Tokyo is too much (in the best way). It's always after you leave that you discover the next thing. Which means you have to go back. It's a great outcome.

Mario Cart VR


The real-life Mario Cart experience is one I'm happy to ignore. It didn't make it onto the list of things you don't have to do, but it was definitely a contender. But this VR alternative is definitely first on my list next time. For starters, in this version you're not going to disappear under the wheel of a truck, nor do you have to wear an outfit that's been enjoyed by many a tourist before you.

But you DO get to experience all the thrills and spills that make Mario Kart so addictive, and until we live in the glorious future, this is as good as it's going to get.



Japanese stationary is unashamedly beautiful, but Ito-Ya takes it to the next level, with the option to create a notebook that's just for you. Head to the wonderfully-named Note Couture on the seventh (!) floor of the paper emporium, and create your dream compendium, with your choice of paper, cover and binding.

Read more about the Ito-Ya experience

Totoro Cream Puffs


The Ghibli universe is full of cute creations (along with some terrifying nightmares) but Totoro must be the king.If you're new to Totoro, it's time you met him.

What better homage to the king than a cream puff? Shiro-Hige's cute creations are available at their new, and apparently a bit difficult to find, Setagaya branch. Current flavours are: custard cream, chocolate cream, strawberry cream, and matcha azuki, so you should consider taking a small group or a large appetite in order to try them all.

Oedo Onsen Monogatari


I'm going to be doing this one solo because like the majority of onsen, tattoos are not welcome. Chris can make another visit to the giant Gundam instead. I'll be donning a yukata and spending my time lazing in onsen, munching my way through the large foodcourt, and trying not to wince in the various pools designed to 'massage' your feet.

Read more about Oedo Onsen Monogatari

Wagyumafia: The Cutlet Sandwich


The brainchild of beef specialists Hisato Hamada and Takafumi Horie, the original Wagyumafia is one of the most exclusive beef-based experiences you can have. For reasons including money, and not being a member, I'm not going to gain entry to their Tokyo restaurant. But the options at their sandwich stand are decidely more wallet-friendly, ranging from ¥1,000 to ¥20,000. Paired with some truffle fries and a cheeky beer, this is a lunch I'm definitely looking forward to!