I already talked about several different sights to go check out in Tokyo. There are of course many more places, some cool, some interesting, and some just plain different. Here are a few of the places that seem to be out of the ordinary.
Tokyo Mint Museum
We basically stumbled upon this place while we were randomly wandering around in Ikebukuro. Why did we go here? Well mostly because it sounded cool interesting on the sign. We were the only non-Japanese folks in the museums and while they staff could not speak English they were very happy to show us the things in the museums even if neither of us could understand each other. Its just a random out of the way place, with some interesting money exhibits and exhibits on other items the mint makes (like national awards, etc.).
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m
Closest Metro: Ikebukuro
Meguro Parasitological Museum
It doesn’t truly get stranger than the Meguru Parasitological Museum. We found the place by accident while we were wandering around (we do this a lot, the best way to see a city). Its a small place, 2 floors and a few exhibits. Everything is in Japanese but you can still enjoy yourself even if you cant read or speak the language. You can just make up your own descriptions for the exhibit like we did. There is even a little gift shop where you have to call someone to actually get service. But if you are looking for an awesome parasite t-shirt or parasite key-chain for your loved ones, this is the place to shop!
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Closest Metro: Meguro
Miyazaki is probably one of the most famous Japanese animators (or animators period) in the world and his movies have touched the lives of countless people. At the Ghibli museum you get the chance to go a bit behind the scenes and look into Ghibli studios and some of his work. Actually at the Museum there are several videos (that change) that are only exhibited here and nowhere else! Note there is no photography allowed inside the museum. Getting tickets is also tricky in that you need to buy them ahead of time from a Lawson’s ticket station (and need someone with Japanese to help you).
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Closest Station: Mitaka Station (JR)
You know there was something odd I always imagined about these Maid Cafes. I couldn’t quite figure out the appeal but then again I’m not the clientele. But, I will say it is definitely worth seeing for yourself and seeing if you love or hate them. They are located all over the city but many are concentrated in Akihabra (the electronics district). Note: I found it difficult do to navigate these without working Japanese.
Tobacco and Salt Museum
I found this to be the strangest combo of two things to put together. But yes, there is actually a museum dedicated to these two specific things. Why? Both of these items were once protected and controlled by the Japanese Tobacco and Salt Corporation (a government created monopoly). The museum is rather interesting and informative about some of the post war economic developments in Japan. They also have some really well done and interesting exhibits. While it wouldn’t be my first stop in Tokyo, certainly worth a thought if it is a topic you are interested in.
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Closest Metro: Honjo-Azumabashi Station
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Have you been to Tokyo? Any suggestions on interesting or out of the ordinary places to stay in Tokyo? Is it your first time in the city, be sure to check out our guide for first time visitors! Also check out how to save some money with free things to do in Tokyo. And our hotel guide for where to stay in the city. On a budget? Check out our friends at Budget your Trip on hostels in Tokyo.