Tokyo theme cafes and restaurants

Incredible Themed Cafes in Tokyo You Need To Visit

February 28, 2019 25 Comments

Tokyo is well known for its crazy themed cafes; from the kawaii (cute) to the absolutely outrageous. If you are looking for different, strange or downright bizarre food experiences in Tokyo, then this post has got you covered!

While you might not experience a Michelin Star type meal in many of these themed cafes in Tokyo, it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about the experience and the fun. And boy, you will get that in bucketloads.

I highly recommend visiting at least one of these themed cafes in Tokyo during your time in Japan – you won’t regret it!


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The Lock-Up – Eat Dinner In a Jail Cell

The Lock-Up is a prison-themed restaurant located in Shinjuku, Tokyo which is styled somewhat on the infamous Alcatraz Prison of California. It comes complete with dimly lit corridors, prison guards, scary prisoners plus the added enjoyment of eating in a locked cell. It is unlike anything you will have ever experienced before and well worth checking out.

It really isn’t for the faint-hearted or the easily scared but if you have an interest in creepy diners or if you like horror movies, then this is probably the right Japanese themed cafe for you.

Whilst living in Japan, I took plenty of family and friends who came to visit me to The Lock Up. They loved the craziness of it all and the ‘surprise’ that often takes place during your meal. (Hey, I’m not one to ruin surprises so you’ll have to check it out for yourself!).

Themed cafes in Tokyo. The Lock Up

The food is nothing to write home about but the menu most definitely is ‘horror-filled’ and a great addition to the atmosphere of the place. You can expect to see images of guts, brains and eyeballs. It isn’t the most appealing menu I’ve ever seen but it most certainly unique. I recommend trying the test tubes or a “floating eyeball gin and tonic” to go with your meal.

The food might not be great but the staff are simply incredible at creating a terrifying but fun atmosphere by roaming around in ghoulish attire and jumping out when you least expect it.

Location: Shinjuku branch, 6–7F Shinjuku Square Building, 1-16-3 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 050-7576-5262
Open: Sun–Thu and public holidays, 5 p.m.–1 a.m.; Fri, Sat, the day before public holidays, 5 p.m.–3 a.m.

The Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant is one of the most popular and well known Japanese themed cafes in Tokyo. The cafe is located in the Kabukicho area of Tokyo, right next to the red-light district. Upon entering, it almost feels like you are stepping into an alternate universe. It’s unlike anything you will have ever seen before; flashing lights, neon signs and psychedelic mirrors. So be warned, The Robot Restaurant is a complete and utter sensory overload.

themed restaurants in tokyo

Although it is classed as a restaurant, there really isn’t much food on offer. You can grab some small snacks and drinks before the show and during the interval so don’t visit here hungry for dinner. Let’s be honest though, the main attraction is the show itself and what a show it is. There are gigantic robotic animals ridden by scantily clad Japanese women, extreme ninja battles and loud, brash live music.

theme restaurants in tokyo. The Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku.

The late great Anthony Bourdain called this place “the greatest show on Earth” so if that doesn’t sell it, nothing will.

Get Tickets Here: The Robot Restaurant (with a 38% discount!)

Location: Shinjuku Robot Bldg. B2F, 1-7-7 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku.
Website: Book Here
Opening hours: Daily 4pm-11pm

Eat with Japanese Ninja’s

Fancy dining in amongst carefully skilled, mystical ninjas? Well, you can do just that in this quite hard to find Ninja themed restaurant in Tokyo. It is located on a quiet Akasaka street complete with a ‘hidden’ entrance door. This all adds to the mystery of the themed restaurant.

Once you enter the restaurant, a ninja will guide you through secret passageways and narrow trap doors before entering a mystical garden of Eden. Guests then sit in their own private dining area complete with impressive ninja-style decorations.

ninja restaurant tokyo

The food here is good considering it is one of many themed restaurants in Tokyo. Both vegetarians and meat-eaters can be catered for here and you can choose either a set menu or á la carte. I highly recommend going for the set menu especially if you are a first-time visitor but prepare to lose count of the number of courses on offer!

Ninja restaurant Tokyo

You will also be treated to a spectacular magic show complete with sword skills and card tricks that even the most sceptical can’t help but be amazed by. However, like most Japanese themed cafes and restaurants in Tokyo, it’s not cheap but the experience alone is well worth the price.

