From the recently popular “solo” karaoke, “solo” saunas, and all the way to the slightly more obscure “solo” tile-breaking, we have it all! Here are some of the att.JAPAN editorial team’s most recommended solo-katsu activities to enjoy in Tokyo.
What is solo-katsu?
“Solo-katsu” refers to activities that can be enjoyed alone, hence the word “solo.” Such solo activities have garnered increasing attention in recent years due to the benefit of avoiding large crowds. And with facilities dedicated to solo activities cropping up throughout the city, gone are the days when “solo” was deemed the equivalent of “lonely.” Since you can immerse yourself in your favorite activities without worrying about the time or other people, going solo is a great way to appreciate a change of pace or to de-stress.
Hot pots might be a popular type of meal with groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t scarf one down alone! Here, we introduce two shabu-shabu restaurants that are both unique and photogenic. Which one tickles your taste buds?
What appears to be a bear bathing in a hot spring is actually shabu-shabu broth in the making. More specifically, it is broth with congealed dietary fiber and collagen that will transform into dashi when melted in the heated pot. You can choose different flavors in the shape of variously colored bears, so you’ll never get bored of dining at this restaurant.
Fee: Hokkaido Special Menkoi Set 2,980 yen, and others
Premist Shibuya Miyamasuzaka 2F, 1-8-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
5-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR, Subway, Tokyu, Keio)
Hitori Shabu-Shabu Ichi (Nishi-Shinjuku Main Store)
Behold! Meat revolving on a conveyor belt, just like a sushi restaurant. Select two of your preferred choices of broth, take a plate of revolving meat, and order vegetables from the touch screen. Another great feature is the partitions set up between the counter seats, allowing you to savor your meal without worrying about your surroundings.
Fee: Broth from 165 yen, beef from 275 yen, vegetables from 110 yen, etc.
Otakibashi Pacifica Bldg. 2F, 7-10-18 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
5-minute walk from Shinjuku Station (JR, Subway, Keio, Odakyu) / 1-minute walk from Shinjuku-Nishiguchi Station (Subway)
A Finnish sauna where you can change, use the sauna, take a cold water bath, and rest, all in one private room. You can also try out the Finnish löyly sauna, where you produce steam by pouring water over hot stones, whenever you please. Spend your time however your heart desires, whether lying down inside the sauna room or listening to your favorite music.
Fee: 3,800 yen for a single room (60 minutes); and other rates
23-1 Tenjincho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (UNPLAN Kagurazaka 1F)
3-minute walk from Kagurazaka Station (Subway) / 7-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station (Subway)
Kaikatsu Club (Hachioji, Higashiyamato, and Higashimurayama branches)
The Kaikatsu Club is a popular manga/Internet cafe with locations nationwide. Some of their facilities offer “One-Two Karaoke,” or karaoke rooms made specifically for one to two guests. There are three locations in Tokyo where you can enjoy One-Two Karaoke. Sing your heart out in a soundproofed room just like a recording studio, full of professional equipment and features.
Hours and Fees: Varies by store. Please check the website for details.
A tile-breaking facility in the popular town of Asakusa. Here, you can slip on some gloves to challenge yourself to the art of tile-breaking. Nowhere else will you be able to feel the same invigorating sense of accomplishment after you’ve smashed some tiles. You can choose the number of tiles you want to break (minimum of one), making it beginner-friendly. If demonstrating your chops sounds up your alley, challenge yourself with ten!
Open: Saturdays, Sundays, holidays
Reservations: Not accepted
Fee: 5-Tile-Breaking Challenge 2,000 yen, etc.
2-27-17 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
10-minute walk from Asakusa Station (Subway, Tobu)
I was born in Kagoshima Prefecture and have lived in different parts of Kyushu. A lover of food, sake, and hot springs in Kyushu, my goal is to become a “Sen-nin” (hot spring master), the highest rank for those who accomplish the “Tour of the Eighty-eight Hot Springs in Kyushu.” I hope to convey the fascinating aspects of Japan while featuring my beloved homeland Kyushu!