Tokyo’s Best Neighborhoods and Districts
Whether you’re looking for an ultramodern take on Tokyo, like the one you’ll find in Shibuya, or something like Nakameguro, where you’ll find trendy restaurants and shops, as well as residential streets, Tokyo has neighborhoods that will give you a distinctive taste of Japan. Find old temples and cutting edge art galleries, neighborhoods where sassy teenagers pose in outlandish outfits and shopping streets that boggle the mind (and fill up the suitcase). Welcome to Tokyo, land of the past, present, and future.
Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan
A visit to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without seeing the scramble of thousands of people at Shibuya Crossing, the city’s busiest intersection. It must be experienced, but also viewed from one of the nearby restaurants or cafés that overlook the space. A statue of the dog Hachiko, an Akita that famously returned to Shibuya Station daily to wait for his master long after he had died, is a popular meeting spot. Shibuya draws young Japanese with its many fashion shops and cheap eateries, while music fans come to check out the used-record shops. Coffee shops, including About Life Coffee Brewers, Fuglen, and Little Nap Stand, are good places for a rest from sightseeing.
This glitzy shopping district in the city center is home to department stores and shopping malls like Ginza Six and Tokyu Ginza Plaza. There are many Michelin-starred restaurants for sushi, tempura, and kaiseki, as well as classic bars such as Star Bar and Bar High Five. Casual restaurants serving tonkatsu, Western-style yoshoku, and old-school kissaten cafés also pepper the area, offering something for everyone regardless of budget. The area is rich with so-called antenna shops (regional food shops), and fans of the lifestyle store Muji will not want to miss the flagship store. Ito-ya and Kyukyodo are must-shops for stationery, traditional washi paper, and pens.
Nakameguro, Meguro, Tokyo 153-0061, Japan
Nakameguro is a hip and trendy area with many restaurants and shops, especially under the train tracks in a complex called Kokashita. The Meguro River that runs through the residential area is lined with cherry trees for sakura-viewing in the spring. Small boutiques featuring local designers as well as imported clothes are concentrated in the Aobadai area between Nakameguro and Daikanyama. Nakameguro is also home to two of the city’s best pizza shops, Seirinkan and da ISA, and yakitori restaurants Iguchi and Toriyoshi. Popular coffee shops in the area include Onibus, Streamer, and Artless Craft Tea & Coffee.
1 Chome Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Long known as the neighborhood where consumers—both locals and visitors—come for electronics, Akihabara has evolved to include a manga and anime subculture, with anime character models roaming the streets and anime videos playing in stores and restaurants. Retro computer-game fans will not want to miss Super Potato Retro-kan for its selection of vintage and used games.