Japan, the land of anime, hentai and samurais. It’s one of my favourite countries. Period. Tokyo is everything you expect, and 10 times more. I spent a few weeks in Japan and absolutely loved every microsecond of it. The temples, nonstop energy of Tokyo, the history, culture, food, people and futuristic appeal; it’s great, all of it. I feel like I was Japanese in a past life. My time in Tokyo was so packed with jaw-dropping moments that it felt like a dream. The districts in Tokyo each take on their own personalities and come to life in their own special way. With that being said …
Here are, in my opinion, The 5 Best Districts In Tokyo, Japan.
Asakusa was the first Japanese neighbourhood I experienced. It’s an amazing district for walking and is a great cross between suburbia and city life. One of the major highlights of Asakusa is the famous Senso-ji Buddhist temple. Luckily, I booked a neat hostel a few blocks away from Senso-ji and had the chance to explore this great little neighbourhood which also features the Tokyo Sky Tree. This is also where I had the coolest ramen noodle experience ever.
I walked into a ramen shop at about 11 a.m. There were two employees working (I later found out they were father and daughter). 5 bar stools, that was the capacity of this little restaurant. And I loved it. I ordered the chicken ramen with the thin broth and noodles. I kid you not when I say that I would sacrifice a vital organ to have another bowl of that savoury ramen. Not to mention, it was prepared with the utmost precision in under 3 minutes, with a language barrier. Nothing else needs to be said.
Oh wait, the view from the Tokyo Sky Tree (see picture above) is next level, literally and figuratively.
Ever heard of the Shibuya crossing? Well, according to legend, it’s home to the busiest intersection in the world. Speaking from experience, the legend may be a reality. There’s a strange sort of coordinated dance that all pedestrians do at the Shibuya crossing. It’s organized chaos. Aside from the world famous crossing, Shibuya is a great district in its own right. It has loads of boutiques restaurants and business, it’s easily accessible and everyone shuffles about minding their own business. I felt right at home, even if I was thousands of miles away from my actual hometown. To put it simply, Shibuya is a must see for anyone traveling through the Tokyo region of Japan.
Shinjuku is one of the busiest districts in Tokyo. If you’re into the whole big city, bright lights feel of any particular location, Shinjuku is the place to be. Expect to see loads of young, cleanly dressed Japanese locals in this area. The feel and energy of Shinjuku is unlike any other district in Tokyo. Although it is a densely populated area, there is still loads of room for the artful expression of a less traditional crowd. I also found that there was a seemingly endless array of shopping boutiques to choose from. If you love Time Square and Manhattan as a whole, Shinjuku is essentially the Japanese version. While there, be sure to check out the Robot Restaurant for the weirdest, coolest most robotic, sonically enhanced experience ever.
This is my favourite neighbourhood in the Tokyo region. Reason being? I love anime and manga cartoons! Akihabara is like anime heaven. It’s building after building of magazines, comics, action figures, memorabilia and just about anything else that relates to the Japanese cartoon world. If you’re even 1% geek, stop reading this right now (okay, well maybe you can finish this post) and make your way to Akihabara immediately. Naruto, Death Note, Tokyo Ghoul, Pokemon, Magi, Bleach and so much freaking more dammit, they’re there. They’re all there … Sigh. I need a sip of water, or Sake. Yea, Sake bombs are wonderful. Akihabara is also the perfect place to buy the latest tech or other gadgets at a good price.
Shoppers unite! If you’re loaded and have tons of money to blow on material goods (sponsor my next 10 trips … kidding … sort of, but not really) Roppongi is calling your name. The Roppongi shopping centre has everything. It’s also a great place to hangout if you’re trying to beat the summer heat (air conditioning). Shopping aside, I had an amazing time in the Roppongi district exploring some great little coffee shops and a few amazing museums, one of which is in the Roppongi towers. The lookout provides a beautiful view of the entire district and looks picturesque from nearly every angle. The people in Roppongi dress like they’re on the set of a movie, so if you’re going to be in the area, step your game up.
Is Japan on your list of places to visit? What’s your favourite district in the Tokyo region? Leave a thoughtful response below! I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,