It's no exaggeration to say that the megalopolis of Tokyo has as many popular districts as it does train and subway stations. And while there are plenty of places that are great for living, you'll also find countless areas worth visiting on your travels. Walking around the streets of Tokyo and discovering hidden gems is a real pleasure.

    So pack your bag and get ready to explore this fascinating city and its many varied districts, from the A-list attractions for international visitors to quirky retro buildings, the birthplaces of Japanese pop culture, and beyond.



    Enjoy an elegant shopping experience at long-running and luxury stores

    Ginza has always been the place for upwardly mobile shoppers. During the holidays, this famous corner of Tokyo is full of pedestrians and tourists who are out to taste its riches. With its luxury brand shops, unique buildings and extravagant show windows, a walk along Ginza Chuo-dori can be exciting even if you stick to window shopping.

    Other must-visit spot include the traditional kabuki theatres and Wako, which is basically a Tokyo equivalent of Harrods. The Ginza Six complex is a new attraction full of high-level food, art and fashion.

    Location: Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    One of the hippest parts of Tokyo

    Think of Shibuya and most people picture the famous diagonal crossing, Hachiko statue, and fashion houses. The station building has been updated as a hub for trains and subways that enter from the suburbs of Tokyo, making it handier than ever before, and the commercial facilities around the redeveloped station are breathing new life into Shibuya.

    From the central area to Bunkamura-dori, Shibuya is brimming with life and a fun place to shop, with more famous department stores and big shops than you could visit in a day. The other side of Shibuya can be seen in the museums and natural parks of Shoto, which is an upscale residential area a short distance away from the hustle and bustle.

    Location: Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    From downtown attractions to new landmarks

    Asakusa is hugely popular with tourists from Japan and beyond. When most people think of Asakusa, they picture Sensoji Temple, known for its Kaminarimon gate, and Nakamise-dori, a street lined with souvenir shops. The unique downtown Tokyo scenery and atmosphere are preserved in the streets of Asakusa where bars and theatres are at every turn.

    If you want to take a really deep dive into Asakusa, head to Denpoin-dori. This area is renowned for its obscure, little-known restaurants and shops. For an alternative view of Asakusa, take a water bus along Sumida River, departing from Asakusa.

    Location: Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    One of Tokyo's best entertainment districts comes alive at night

    Shinjuku Station is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest number of passengers. All lines converge here, including privately operated railways heading to West Tokyo and Saitama, JR lines and the subway, forming a key commuting point for people working in Tokyo's skyscrapers and business districts such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. Shinjuku also attracts shoppers with its famous department stores, fashion buildings, consumer electronics retailers, cinemas and theatres, hotel guests, diners at restaurants, and Japanese and international tourists.

    Shinjuku Golden Gai and Kabukicho are the area's famous entertainment districts. From bars, karaoke and izakaya to more historical attractions, this is arguably the best place to enjoy the night in Tokyo.

    Location: Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    A powerhouse of cute Japanese culture

    Harajuku is a vibrant, youthful area at the cutting edge of fashion. Laforet Harajuku is the area's leading fashion building, and on Takeshita Street you'll find trendy clothes shops as well as plenty of other stores and sweets shops.

    The station, which used to be an old-fashioned wooden structure, has been transformed into a modern building that's much easier to use. But if you're looking for a taste of the past, try the Meiji Jingu shrine, which is set in the woods and has a sacred atmosphere.

    Location: Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan



    A so-called "electric town" packed with anime, games and electronics

    Akihabara is the city that gave birth to Akiba culture, covering anime, fanzines, maid cafes, model figures and games. Travellers from all over the world come here to check out the electronics stores Japan's world-class pop culture.

    In recent years, Akihabara has become a famous destination for food-lovers thanks to its great value dining options such as ramen, curry, rice bowls, meat dishes, and sweets, as well as an increasing number of fashionable izakaya (Japanese pubs) that serve special drinks.

    Location: Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan


    photo by ElHeineken (CC BY 4.0) modified



    Trendy shops in a historical city space

    The charming Kagurazaka-dori, with its roots in the Edo period, was a geisha quarter before the war, but these days it's simply a retro chic area where people enjoy walks and dinner parties. The area also has its fair share of temples and shrines such as Bishamon Tenzenkokuji, one of the seven deities of good fortune in Shinjuku, as well as Kagurazaka Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine, Fushimi Hibuse Inari, Tsukudohachiman Shrine, and Anyo-ji Temple. One of the features of summertime is the Kagurazaka Festival, known for its Hozuki City and Awa Odori Festival events.

