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Without a doubt, almost every traveller visiting Japan will visit Tokyo. It is the country’s capital city and a great first place to start for your trip to Japan. However, within Tokyo itself it feels like there are tiny mini cities, each with their own themes, vibes and attractions.

Tokyo has 23 central city districts, some popular to visitors and tourists and some that are more focused on the business life. Where you stay can have an influence on your entire Japan experience, so it’s a good idea to do some research before you choose!

Here is a guide to Tokyo’s most popular districts and what you can find around each one.

Above image from International Traveller Magazine.

Shibuya

Train Line

JR Yamanote Line, JR Saikyo Line, JR Shonan Shinjuku Line, Hanzomon, Ginza and Fukutoshin Subway Lines, Tokyo Tokyo Line, Tokyo Den-Entoshi Line, Keio Inokashira Line and the Narita Express.

Known for

Youth fashion and culture.

What’s around

Shibuya Scramble, Spain Slope, Center Gai, Koen Dori, Love Hotel Hill, SHibuya 109, Hachiko Statue, Bunkamura, Marui, Parco, Tokyu Hands, Shibuya Mark City, Tokyu, Shibuya Hikarie.

Read more: Surviving the Shibuya Scramble

Check out the best places to stay in Shibuya. Image found here.

Ginza

Train Line

Ginza, Hibiya and Marunouchi Subway Lines.

Known for

High end shopping and dining.

What’s around

Upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment, big department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Matsuya and Printemps, international brands such as Zara, H&M, Apple, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, boutiques, art galleries, Kabukiza Theatre,  Yurakucho Gado-shita Dining.

Check out the best places to stay in Ginza. Image from the Japan Times.

Asakusa

Train Line

Ginza and Asakusa Subway Line, Tsukuba Express and Tobu Railways. Also, the Tokyo Water Bus.

Known for

Senso-ji Buddhist Temple & Nakamise Shopping Street.

What’s around

Senso-ji Buddhist Temple, Dempoin Temple, Asakusa Shrine, Nakamise Shopping Street, Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street, Kappabashi Shopping Street, Rox Department Store, Sumida River Cruise and Park, Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre, Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Asahi Beer Tower, Rokku Entertainment District.

Explore the best places to stay in Asakusa.

Harajuku

Train Line

JR Yamanote Line, or via Meijijingu-mae Station on the Chiyoa and Fuktoshin Subway Lines.

Known for

Teenage culture and crazy fashion.

What’s around

Takeshita Dori, Omotesando (Japan’s Champs-Elysees), Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Togo Shrine, Nezu Museum, Omotesando Hills, Daiso Harajuku (100 Yen Shop), LaForest Harajuku, Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, Oriental Bazaar, Kiddy Land, National Yoyogi Stadium, Ota Memorial Museum of Art, NHK Studio Park.

Read more: Meijing Shrine & Yoyoji Park

Find the best places to stay around Harajuku. Image of Harajuku Girls from Tokyo Fashion.

Shinjuku

Train Line

Shinjuku Station is the busiest railway station in Japan and the world, served by over  dozen railway lines.

Known for

The world’s busiest train station.

What’s around

Tokyo’s skyscraper district, Kabukicho (Japan’s largest red light district), Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho, Robot Restaurant, shopping including international brands such as adidas, H&M and Forever 21, Shin-Okubo Koreatown,  Shinjuku Gyoen, Central Park, Japanese Sword Museum, department stores such as Isetan, Takashimaya, Odakyu, Keio, Lumine and Mylord, electronic stores such as Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, and Yamada Denki.

Read more: An Essential Guide to Tokyo

Check out the best places to stay in Shinjuku. Image of Kabukicho from Japan Times.

Akihabara

Train Line

JR Yamanote Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Sobu Line, the Tsukuba Express and Hibiya Subway Line.

Known for

Hundreds of electronic stores.

What’s around

Major electronic stores Sofmap, Laox, Yamada Denki, Akky and Yodobashi Camera, Maid Cafes, Tokyo Anime Centre, Mandarake, Radio Kaikan, Super Potato, Gamers.

Find the best places to stay around Akihabara. Image of Akibahara found here.

Some other interesting districts to know about are…

Marunouchi: One of Japan’s most prestigious business districts for powerful companies located out the front of Tokyo station.

Yurakucho: Adjacent to Ginza, this is a popular restaurant district built under the elevated train tracks of the JR Yamanote Line.

Tsukishimia: A man made island in Tokyo Bay, across the channel from Tsukiji fish market.

Ameyoko: A busy market area between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations, selling everything from fruit and candy to souvenir t-shirts and knock off DVDs.

Ryogoku : The centre of the Sumo Wrestling world.

Sugamo: A shopping district  that specifically caters for the elderly, with Jizo Dori Shopping Street being known as “Old Ladies’ Harajuku”.

Explore more of our adventures around Japan.

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Happy travels,



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Without a doubt, almost every traveller visiting Japan will visit Tokyo. It is the country's capital city and a great first place to start for your trip to Japan. However, within Tokyo itself it feels like there are tiny mini cities, each with their own themes, vibes and attractions.
#Japan #Tokyo
Emma Shaw
Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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