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20 Futuristic Things to See and Do in Tokyo in 2020

If any city on the planet resembles last-century fictional representations of the future, Tokyo is it.

A sprawling metropolis? Check. Tokyo is the world’s most populous city (with more than 38 million residents in the metropolitan area) and its second largest by geographical area.

Towering buildings and bright lights? Check. The Tokyo skyline boasts 143 skyscrapers and is one of the brightest locations on the globe as seen from space.

Robot friends and flying cars? Half check. Tokyo is setting up a robotic village at the site of the Atheletes’ Village, and if all goes well, a flying car will light the torch in 2020.

As the host city of the globe’s most prestigious international athletic competition, futuristic Tokyo is preparing to showcase its world-renowned technology and hospitality at the 2020 Summer Games. But the Summer Games venues certainly aren’t the only places in Tokyo where travelers can experience futuristic architecture and technology. Tokyo is filled with cuttiolyng edge design and incredible feats of civil engineering.

Here are 20 futuristic sites and activities in Tokyo that travelers to the 2020 Summer Games visit for a glimpse forward in time.

1. Miraikan, the Future Museum

Miraikan is Japan’s National Museum of Engineering Science and Innovation. Located on the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and features interactive exhibits filled with robots, apocalyptic scenarios, and incredible feats in human engineering.


2. Tokyo Skytree, the Tallest Tower

The tallest tower in the world as of 2011, Tokyo Skytree looms 2,080 ft over the city. The primary radio and television broadcast tower for Tokyo, Skytree also has a restaurant and observation deck. There is no better place in the city to get 360 degree view of futuristic Tokyo.


3. Capsule Hotels

With more than 2.5 million daily commuters and 425 million annual tourists making the trek into Tokyo, there isn’t always enough space for traditional lodging. Capsule Hotels are a no-frills overnight solution for tourists and business people who aren’t claustrophobic.  Tokyo’s selection of these sleeping pods range from oven-like to minimalist-chic.


4. Aman Hotel Spa

tokyo futuristic spa

Photo by Aman Hotels.

If you opt to save money by sleeping in a pod, then perhaps you can allocate some extra cash and treat yourself to a day at the spa in the Aman Hotel. Spanning six-floors, filled with natural light, and boasting incredible views of the city, this spa offers a full range of classic treatments in a serene and modern setting. But if the thought of walking barefoot across elegant, cold, slated floors sends shivers up your spine, there’s no need to worry. The slate floors are heated.


5. Shinkansen Bullet Train

Photo by Ryan Kilpatrick.

Shinkansen was first debuted in 1964 at the first Summer Games to be hosted in Tokyo. With historically unprecedented speeds of up to 200 mph, the world had never seen anything quite like it before. The line continues to expand to this day, and there are now Shinkansen tracks that can take you between most of the major cities in Japan. The line has transported more than 10 billion passengers to date.


6. Pasona 02 Underground Farm

pasona underground farm tokyo

An underground rice field. Image by PASONA 02.

Is large-scale agriculture even possible in a metropolis like Tokyo? The Pasona 02 Underground Farm endeavors to say yes. Through hydroponics, a controlled climate, and artificial lighting, more than 100 different crops are cultivated beneath the surface of bustling Tokyo. Touring the farm is a glimpse into potential answers to the pressing global questions of the future.


7. Odaiba’s Gundam Statue

gundam tokyo Shuichi Aizawa

Photo by Shuichi Aizawa.

On the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, something a bit ominous towers over the waterfront district. Remodeled and replaced in September 2017 in anticipation of the 2020 Summer Games, this 60 ft and completely proportionate Unicorn Gundam statue can robotically switch between Unicorn Mode and Destroy Mode.


8. Kindergartens of the Future

futuristic tokyo kindergarten

Fuji Kindergarten. Photo by DeZeen.

Children are the future, and this is a concept that the Japanese architects behinds Tokyo schools and kindergartens fully embrace. Making innovative use of space with rooftop playgrounds and gardens, Tokyo’s school children enjoy futuristic learning facilities.


9. Robot Restaurant

robot restaurant tokyo

Photo by Nick Turner.

