An unusual destination?

People have asked me from time to time about what they can do in Japan that is a bit different, or off the usual tourist path. Japan is filled to the brim with quirky and unusual things to do, so if you’re looking for a vacation that is, shall I say…different, you’ve set your sights on the right country, and Tokyo itself will keep you fascinated for weeks on end.

Tokyo Flea Markets

You can start with the Tokyo Flea Markets. There are several markets around the city, usually held on Sundays. Umi no Koen Flea Market near the Uminokoen-Shibaguchi station is held every third Sunday of the month, and has an impressive collection of Oriental antiques that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. If you’re looking for something truly unique, this is the place to go. If you’re in town on the second Sunday instead of the third, you can try out the Best Flea Market in the Tokyo International Forum Hall C which is very close to the Yurakucho station.

© sunxez/

© sunxez/

An ear cleaning café?

Something you are unlikely to find anywhere else in the world are ear cleaning cafés. That may sound a bit odd, but yes, there are cafés where you go to get your ears cleaned. You lay on your side, and a well trained technician cleans your ears. Many people describe it as one of the best experiences they’ve ever had. You should try it for yourself and see what you think.

Quirky restaurants

Of course you will have to eat while you’re in Tokyo, and there is a long list of regular restaurants you can pick from, including the usual fare you will see back home. But, instead of opting for the normal eatery, you can branch out and try some of the odder things on offer. For example there is Kagaya in the Hanasada Building. You have to book your table in advance as it is very popular. When you arrive, you will be greeted and waited on by the owner who has an unusual way of taking your order…using hand puppets. Your menus are silly and nonsensical, and the whole experience is truly unique.

© Jon Åslund/

© Jon Åslund/

Another interesting restaurant is called The Lockup in the Shibuya Grand Tokyo Building.  You are met at the door by prison guards, handcuffed and taken to your cell….err, I mean table. Your meal is themed to match the ambiance where you can order specials such as Drug Addiction and Human Experiment.

Japan is really quite an amazing destination, and you definitely will not soon forget your visit.


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