One of the most popular record shops in Shimokitazawa, Jet Set covers all genres but is especially good if you're looking for soft rock, soul, house, disco, techno and Japanese pop.
Sweet bread and coffee at 3pm sound good? Pick up the combo at this bakery and enjoy your mid-afternoon break in the park just outside the shop. Their sandwich loaf, usually ready around noon, is also popular.
This 'super sento' features 12 different types of baths including a whirlpool bath, rotenburo and Japan's first electric bath filled with carbonated spring water. For an extra charge, you can try out the Surga bedrock bath, which will warm you to your core.
Yukemuri no Sato
Wander around the ramshackle street of Nonbei Yokocho ('Drunkard's Alley') where you'll find rows of tiny bars – some so small that they only fit four or five people at a time.
This temple of the Tendai sect is the second oldest in Tokyo, and is famous particularly for its soba noodles and the authentic Edo-era atmosphere. Great for weekend strolls and sampling Japanese desserts at nearby teahouse Kitaro Chaya.
This yakiniku eatery provides great value for adventurous carnivores. First-times should start with the tenderloin, a slightly sweet and appropriately soft delicacy, while the truly courageous can go for the 'Kori Kori Mix', a set special consisting of beef ear, throat cartilage, aorta and uterus (!).
This basement pub serves great sake at great prices. If you're not sure what to order, ask for the day's special and tell them whether you prefer dry or sweet – they'll select a sake for you.
Plat Stand Moto
A classic sento with a Mt Fuji mural on the wall. Take a bath before dinner to ease you into an evening of relaxation. ¥460 entrance; ¥100 extra if you need to borrow a towel.
Konjiki Hototogisu's decor leaves much to be desired, but the ramen, made with clam broth, is spot-on: choosing between the ajitama soba (soy-based) and ajitama shio soba (salt-based) can be a heart-wrenching decision.
The impressive interior and sari-wearing staff will make you feel like you're in India, and the curry maintains the spell: the spiciness scale has seven levels, from the mild 'kakusei' (awakening) and 'meisou' (contemplation), the medium 'gokuraku' (paradise) and 'tenkuu' (ether), and the very spicy 'kokuu' (emptiness).
Making browsing books a social affair, B&B lets you sip on beer, coffee and other drinks while you read. Their daily talk events have attracted a healthy following too.
Popular among those in the know, this store's focus is Japanese picture books (it stocks around 3,000) but it also features works by famous local novelists and illustrators. Check out its original pin badges and bags.
Featuring more than 110 stores, this shopping centre is popular on weekends for its events, and on Wednesdays when women are offered various discouts. Easily accessible from the city centre, you'll find it a mere two-minute walk from the nearest station.
Mitsui Outlet Park
At weekends this park comes alive with street stalls, musicians and artists. Rent a swan boat and paddle around on the pond – it's especially pretty during spring when the cherry blossoms are out to play.
Okonomiyaki is very popular in Shimokitazawa, but Hiroki takes top spot with its Hiroshima-style dishes, skilled chefs and perfect portions. The Hiroshima Oyster Negi Ponzu and the seafood teppanyaki are also highly recommended.
Visit this garden in May to see the exquisite purple 'Wisteria tunnel', and from February to March when 500 plum trees are ablaze with blooms. You can also spot Mt Tsukuba and from certain positions on clear days you'll be able to see Mt Fuji in the distance.
Just 50 minutes from Shinjuku, Mt Takao is an oasis of greenery, boasting 1,500 varieties of native flora and plenty of interesting bird species. Must-see sights include Yakuo-in Temple and speciality foods include tengu-yaki, tengu hot dogs and tororo soba.
From coffee beans to oxford sneakers to quirky cacti, this store gathers the kind of hipster items that make life more comfortable and, well, hip. Take a breather and sip a cuppa at their in-store coffee stand.
An always excellent film lineup sees this small theatre attracting both occasional moviegoers and diehard fans. On the first day of every month, as well as every Tuesday, tickets go for just ¥1,000.
Chinese food lovers shouldn't miss eating lunch here. Order Gyoza rice, which comes with both pan-fried and boiled dumplings on rice, plus a side dish, for just ¥690.
Choose from five ponds for a morning of carp fishing, then stop by the restaurant for a cold brew and snacks afterwards. The ¥700 per hour fishing fee includes rod and bait.
Musashino-en Fishing Pond
Making this shop's seasonal sweets even sweeter is how pretty they are to look at. Try their signature Kogane Dango as well as their basic treats Mitarashi and Kurogoma-wasanbon.
Taikoubou is one of Tokyo's leading makers of taiyaki – a crispy fish-shaped waffle filled with sweet azuki bean paste. You can also choose white bean paste or custard fillings, or the Buono taiyaki (pictured), which is filled with lasagne and sausage.
Professional musos flock to this store to buy instruments produced by Japan's most individualist guitar maker, Yoshinori Hanamura. As the shop sign says, 'Window shopping welcome'.
