5 Neighborhood You Must Visit in Tokyo

Getting lost in Tokyo is easy to do. In order to make life a little easier, we have divided the city into five regions.
23 Oct 2022

Tokyo is a magical city and many people who visit never want to leave. This is our Tokyo travel guide, covering the best districts to visit in Tokyo.

Japan is an amazing country, home to a culture and people unlike anything you've ever seen before. Come and join us as we explore this truly beautiful country along with its incredible history, extraordinary culture and infectious zest for life.

Japan is a culture of small things as much as a country of big things. From the richness of religious and folk traditions to the subtlety of artistic expression, there is no one way to summarize Japan but it is all a complex and fascinating country. It is not only a place where tradition meets modernity but also a blend of ancient history, folklore and mythology that has inspired writers, poets and artists over the centuries.

Getting lost in Tokyo is easy to do. To make life a little easier, we've divided the city into five regions.

1. Shinjuku

Shinjuku may just be what you might imagine: a vibrant paradise with bright lights, tall buildings and bustling streets. This is where you will find the famous Robot Restaurant located on Kabukicho Street, an entertainment line often referred to as the "City Without Sleep" where you will find restaurants, bars, clubs and love hotels.

Atmosphere in Shinjuku / trivago magazine
Atmosphere in Shinjuku / trivago magazine

For a taste of Tokyo in the 1950s, step into Omoide Yokocho (meaning 'Memory Street'), a maze of narrow alleyways filled with cheap drinks and yakitori restaurants that began as an illegal drinking establishment in the late 1940s. When the area was destroyed by fire in 1999, the government decided to rebuild it exactly as it used to be and has since become an area cherished by locals and enjoyed by tourists. The smell of charcoal fills the hallways and if you close your eyes, it's like stepping back in time to old Tokyo and experiencing Japanese life after work.

If you are looking for tranquility in the middle of the city, a visit to Gyoen National Park is a must. During Spring, the park is filled with cherry blossoms, but all year round you can enjoy the urban oasis that was once the home of the Nait family in the Edo period, about 400 years ago.

Recommended hotels in Shinjuku

2. Shibuya

Shibuya is the heart and soul of Tokyo; home to a trendy youth culture, shopping and music. You can't come to Tokyo without visiting the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, which is often referred to as the busiest intersection in the world. The area was overcrowded and when the traffic lights turned red at the intersection, pedestrians filled the street in all directions.

Shibuya Crossings / Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr)
Shibuya Crossings / Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr)

Watch the chaos unfold from the second floor of Starbucks and then go upstairs to the Tsutaya bookstore where you will find a huge collection of Japanese and international design magazines and books. For something a little less crowded, the JBS Jazz club is a vinyl sanctuary located on the corner of one of Tokyo's busiest streets. Home to over 10,000 recordings, you'll be treated to an incredible jazz playlist and can even enjoy a great taste of whiskey.

Where to stay in Shibuya?

3. Akihabara

Known as tokyo's gaming and electronics area, Akihabara is home to multi-storey camera shops like Yodobashi Camera, where you can easily spend a few hours browsing through an endless selection of cameras, computers, gadgets, and mobile phones. If tech gadgets aren't yours, Akihabara is also home to all things anime, games and manga. You will be bombarded with shops selling Japanese memorabilia and sculptures on Chuo Dori street.

Street atmosphere in Akihabara / trivago magainze
Street atmosphere in Akihabara / trivago magainze

If you want to experience something a little unique, head to Akiba Fukuro Cafe, an owl café that offers an intimate experience with these unique animals. You should book in advance for an hour-long session to get closer and more private with their owl parliament.

Akihabara is great to explore at night when the buildings are lit, as well as on Sundays when the streets are closed to vehicular traffic for the tengoku hokosha, which translates to 'pedestrian paradise'.

Popular hotels in Akihabara

4. Harajuku

The center of Japanese pop culture, Harajuku is known for its eccentric street fashion, trendy shops, crepe and dessert stalls, and thrift stores. The crowd here is mostly high school kids, especially on weekends, when you can feel the hustle and bustle of youthful energy and will see girls embracing the Harajuku fashion trend.

Harajuku’s street / trivago
Harajuku’s street / trivago
Street food in Harajuku
Street food in Harajuku

Takeshita Street is the biggest attraction in the area and is a pedestrian-only lane with a variety of fashion and accessories stores. Trying a cream-filled crepe or a mountain of rainbow thread candy is a novelty in Harajuku that needs to be tasted (and photographed). For something sweet and soft, the stack of pancakes at Burnside St Cafe is as beautiful as it looks.

Nearby, the sound of the city quickly fades as you enter Yoyogi park. This tranquil forest, where Meiji Jingu Shrine is located, is one of the most popular shrines in Japan and where visitors can take part in Shinto activities, such as buying amulets and making offerings.

Where to Stay in Harajuku

5. Ginza

If you're looking for high-end shopping, Ginza is a retail hub where you'll find international names and designer brands. Chuo-dori Road is the main road, a kilometer-long shop that is closed to traffic on weekends making it easy to cross and explore all the flagship stores, such as the eighth-level Uniqlo.

Ginza Wako, a watch and jewelry store at the Ginza interchange /
Ginza Wako, a watch and jewelry store at the Ginza interchange / Jordi Meow

Once you've saved your credit card for the day, step into the two-story underground dining room at Matsuya Department Store, which houses a food stall serving bento boxes, cakes, desserts, breads, as well as freshly prepared and carefully served groceries. Items.

Continue your foodie adventure at Mitsukoshi Department Store, located in the next block. It is the oldest department store chain in Japan, since 1673, and their Ginza location is their flagship store. If you want caffeine, Café de L'Ambre is a legendary coffee shop that has been operating since 1948. The original owner died at the age of 104 in 2018, but the coffee remains amazing and is an iconic place to stop by for a drink.

Where to Stay in Ginza

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