Neighborhoods where traditional Japan lives on

Tokyo is a big modern city, but there are pockets that are untouched by time. These neighborhoods feature shops that have been in business for generations, shrines & temples where age-old traditions live on, and well-preserved examples of ye olde Japanese buildings.

ASAKUSA

Asakusa4

A neighborhood and shops unchanged for generations

Giant Buddhist temple (Senso-ji) • Asakusa Shrine (Shinto) • Great place to see festivals & weddings • Lit up at night • Surrounding neighborhood is full of shops selling traditional goods

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INARICHO

4.Inaricho

Everything for the home altar!

Stores selling beautifully pieced Shinto home altars & incredibly expensive Buddhist family altars • Incense, Buddhist rosaries & brass bells on cushions

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KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA AREA

An undiscovered gem of a neighborhood, where you can feel what it was like to live in a bygone era

Shitamachi museum with a life-sized samurai-era town you can walk around in • Serene Japanese garden with a large lake, gorgeous steppingstones, trickling water basins & exquisite views

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KOSHINZUKA STREET MARKET

4Koshinzuka

A market where they still sell goods from a bygone era

Old-fashioned sweets • Lovely wrapping cloths and hand towels • Magic umbrellas • Handmade bamboo ear cleaners • Crispy cricket drinking snacks • Poisonous dried snake tea • Togenuki Jizo healing temple • The Honorable Duck Butt of Sugamo • Big Red Underwear Store

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MONZEN-NAKACHO

4FukugawaFudo

This is a relatively undiscovered Old Tokyo neighborhood, with traditional shops, food, and a temple with a fascinating fire ceremony

Fire ceremonies with drums, five times a day • Hall of 10,000 crystal figures of Fudo-san • Room with 108 glow-in-the-dark paintings of gods • Dragon fountain that grants wishes written on dissolving amulets • Giant wooden Fudo figure

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NEZU

4NezaShrine

My favorite Tokyo shrine, in a neighborhood that escaped the WWII firebombing

Tunnel of orange torii gates you can walk through • Old-fashioned neighborhood, with shops that have been in business for generations • Chiyogami store • Handmade wooden buckets • Calligraphy brushes • Air-conditioned pillows • Cat map store.

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NIHON MINKA-EN THATCH-ROOFED FARMHOUSES

4Minka-en

A village of restored thatch-roofed houses just a short train ride from central Tokyo.

23 thatch-roofed houses • You can go inside • Visitor center showing how they are made • In a beautiful park

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OEDO ONSEN

4OedoOnsen

This indoor hot spring theme park looks like an Edo-era village!

Looks like an Edo Era town • Everyone wears yukata (cotton kimono) • Hot spring baths from all over Japan • Foot bath stream • Sand bath • Foot nibbling fish • Ninja star throwing, archery & blow darts

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RYOGOKU

4.Ryogoku

Sumo wrestlers & incredible models of ye olde Tokyo

Even when there’s not a sumo tournament to watch, sumo wrestlers can be seen in the streets of this neighborhood and at the train station • The Edo-Tokyo Museum has amazing models & life-sized dioramas of everyday life in samurai era Tokyo and how it changed after Japan opened to the west • Incredible detailed models of cities and towns • Full-scale rooms showing how people lived

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SENGAKU-JI

4Sengakuji

History comes alive – see the actual burial place of the legendary 47 ronin

Graves of the 47 ronin • Their signed confession • The well where they washed Lord Kira’s severed head • Statue portaits of the real 47 ronin

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Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more

 

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