Everywhere you turn in Tokyo, there’s high-tech. Whether you’re shopping, dining, or visiting a museum, you’re bound to see some sort of innovative technology that you can only find in Japan. We’ve picked out some of the most prominent hangout spots in Tokyo for tech—including some classics as well as the latest haunt for art technology that everyone’s dying to visit!
Have you been to any of these tech-inspired hangout spots in Tokyo? Or are you dying to visit? Let us know! We’d also love to know about other tech-inspired hangout spots in a city near you!
Even if you’re only a casual Instagrammer, chances are you’ve seen a TeamLabs post or two. Arguably they are the most Insta-worthy museums in the world and there are currently three in Tokyo. It’s hard to pin down exactly what TeamLabs is. It’s like an interactive art gallery, which showcases how innovative artists and engineers are creating new mediums of art. The “Borderless” exhibit is probably the most famous—both on Instagram and in real life!
There’s a trampoline that simulates stars being eaten by a black hole as you jump on it. There’s a room filled with giant neon-lit balloons that you can lift up. My personal favourite is a room enveloped in mirrors, with rows of LED lights that resemble an enchanting fairy curtain. There’s even a tearoom shrouded in darkness except for the spot right in front of you, where you place your herbal tea—lights from the ceiling will paint your cup in the most delicate pastel flower designs. What’s more, every room has ambient music which makes the whole experience even more serene and otherworldly.
Tokyo is a place of pilgrimage to many people for a number of reasons, including food, fashion, and technology, to name a few. And of course, these categories can be split further. A subcategory of tech is video games. All over the city, there are electronic stores selling the latest games, second-hand stores selling used and retro games, and arcades offering a quick fix for your gaming addiction! Everywhere you turn, you’re bound to find an arcade. Nicknamed the “electric town” due to the the sheer amount of electronic goods stores, Akihabara is the place to visit if you’re into gaming.
One of the most popular in Akihabara is Super Potato, and for good reason. It has a stack of retro games for you to try and buy, including Super Mario, Pokémon, and Pac Man. It also sells old school gaming platforms and equipment. Super Potato itself is like a museum of 80s and 90s memorabilia—in other words, it hits you right in those childhood nostalgia feels!
Vending & Food Ticket Machines
It can be seen as a good or a bad thing, but food ordering without interacting with a human is a pretty standard practice in Tokyo. There’s no denying that an advantage is how quick and convenient it is. For example, you’re heading to the train station and you’re really thirsty, but you can’t stop at a convenience store because you’re running late. No problem, just buy a drink from one of the hundreds of thousands of vending machines in Tokyo! Or you’re going with your friends to the movies and you’re all hungry but don’t have a lot of time before the movie begins—no problem, just order ramen from a ticket machine and hand it over to the chef who’ll serve your food within ten minutes! Or if you’re hungry and struggling with the language barrier, many restaurants offer iPad menus with English. Look out for Genki Sushi or Kin no Kura—both popular restaurant chains in the city.
Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku
If you’re looking for a particularly techstravagant experience, you have got to visit to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. You have to book in advance and it’s not the cheapest of attractions, but it’s a unique experience—especially if you’re into all things sci-fi, anime, and theatrics. Despite the name, the Robot Restaurant doesn’t really have a menu. When you order a ticket online, you can pre-order a bento box or buy a snack when you arrive at the restaurant. The real attraction, however, is the show. The show is like a mini Tokyo on steroids—brimming with Japanese pop, neon lights, and cute dancing robots. If you want every one of your senses to go into overload, be sure to book tickets for a truly wacky, tech-filled performance!
Written by Kay Knofi.
TeamLabs Borderless photo courtesy of @kayknofi