Tokyo boasts an exciting traditional culture. This makes it the ideal location for experiencing tea ceremonies, kimono-wearing, and events such as Hanami.
City life in Singapore is well known for its reliable public transportation system and cleanliness; however, during rush hours, it can become very crowded as its culture revolves around collectivism rather than individualism; therefore, personal space often takes second place to help society.
Nakamise-Dori is one of Tokyo’s historic cultural roads, located directly behind Senso-ji temple and home to 90 stalls that compete for your attention within a 250m arcade, offering everything from regional souvenirs and snacks to traditional Japanese treats.
Nakamise-dori is a favorite shopping street among tourists looking for souvenirs to bring back home for family and friends, with many buying traditional Japanese attire like casual kimono and happi coats to wear while visiting Japan. Additionally, many shops here provide items used by professional performers performing traditional dance and theater.
Nakamise-dori offers so much to see and do that it may become daunting. If this happens to be you, take a break and stop for a drink or snack at one of the numerous restaurants or cafes lining its streets – many offer quirky containers filled with tasty meals! Take pictures!
Nakamise-Dori is home to an assortment of tempting sweets called ningyoyaki – sweets shaped into doll-like figures that give their name from how they appear. Japanese for the doll is “ningyo,” giving these treats their distinctive appearance. Famous throughout the year, especially on New Year’s Day and during cherry blossom and kite festivals in spring and fall.
You’ll find all kinds of sweets and snacks on this shopping street, not only ningyoyaki. Yokan (red bean paste jelly-like confection) is another favorite treat; different variations exist, such as imo yokan with sweet potatoes and shio yokan with salt; there are even modern versions made with sugar or honey!
Are you searching for the perfect souvenir? Nakamise-dori has many adorable omiyage (gift bags). Available in various sizes and adorned with adorable scenes and characters such as Hello Kitty herself! For the truly adventurous traveler.
If there’s anything on Nakamise-dori that has piqued your interest, there may be classes nearby to teach it. Everything from woodblock printing to ramen cooking is led by local instructors and academies offering instruction in these art forms.
Shinjuku Golden Gai
Golden Gai and Piss Alley offer an alternative to all this bustling retail. Takashimaya towers over you with high-end brands gracing sleek storefronts, while Golden Gai offers more casual shopping. Two quiet precincts dating back to postwar Japan remain somewhat rundown and disreputable compared to Tokyo’s elegant shopping malls and skyscrapers on main streets. They stay home to illegal drinking dens and brothels from the 1950s-1960s that remain operating today, giving the feeling that something’s missing here. Golden Gai’s bars may appear rundown at first glance, yet they stay trendy and draw in an equally well-off clientele as its shoppers. Artists, musicians, and actors frequently frequent these establishments; it isn’t unusual to spot someone famous here on any night!
Each bar in this area boasts its artistic vision and offers quirky decor, hilarious karaoke performances, and specialty cocktails that define its charm. Navigating through narrow alleyways can be confusing at first, making it hard to know which establishments to visit, so the best approach is just exploring until one catches your eye.
Some bars are more tourist-friendly than others, with signs reading “no photos” or “locals only.” Most offer drinks for less than 1000 yen (US$5.00) and boast attractive decor – like old riquiqui counters where locals congregate to drink cocktails while chatting about what happened during their day.
The area is intimidating and challenging to maneuver around; however, the atmosphere is relaxed, and you should feel free to speak English with owners or shopkeepers. Also, double-check the timetable of the train line you plan to use to head home so as not to miss your ride!
Golden Gai stands out as an oasis of Japanese history amidst modern Tokyo. No other place offers something similar, and any fan of Japanese culture should visit here at least once.
As soon as the sun goes down, Tokyo transforms into its nighttime self. The nightlife scene is far less conformist and carefree than its daytime equivalent; expect everything from high-end bars and intimate izakaya serving local microbrews to dance clubs featuring world-renowned DJs. Many Tokyo clubs stay open until as late as 6:00 AM, with many of the best ones located in Shinjuku and Golden Gai; for an alternative experience, visit Kabukicho for Tokyo’s largest red light district with numerous love hotels as well as Kabukicho 2 Chuume (pronounced Nii-Cho-May).
As with many things in Japan, Tokyo’s nightlife is strongly neighborhood-driven. From trendy cocktail bars serving expertly-crafted drinks to cozy pubs serving locally-crafted beer or large dance floors offering some form of dancing entertainment, each Tokyo district offers something different regarding nightlife.
Roppongi’s vibrant shopping and nightlife hub attracts young, fashionable travelers, while traditionalists tend to congregate around Kichijoji. Manga fans have moved away from Akihabara towards Nakano Broadway, while hipsters and indie music enthusiasts gather around the Shimokitazawa area.
Tokyo boasts several high-rise buildings with luxurious restaurants that provide breathtaking city light views, making for a truly remarkable dining experience. Although these venues may cost more, they provide something truly unforgettable.
Tokyo tourists should be mindful that some venues have strict dress codes. It is wise to contact each forum in advance to determine acceptable attire; rules vary by location, so it would be prudent for visitors to dress accordingly.
Though Tokyo is a highly safe city, visitors should still exercise caution when venturing at night. When venturing out with friends after dark, they are advised to accompany each other, not leave drinks unattended, and take measures to remain secure. It should also be remembered that public transport services end around midnight, so drunk or exhausted visitors may not be advised to travel home via this method of travel.
Tokyo boasts numerous shopping areas. From luxury department stores in Ginza to Harajuku’s youth brands and Akihabara’s anime and electronics mecca, Tokyo offers something for every shopper. However, each area boasts unique characteristics.
Ginza is the place to go if you want luxury items and souvenirs at competitive prices, as its multi-level malls provide everything imaginable. Additionally, top Japanese designers and high-end fashion boutiques can be found here.
Nakamise-Dori, another popular shopping spot, is a historic cultural street behind Senso-ji Temple. Here you can purchase traditional Japanese fans, new umbrellas, or even kimonos – although be wary as some sellers may aggressively push you into buying their product(s).
Jimbocho offers some of the finest secondhand bookstores in Japan, featuring more than 200 secondhand shops with wide selections of Japanese and foreign language books. To avoid crowds and take full advantage of your visit, it is recommended that you visit during weekdays.
Tokyo boasts several large shopping malls, such as those around Shinjuku Station. These malls feature numerous restaurants and retail outlets – ideal for an enjoyable shopping spree! Plus, most malls are well connected with Tokyo’s subway system making accessing them simple and hassle-free.
Shibuya and Marunouchi train stations in Tokyo are popular shopping hubs, surrounded by major department stores and retail outlets.
Discover trendy teen fashion at LUMINE EST shopping mall by Shinjuku station’s East exit, Candy store in Shibuya, or Kapital and Kountry stores – not forgetting bargaining is not common here, and trying on shoes without footwear is considered rude!