Ultimate Guide to Visiting an Escape Room in Tokyo

By Yuki Kobayashi Purwanto | March 7, 2022

Are you the type of person that is looking for new challenges? Or are you the type of person that just wants to look for something fun to do with your family/friends? We know Tokyo has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment but, if you are looking for something a little bit different to add to your entertainment list, then visiting an escape room in Tokyo would be a perfect choice! If you are an escape room enthusiast like me, then you are probably wondering about the options of an escape room in Tokyo. Lucky for you, this guide will help you find varieties of live escape games and escape rooms in Tokyo!

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    puzzles in escape room tokyo

    What kind of puzzles I can find in an escape room Tokyo?

    Now before I get into the list of escape rooms in Tokyo, let's talk about what exactly is an escape room. For those who are not familiar, an escape room is a new kind of entertainment where you can challenge your instincts and teamwork through a problem-solving adventure using your mental and physical skills to unlock the puzzle and get out of the room.

    The concept behind an escape room/escape game is simple: one team, one room, and a certain amount of time to escape. Players can collaborate or work solo to solve a series of puzzles presented in a variety of fictitious settings such as Escape from the Red Room which I will talk about later. Keep in mind that the puzzles that could be in escape rooms are endless because the only thing that limits them is the imagination of the puzzle maker. Although, there are a few common types of puzzles out there though that can be a great starting point to study if you want to make your own escape room or if you are preparing for your first escape!

     1. Physical Puzzles

    Physical puzzles are one of the most popular forms of the puzzle in escape rooms. Physical means that it requires escapists to control things within the area. Physical puzzles include moving furniture, putting puzzles together, placing things, and untangling impediments. Look for items that feel out of the norm in the space, as they are more evident.

    2. Written Puzzles 

    Numbers, math, letters, and words will all be used in a written puzzle. With these riddles, you will have to think outside the box. These sorts of puzzles are frequently meant to turn common sense on its head, forcing you to think about words and numbers in unexpected ways.

    3. Scavenger Hunts

    Scavenging puzzles are what many first-time escapists immediately think of when they think of escape rooms. These puzzles will involve hidden objects like keys, puzzle pieces, and slips of paper that escapists must find. Scavenging is a common feature of non-linear puzzles, so if you can't figure out why the next door won't open despite having the correct combination, start looking! It's possible that you're missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.

    4. Using your Senses

    Puzzles that use the senses are very common, but they're often the first thing escapists ignore because lights, noises, and smells might appear to be just a regular part of the surroundings. In an escape room, though, nothing happens by chance. Keep an eye out for lights that flicker on and off, repeating sounds, or distinct smells. Remember these clues since they might be guiding you in the right direction.

    5. Red Herrings 

    Red Herrings are the simplest yet most annoying sort of challenges in escape rooms. They are made specifically to distract escapists and waste time. They frequently take the shape of obvious riddles or strange artifacts that appear to lead to the main goal. But don't be disappointed if the problem you've been working on turns out to be a red herring! They're designed to agitate you and disturb your judgment, making subsequent tasks more difficult.

    What is the difference between an Escape room and an Adventure game?

    Now that you have a clear understanding of what an escape game is, you might be wondering how an adventure game is different from escape rooms in Tokyo? Well, to be honest, a lot of adventure games are escape games or some version of it. As I imagine it in the same way as I imagine overlapping film genres. 

    Both escape rooms and adventure games are based on the idea of presenting the players with interesting challenges and obstacles, generally centered around escaping from a locked chamber with the key hidden behind the final goal. They can both be quite immersive, with stunning set design and atmosphere that puts you right in the middle of the action. 

    Those who are looking for challenges are more likely to avoid standard escape room obstacles, preferring extremely puzzle-oriented and challenging events with a very complicated puzzle. On the other hand, those who are looking for adventure or fun with their family are more likely to be less focused on puzzle difficulty, and more centered on cinematic immersion of the game. These games usually feature more interactive sets, fewer challenging puzzles, and a faster sense of game flow than a typical escape room. They may or may not have the trademarks of a typical game, such as a strict time limit, clue system, or visually obvious locks.

    Adventure games in Tokyo
    Typical escape rooms in tokyo

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    Is it possible to find an English escape room in Tokyo?

    Escape room Tokyo has been around for more than a decade, they have just lately become available to English-speaking gamers. The primary international brand for these live-action games is Real Escape Games (REG), which was invented and developed by the Japanese firm SCRAP. There are also several companies that also created escape rooms in Tokyo such as Nazobako Tokyo and NoEscape.

    Tokyo Mystery Circus is the latest project launched by SCRAP.  It is known as the world’s first entertainment facility devoted to escaping games. Located in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, close to Toho Cinemas (with the Godzilla statue) and Bandai’s VR Zone, this five-story building is practically an escape game theme park! Here you can try to escape from interesting theme-based escape rooms such as Spellbound Supper, The Secret Agent, and Escape from the Prison.

    Nazotabi is an outdoor puzzle treasure hunt game designed by Nazobako Tokyo that allows you to explore hidden places! You will find secret back streets, alleyways, and inspect mysterious statues and monuments. The game takes place in a distinct site or neighborhood in each iteration like Nihonbashi, Tokyo. You are directed to certain areas using the game map and puzzle book, where you hunt for clues that will help you to complete each puzzle on signs, storefronts, building facades, statues, etc. The nicest aspect is that it is completely multilingual.

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    What kinds of room structure can I find when visiting an escape room in Tokyo?

    Linear and non-linear escape rooms are the two basic types of escape rooms in Tokyo. The form of the escape room defines how players must complete the puzzles, in what sequence, and how difficult the room's layout is. 

    Linear escape rooms

    In a linear escape room such as Escape from the Prison, the puzzles are usually completed one at a time, with one hint leading to the next. These sorts of escape rooms are typically easier to solve and require fewer people to solve. They are great for beginners and for those who are really looking to hone their skills by focusing on one task at a time. They’re also a great form for those building their first escape room. 

    Non-linear escape rooms

    The non-linear escape room is famous for its complexity. A notable example is an Escape from the Haunted Manor which you can read a little more about below. They require more people to solve multiple puzzles at once, and often under time limits. They are usually ideal for large groups that can split into smaller teams to focus on separate challenges, or small groups looking for huge challenges. Oftentimes the challenges within a non-linear escape room will be made up of multiple linear challenges all coming together to solve one massive puzzle. 

    Many escape room in Tokyo has different kinds of genres that are based on. Common genres are such as Horror, Adventure, Mystery, Mythical, and Spy.

    Visiting an escape room in Tokyo

    Top 10 Must-visit escape rooms in Tokyo

    1. Escape from the Red Room (SCRAP)

    Escape from the Red Room is a classic minimalistic-style escape room with a less than 3% success rate. This escape room is less action and more puzzle-solving oriented. And indeed it is. Locked in a room with four walls and only two doors, the challenge seemed quite easy at first. The time limit for this game is just 30 minutes! And it goes by incredibly quickly! There are multiple challenges so escaping the room within the time limit requires quick thinking, focus, and teamwork. If you run out of time and feel you are close to solving it, you can choose to pay to extend for an extra 10 minutes. To avoid giving anything away, I can only offer one key piece of advice: think outside the box.

    Genre: Adventure

    Location: 1 Chome-17-2 Azumabashi, Sumida-Ku, Tokyo-to 130-0001

    Nearest station: Asakusa Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 12:30 PM - 20:30 PM | Weekends & Holidays 10:00 AM - 20:30 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes 

    Available in English: Yes

    2. Escape from the Haunted Manor (SCRAP)

    Escape from the Haunted Manor has its own plot: you're an investigator working on a string of missing-person cases, and you've got to get into what's thought to be the kidnapper's refuge. The main mission of this game is to investigate the house that is rumored to be the hideout of a criminal behind a series of missing-person cases. You only have 30 minutes to play, plus a 10-minute extension once, so you will have to move quickly! Someone enters the home as you search the first room for clues as to who may have done it. Perhaps the killer? This is when the "hide and seek" game begins. The horror theme obviously adds some flavor to it, with its fair number of jump scares and adrenaline rush. This escape game is available in English, Japanese, and traditional Chinese. Overseas visitors can have the same thrills as the original Japanese Real Escape Game without any language barriers. If the puzzle instructions weren't quite clear because of Japanese to English translation, a staff member would clarify the puzzles in English.