Said to have been founded in the year 111, this Shinto shrine is one of Tokyo's five major shrines and known for its annual springtime Kurayami Matsuri (Darkness Festival) – the highlight is at 6pm on May 5 when eight portable shrines move in time with fireworks.
Kuumba du Falafel's sandwiches are superb, crammed with so many ingredients that they're almost impossible to eat without making a mess. The store's interior is prety fancy, too.
Kuumba du Falafel
Enjoy freshwater eel over rice in a pretty courtyard featuring a Japanese apricot tree, which is especially beautiful in early spring. If you prefer private dining, there are six rooms to choose from.
This popular bowling alley near Sasazuka Station does more than enough to keep your inner Lebowski happy, perks including a VIP room with karaoke, a café serving burgers and booze, and occasional DJ parties. Available to rent for private parties.
If you're visiting the Hello Kitty-themed Sanrio Puroland, stop in at this nearby cat café and enjoy a cup of coffee in the company of some furry felines. ¥800/hour on weekdays; ¥1,300/hour on weekends.
Cat Cafe Tamaneko
Choose from 100-plus Thai dishes, all elegantly blending fragrant herbs and spices with a fiery heat. The name of the restaurant comes from the traditional celadon ceramics of Thailand, which are used here to complement the food.
Sample some of the finest Japanese tea created by a tea master trained in Kyoto. Pair it with a tea-flavoured dessert such as the Matcha Shiratama Anmitsu Parfait.
Gather the whole family to visit this theme park based on Keio's real-life railway. View retired train cars, ride a miniature train, and step into a simulator to pretend you're a conductor or train driver.
It's a little far from Tokyo's centre, but this restaurant's skilled sushi chef makes the trip worth it. Besides sushi, they serve delicious seasonal fish and an outstanding green onion roll seasoned with chilli peppers and miso.
A small standing bar with space for just 10 people, Mitaka Bar is the go-to place for those looking to enjoy a glass of wine or sherry, paired with delicious veggie dishes.
This ramen shop is set apart from the rest by its distinct broth made from dried sardines. If you're not sure which dish to go for, the standard ramen is a good place to start.
If you're not too familiar with offal, the menu here might read like a veterinary school textbook. All we're going to say is be brave and try the Tan-Sashi (sliced raw pig tongue) and Motsu Nikomi (pig tripe stew).
Found out west in Chofu, this shop, gallery and café offers three 'goods': good prints (paper and textiles), good crafts (handmade homewares) and good food (cutesy groceries).
Tegamisha 2nd Story
This museum was founded by Soetsu Yanagi in 1936 and has a wide variety of mingei (folk crafts) from Japan and other countries. The building itself is beautiful to behold and the museum shop stocks wonderful modern craft works from all over Japan.
Japan Folk Crafts Museum
Chef Yusuke Hata puts interesting twists on classic French confectioneries. We recommend the Parfan cake topped with a rose-shaped meringue.
Patisserie Yu Sasage
Perfect for special occasions, this restaurant offers unbeatable fish cuisine. Budget for around ¥10,000-¥15,000 for dinner with drinks or reserve the 'omakase' course (¥7,000) and let the chef decide what you'll be having.
Horse racing is big betting business in Tokyo, but even if you aren't into that side of things, a day at the races makes for some unique entertainment. This world-class racecourse also boasts parks and restaurants, and it's great for dates and family outings.
Setagaya is renowned for being home to many literary figures and artists in the past, including Roka Tokutomi. This museum pays homage to them, holding exhibitions covering a variety of themes and genres.
Setagaya Literary Museum
Having served as a setting for several film and TV dramas, Kikuyoshi Shokudo's walls are adorned with autographs of famous actors. They offer a reasonable set lunch including chicken cutlets and fried horse mackerel.
Fron Daitabashi Station, cross the Koshu-kaido and you'll come across 'Okinawa Town', a market featuring food and goods from Okinawa. There are plenty of restaurants and cosy, retro-style shops in the mix too – best time to visit is at night.
Located near Kichijoji's landmark, Inokashira Park, this restaurant is a great spot for mixing with locals. Make sure you order their speciality, yakitori, which only costs ¥80 per chicken skewer.
First built as a flea market, this collection of alleys is now best known for its many small but excellent restaurants serving everything from Chinese dumplings to oden and pasta. Also great for night-time bar hopping.
The owner of this Shimokitazawa secondhand clothing store takes great care in selecting each item, usually sourcing pieces from the US, so you're bound to find something unique.
Loved by locals, this soba joint also attracts faraway visitors and offers one special meal that combines all their dishes into one. Call beforehand to reserve the 'soba-kaiseki', and prepare to spend the entire evening slurping.
Audio aficionados will appreciate the top-grade sound system, while laymen will relish the reasonably priced drinks and friendly volume levels at this shiny DJ bar, which regularly hosts veterans like Nori and Toshiyuki Goto.
DJ Bar Bridge
It'll take you a full day to make your way through this zoo's different sections: Asian, African, Australian and Insectarium. The main attractions include koalas, lions in a ‘safari’ setting and, above all, a huge insectarium with butterflies, beetles and other creepy-crawlies.