Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Jerardo Gomez
Japan’s most loved and anticipated things to see has been greatly affected during the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen Japan ban tourist for over 2 years!
Tokyo is a city that constantly evolves and changes every decade virtually looking like a different city every couple of years. During the pandemic, the country’s tourism industry collapsed, and along with that many of the popular restaurants, shows, bars, and buildings. The next time you go to Tokyo, many of the same places that tourists anticipated are no longer there.
Here are some of the top Japanese destinations that have closed in recent years.
10. Nakagin Capsule Tower
This iconic building was one of Tokyo’s highlights for its unique architecture and landmarks for the city. This washing machine-looking building opened in 1972, unfortunately, got demolished in 2022 due to the city wanting to transform. We look forward to whatever comes next.
9. Aghea Nightclub
At one time one of Japan’s largest nightclubs, it was just 20 years old when it closed down in 2020. Luckily there are plenty of other venus to pick from.
8. Tsutenkaku’s pufferfish landmark in Osaka
The restaurant that the pufferfish called home unfortunately closed in 2020 after 100 years of being an icon for Osaka. The closure was due to the fact tourists were not able to be in Japan and revenue fell.
7. Megaweb Toyota City Showcase
This popular destination was a car-themed park located in Odaiba’s Pallet Town, Tokyo. This place attracted many visitors and was on the list of many waiting to go to Tokyo has now closed at the end of 2021. You can scratch that off your itinerary.
6. Gundam Cafe …and many other Cafes
The Gundam cafe was popular with fans and tourists alike for this themed cafe. Unfortunately, all Gundam Cafes have been closed, at least for now in Japan. Fortunately, there are many new and pop-up themed cafes rotating in Tokyo which has something for everyone.
5. Kawaii Monster Cafe!
Another themed cafe on this list, this Kawaii (cute) Cafe was located in Harajuku making the most out of Harajuku kawaii culture. With the waitresses dressed in themed outfits and colorful food that fits the ambiance, to live performances, this restaurant was one of the most popular for visitors but unfortunately, this also succumbed to Japan’s travel policy with tourists. Fear not as themed cafes is still around and more to come as the Country reopened.
4. Akihabara’s Adores Building 2
This iconic landmark was on the list of places to go for MANY, for its interesting design and home to arcade games that many had loved and wished to go. Like most things on this list, with the lack of tourists, revenue plummeted and forced this location to go under. Luckily there are many other arcade places in the area with iconic designs. However, this is the start of a transition period for Akihabara for which the decline of gaming and electronics is being replaced by general office space. Come to Akihabara soon as this may be your last chance to see this one-of-a-kind neighborhood as it changes over the next few years (some Sega locations are now gone).
3. Sega Ikebukuro Gigo
Another iconic location closed but this Sega Arcade of 28 years located in Ikebukuro is now closed. With this at number 3 it seems like the end of an era for gamers and Sega enthusiasts alike. Just as before, this may be your last chance to go to these Japanese arcades before they close in a few years if the trend continues.
2. TeamLab Borderless (transition period)
TeamLab is undoubtedly of the most popular artwork/exhibition that is unlike anything most people have experienced. It’s a full-emersion experience that has everyone coming to visit, but it seems for now this place is closed as it transitions to a new location and possibly different exhibitions. It is tentatively to open in mid-2023.
1. Robot Restuarant
Coming in at number one, the popular and most chaotic restaurant with live performances that give the essence of Tokyo is sadly closed. While it had mixed reviews, it was of the must-see places in Tokyo for many and recommended everywhere online.
If you like this article, check out my other one of the Top 10 places that opened in Japan during the pandemic here.
What do you think you will miss the most from this list or other closures? Also, tell me about your experiences in the comments below.