    Genre: Horror

    Location: 1 Chome-17-2 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to 130-0001

    Nearest station: Asakusa Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 12:30 PM - 20:30 PM | Weekends & Holidays 10:00 AM - 20:30 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes 

    3. Escape from Hunter X (SCRAP)

    A unique real-life game that differs from the usual escape rooms. In Escape from Hunter X, you must think and set traps to destroy your pursuer instead of completing puzzles! Basically, you have just started working in a laboratory as a new researcher. Suddenly, killer robots are dispatched to steal the newest machine, and they kill everybody who is in their way. You have a limited amount of time to use all you have and set a trap to stop the bloodthirsty killer robots!

    Genre: Adventure/Thrill

    Location: 1 Chome-17-2 Azumabashi, Sumida-Ku, Tokyo-to 130-0001

    Nearest station: Asakusa Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 12:30 PM - 20:30 PM | Weekends & Holidays 10:00 AM - 20:30 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes 

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    4. Spellbound Supper (Tokyo Mystery Circus)

    This colorful, magical game takes place on your table with the help of projection mapping. In Spellbound Supper, you will be invited to a magical dinner hosted by a powerful but sadistic witch. You will have to work for your dinner feast by solving puzzles that will be projected onto your table. Carefully listen, read through, and follow the witch’s rules to enjoy your dinner. You better not leave any leftovers, or she’ll turn you into rats!

    This game, like other escape room Tokyo, requires a significant amount of mental effort. A unique and visually beautiful game is created by combining traditional escape game problems with technology. This is the game for you if you've ever considered yourself as an alchemist, magician, or wizard.

    Genre: Mystery/Mythical

    Location: 1-27-5, Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021, Tokyo Prefecture

    Nearest station: Seibu-Shinjuku Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 11:30 AM - 22:00 PM | Weekend 9:30 AM - 22:00 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

    5. The Secret Agent (Tokyo Mystery Circus)

    The Secret Agent will allow players to infiltrate the enemy's headquarters and destroy their secret weapon within 30 minutes in this spy-themed game. Naturally, this will not be a simple task, as there will be armed guards, tripwires, lasers, and other traps to avoid, and getting caught in these obstacles will cut your time restriction in half. While not as mentally demanding as Spellbound Supper, the game does need a great deal of stealth and dexterity, as well as being physically demanding. Keep in mind that this is not a game for tiny children.

    Genre: Spy

    Location: 1-27-5, Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021, Tokyo Prefecture

    Nearest station: Seibu-Shinjuku Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 11:30 AM - 22:00 PM | Weekends 9:30 AM - 22:00 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

    6. Escape from the Prison (Tokyo Mystery Circus)

    Escape from the Prison is a classic room-style game that Western/Chinese players are more accustomed to, compared to the rest of SCRAP’s paper-puzzle-heavy games. This is a shortened escape game that is recommended for folks who are new to escape games or who do not have the time to play a full-length game. You've been imprisoned and sentenced to death, but a blackout has given you the opportunity to flee! What's the catch? You only have 10 minutes to arrange your escape using the clues and items in your cell. Beginners may find this a nice introduction to escape games, while experienced players may find it simple (but still interesting).

    If you are into new experiences and thrill, then you can also check out our ultimate guide to amusement parks in Tokyo!

    Genre: Adventure

    Location: 1-27-5, Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021, Tokyo Prefecture

    Nearest station: Seibu-Shinjuku Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays 11:30 AM - 22:00 PM | Weekends 9:30 AM - 22:00 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

    7. Nazotabi: The Tale of the Undersea Palace (Nazobako Tokyo)

    Nazotabi: The Tale of the Undersea Palace features fun and interactive puzzles inspired by Japanese tales of a dragon palace and the beautiful kingdom under the sea that reconnect Nihonbashi, and Tokyo, to its older watery roots. This game can be played for everyone, from young kids to older adults. Plus the puzzles are all bilingual, so really any type of group can play together.

