In the latest season of Queer Eye, the fab five swap the US for Japan. While viewers have been moved to tears by the heartwarming storylines (hello Yoko), some are keen to know more about the interesting places that appear in the show, particularly one Harajuku cafe.

Queer Eye hosts in Tokyo
'Queer Eye We're in Japan' brings some of Tokyo's best pop culture experiences to Netflix © Netflix / Kawaii Monster Cafe

Queer Eye, We're in Japan sees Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karomo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness visit Tokyo for a special mini series on Netflix. Throughout the show, the hosts are joined by model/actress Kiko Mizuhara and comedian Naomi Watanabe, who help them understand the language and learn about Japanese culture

In between giving makeovers to heroes like Yoko, a 58-year-old nurse who transformed her home into a hospice for the sick and elderly, the fab five are treated to a tour of Tokyo by their celebrity guides, who bring them to some of their favourite spots.

Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski on his life in travel

Kawaii Monster Cafe's colourful decor
Kawaii Monster Cafe made an appearance in Netflix's 'Queer Eye: We're in Japan' © Kawaii Monster Cafe

One standout spot is Kawaii Monster Cafe, the setting for episode three's colourful opening scene. Kiko takes them there to give them a glimpse of Tokyo's famous Harajuku culture, a style of fashion and expression.

The cafe has two personalities: day and night. Day is a colourful spectacle where staff dress up in cartoonish costumes and guests are served dishes that wouldn't look out of place at an Alice in Wonderland tea party, like rainbow spaghetti served with giant chopsticks.

Kawaii Monster Cafe's surreal backdrops
Guests are treated to a variety of performance from cabaret to fashion ©Kawaii Monster Cafe

By night, candy-coloured hues are replaced by neon lights. Guests can visit the "jellyfish bar" or the "pink fat cat" room for luxury cabaret and burlesque performances. Local artists, dancers, designers and singers are usually invited to host their own show or exhibition. It's one of those surreal places where it's almost impossible to have the same experience twice. That's part of the reason why it usually features high on visitors' must-see lists.

If you've yet to visit Tokyo and are keen to find out more, check out Lonely Planet's guide to Tokyo for tips on the city's best pop culture experiences. 


Explore related stories

WASHINGTON DC - APRIL 11, 2014: The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial located on the National Mall on the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. The memorial opened to the public on August 22, 2011

Wildlife & Nature

10 best places to enjoy cherry blossoms in the US in spring 2024

Feb 16, 2024 • 6 min read