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Atlas Obscura ‘Astro Boy Mosaic’

Japan is often intolerant of vandalism, making it a harsh environment for street art to survive. Although some graffiti can be found in alleys across Tokyo, more or less, those that stand out are quickly removed by the authorities. Even works by world-famous artists such as Banksy and Invader are no exception, but one piece has evaded removal for years, almost miraculously.

A French urban artist known for his 8-bit style, Invader has installed his street art across the world over the years, from pieces in Paris, to a few that can be found in San Diego. He visited Tokyo in 2014, installing several works of art, although only a few have survived.

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Atlas Obscura 2016
Gotokuji Temple

Discover Gotokuji Temple in Tokyo, Japan: The legendary birthplace of the Japanese maneki-neko is dotted with hundreds of lucky beckoning cats.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Myth of Tomorrow

Discover Myth of Tomorrow in Tokyo, Japan: After being lost for decades, this striking mural depicting the atomic bomb covers the wall of a busy Tokyo metro station.

Atlas Obscura 2017
A Catholicism-Themed Restaurant in Japan

Cocktails like the "Little Devil" and the "Joan of Arc" come with crucifix-shaped stirrers.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Mistral Bleu Train Bar

Discover Mistral Bleu Train Bar in Tokyo, Japan: A cool dive bar, off the beaten track.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Noumin Café

Discover Noumin Café in Tokyo, Japan: This “peasant café” in the middle of Tokyo re-creates the atmosphere of the Japanese countryside.

Setagaya Local History Museum
Brutalism 1966
Kuwait Embassy
Atlas Obscura 2018
Tokyo’s Owl Police Box

Discover Owl Police Box in Tokyo, Japan: This adorable birdlike police box is designed based on a play on words.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Suga Shrine Staircase

Discover Suga Shrine Staircase in Tokyo, Japan: This ordinary set of steps is a must-see destination for fans of a certain romantic anime.

Atlas Obscura 2017
Tokyo’s Kawaii Monster Cafe

Discover Kawaii Monster Cafe in Tokyo, Japan: A Japanese concept restaurant that feels like a party thrown by the monsters in your closet.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Garden of Unborn Children

Discover Garden of Unborn Children in Tokyo, Japan: Rows of stone statues are dressed up to mourn children that are lost before birth.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Roppongi Hills Street Furniture

Discover Roppongi Hills Street Furniture in Tokyo, Japan: This quirky collection of furniture also happens to be a public art installation.

Atlas Obscura 2022
Waseda El Dorado

Discover Waseda

Brutalism 1958
Gakushuin University
Atlas Obscura 2020

Discover 'WEB FRAME' in Tokyo, Japan: Designed by a computer, this intricate network of fluorescent green pipes has taken over a subway station.

Atlas Obscura 2020

Discover Harukor in Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo’s only Ainu restaurant serves Indigenous food from northern Japan.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Replica of Duchamp’s ‘The Large Glass’

Discover Replica of Duchamp's 'The Large Glass' in Tokyo, Japan: One of three official copies of Marcel Duchamp's enigmatic masterpiece is on display in an obscure Tokyo museum.

Atlas Obscura 2018
A Detective-Themed Bar Staffed By Actual Detectives

The bartenders at this Tokyo theme cafe are actual detectives by day.

Atlas Obscura 2022
Hatsudai Bridge

Discover Hatsudai Bridge in Tokyo, Japan: One of the best-preserved remains of "Tokyo's lost rivers.".

Atlas Obscura 2020
Tokyo’s Battleship Building

Discover Gunkan Higashi Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan: This battleship of a building was designed by a famed "mad architect.".

Atlas Obscura 2021
Book and Bed Hostel

Discover Book and Bed Hostel in Tokyo, Japan: If you forgot something to read during your trip to Tokyo, this hostel has you covered.

Atlas Obscura 2021
Ancient Orient Museum

Discover Ancient Orient Museum in Tokyo, Japan: A hole-in-the-wall antiquities museum in one of Tokyo's most popular megamalls.

Brutalism 1958
Sky House
Atlas Obscura 2019
Koukokuji Buddhist Temple

Discover Koukokuji Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan: Inside the columbarium, thousands of colorful, high-tech Buddhas guard the ashes of the dead.

Brutalism 1957
Setagaya Ward Office
Atlas Obscura 2022
Transparent Toilet

Discover Transparent Toilet in Tokyo, Japan: These unique toilets feature transparent glass covered in PDLC film.

Atlas Obscura 2018
8bit Cafe

Transport yourself to the 1980s era of video games at this themed restaurant and bar.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Omoide Yokocho

Discover Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo, Japan: Colloquially known as “piss alley,” this narrow street filled with tiny bars and barbecue stands looks like it was pulled straight out of “Blade Runner.”.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Hachikō’s Grave

Discover Hachikō's Grave in Tokyo, Japan: People from around the world visit the shrine of Japan’s legendarily loyal dog.

Brutalism 1966
Tower House
Atlas Obscura 2017
Alice on Wednesday

Discover Alice on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan: Go through the looking glass in Tokyo's Wonderland-themed shop.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Chankonabe Shinzan

Discover Chankonabe Shinzan in Tokyo, Japan: Sidle into a side alley for a taste of sumo wrestlers' traditional hot-pot soup, in a tiny restaurant founded by a former competitor.

Post 2019
The Giger Bar: Discover the 1980s Tokyo Bar Designed by H. R. Giger, the Same Artist Who Created the Nightmarish Monster in Ridley Scott’s Alien
Post 2019
Time Is Running Out for Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower
Atlas Obscura 2022
Samurai Museum

Discover Samurai Museum in Tokyo, Japan: Dedicated to the armor and weapons used by the legendary Japanese warriors.

Atlas Obscura 2017
Ninja Restaurant in Tokyo

Discover Ninja Akasaka in Tokyo, Japan: A restaurant modeled after feudal Japan, where the waitstaff are trained as ninjas.

Atlas Obscura 2019
E18 War Train

Discover E18 War Train in Tokyo, Japan: The train engine is tucked under an apartment building on a quiet Tokyo street.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Tokyo Metropolitan Building Staff Cafeteria

Discover Tokyo Metropolitan Building Staff Cafeteria in Tokyo, Japan: The tallest city hall in the world offers an excellent bento box.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Gorilla Building

Discover Gorilla Building in Tokyo, Japan: A King Kong-like gorilla hangs from the top of this commercial building in Tokyo.

Atlas Obscura 2019
A Japanese School Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Its buildings are among the architect's few structures still standing in Japan.

Brutalism 1964
National Theater
Atlas Obscura 2022
Horoku Inari Shrine

Discover Horoku Inari Shrine in Tokyo, Japan: Unfortunate lottery tickets are disregarded at this shrine in hopes of better luck.