    These puzzles will challenge your mind and make you think differently. Along with the magical story mentioned above, the puzzles will carry you away and immerse you in an entirely different world. And who doesn’t want that this year?

    But ultimately, these puzzles are focused on getting people to communicate and create memories with each other. These are the building blocks for relationships, both old and new, and for spending real quality time with people. 

    Genre: Adventure/Mythical

    Location: 110-0014 Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Kitaueno 2-22-7 Estate Kitaueno 101 

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

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    8. inSPYre

    The escape game "InSPYre" is quite unique. It is located adjacent to the Shinjuku Toho Building, often known as "Godzilla's Head." You are sent to work as a justice spy at the base of the terrible organization BLACK-MAX, which is attempting to control the globe. In order to end their evil plan, you will be dispatched from the information agency as an excellent new agent. However, there is a very difficult challenge. The time you can lurk on enemy bases is 10 minutes. The inside of the attraction is finely decorated. You will be able to enjoy the feeling as if you were in a set of movies.

    Genre: Adventure/Spy

    Location: 1-20-1 6F Humax Pavilion Shinjuku Kabuki-cho, Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021 Tokyo Prefecture

    Nearest station: Seibu-Shinjuku Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays & Weekends 11:00 AM - 5:00 AM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

    9. Escape from the Demons (Real Escape Game by SCRAP)

    A collaboration with the anime series The Promised Neverland, this game has a strong resemblance to immersive theater. You take on the role of one of the children living in the house with Emma/Ray/Norman, and you get a letter from them detailing the reality about child-eating monsters. They must collaborate with the characters while avoiding the area's monsters. If you've always wanted to step inside the world of The Promised Neverland, this immersive experience is a great way to do it. There was some 'acting,' especially if you were portraying a specific age group (you choose at the start how old you are). Emma and the others will also speak with you. Note that players who book a ticket in advance can also receive a special message in a bottle.

    Genre: Adventure/Mythical

    Location: 4-28-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

    Nearest station: Harajuku Station

    Opening hours: Weekdays & Weekends 10:00 AM - 21:00 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: No

    10. Samurai Puzzle Warrior (Nazobako Tokyo)

    In Asakusa, Nazobako represents a significantly more methodical style of play. It's a pure deductive reasoning exam with a big-time restriction and all the clues at arms reach. The Samurai room is a small space filled to the brim with puzzles. It is based around an assassination attempt against your lord and in contrast to other venues, the Samurai room leads to a conclusion that relies on the player having kept up with the story. It may sound vague, but saying any more would spoil the ending.

    These rooms are best played in groups since there are a startling number of riddles packed into the area, making it tough to complete the room on your own. Luckily there are envelopes containing clues placed next to the puzzles and you can ask staff for some extra pointers if you really have no idea what to do next.

    Genre: Adventure

    Location: 6F KN Asakusa Bldg., 1-10-5 Asakusa, Taito-ku

    Opening hours: Weekdays & Weekends: 10:00 AM - 20:30 PM

    Pre-booking: Yes

    Available in English: Yes

    Are there any tricks/tips that I need to play an escape room in Tokyo?

    Are escape rooms a good idea for a date? 

    Let's say you are looking for a fun and unique idea for a first date in Tokyo, don’t hesitate to book an escape room. Having your first date in an escape room ensures fun and unique experience. Why? Because figuring out how to beat escape rooms in Tokyo will encourage you to work together to solve the puzzle. When you eventually figure out how to overcome the escape rooms that come your way, this enjoyable, tough challenge may reveal a lot about the other person and bring you closer together. If you guys don't succeed in beating the room, don't worry! It only means you may schedule a second date to make up for the first. You will both have a great time, whether you want to get to know someone better or simply check out if they are outgoing or not. You will also come across as a fun outgoing person that is open to new experiences!

