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Hipmunk City Love: Tokyo’s Not-to-Miss Neighborhoods

tokyoImage by Andy Yee via Trover.com

Visiting a metropolitan city is sometimes overwhelming when you don’t know exactly where to go, but with a little help from us, we hope to put those fears to rest. When planning a trip to Tokyo, it’s important to explore what each neighborhood has to offer. While some neighborhoods have an excellent nightlife, others may offer the more laid-back café scene or high-fashion culture. So whatever it is you’re searching for, we hope to help you find it.


For the hipsters, the hippies, the rockers, and punks – Shimokitazawa is the neighborhood where the off-beat find a home. Filled with great bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and small music venues, this Tokyo neighborhood is very popular among locals, but most tourists miss out on exploring the streets of Shimokitazawa.


For the café scene addicts looking to sit back and relax while sipping on an organic brew, or those looking for a breath of fresh air in the crowded city, Naka-Meguro is the perfect place for both. The Canal runs through this neighborhood and it most beautiful in the Spring when the Cherry Blossom trees bloom, however, it’s a wonderful place for a walk, run, or bike ride at any time of year.


The stylish, expensive neighborhood Ebisu is known for the tasty food, sophisticated drinks and also a good old-fashioned beer. Built on the former Japan Beer Brewing Company site, this “city within a city” houses the Yebisu Beer Museum among many others. Join locals and expats alike in this lively neighborhood on any given night.


This high-fashion neighborhood is full of not-to-miss boutiques sporting the latest designers and trends. You’ll spot some of the most stylish people of Tokyo walking the street of Daikanyama.


As Piccadilly Circus is to London and Times Square is the NYC, Shibuya is to Tokyo. It’s a must visit for first-timers in Tokyo, and once you’ve crossed it off your list, you can get back to exploring all the unique neighborhoods that make the Japanese capital so amazing.


Visiting Japan and hoping to see some of the famous fashion you see online in person? Head to Harajuku neighborhood for the ground-zero of the Harajuku culture, “a constantly evolving street fashion movement typified by everything from cosplay and gothic punk to Victorian-era clothing and garish, mismatched outfits.” This neighborhood is also home to high-fashion names such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci.


Tokyo’s largest outdoor space spreads across 140 acres in Shinjuku: Gyoen National Garden. Home to over 20,000 trees, traditional Japanese gardens, English Landscapes – including lakes and rolling lawns framed by trees – and French Formal – beautiful symetrical gardens imposing order on nature. A lovely way to escape the city life and find some zen in such a bustling epi center of the world.


The Sumidagawa River runs through Chiyoda and is in the heart of Tokyo, and even in all of Japan. If you’re looking for a convenient place to stay in the neighborhood, check out Dormy Inn Akihabara (a little something I wrote up about this fabulous place) – within walking distance you’ll find the Tokyo Skytree, Kaminarimon, Senso-ji, and the Asakusa Hanayashiki along with easy access to many of Tokyo’s other favorite neighborhoods.


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