One of the best things about Tokyo is there’s always something new. There are creative seasonal menus and pop culture collaborations that you can find only here. There’s new art, new restaurants and even illuminations this November.

3D Cat, Dog and Donkey in Harajuku

After the 3D Calico cat sensation in Shinjuku and the 3D Hachiko in Shibuya, Harajuku joins the ranks with its own video billboard featuring adorable animals, namely a cat, dog, donkey and a chick. It’s a take on the “Town Musicians of Bremen,” a German folktale. Sponsored by apparel company Beams, it began on November 1. The billboard can be seen at the intersection of Takeshita Street and Meiji Street in Harajuku, not far from where Beams was founded. You can catch broadcasts daily from 10am to 9pm.

Harry Potter Season at Tully’s Coffee

Coffee comes with a little bit more magic than usual in Tully’s this month. Not only in Tokyo but all-around Japan. The first part of the collaboration with the Harry Potter franchise started on October 28, with the second part dropping on November 4. There will also be special Tully’s cards from November 11.

Merging the themes of Harry Potter, Christmas and general British culture, the coffee chain is selling food and drinks. This includes festive mince pie-flavored lattes in original Hogwarts cups and Hedwig-shaped cup warmers. The owl warmers can then be worn on the wrist. There are the usual suspects too, such as Shepherd’s pie and milk tea to name but a few. From accessories to coffee-related products like mugs and special coffee beans, there’s also a wide range of themed items on sale.

Edible Rose Flower Store Opens in Shibuya

Kushima Rose is a specialty store from Nagoya that offers the fragrance of roses in a range of edible varieties. Following the successful popup store in Ginza Six (open until January 2023), Kushima Rose has opened another limited-time store on the seventh floor of Tokyu Plaza Shibuya from September 11 to July 2023. The CEO, Etsuko Kushima, is passionate about pesticide-free flowers and their benefits, particularly roses. The Kushima Rose store in Shibuya offers several beautiful rose lemonades and a rose-themed afternoon tea. You can also buy products such as rose syrup and rose jam.

New Colorful Yokocho in Shinjuku

Shinjuku is all about bright lights, drinks and having lots of fun, particularly at yokocho — alleys filled with tiny bars like Omoide Yokocho or Golden Gai. There’s now also the Ryu no Miyako Inshokugai Shinjuku Higashiguchi Yokocho. This yokocho with 17 different establishments erupts in saturated colors and a mix of traditional Japanese cultural elements and theme-park-style dragons and characters. It promises lots of fun, comfort food such as ramen and even a karaoke bar.



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New Art Installation in the Ginza Six Atrium

This stylish department store curates some of the best art for its atrium space, having featured big names such as Yayoi Kusama and Shiota Chiharu. The newest art installation is “The Departure” by French artist Jean Jullien which began in October. The artist is known for his cartoonish characters which have now become 3D and left the page. This is his first large-scale public installation. The metal sculptures are slated to be hanging in the Ginza Six atrium until the spring of 2024.

Note: Advance tickets are recommended.

Shibuya Sky Winter Illumination

While it might be too soon for some, others will rejoice at this early winter illumination event at Shibuya Sky. The limited time event dubbed “Sparkling View” is the first of its kind and will take place from November 17 to December 25.

The Sky Gallery on the 46th floor will be filled with mirror balloons in what is named the Sparkling Balloon Corridor. In addition, a sparkling light tree will appear on the rooftop observation deck, enhanced with a light and sound performance every 30 minutes after 7pm.

Japan-Only Art Toilet

Japan loves its high-tech state-of-the-art toilets. The country’s most illustrious architects have designed public toilets and there’s a comical poetry contest run by toilet manufacturer Toto. Additionally, Japanese company named Artoletta offers artsy toilets for your home. It has taken inspiration from Parisian culture and the African continent for its designs. Until January 31, 2023, it’s offering a series of toilets featuring the well-known and loved ukiyo-e art by Hokusai. The store is online and items are available only within Japan.

nordic cafes tokyo

New Cafés and Restaurants Opening

There are always new cafes and restaurants opening in Tokyo, but we’ll highlight just a few here.

Anakuma Café opened in Harajuku in late October with a unique whimsical concept. It’s a literal hole-in-the-wall that you get your coffee from and by a bear paw to boot. The green storefront is unmanned so no human interaction is required.

One of the most popular Mexican cuisine restaurants in Tokyo, Los Tacos Azules is opening a new concept store in Ebisu. Simply named Tacos Bar, it will be a nighttime version of Los Tacos Azules with a focus on seafood.

Japanese sake fans are excited about Eureka, a sake bar that opened on November 1. It is run by Marie Chiba who used to work at Gem by Moto.