    You may even be able to see the Kagurazaka geisha who are still active at the Atamiyu stairway next to the public baths and in the alleys where the geisha work. Cobbled streets such as Hyogo Yokocho look great in photos.

    Location: Yaraicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    A home from home rich with nature

    Thanks to its calm ambience, the leafy city of Kichijoji regularly charts high in the lists of places where people in Japan want to live. The vast Inokashira Park is one of Kichijoji's famous sites for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. Once you've worked up an appetite from walking through the park, head to the entrance and you'll find chic cafes and restaurants alongside less chic but equally delicious options such as yakitori restaurants.

    The shopping arcades on Sun Road are well worth a visit if you're hunting for fashion items. The whole area smells great, too, thanks to its many restaurants.

    Location: Kichijoji, Musashino City, Tokyo, Japan



    Shopping and dining without the crowds

    With limited access by train and no terminal station to speak of, Daikanyama is a quiet high-class residential area without a crowded centre. What it does have are refined shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy shopping and eating out.

    Famous tourist spots include the former Asakura Residence. This building from the Taisho era has been designated as an important cultural property. Take a stroll as the sunlight filters through the trees and you'll be very glad you came here. Just bear in mind that the area is quite hilly, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

    Location: Daikanyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0034, Japan



    Enjoy the hip street culture of Tokyo

    Shimokitazawa, known by the nickname of Shimokita, is one of the leading areas of youth culture in western Tokyo. Thanks to renovation of the station building and redevelopment of the area in front of the station, the streets here are young and alive. However, the blend of small second-hand clothes shops and other stores with cafes, restaurants, and izakaya remains the same as it's always been.

    Shimokita is also famous as a hub for subculture thanks to its many small theatres and live music venues. This is a hip place for hip people wearing the latest fashions, hanging out, and just generally looking cool.

    Location: Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan


    photo by Ryosuke Yagi (CC BY 2.0) modified



    This huge terminal connecting Saitama and Tokyo is full of entertainment

    As the gateway to Saitama, Ikebukuro connects many rail lines and is always lively. It's packed with famous high-rise department stores, shopping complexes and major consumer electronics retailers, and there's also a strong pop culture vibe that feeds off anime and games.

    Otome Road is well worth a look for its pop culture stores aimed at women who like anime. Ikebukuro also has the main branch of Junkudo Bookstore, where you could spend hours browsing. Over at Sunshine City, you'll find both an aquarium and a planetarium.

    Location: Minamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan



    Discover classy cafes nestled between rows of cherry blossom trees

    Nakameguro, a high-class residential area also known as Nakame, is full of fashionable and unique cafes, restaurants and shops. It's the perfect place to find delicious food in chic restaurants. On the menu here is trendy, unique, exquisite cuisine.

    In spring, you can take a walk along the cherry blossom-lined Meguro River. At night the area is lit up and full of couples on cherry blossom viewing dates.

    Location: Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0051, Japan



    A dream-like area with no shortage of vibrant nightlife

    Roppongi is best known for places such as Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown where you'll find large commercial facilities, fashionable museums, shopping malls, and classy restaurants. Roppongi really comes into its own when lit up at night.

    Of course, Tokyo Tower is a stunning sight. Roppongi has a certain energy that will set your pulse racing and make you want to go to a bar, a club, or perhaps a karaoke room. Also check out the long-established Azabujuban shopping area, which preserves an old Edo Tokyo ambience.

    Location: Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 160-0032, Japan



    Enjoy a European-style day off in the shade of a tree-lined road

    Omotesando is known for its cafes and overseas brand shops, attracting fashionistas from far and wide. The vibe here is vaguely European, with beautiful Zelkova trees keeping alive the atmosphere of the time when Omotesando was the main approach to the Meiji Shrine.

    Omotesando has a unique blend of stylish attractions such as beauty salons, galleries, and boutiques, including Omotesando Hills, which is a Tokyo landmark with an artistic touch. The winter illuminations are also spectacular, making this one of the best places to visit for a Tokyo Xmas.

    Location: Kitaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan


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