Tokyo: 8 Offbeat Food & Drink Experiences

I have made it no secret that Tokyo is one of my favorite places in the world. It is a Japanese city that is filled with the latest innovations, an undying energy and a rich culture.

Plus, there are so many quirky and fun things to do in Tokyo, and a lot of them are centered around the tasty food scene.

Tokyo, Japan: 8 Offbeat & Crazy Food & Drink Experiences: Restaurants and Attactions

Annette White eating fresh fish at Tsuda-Sengyoten isakaya in Sendai Japan

1. Dine in a Jail Cell

Most people would avoid (at all costs) dining in a jail cell, but Alcatraz ER will give you an offbeat dining experience of a lifetime. This restaurant is designed as a jail and each cell or prison represents a dining area for a group. Staff that are well dressed in nurse uniforms tend to the call of the bang of a metal rod against the cells bars.

Brave diners (like myself!) will nosh on things like blue curry served in a urine tin or drink cocktails out of dummy’s head. Can you ever imagine eating sausage in the shape of bowel movement; well this place has more quirkiness to offer than you can imagine. A must have experience even you prefer not to visit again.

Read More > Eat at a Themed Restaurant in Tokyo

Brain Shock at Alcatraz ER Themed Restaurant Alcatraz ER Beef Brain Alcatraz ER in Tokyo

2. Eat Grilled Salamander in Piss Alley

Piss Alley, also known as Omoide Yokocho (or Memory Lane), is best described as the restaurant version of Golden Gai, a section that squeezes in over 200 miniature bars into a network of six narrow alleys. Piss Alley is a small area filled with quaint yakitori restaurants, and a few drinking holes, most with just a handful of seats.

If you are an adventurous eater head over to Asadachi, a name that translates to Morning Wood, where you will get the privilege of tasting Grilled Salamander.

Yes! Salamander!

Maybe not the best food in the world, but visitors who love to challenge their eating habits visit this restaurant for the most bizarre meal. Here you can also try pig testicles, frog shasimi, raw pig testicles and snake liquor. Yum!

Annette White walking through Tokyo's Piss Alley

A yakitori restaurant in Tokyo's Piss Alley

Annette White eating Yakitori in Tokyo's Piss Alley

3. Eat Dinner with Robots

From the moment you enter The Robot Restaurant lounge to the time you depart, you will feel like you are diving into the colors of neon that bounce off the mirrors.  There are dramatic fights between bikini clad girls riding atop robots, the sound of the cast playing the charismatic drums and visitors are given a glow-stick to cheer during all the action.

This place is more dedicated to a flashy show than on food, but you can order a sushi bento box or caramel popcorn to dine on while you are entertained. Plus, flowing beer and a few drinks are available, but the core attraction is the captivating chaos of the show.

Buy Tickets > Voyagin – Get a 15% discount by booking through Voyagin.

The Robot Restaurant Show in Tokyo Japan

The Robot Restaurant Show in Tokyo Japan

4. Get Your Meal From a Vending Machine

You heard right — eat a meal from a vending machine!  You can barely walk a block in Tokyo without passing by a vending machine.

Though most are filled with an array of beverages, many will have food products that can easily make a meal. The list includes special items like flying fish soup, eggs, hot dogs, hamburgers, sushi, ramen and so on.

My afternoon lunch of warm corn soup was surprisingly tasty!

Vending Machines in Tokyo, Japan

Annette White eating from a vending machine in Japan

5. Indulge in a Massive Matcha Dessert

Offbeat food in Tokyo is not limited to main meals, but extends to sweet desserts too, and some of the most popular is made from matcha, a green tea.

Desserts like ice-cream, mousse, cream, jelly and many more variations are available. But, I say if you are going to do it go big! I ordered this this quadruple layered matcha gateaux chocolate parfait that was topped with an entire piece of cake!

Yes, I ate the whole thing! #noshame

The most popular hot spots serving these delectable and divine tasting desserts are Kinozen, Marunouchi Café, Nana’s Green Tea (that’s where I ate) and many more.

Annette White eating Matcha Dessert in Tokyo Japan

6. Sip Coffee at a Cat Cafe

Tokyo is filled with quirky things to do and going to a cat cafe ranks really high on that list. Calico Cat Cafe in Shinjuku gives you the opportunity to play with unique feline breeds while sipping on a cup of coffee. So odd that it’s definitely worth a spot on your bucket list.

If you prefer, you can also play with cute hedgehogs at a cafe in Roppongi!