    Having fun in escape room tokyo

    Understand the rules of the room

    This is quite important. There may be certain objects in the room that you should not touch. Disrupting them can cause a puzzle to be ruined and time to be lost while people try to figure out why the device isn't working. To resolve the issue, a game master may be required to enter the room. All of this results in time and momentum being lost. The number of hints you receive and the length of the game is other important factors to consider. Also, be aware of how clues are presented.

    Keep a consistent and determined approach

    Escape rooms can be mentally challenging, and there's a strong temptation to quit in frustration if you're stuck on a challenge for more than 10 minutes. Doubt begins to sneak in, heads begin to hang, and ideas about how you're a failure who will never live up to your parents' expectations may begin to whirl in your mind. Don't pay attention to them. Keep your attention on the work at hand. When you solve a problem, don't get too caught up in it. Instead, go on to the next step and continue in a logical manner. The majority of groups finish the room within the last 5 minutes or run out of time on the last step.

    Communication

    When it comes to beating an escape room, communication is crucial. Many puzzles have connections to numerous elements in the room. As a result, you can come across anything with a certain sign on it that corresponds to something on the other side of the room. If you and your colleague both came upon the same object and didn't say anything, you will most likely overlook the significance of those parts. Talking to each other about what you find in the room can help you identify the important details and win. You're all on the same team, so work together.

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    Lastly, don't forget to have fun! After all, visiting escape rooms in Tokyo is meant to be entertaining. It's meant to be a good time. If you run out of time, don't rush out in rage. It's only a game, so laugh it off. Maintain a healthy relationship with your group, whether it's your close friends, family, or random strangers with whom you've been placed. Everyone wants to have a good time, and that should be the ultimate goal.

    Is it possible to play an online escape room in Tokyo?

    Yes! It is possible if you are wondering. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, SCRAP has presented the events online escape games in Tokyo for everyone to enjoy!

    1. Jujutsu Kaisen Online Puzzle Game - Escape from The Cursed Spirit of The Abandoned School (SCRAP)

    This game is a collaboration between Jujutsu Kaisen and Real Escape Game! An experience that takes you inside the world of Jujutsu Kaisen! You will communicate with Yuji, Nobara, Megumi, and Gojo, to make use of your techniques, and exorcize the cursed spirit! This game will be entirely in English.

    2. A Mystery at Magic Academy SHINJUKU(Online Live City Hunt Puzzle)

    You will experience touring Japan's greatest entertainment and commercial hub, Shinjuku's Kabukicho neighborhood while deciphering a mystery with some light puzzle solving. 

    This is a fantastic opportunity to visit this bustling Tokyo neighborhood from the comfort of your own home. While the region is famed for its vibrant nightlife, this is the only virtual tour that allows you to see the famous Kabukicho district during the day.

    3. Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules

    This is a brand new live interactive online remote Real Escape Game where you will interact with the story's character using the "Rule Changing Machine" in real-time and escape from the lab!

    4. Escape from the Lockdown: The Demon Fortress

    This online Real Escape Game can be played as soon as you purchase your tickets. Upon purchase, a custom URL will be issued for each player. When you have solved all the puzzles using the information and videos on the website, you will have successfully completed the game. This game requires a team of up to 9 people as the 'Puzzle Solving Hero' and solves the mysteries of the Demon Fortress!

    5. Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village

    This new game has elements of the traditional mafia/werewolf suspicion game! Watch the actors' conversations, solve the puzzles, and come up with a plan to fight against the werewolf! Feel free to play whenever you want with no time limit! You can even play it by yourself or in a small group.

    Concluding Remarks

    Overall, an escape room in Tokyo will push you to think “outside the box”. As it is available both in Japanese and English, it appeals most of the time to your logic and observation skills. It pushes the player to walk around and solve puzzles around the city and makes you look at it slightly differently. Some of the places visited are not really known even by Tokyo residents, and restaurant recommendations around each area are also given to cater to your needs should you need a break.

    So for those of you who've been eager to play hide-and-seek and escape rooms in Tokyo, it’s time to test how far you can go in solving riddles and dealing with puzzles!

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