Japan may be known for its superior technology, stunning landscapes, and delicious food, but it’s also home to the quirkiest attractions in the world. Take a peek at some of the fun you should be having when you visit Japan:
Take a life-size Mario Kart for a joy ride in the heart of Tokyo.
Let’s take it back to the days of Spice Girls, Titanic, and a certain console, the Nintendo64 and the classic video game—Mario Kart 64. Driving down Rainbow Road was oh so fun and oh so perilous, but that ethereal soundtrack was the bomb.
What if you could take your own ride in a go-kart Mario-style? And not just take a ride, but actually take a tour of Tokyo, dressed as one of your favorite Mario characters. It’s a thing and a must when you’re visiting Japan’s capital.
Dine in one of Japan’s many theme cafes, depending on what you’re in to.
Did you know Japan is full of cafes themed around many different quirks and obsessions? For instance, there’s an entire cafe based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The cult-classic story about a girl who fell through a hole and landed in a psychedelic land has been turned into a full-on restaurant in Tokyo. Sip tea with the Mad Hatter himself while visiting this cafe.
Not so into trippy children’s stories? That’s cool. Do you love cats? There’s a cafe for you, too. You can literally play with cats while you eat and drink at one of these feline cafes during your trip.
And if those weren’t enough for you, there’s plenty of other theme cafes to choose from, including vampire, maid, and robot cafes.
Explore the worlds of Studio Ghibli.
If you’ve somehow missed all the works of Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki, do yourself a favor and stream Spirited Away right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you’ve seen a masterpiece in animation, it’s time you visit the Ghibli Museum where you can see just how the brilliant Miyazaki created the worlds of Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and more.
Not only is this museum super cool—it’s also super exclusive. Only 200 people are allowed into the museum each day, so it’s important to get your tickets ahead of time (in fact, there is no ticket office on site).
Take a selfie with a monster on Yokai Street during a stay in Kyoto.
Kyoto’s old world isn’t limited to the architecture and geishas you can see along the streets. There’s also an entire street lined with businesses with obscure creatures in front of their doors—monsters. Yokai literally means monster in Japanese, and on this street, you’ll come across over 30 different varieties of the beasts in different sizes, shapes, and mediums.
None of these statues are for sale; they exist solely to bring some attention to the neighborhood. But they’re fun to look at nonetheless and would make a great buddy to take a selfie with!
Time to enjoy the quirky side of Japan.
Love the idea of go-karting like Yoshi through the streets of Tokyo? Want to dine alongside a fanged friend at a vampire cafe? Book your ultimate group trip to Japan by clicking here.