Follow the cool crowd and head to these little-known cafes for unusual themed experiences you won’t ever forget.

If you want to know what’s cool in Tokyo, all you have to do is ask a girl in Shibuya’s hip Harajuku district for advice. This trendy area is known for attracting a fashionable crowd with their finger on the pulse of emerging trends and new experiences around town, so when a recent poll asked 300 girls in the area to reveal the themed cafes they most want to visit, everyone sat up and took notes.

So let’s get right to it, counting down the list of the top 10 themed cafes, as recommended by Harajuku girls. You won’t find a list like this in any of the local tourist guides!

10. Farmer Cafe  (Setagaya) 6 votes

Set up in a converted house in the cool neighborhood of Shimokitazawa, this organic cafe serves up rustic vegetarian meals, which customers can enjoy while seated at low tables on the backyard terrace. The relaxed setting and fresh vegetable-based fare lets visitors experience a taste of the slow life enjoyed by farmers in the Japanese countryside.

Cafe Information
Noumin Cafe / 農民カフェ
Address: Tokyo-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-27-8 / 東京都 世田谷区 北沢 2-27-8
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Closed Tuesday nights

9. Stationery Cafe (Shibuya) 7 votes

Located in a basement on a street behind Omotesando, this cafe is filled with all sorts of interesting stationery items. Customers are free to draw all over the paper-covered wall in the dining area, or take their pick from the trays of coloured pens and pencils to create a piece of art to take home while they sip their coffee.

Cafe Information
Bunbougu Cafe / 文房具カフェ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 4-8-1, Uchida Building B1F / 東京都渋谷区神宮前4-8-1 内田ビルB1F
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays

8. Ninja Cafe (Akihabara) 8 votes

This ninja-themed cafe is so popular it has three branches around Akihabara, two of which are on different floors of the same building. The most popular one to head to is the Honjin, or Main Headquarters, but at all branches you’ll find it’s a very adult affair, as groups of scantily clad ninja girls thrill customers with live performances and cocktails.

Cafe Information
Ninja Kissa Sunabazu Honjin/ 忍者喫茶sinobazu 本陣
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 1-5-7, Takara Building 1F / 東京都千代田区外神田1-5-7 宝ビル1F
Hours: 3 p.m.-10 p.m. (last order 9:30 p.m.) Closed Mondays

7. Detective Cafe (Ikebukuro) 11 votes

Staffed by real detectives who “investigate people and search for missing persons by day and pour your drinks by night“, customers here get to enjoy solving mysteries while looking through case files in a bar-like atmosphere. Whether you want to dust for fingerprints, search for secret listening devices, get your mugshot taken as a keepsake souvenir, or dine on crocodile dishes, Detective Cafe Progress is a great place to go for an interesting experience.

Cafe Information
Tantei Cafe Progress / 探偵カフェ プログレス
Address: Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-47-12 Dai-ni Kizuna Building 9F / 東京都 豊島区 池袋 2-47-12 第2絆ビル 9F
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (weekends and public holidays only); 7 p.m.-5 a.m. (Mon-Sun); 7 p.m.-12 a.m (Sun)

6. Sand Cafe (Shibuya) 16 votes

It doesn’t get much better than slipping your shoes off and enjoying a coffee in a cafe filled with sand. That’s the reason why young women are going crazy for Alee Beach, an eatery that’s bringing a little bit of Hawaii to Shibuya, with lounge chairs, a laid-back atmosphere and a floor of luscious white sand.

Cafe Information
Alee Beach / ALEE BEACH
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jinnan 1-15-12, Sato Building B1F / 東京都渋谷区 神南1-15-12 佐藤ビル1F
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

5. Goldfish Cafe (Bunkyo) 18 votes

Kingyozaka is a combined restaurant and pet fish store run by a 350-year-old goldfish farm. Here you can enjoy your coffee in elegant cups decorated with goldfish, and you can even purchase a pet to take home with you after your visit.

Cafe Information
Kingyozaka / 金魚坂
Address: Tokyo-to, Bunkyo-ku, Hongo 5-3-15 / 東京都 文京区 本郷 5-3-15
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (Tue-Sat); 12-8 p.m.(Sun and public holidays) Closed Mondays and the third Tuesday of each month.

4. Gyaru Cafe (Shibuya) 

Ganguro or gyaru fashion usually involves girls darkening their faces with bronze-colored makeup and wearing colourful wigs and extravagant clothes and accessories. Our very own Mr Sato has spent time at a ganguro cafe himself, but at Gal Cafe 10sion, the style is a lot more toned down, with less of the colourful wigs and more of the long ita nails on show as the good-looking bar staff serve up food and drinks to customers until 5 in the morning.

Cafe Information
Gal Cafe 10sion / ギャルカフェ10sion
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho 13-9, 7F / 東京都渋谷区宇田川町13-9 7F
Hours: 8 p.m.-5 a.m. (Open from 5:00 p.m. on weekends)

3. Footbath Cafe (Ueno) 24 votes

Enjoying a drink while your feet are immersed in warm running water is a great way to while away the time on your own or with friends. At Mominoki House, guests can try a variety of different footbaths, all designed to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Cafe Information
Mominoki House / もみの気ハウス
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-17-2, Kotani Building 6F / 東京都 新宿区 歌舞伎町 1-17-2 戸谷ビル 6F
Hours: 11 p.m.- 5 a.m.

2. Hammock Cafe (Ueno) 29 votes

Another unique way to get your coffee fix is by enjoying it in a hammock. With a row of hammocks set up against a back wall counter with electric sockets, this is a popular spot for people to enjoy some private me-time while catching up with work online. Plus, the pancakes here are said to be divine!

Cafe Information
Cafe ASAN / カフェ アサン
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno 5-9-9 / 東京都 台東区 上野 5-9-9
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Closed Wednesdays

1. Planetarium Cafe (Haneda Airport) 40 votes

Located at the International Passenger Terminal at Haneda Airport, this cafe is said to be the first of its kind at an airport terminal building. Customers here can escape reality by enjoying meals and drinks while surrounded by moving displays and the magic of 40 million stars.

Cafe Information
PLANETARIUM Starry Cafe / スターリーカフェタイム
Address: Tokyo-to, Ota-ku, Haneda Kuko Kokusaisen Terminal 2-6-5, 5F, Tokyo Pop Town / 東京都大田区羽田空港国際線ターミナル5F TOKYO POP TOWN内
Hours: 7:30a.m.-11 p.m.

Now that we’ve had a look at the top ten themed cafes in Tokyo that Harajuku girls pine for, it’s time to get out our calendars and itineraries to arrange a time to visit all of them with friends. Have you tried any of the cafes on this list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: TBS
Featured image: Instagram/ninja_akihabara