Colorful Cities’ Chief Explorer, Laura, was featured recently in Nomad Paradise’s article, “15 Unique Ideas and Quirky Things to Do in Tokyo” by Dale Johnson. Here’s the excerpt for your Tokyo travels – a city worth exploring.
“One of our favorite hidden gems in Tokyo is the traditional shopping street of Togoshi Ginza and the Togoshi Tofu Shop, located in southwest Tokyo.
Take the afternoon to explore the unique yet traditional shops and taste some of the freshest tofu you’ll ever find — a fabulous cultural experience for any trip to Tokyo. The tofu shops are a truly authentic experience where locals buy for their daily meals, and travelers can experience amazingly fresh tofu and soy milk, among many other delicacies. The art of tofu making is a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture.
Togoshi Ginza (or any “ginza” for that matter) is filled with traditional local shops offering fresh produce, fish, and other household goods. Bamboo brushes, hand-made teapots, or knives forged in the tradition of centuries past. Many of these shops also display the iconic beckoning cats (maneki-neko) figures as a good-luck charm to bring in customers.
Togoshi Ginza is one of the few traditional shopping neighborhoods left in Tokyo. It’s a must-see and easily accessible from Gotanda Station (JR Yamanote Line – Tokyo’s “circle line”). It’s just one stop on the Tokyu Ikegami Line from there to Togoshi-Ginza.
And if you are in North Tokyo, check out Yanaka Ginza, which is just as interesting. Both “ginzas” are full of unique ideas for omiyage (“souvenirs”) from your Tokyo travels and are the perfect traditional, hidden gem while exploring the bustling, modern metropolis of Tokyo.
Tofu isn’t your thing?
No worries! – – you won’t run out of local delicacies to try. One of our favorites easily found in either Togoshi or Yanaka Ginza and throughout the greater Tokyo area is ramen. With over 20,000 ramen shops you’ll certainly find a great bowl of ramen after a long day of exploring. Miso, Shoyu or Tonkotsu – just a few of the many flavors to choose from.
We also love the traditional yakitori (grilled pieces of chicken), with some of our favorites located at Omoide Yokocho. Located along the underpass of the bustling Shinjuku Station, take the west exit to find Omoide Yokocho (Memory Alley) where you’ll find an array of traditional restaurants to suit the appetite of any explorer!
Any of these fabulous traditional Japanese culinary experiences are an excellent cultural and culinary addition to any Tokyo travel, especially if you are headed for the 2020 Summer Olympics! Stay tuned for more Tokyo travel tips coming soon.
Ganbatte Kudasai (Good Luck) and Happy Exploring!