Have you ever enjoyed a meal while metallic bikini-clad women roll by on a LED-illuminated tank and a panda rides an armored robotic dragon? Book a reservation at Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant for an indescribable dinner theater experience.


10. Kanda Myojin Shrine

The Kanda Myojin shrine is definitely not new – it dates back to the 13th century. But it certainly serves a very modern purpose as the shrine to which people pray in times of technological hardship. From IT experts hoping for luck with an upcoming project to pedestrians despairing over needing to empty their camera rolls, Kanda is the place to bring your electronic woes. Talk about old solutions to new problems.


11. Yodobashi Akiba Electronics Department Store

yodobashi akiba department store tokyo

Photo by Kojach.

This 9-story department store in Akihabara is famous for selling any and all gadgets one could possibly be looking to buy. From printer parts to kitchen gadgets, the latest iPhone to electronic sex toys, if requires electricity – Yodobashi Akiba sells it. But don’t forget to make it up to the top level to hit a few golf-balls on their rooftop driving range.


12. Vending Machines for Everything

tokyo vending machines

Photo by MsSaraKelly.

Super convenient and anonymous, there are vending machines all over Tokyo that can get you most anything you need instantly: from fermented bean drinks to fully cooked meals to used panties.


13. Nagakin Capsule Tower

Constructed over just 30 days in 1972, the Nagakin Capsule tower was the first example of capsule architecture intended for permanent, practical use. 30 of the 140 pods today are still inhabited as apartments. Each self-contained capsule measures about 107 square feet and is outfitted with living utilities such as toilets and kitchens.


14. Futuristic Cemeteries

futuristic cemetery tokyo

Photo by Emiko Jozuka.

There is hardly room for the 38 million living inhabitants of Tokyo – so what happens when people die? With traditional cemetery plots skyrocketing to prohibitively expensive prices, Tokyo residents are opting for a more economical and futuristic final resting place: cremation, a small storage locker, and a glowing LED Buddha statue.


15. Tokyo Street Style

tokyo street style

Photo by Istolethetv.

Tokyo isn’t just on the cutting edge of architecture and technology. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, street clothing in Tokyo is a wonder to behold all itself. From subdued and super-chic to outlandish and wacky, you can see the full spectrum of futuristic clothing styles just walking around the streets of Tokyo.


16. Curated Shopping Experience – the Good Design Store

good design store tokyo

Photo by Spoon Tomago.

Since 1957, Japan has held the Good Design Awards to honor products that enhance quality of life through their beauty and simplicity. The Good Design Store in the Kitte shopping complex is a highly curated shopping experience where you can browse and purchase prize-winning products, both from recent years and decades before.


17. Fuji Television Building

This hyper-modern lattice building is the headquarters for Fuji TV, one of Japan’s most prominent television stations and broadcasting companies. The building features a spherical observation deck that offers an amazing view of the Odaiba waterfront as well as Mount Fuji at dusk.


18. Prada Flagship Store

prada flagship store

Photo by Forgemind.

The Italian couture label constructed one of Tokyo’s most striking buildings as its Japan flagship store. With a green glass facade and diagonal grid frame, the structure houses an ultra-modern space filled with tube hallways and angular rooms.


19. Saryo Minimalist Tea Shop

saryo tea shop tokyo

Photo by Saryo.

Between four white walls without any adornments in Sangen-Jaya sits Saryo tea shop. Utterly minimalist and serene in design, this tea house takes a modern and simple approach to the ancient Japanese art of brewing tea. They use pour over drippers constructed from a copper base, a ceramic dripper, and a wooden holder to achieve the perfect cup of tea.


20. High-Tech Toilets

Some times futurism is totally mundane. Tokyo’s proclivity for remote-controlled toilets is one such example. In both private residences and public spaces, toilets with a variety of settings and functions can be found. When nature calls during your trip to Tokyo, you can look forward to seat warmers, bidets, massages. Experiment with the multitude of functions at your own risk.


Don’t miss out on the world’s most futuristic Summer Games ever! Reserve your place at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo Japan.

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