This page is a little out of date. I will be updating these area guides soon but until then, please visit my Tokyo Shopping Guide for my favourite shops and My Japan Trips page for sightseeing ideas and lots of Japan links and guides.
Outside the main areas of Tokyo you’ll find independent shops, cute cafes, strange museums and something a bit different to tell your friends about. Find out more about these areas in my printed Tokyo Shopping Guide zine and Planning for Japan guide book.
Odaiba is a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, which is connected to the rest of Tokyo via the Rainbow Bridge. It can be quite pricey to visit so make a day of it – there’s plenty to see and do. As well as the huge shopping malls and Leisureland arcade, you can visit the Fuji TV Building, an onsen theme park, science museums, a giant Toyota showroom and one of the world’s tallest ferris wheels.
The easiest way to get to Odaiba is the Yurikamome monorail from JR Shimbashi station. You can also get there by boat (from Hinode Pier or Asakusa) but plan ahead as they don’t go very often!
The main attraction is Ueno Park, with many temples and shrines and a large pond. It’s a top spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties) and you’ll also find lots of museums including the Tokyo National Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum.
MY UENO HIGHLIGHTS
Ueno Zoo, Yamashiroya (great toy store with lots of gashapon outside), Ameyoko Market (stalls of food, clothing and accessories), Kappabashi (street of kitchen supplies).
Ueno is on the JR Yamanote Line.
Photo by sundaebest
Ginza is an upmarket area full of flagship stores of international brands, but also home to the Itoya stationery and washi stores, which treat handmade paper like museum exhibits. You’ll also find all the Japanese department stores and it’s definitely the place to pick up whatever pastries or cakes are on trend.
MY GINZA HIGHLIGHTS
Itoya, Hakuhinkan (toy shop), Uniqlo’s flagship store.
Take the subway to either Ginza or Higashi-Ginza.
Photo by tetsuhiko.takai
Kichijoji is always on my itinerary and always somehow gets dropped – there’s just too much to do in Tokyo! It sounds like it’s full of lovely little independent shops and galleries, plus Inokashira Park and a host of cute cafes. You’ll also find a huge branch of craft store Yuzawaya by the station.
Kichijoji is on the Inokashira line from Shibuya.