Downtown: The Tokyo Wards & Districts 3

Ota

The Ota ward isn’t really on many people’s bucket lists when in Japan, but it’s home to the Haneda airport — which is now an international airport. So you may end up being here for a bit. Might as well discover what Ota has to offer right?

Shibuya

Shibuya is on everyone’s radar when coming to Tokyo. It’s famous for the Shibuya crossing, Hachiko the dog, thousands of restaurants, and hundreds of shopping opportunities.

It really is incredible the sheer number of things there are to see and do in Shibuya. Down every tiny alley, there’s something interesting to discover. Like that perfect izakaya with the best food paired with unique drinks.

Center Gai

Center Gai in Shibuya is just this tiny little section, but wow is it packed with boutique fashion, subculture, cool craft stores, and of course, amazing food and nightlife!

As you would guess, it’s smack in the middle of Shibuya, and it’s where the famous Shibuya “Scramble” crosswalk is located.

Dōgenzaka

Dogenzaka is sort of the seedy nightlife area — a bit of a red-light district. However, during the day you’ll find it similar to many other areas, loaded with small shops and great food. But it’s primarily where you’ll find quite a variety of night clubs and the famous love hotels in Japan.

Ebisu

Ebisu is nice. While inside the bustle of downtown Tokyo, it feels more relaxed. The sidewalks are clean, brick, and trees add a lot to the atmosphere. 

You’ll want to visit Ebisu for the incredible dining experiences here. It’s absolutely loaded with izakaya, restaurants, cafes, and more — including a few Michelin-starred restaurants.

And of course, there is the Yebisu Beer Museum which is a historical view of the Yebisu Brewery that used to be in the area — and where Ebisu gets its name. 

Harajuku

Harajuku is renowned for street fashion, youth subculture, and inviting cafes and restaurants. When you stroll the streets here you will notice the plethora of things to see at the many independent specialty shops.

Plus you’ll see stylish models in impromptu photoshoots on the streets.

It’s where the popular Takeshita street is located too. It is just this little pedestrian-only street lined with independent boutique fashion shops selling their own creations. 

Hiroo

Hiroo is loaded with upscale shopping, unique craft souvenir stores, and a fantastic mixture of izakaya and restaurants. The izakaya here tends to be a more stylish, modern and less “dark bar” experience. A place to meet friends, co-workers… similar to a cafe feel.

And if you’re in the U.S. military community, the New Sanno Hotel is nearby.

Yoyogi

Yoyogi is where the ever-popular Yoyogi park is located — which is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. It’s where you will find relaxing green space in the urban jungle of the city. 

Yoyogi park hosts events all year round and is also a place where many subculture groups meetup (like “car guy” or cosplay meetups).

Shinagawa

The Shinagawa ward is not the most famous of wards, so you might not have heard of it during your research. It has quite a lot to see too, from historical sites, shrines, temples, parks, to things like art museums and even an aquarium.

Gotanda is a small area within Shinagawa where you’ll find an array of compact nightlife pubs, clubs, and izakaya.


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