Always ahead of the trends, Tokyo has long been a dream travel destination for many fashion and style enthusiasts, design lovers and of course, anime worshippers. While the Japanese capital is often praised for its endless options of shopping and entertainment, as well as for its convenient and intricate transportation system, there’s also a more traditional side to the vibrant metropolis. From numerous temples to picturesque Japanese gardens, to storied theaters where the classical Japanese dance-drama kabuki is performed, the city also takes pride in its country’s rich history and culture.
To help you make the most out of your next trip to Tokyo, we’ve asked some of our favorite locals including illustrator and actor Lauren Tsai, DJs Mademoiselle Yulia and Alisa Ueno, models Julia Abe and Lala Takahashi, as well as street style mavens AMIAYA to share with us their best tips to navigate the busy city. Continue reading for an insider’s guide to Tokyo, Japan.
For the travel-obsessed, be sure to check our other city guides.
“There are many anime, manga and toy stores in this arcade. You may find old movie posters or art books as well. There’s also an arcade game area so I could literally stay here all day. There are cafés and a supermarket within the same roof, so it’s very local and chaotic in a way, and that makes this place really interesting.” – Mademoiselle YuliaAddress: 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Asakusa“I like walking down the streets of the Sensoji Temple and eating around in that area. There is this place where you could make plastic food replicas. You should try doing that. It’s fun.” – Lala Takahashi
“Shin-Okubo is the famous Korea town in Tokyo. Since I like K-pop and Korean food, I enjoy going there with my schoolmates and model friends from the same agency as mine. My favorite restaurant in the area is Myeongdong Norimaki.” - Lala Takahashi
“I just love this area. There are small boutiques and a lot of cafés, and there aren’t a lot of young people in the area so it’s very calm. This area has great energy, so you must come check it out and grab lunch or coffee at Ron Herman. There’s also an amazing udon noodle restaurant nearby called Zen. Sendagaya also has great access to all the major spots in Tokyo as well.” – Alisa Ueno
Address: 6-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo teamLab Borderless is famously known as the world’s first all-digital art museum. Without guide maps, guests are invited to freely explore different rooms installed with interactive work, and are even allowed to touch the art work. From the color-changing “Forest of Lamps” to the light-shifting “Crystal World,” you have to visit the museum to experience it all for yourself.
Address: Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
“If you are in Japan and not watching kabuki, you are totally missing out. I go watch kabuki once or twice a month. There are box seats with Japanese bento menus or lower-priced seats for short visits, so there are actually many options to how you could watch the play. There are gallery space, cafés and gift shops as well, so it’s worth a visit. Kabukiza Theatre was designed by famous architect Kengo Kuma.” - Mademoiselle Yulia
Address: 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, TokyoLauren Tsai
Address: 5/F, Spiral Bldg, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama. Minato-ku, Tokyo
“No other ramen could beat Ichiran, my favorite pork broth ramen! There are many locations of Ichiran in Tokyo, and they stay open until pretty late. So, even after a long day of work I could go there and have my comfort food.” – Julia Abe
Address: 1-17-10 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, TokyoJulia Abe
Address: 1-11-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Address: 3-5-31 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Alisa Ueno
Address: 6-13-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Address: 2-30-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Address: 12/F, PLUSTOKYO, 1-8-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo AMIAYA
Address: 1-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Address: 3/F, 3-21-22 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
“You have to visit Shibuya 109. This place has created many trends for the girls in Japan and houses many Japanese clothing brands including my brand, Fig & Viper. The building itself is an experience, and you could check out all the current, cute Japanese fashion here.” - Alisa Ueno
Address: 2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Address: 3-22-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Nike Sportswear, Nike Running, Nike SB, Jordan Brand and more within the store. In addition to garment tailoring, the shop also offers customization of T-shirts, hoodies and sports bras with over 30 different logo designs.
Address: 4-25-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Address: 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo
Within a two-minute walk, you’ll arrive at the four-story Shiseido the Store, where you could find products from every single makeup, skincare, haircare and fragrance brand under the Shiseido umbrella, including Clé de Peau Beauté, Waso and many more.
Address: 7-5-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Address: SHIBUYA BRIDGE B,1-29-3 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo