Highlights from Tokyo

  1. Introduction
  2. Review: United 787-8 Dreamliner BusinessFirst SFO-KIX
  3. Review: Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
  4. Highlights from Osaka
  5. Highlights from Kyoto
  6. Review: Kyomachiya Ryokan Sakura Honganji
  7. Review: Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Tokyo was the last leg of our trip and the most overwhelming city I’ve ever visited. After seven days in Japan, I was pretty tired. If I were to plan this trip again, I would do it in reverse: Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka, front-loading the days that require the most mental and physical energy at the beginning of the trip. A lesson I’ve learned for my future trips!

Robot Restaurant

For our first evening in Tokyo, we had to visit the famous Robot Restaurant. Our hotel had copies of Metropolis magazine, which had a $20 off coupon inside.

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Me when I find a coupon…

The Robot Restaurant is an absurd electrical parade show. It’s totally for tourists, but everyone said we had to do it. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


We booked a morning reservation for maricar, which is a MarioKart cosplay on the streets of Tokyo. It was so silly and probably not that safe, but we had a great time. If you’re interested in maricar, you should go sooner rather than later since Nintendo just sent a cease and desist notice to maricar.

Since we had a lunch reservation, we were able to negotiate a shorter course. This ended up being a win, since we got a private instructor and the weather was rainy. I chose to dress up as Luigi, and Max chose Pikachu.

We stopped at Tokyo Tower to take pictures and Max was asked to pose for a photo πŸ™‚


Mori Art Museum

In Roppongi Hills, this museum is full of exhibits focused on contemporary art and culture. The museum’s entrance plays with leading lines, light and the letter M.


One of the highlights was an exhibit “The Universe and Art” by teamLab, the same group that did Future Parks exhibit in Silicon Valley.

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Tapas Molecular Bar

This trip was a splurge, and this meal was the biggest splurge of all. We went to Tapas Molecular for lunch — originally, we could not get a reservation but then our hotel concierge was able to snag us a spot for lunch.

Tapas Molecular is located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. There are only 8 seats total, with one seating during lunch and two during dinnertime. The set menu is a “molecular gastronomy experience” and was $350pp (with the wine pairing).

When we sat down, we were given a wrapped box and a towelette.


Unwrapping revealed toolboxes that contained the “tools” (not utensils) we would use to eat our meal. The menu was printed on a tape measure.

The utensil and menu reveal set the stage for a meal that would play with our senses… not everything was as it appeared to be!

Just a few snapshots of our 20+ course meal…


Our desserts: even though it appears to be an egg, it’s actually mango!


After our splurge, UOBEI was a super fun food experience on the cheap! Almost everything isΒ 108Β₯ (~ $1) at this “bullet train” sushi spot.

When we entered the restaurant, we were seated immediately. There’s an iPad at each seat, where you order whatever you want. Then your order is delivered straight to you.


Kakaya by the Sea


We had a delicious seafood dinner at this restaurant near Shibuya Crossing. We didn’t make a reservation, but they were able to squeeze us in if we ate quickly.

The menu had a cute illustration of the staff on the cover. We got one of the set menus, which was $80 for both of us ($40pp).


The meal was fresh, delicious, and colorful!

Owl Cafe

An animal cafe is typical tourist fare, so we headed to an Owl Cafe in Shinjuku.

It was an interesting way to spend an hour, but I’m not sure I would go again. I feel like owls are not really meant to be tied down this way. And I’d rather hang out with dogs and cats than owls.


Shooting Bar EA Tokyo

Another random Japanese experience: a bar where you can drink and shoot guns (with bb bullets). We tried to walk in here, but it was too busy so we made a reservation on our last night in Tokyo. Once we were seated, we were handed two menus: a drink menu and a gun menu.

The gun menu had prices next to each gun, which started at around $5. Max and I ordered a couple drinks and a couple guns.


Talk about something you don’t get to do everyday…

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