Read > Play With Felines at a Cat Cafe in Tokyo

Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

7. Eat Chankonabe (Sumo Wrestlers Stew)

Chankonabe is the nutritious stew that sumo wrestlers eat daily as part of their bulking up diet. It is a hearty dish that is relatively healthy, low in fat, high in protein and filled with tons of veggies. There are many Chankonabe restaurants in Tokyo, conveniently located close to the sumo stables where the wrestlers practice and live.

But, Yoshiba is the most unique food experience because it is located in an old sumo stable with a sumo dohyo (ring) right in the center of the dining room.

Read More > Eat Chankonabe in Tokyo. Sumo Wrestler’s Stew.
Book Tour > Chanko-nabe with Robot Restaurant
Book Tour > Duel with Sumo Wrestlers and Eat Chankonabe in Asakusa

Bucket List:: Eat Chankonabe in Tokyo

Annette White eating Chankonabe Sumo Wrestler Stew in Tokyo, Japan

8. Get Served by a Space Ship

The menu at Uobei is common to see in many Tokyo restaurants, but the speciality lies in their ordering and serving system. Being completely dedicated to hi-tech modern era, customers are seated upon their place in a long row and are made to make orders through buttons available, then suddenly a space ship arrives and delivers the food. The taste and ambience is worth paying the money and the experience visitors gain makes an everlasting impression as no humans are involved in the entire restaurant process!

These Tokyo food experiences are some of the most unusual in the world. Bon Appetit!


Japanese Culture & Tradition Facts: 11 Etiquette Tips Before You Go
Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
Watch Wrestling Practice at a Sumo Stable in Japan
Japan’s Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku
Visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market
Shinjuku Nightlife: A Guide to Tokyo’s Best Golden Gai Bars
Play with Felines at a Cat Cafe in Tokyo
Eat at a Themed Restaurant in Tokyo

2018-04-05T07:42:54+00:00 February 10th, 2017|Categories: Asia, FOOD, Japan, TRAVEL|Tags: |


  1. 457 Australian Visa February 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Seriously, browsing when you’re hungry is a dangerous thing you made me feel hungry even more and that cocktail drink out of a dummy’s head looks pretty creepy but I enjoy reading your article. thanks for sharing.

  2. Agness of eTramping February 13, 2017 at 3:12 am - Reply

    The cat care would be lovely. This list is totally unique, Annette.

    • Annette White February 13, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Definitely unique! But, I will admit that when I was there I was wishing it was a dog cafe 🙂

  3. beijing flights February 15, 2017 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Wow I think that it was a great experience, I wish to travel to tokyo soon to live this unique travel experience. Thanks Annette for this amazing topic.

  4. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer February 23, 2017 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I love how quirky Japan is. One thing that I have not done during my travels to Japan is eat a salamander; that sounds very interesting!

    • Annette White February 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Japan is so unique and that’s why it’s my favorite place to travel!

  5. Kira February 25, 2017 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Wow! Sounds Interesting. The unique ways to enjoy food. Seems you enjoyed a lot there.

  6. Amy Posey March 12, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Robot Restaurant is really awesome! The Owl Cafe was also pretty interesting–a different take on cat cafes! Great post!

  7. Therie March 21, 2017 at 3:34 am - Reply

    Craving for Japanese food right because of this post. Everything looks delicious especially that parfait!!

  8. Travel Burma March 24, 2017 at 12:27 am - Reply

    An interesting trip, I also like to go to Japan and enjoy their food

  9. Jai March 28, 2017 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Awesome Trip, Nicely Pictured and getting Hungry as well,,,

  10. The Travel Tester Favourite Blogs February 2017 | The Travel Tester May 2, 2017 at 6:00 am - Reply

    […] Tokyo: 8 Offbeat Food Experiences –Bucket List Journey […]

  11. Paul May 10, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I applaud you for trying different foods when traveling, I on the other hand am very picky and I don’t think I could try salamander. Yikes!

  12. House Robots June 19, 2017 at 5:41 am - Reply

    The Robot Restaurant is totally outstanding. Last month I visited your blog when I visit your blog every time I found different and interesting topics here I read all of your article’s about food while I was reading your article my mouth is full of water 😀 Its true Japanese culture and its every is unique that’s why every one wish to visit this heavenly place one again a bundle of thanks Annette for this article 🙂

  13. Neno July 29, 2017 at 12:21 am - Reply

    I also like to go to Japan and enjoy their food

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