A major train stop in Kita Ward north of Tokyo, Akabane is where you’ll find both old and new Tokyo. There’s a modern shopping centre just outside the station, but venture further into the nearby streets and alleyways and you’ll discover a charming neighbourhood replete with traditional Showa Era vibe.
OK Yokocho is one of Akabane’s main attractions. Located inside Ichiban Gai, this alleyway is less than 100m in length, but it’s crammed full of about 30 local pubs and snack bars. There are many theories on the origins of its name; some people believe it’s because this is an alley where you can ‘eat and drink whatever you like, where everything is OK’. This we concur.
Here we recommend five of the best places to eat and drink in OK Yokocho, including a local institution which has been operating for more than two decades. And if you’re looking for a bit of retail therapy, shopping streets Meitengai and Silk Road, both just around the corner from OK Yokocho, are home to some of the city’s most well-known shops.