Rabbit Garden Café is a place that pays homage to childhood storybooks of Peter Rabbit, written by Beatrix Potter.
You’ll love the quaint, fairytale-like and filled with lush greens for a truly dreamy atmosphere, where you can also sit with the eponymous rabbit and his friends as you eat delicate, cute-looking themed desserts and meals, with some afternoon tea.
Opens daily from 11am – 8pm | 1-25-20 Jiyugaoka, 1F Jiyugaoka MYU, Jiyugaoka, Meguro, Tokyo 152-0035 | Website
20. Milky Way Café
Milky Way Café is a star-themed café, adorned with glistening decorations.
Be greeted by pretty, delicate looking desserts to fries served in a star-shaped plate – in other words, it’s a star-lover’s paradise.
Only thing to worry about? Your expanding waistline… unless you’ve got a crazy high metabolism, that is!
Opens daily from 11am – 10pm | 1 Chome-12-8, Higashiiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013
21. Suzukien Matcha
While it may not have the most outlandish decor, don’t underestimate this café. Matcha-lovers are going to be e excited to know that this small, unassuming café has seven levels of matcha in terms of the intensity it offers.
See yourself as the ultimate matcha-lover? For ¥560 per pop (regular flavours go at ¥370 per single cup), we’d say challenge yourself to a Level 7 matcha!
P.S. Beware the hour-long queues – you know something must be real good when you see even the locals queue up for it!
Opens daily from 10am – 5.30pm | 3-4-3 Asakusa, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032