Get Tickets Here: Ninja Restaurant Experience

Address : 2-14-3, Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyu plaza Akasaka 1F
Tel : 03-5157-3936 
Opening Hours : [Mon – Sat] 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM (Door Close 10:30PM), [Sun, Holiday]  5:00 PM – 11:00 PM (Door Close 09:45PM)

Be served by Maids at a Maid Cafe

Maid Cafes are themed restaurants which were first established in Tokyo’s Akihabara district (known as the tech world of Tokyo). They are quite popular among tourists and the Japanese alike and they have now spread to other parts of Japan too.

All of the servers are young, pretty women dressed in cosplay maid outfits. For some, they are considered sleazy and kinky, however, there are strict rules enforced in these cafes. You most likely will be addressed as master /mistress but you are not allowed to touch, take photos of or ask personal information about any of the maids.

maid cafe tokyo

If you want to experience a Japanese themed maid cafe then I highly recommend the Maidreamin chain which is very mainstream and tourist-friendly. Yes, the food is overpriced and ‘cutesy’ and the maids will most likely come and sing to you but if you’re looking for strange food experiences in Tokyo, this is definitely one to check out!

Be Rainbow dazzled at the Kawaii Monster Cafe

The Kawaii Monster Cafe can only really be described as rainbow colours on acid. Everything everywhere is rainbow coloured and humongous. It is almost on par with The Robot Restaurant in terms of loud, pulsating music, neon lights and crazy sculptures. Sebastian Masuda is the creative genius behind the monsters and dessert explosions in this cafe.

Kawaii Monster Cafe

At the centre of everything in this themed cafe in Tokyo is a gigantic pink monster cake, which doubles up as a stage. You can expect mediocre food but a crazy neon, glittery performance by dancers in monster costumes. This is definitely one of those ‘out-there’ experiences in Japan and one you really shouldn’t miss. Oh – and get the rainbow spaghetti too while you’re there!

Kawaii Monster Cafe
photo credit: Michael Mortola – Flickr

Get Tickets Here: Kawaii Monster Cafe Reservation (Official Partner)

Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 4 Chome−31−10 YMスクエア 4F
Tel: +81 3-5413-6142
Website: Book Here

Dine ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ Style

The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme is hugely popular all across Japan so it’s no wonder that there are several pop-up restaurants which are Alice-themed. They can vary in theme, decor and food depending on the destination. The most popular Alice in Wonderland cafe is in Shinjuku.

In front of the restaurant, there are lots of fake food items which is quite typical of a lot of food outlets across Tokyo and beyond.

fake food tokyo

Once you enter, the first thing you will notice is the decadent decor of Alice in Wonderland; storybook wallpaper depicting scenes from Alice in Wonderland, waitresses dressed in Alice’s costumes, kawaii food like Caterpillar sushi rolls and Cheshire Car parfait. It almost makes you feel as if you are part of the book/movie. The staff too were very friendly and they were more than happy to indulge us for photos and allowed us to look around.

Alice in wonderland theme cafe Tokyo

There isn’t anything that unusual about the food menu; soup, pasta, bread, all served in bowls decorated in Alice attire but if you’re an Alice fan, this is something you shouldn’t miss out on!


Get Tickets Here: Alice in Wonderland Cafe


Address: 1-5-1, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
Tel: 03-3340-2466
Hours: Lunch: 11:00 – 14:30(L.O.14:30), Cafe: 14:30 – 16:00(L.O.15:30), Dinner: 17:00 – 23:30(L.O.22:30)
Website: Book Here

Go Back to School at Rokunen Yonkumi

Do you ever wish you could go back to your school days and experience them all over again? Me neither ha! However, just in case you were curious about primary education in Japan, then fill your curiosity at Rokunen Yonkumi, a school-themed izakaya in Shinjuku. It’s actually located right above The Lock Up so you could technically go from prison to school or vice versa!

school themed cafe tokyo
photo credit: Lily Crossly-Baxter

Like most Japanese themed cafes, this place goes above and beyond to create an authentic atmosphere. You can expect to find blackboards, chalk, small wooden chairs and world flags. While you won’t be expected to act like a child (they serve alcohol!), there is some role play going on; a teacher will bring you to your classroom, you may be expected to line up and sometimes a ‘quiz’ will come out of nowhere at you.

The food on offer is simple izakaya-style dishes with a school twist. They also offer free sweets/candy too – baskets and baskets of it. However, what you take, you must eat – exactly like school! The cafe itself is quite small but the prices are reasonable and it is definitely something different to do during a visit to Tokyo.

