Tokyo's Hidden Gems: A Delightful Sight of Paradise

May 31, 2024

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Unfold the hidden gems of Tokyo that go beyond the city's typical attractions. From experiencing charming temples to exploring a vast selection of stunning spots and local cultures, this city offers a one-of-a-kind adventure you cannot miss.

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Here is a compilation of Tokyo’s hidden treasures that captivate the hearts of locals and tourists.

Gotokuji Temple, Setagaya

Purrfect for cat lovers! Popularly known as the Maneki-Neko, this peaceful temple consists of thousands of waving cat statues believed to be the origin of good fortune. According to legend, a feudal lord was sitting beneath a tree during a heavy rain when a cat surprisingly appeared and raised its paw over him. When the feudal lord moved towards the cat, lightning struck under the tree where the man was sitting. Today, visitors explore its temple grounds to make their wishes or even purchase their own Maneki-Neko for good fortune.

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Yanaka Ginza

The Yanaka district features a nostalgic allure with the preserved Showa-era charm after surviving the bombing of Tokyo during World War II. It’s a unique spot in Tokyo, complete with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques from local artisans. Many locals and tourists visit the Yuyake Dandan photo spot that features sloped stairs and a breathtaking street view during the sunset.

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Nippori Textile Town

Are you a fan of DIY projects? The Nippori Textile Town is the perfect destination for you! Check out this charming old-school town that features a variety of affordable clothes, buttons, and traditional fabrics whether for personal or wholesale prices. After purchasing fabrics, you can also unwind at the Arakawa Yuen amusement park.

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Nezu Shrine, Tokyo

Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life by visiting one of Tokyo’s oldest shrines. Modeled after the stunning Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, this unique charm provides a surreal experience that features the Azalea garden and the path of Torii gates leading to the shrine, and Shinto structures, surrounded by the serene nature. Nezu Shrine is recognised for its Azalea Flower Festival during April, where many visitors witness the vibrant pink and white colors of its garden.

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Jimbocho Book Town

This town is every book lover’s dream! Situated in the Kanda district, Jimbocho Book Town boasts 150 bookstores that offer a variety of books such as vintage books, rare magazines, contemporary texts, and even antique maps and original Japanese prints. While some bookstores cater only to Japanese speakers, there are a lot of friendly bookstores that are open to English speakers. Here are some must-visit bookstores:

  • Komiyama Bookstore: Are you looking for contemporary art and photographs, this place is for you!

  • Kitazawa Bookstore: If you’re fond of illustrated books and rare writing pieces, you can find your favorite ones here!

  • The Isseido Booksellers: Discover a wide range of antique and unique books that will captivate your heart.


Hamarikyu Gardens and Nakajima no Ochaya Teahouse

Nestled in the heart of the city alongside Tokyo Bay, this underrated gem showcases picturesque views of the seawater pond and the traditional Japanese design of the garden. Moreover, during the Edo Period, this part was a duck hunting area for the feudal lords. You can also relax and indulge in traditional Japanese tea and sweets at the Nakajima no Ochaya teahouse, an overlooking view of the area. Its historical significance and natural beauty serve as a fascinating gem to explore.

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Also known as Kitchen Town, this shopping street offers a vast selection of high-quality kitchenware, restaurant supplies, and plastic food replicas or sampuru. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in culinary delights!

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Jiyugaoka, Meguro

Did you know that you can experience a slice of Europe in Tokyo city? Explore the stunning architecture of Jiyugaoka, which boasts European-style cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. This neighbourhood is also famous for its eight sweet stores called Sweets Forest. With a picturesque arched bridge and gondola, you can feel like you’ve strolled down into Venice and lived the European life!

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Asakusa-jinja, Asakusa

Discover Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple that survived the firebombing during WWII. It is a significant cultural property of Japan as it is the place of honour and recognition to the men who founded Senso-ji. Apart from this, Asakusa-jinja also features two stone statue animals built during the Edo Period that are believed to bring success and happiness in marriages. There’s no doubt how magnificent this temple is.

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2D Cafe Shin-Okubo, Shinjuku

Dive into the fantasy of your favorite comic book at the 2D Cafe Shin-Okubo area of Shinjuku, also known as Korea Town. As you enter this cafe, you’ll witness every interior has been hand-drawn in black marker against the white backdrop that gives an illusion of a real-life comic illustration. Moreover, grab a delicious refreshment of a Korean-style fruity bubble tea with ice and whipped cream. This place is your ultimate Instagrammable place!

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Zojo-ji Temple, Minato

Zojo-ji temple is famous for its historical significance to the Tokugawa rulers of Japan during the Edo Period. This temple features colorfully decorated stone statues dedicated to the safety of children, acting as a memorial to miscarried and stillborn babies. Additionally, the temple’s enormous main gate is one of the oldest establishments in Tokyo that has been standing since 1622.

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If you are seeking a Bohemian experience, this district is for you! Shimokitazawa showcases abundant vintage clothing shops, cafes, and live music houses. During summer, the Bon Dance Festival and Awa Odori Festivals are celebrated, where people showcase their most glamorous fashion statements. This district is perfect for creative individuals and vintage enthusiasts!

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Visit one of the hidden paradises of food lovers in Tokyo. The Sangenjaya provides vibrant narrow streets filled with trendy shops, unique bars, and charming cafes. There are various eateries to enjoy, from traditional Japanese to international cuisines.

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What are you waiting for? Explore the hidden gems at the heart of Japan and create an unforgettable adventure with your family and friends!

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