Exploring the Vibrant Korean Town in Tokyo

By SuitcaseTravelBlog | Feb 21, 2024
Asia > Japan > Kansai > Kyoto

This is one of Tokyo's hidden gems that we discovered on our trip to Japan. We had a great time exploring this part of the city, and I want to share my experience with you.
Korean Town is located in the vibrant Shin-Okubo area. This neighborhood offers cultural experiences, culinary delights, and exciting things to see. In this post, I will try to share some tips and ideas for your trip to Tokyo's Korean Town.

Here is the map of Shin-Okubo:

Delightful Korean Cuisine:


Korean Barbecue:

If you want to sample Korean barbecue and have a good culinary experience, visit one of Shin-Okubo's barbecue restaurants.

Enjoy delicious grilled meats such as galbi (marinated ribs), samgyeopsal (pig belly), and bulgogi (marinated beef).

Here are a few BBQ restaurants for you:

Macchan

The well-known Korean restaurant Macchan presently runs two locations in the Shin Okubo neighborhood. The most popular dish in the restaurant is Samgyeopsal (Korean pork belly BBQ). The thickness of the pork belly offered at Macchan will surprise you. It looks like steak!

In addition, the chef grills and slices the meat in front of you.

Tonchang

Another good place to get samgyeopsal (Korean pork belly BBQ) in the Shin Okubo area is Tonchang . This is the first restaurant in Japan specializing in samgyeopsal, and now has more than 19 locations in Tokyo. Along with the pork belly, Tonchang offers eight little side dishes that are free to refill.

Domestic pork is used to make samgyeopsal, and food is prepared in front of you by store employees. Fried Rice” is another popular dish on the menu; it's prepared on the same iron skillet as the meat. Add other toppings like cheese and eggs! This dish is ideal for capping off a BBQ dinner.

Street Food Delights


Take a walk through the lively sidewalks of Shin-Okubo and sample a wide range of flavorful Korean street cuisine. Try popular dishes such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), hotteok (sweet pancakes), and kimbap (rice rolls wrapped in seaweed). Don't miss the chance to eat crispy fried chicken, a beloved Korean classic.

Or try:

Gamja-Hotdog: Korean-style French Fries Corn Dog

A hot dog on a stick covered with French fries is a delightful Korean street food. The hot dog may be stuffed with sausage or cheese, coated in sauces or even topped with sugar.

Many foreign tourists to Korea recommend gamja hotdogs as a must-try Korean street food.

Kkwabaegi: Twisted Korean Doughnuts

Kkwabaegi is a sweet, soft, twisted snack that you can buy anywhere. It is made from rice flour and butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon powder.

What to See and Do:


K-pop and K-drama Shopping:

Korean pop culture fans will be thrilled by the wide range of K-pop products from various artists and groups, CDs, posters, and clothing. Browse through specialized shops and enjoy your favorite Korean idols.

I am sure you will find something to add to your collection.

Beauty and Skincare Shops

Explore many different skin care and beauty stores known for their wide selection of Korean cosmetics and skin care products. You'll find everything you need for a K-beauty routine, including face masks and serums from famous brands like Innisfree and Etude House.

It's SKIN

It is both the brand's primary shop in Japan and the first branch to open. It's SKIN is a popular Korean cosmetics company that sells dermatologist-developed skin care products.

SKIN GARDEN

SKIN GARDEN is located on the second level of Chongane. The company offers an array of Korean cosmetics products, including popular brands such as 16brand and Etude House.

Along with skincare products, this store sells Korean accessories and an assortment of other items. If you are fond of Korean fashion, I'm sure you will be happy to shop here.

Visit a Korean Temple

Visit the Kaichu Inari Shrine for a quiet moment.

The Shrine is a historical shrine that was founded in the 1500s.

The Kaichu Inari Shrine is devoted to the god of foxes, rice, and wealth, and translates as “every wish comes true.”

The legend states: When the Tokugawa Shogunate formed a group of 100 soldiers at the shrine's current site, the captain spent time practicing his aim, but he never appeared to strike the bullseye. One day, Inari appeared to him in a dream and gave him a talisman. The next day, the captain's aim was perfect.

The Kaichu Inari shrine is a popular destination for both visitors and residents, who come to appreciate the architecture, enjoy the festivals, and receive blessings.

Visitors may also buy unique Omamori with arrow designs that will help them reach their goals with pinpoint accuracy.

Karaoke Experience

Challenge your singing skills with friends or family by renting a private karaoke room. Unleash your inner K-pop star and enjoy a night filled with music, laughter, and unforgettable memories.

One more attraction for you in Shinjuku near Okubo is:

Samurai Museum


Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Kabukicho 2-25-6

The Samurai Museum, which explores the history and traditions of these medieval warriors, provides a whole different perspective in Japan. Visiting the museum can allow you to learn about the history and weaponry of the samurai.

Adults: 1,900ye
Children under 12: 800yen
Children 3 or Under: Free

Shin-Okubo, Tokyo's Korean Town, offers an immersive cultural experience with its vibrant atmosphere, great cuisine, and numerous entertainment opportunities. Explore the beauty of this unique neighborhood and enjoy real Korean food, K-pop, and K-drama.

Let Shin-Okubo introduce you to Korea without ever leaving Tokyo!

Street Food Things to do Asia Food Japan Kansai Kyoto Restaurants

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Written by Suitcase Travel blog
Hi! I'm Angela from Suitcase Travel blog. Travelling is one of my passions. Exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning more about cultures and traditions brings me incredible joy. I would like to share my travelling experiences: how to travel inexpensively yet comfortably, and see as much as possible on a short vacation. I sincerely hope some articles will be informative for the traveler, or even just entertainment for the curious. Thank you!

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