Get Tickets Here: Explore Tokyo Restaurants That You Won’t Find In Any GuideBook

Address: 1-16-3 Kabukicho | Shinjuku Square Bldg. 9F, Shinjuku 160-0021
Tel: +81 3-5292-0640
Website: http://www.6nen4kumi.com/shinjuku/



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25 Comments

  • sharnah March 10, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    I am spending my first week in Japan staying in Shinjuku so I am SO glad that a lot of these are based there. As amazing as the first cafe sounds, I am a very jumpy person so I am not sure if I would like it! The Robot Restaurant is already on my to-do list and I can’t wait! I am a massive fan of Alice in Wonderland too! So many amazing cafes to chose from! I would love to visit the Ninja Restaurant! What were the veggie food like in the other cafes? Thanks for such an informative post!! xx

  • Elisha March 10, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Oh I love Japan’s quirkiness. These would all be an experience to remember.

    • Ciara March 11, 2019 at 3:45 am

      They definitely are! The Lock Up still haunts me!

  • Lizzie Bee March 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    I’m so sad that I missed out on all of these themed restaurants when I was in Japan, I would’ve loved to have gone to the Alice in Wonderland one!

    • Ciara March 11, 2019 at 3:46 am

      oh no! Well that means you need to go back, right? Hope you had a good time when you were there.

  • Megan | Ginger Mom and Company March 10, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    The ninja one sounds intriguing 🙂 I’ve never been to a themed restaurant before and Tokyo has been on my travel bucket list for a long time. Great post!

    • Ciara March 11, 2019 at 3:50 am

      Yeah I didn’t know what to expect. It’s expensive but it’s not like anything you can experience anywhere else. Go to Tokyo! It’s everything you imagined and more!

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  • jesica March 30, 2019 at 4:35 am

    These cafes are so interesting! I have always found that asia have really creative ideas for their cafe and i really want to visit them one day. Thanks for sharing! :)x

    jesica — talesfromjes.com

    • Ciara April 15, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Thanks for your comment! Yeah I have never seen anything like the cafes and restaurants in Asia – they are on another level aren’t they? Also thank you for subscribing to my blog. I plan on getting newsletters and freebies sent out soon!

  • Daniel May 26, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    I loved the Robot Restaurant but have not yet been to the Ninja Restaurant…next time!

  • Nicola Lavin November 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I want to go to Japan just for these Cafes alone!!!

    • Ciara November 22, 2019 at 12:51 am

      Thanks, Nicola – I hope you get to go someday!

  • Céline November 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    I didn’t know Tokyo had so many themed restaurants! It would be really interesting to see how primary education is in Japan at Rokunen Yonkumi.

    • Ciara November 22, 2019 at 12:50 am

      Thanks, Celine – it’s really just a play on primary education in Japan although the waiters do treat you like pupils haha. It’s bizarre but a lot of fun!

  • Josy A November 17, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    You found sooo many good ones! My husband complained that I don’t normally take him to the kooky or crazy places in Japan…I guess I’ll have to visit some of these on our next visit. 😀

    • Ciara November 22, 2019 at 12:49 am

      Thanks so much Josy – I had plenty of time to find them all and i’ve more to add as I lived in Tokyo for a few years until recently. Themed restaurants are so popular among tourists there! You’ll definitely have to try some out on your next visit!

  • Andi November 17, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve had the opportunity to visit Tokyo a few times and have visited themed restaurants – they are SO much fun! Thanks for sharing these!

    • Ciara November 22, 2019 at 12:48 am

      Thanks for your comment Andi – the themed restaurants really are a LOT of fun aren’t they! I’ve never experienced anything quite like it anywhere else!

  • Sydney February 5, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    I’m so sad that I missed out on the Robot Restaurant when I was in Tokyo – it looks so fun! The only themed cafe I visited during my trip was a hedgehog cafe, and I really regret my visit. I felt so sorry for those poor hedgehogs!

  • Francesca February 5, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    The Lock-Up looks a tiny bit terrifying, not going to lie… Definitely looks like quite the experience that I doubt you would forget in a hurry!

  • Alissa February 5, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    I hoed rly didn’t know what a themed cafe was before reading this post but it looks so interesting! If I ever visit Japan, I will definitely try to make it to one of these.

  • Kirstie Will Travel February 6, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I love how weird and wonderful everything in Japan seems to be- this is a great list!

  • Julie February 6, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    These look SO fun! I’m all about the experience so I don’t even know which one I’d try first. Probably the robot cafe…or maybe the ninjas! lol

  • Leave a Reply

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