Tokyo Hidden Gems: 15 Best Spots (Food, Shop, and See)

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Destinations, Hidden Gems, Japan

Sophisticated technology, quirky culture, and trendy streets – those are what Tokyo is all about! This vibrant capital of Japan attracts millions of tourists every year with its exhilarating attractions and irresistible charms. From the fashionable shopping street of Harajuku to the street food heaven near the Asakusa Temple, Tokyo is nothing less than amazing. However, you might find that popular destinations in Tokyo are too crowded and dream about the more quiet ones. Well, you stumbled upon the right blog! Here are the 15 best Tokyo hidden gems to visit. 

Tokyo Hidden Gems – 5 Spots to Visit

  1. Ryogoku
  2. Hie Jinja Shrine
  3. Shimokitazawa
  4. Shibamata
  5. Kagurazaka


best tokyo hidden gems

When visiting Tokyo, getting in touch with the Japanese culture is a must. Then, you might think about renting a kimono or joining a traditional tea ceremony in Asakusa. Well, if you are looking for an out-of-the-box experience, we recommend heading to Ryogoku. It is home to the world-famous Japanese sport sumo. As only a few tourists head to the district, it is one of the most interesting Tokyo hidden gems. 

Ryogoku offers a thrilling collection of sumo-related activities. You can stop by the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall, which holds three of the six grand sumo tournaments in Japan. If you are visiting in January, May, or September, it is your lucky chance. You can watch a sumo match and cheer for your favorite wrestler. Alternatively, you can visit some of the cool museums, like the Japanese Sword Museum and Sumida Hokusai Museum. Also, don’t miss trying chanko nabe, a protein-rich soup dish that is a staple for sumo wrestlers. 

Hie Jinja Shrine

best tokyo hidden gems

While travelers crowd to the Sensoji Temple, visiting this hidden temple hits differently. Hie Jinja Shrine is tucked on the hilltop between the neighborhoods of Akasaka and Nagatacho, veiled by lush trees. The shrine will remind you of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, which features iconic bright red torii gates. Hie Jinja Shrine is a religious site dedicated to the guardian and protector of Tokyo, in which the locals pray for childbirth, marriage, and prosperity. 

Hie Jinja Shrine displays gaudy Japanese-style architecture. In the shrine, you can also buy souvenirs in the form of lucky charms and amulets. Besides that, Hie Jinja Shrine features a statue of a monkey couple, which is believed to be the messenger of the deity. After exploring the main shrine, you can unwind in a lovely garden adorned with wisterias. 


top tokyo hidden gems Shimokitazawa

Traveling to Tokyo means a shopping craze – we can’t deny that! While Harajuku is adorable and Shinjuku is vibrant, the crowd can be too much. Then, Shimokitazawa is a fantastic alternative. The neighborhood emits trendy and artsy vibes with its line of vintage stores, thrift shops, and mini art galleries. Bars and restaurants blast easy-listening city pop music, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. 

Go for an exciting shopping free in Shimokitazawa without breaking the bank. The items sold in the neighborhood are relatively cheaper than the more popular places. You can hunt for a trendy coat or stumble upon a secondhand luxury good in the thrift shops, check out high-quality vinyl records, and look around vintage bookstores. Then, have a cup of coffee and pastry in one of Shimokitazawa’s funky cafes. As the sun goes down, you can also grab a drink in one of the bohemian-styled bars in the district. 


hidden gems in Tokyo

Travel back in time to the Edo Period in Shibamata. This eastern Tokyo neighborhood keeps history alive with its series of minka – traditional Japanese houses – styled buildings. Lanterns and banners adorned with Japanese characters enhance the nostalgic feel. Moreover, the Shibamata neighborhood revolves around the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple. The quiet, copper-colored temple has stood for centuries and is famous for its intricate wooden carvings. 

Strolling around Shibamata allows you to immerse yourself in authentic Japan. Browse the small streets of Shibamata and check out the traditional architecture. Grab some local snacks, like dango and mochi, from the stalls scattered around the neighborhood. Additionally, you can unwind from the busy everyday life in the park while looking at the glimmering Edogawa River. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Get ready to be charmed with what Kagurazaka has to offer. This neighborhood looks distinctive and authentic with its traditional Japanese-style architecture and alleys. On the other hand, it houses European-styled stores, French bistros, and stylish boutiques. For that reason, Kagurazaka is often called ‘The Little Paris of Tokyo’. So, take your time strolling around the lovely neighborhood and see another side of Tokyo. 

Staying off the tourist radar, Kagurazaka is one of the hidden gems in Tokyo. It is a great place to go if you want to escape Tokyo’s bustling center. Wander around the lantern-lit streets, grab dinner in a quiet izakaya, and enjoy a Japanese-style afternoon tea.

Nothing is less than spectacular in Tokyo. From the futuristic arcade centers to the humble shops selling amazing Japanese street food, Tokyo beckons you to explore. Moreover, the city’s hidden gems allow you to see a fresh and different side of Tokyo. So, do you want to travel to this vibrant capital of Japan and explore its hidden gems?

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