1. K5 in Nihonbashi
    Photo: K5 / Yikin HyoHotel K5
  2. The garden area at Daikanyama T-site
    Photo: Piyawan Charoenlimkul/ShutterstockThe garden area at Daikanyama T-site
  3. Harmonica Yokocho
    Photo: Time Out TokyoHarmonika Yokocho in Kichijoji
  4. Log Road Daikanyama
    Photograph: Keisuke TanigawaLog Road Daikanyama

5 coolest neighbourhoods in Tokyo

Spend a day at these hip Tokyo districts and discover some of Tokyo’s best restaurants, cafés, bars and shops

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors

Defining ‘cool’ is always difficult. There’s an argument to be had that every neighbourhood is cool in its own way. And we’d definitely vouch for that in a city like Tokyo. But a certain few places in this ever-changing metropolis have something about them that makes them stand out from the pack.

Some of these neighbourhoods are effortlessly hip while others have transformed themselves to become must-see destinations in their own right. But what they all have in common is that sense of liveliness you feel while walking the streets. And, of course, a fantastic selection of stylish shops, chill cafés and bustling restaurants.

So set aside time to wander around these neighbourhoods that we can safely say are some of the coolest you’ll find in Tokyo.

RECOMMENDED: Looking for more hip destinations? Check out the 7 coolest streets in Tokyo 
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Where the cool kids go


Just one stop from Shibuya on the express train, Shimokitazawa – or Shimokita, as the locals call it – was named one of the world’s top ten coolest neighbourhoods in 2022. And with good reason.

Having gone through a massive redevelopment since 2019, Shimokita will be almost unrecognisable to those who haven’t visited in a few years. Previously known for its vintage stores, Shimokita has evolved into a hotspot for indie film enthusiasts, café-goers and serious foodies.

This hip hub has also seen several new shopping and dining facilities pop up, including one that has transformed the dead space under the train tracks into a lively restaurant complex. But the neighbourhood is still reliably filled with independent businesses and affordable options for eating, drinking and shopping.

The perfect day Start your day with a cuppa at Ogawa Coffee Laboratory before picking up an adorable Totoro-shaped cream puff at Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory. Spend a few hours browsing Shimokita’s consignment and vintage shops including New York Joe Exchange and Soma (the latter for sneakers), then tuck into a meal at one of the many casual restaurants at Mikan Shimokita. Finish with a hot spring bath at the gorgeous ryokan and onsen Yuen Bettei Daita.

Don’t miss Stop by in mid-August for Shimokitazawa’s annual Awa-Odori Festival, which sees a lively parade of dancers making their way down the main Ichibangai shopping street.


If you’re looking to explore further into the Tokyo suburbs, Kichijoji is a great place to start. This chic district in the west of Tokyo may only be 15 minutes by express train from Shibuya or Shinjuku, but it feels far enough out of the city for some peace and quiet.

The neighbourhood is home to countless restaurants, stylish cafés and small boutiques that will keep you occupied for hours on end. Plus, you can’t miss the lush Inokashira Park, known for its cute swan boats and gorgeous cherry blossoms. The massive greenspace is also a hop and a skip away from Tokyo’s famous Ghibli Museum – a must-visit for the Ghibli obsessed (and slightly easier to get into than the newly opened Ghibli Park).

The perfect day Start your day with a refreshing stroll through Inokashira Park and grab a coffee from the whimsical park café Blue Sky Coffee. From there, you can walk through Nanaibashi-dori into central Kichijoji while stopping at a few vintage stores along the way (we recommend New York Joe and Little Brothers).

Grab lunch at Pizzeria GG – recently named one of Asia’s best pizzerias – and then hop over to Peace for a kakigori shaved ice dessert. Make your way over to Sippo for vintage tableware and cute knick knacks from all over Japan, and then end your day with more food and drinks at Kichijoji’s Harmonica Yokocho.

Don’t miss In spring, Inokashira Park flourishes with an abundance of cherry blossoms. The grounds are often sectioned off for you to lay out your picnic mats right under the massive trees. You can also rent a swan-shaped boat and explore the pond lined with blooming sakura trees. Expect to catch the pink flowers around late March and early April.



From the bottom of its main street, Kagurazaka looks like any other Tokyo neighbourhood with convenience stores, residential buildings and run-of-the-mill izakaya joints. But as you make your way uphill, you’ll notice that the community is a charming amalgamation of nostalgic establishments reminiscent of Edo Japan (1603-1867) and eateries with a modern European influence.

Though you could easily spend a whole Saturday hopping between the many cafés and sake stands in the neighbourhood, half the fun of Kagurazaka is in ambling through its peaceful backstreets for hidden gems. Forget the hip hotels – once you familiarise yourself with the area, you’ll want to move here permanently.

The perfect day Start with a savoury galette at Le Bretagne for brunch and order a seasonal crepe if you have room for dessert. Then head up the road and take a quick look at the vermilion Bishamonten Zenkokuji Temple, which has a history dating back to the 17th century, before scoping out the modern Akagi Shrine designed by Japanese starchitect Kengo Kuma.

After checking out the exhibition at Cave-Ayumi Gallery, veer down one of the narrow cobblestone paths along the main road to do some window shopping for vintage homeware and Japanese ceramics. End the day with a dinner of hand-pulled soba noodles at Kyorakutei and a fresh fruit cocktail from Bar Lidemo.

Don’t miss Every July, lanterns are strung up along Kagurazaka's streets, and the main road is closed off to cars for the annual Kagurazaka Matsuri – a multi-day event involving parades, Awa Odori dance processions and a night market.


It only takes about ten minutes to walk from Daikanyama Station to this upmarket neighbourhood’s perimeter, but the cool pull of the district means nearby areas such as Sarugaku and Meguro often like to identify as part of the Daikanyama community.

And who can blame them? Whether its Log Road turning disused railway tracks into a thriving hub or the vibrant independent shops and cafés dotted around the neighbourhood, Daikanyama is irresistibly hip. With its blend of independent businesses and established designer boutiques minus the crazy crowds, you can think of it as a more relaxed version of Shibuya.

You can easily walk to Daikanyama from Shibuya Station in about ten minutes, or jump on the Tokyu Toyoko line for one stop, to find out for yourself why this neighbourhood is so highly rated.

The perfect day Have a relaxing breakfast at Ivy Place before browsing the shelves at Tsutaya Books, both in the striking Daikanyama T-Site. Spend some time wandering the backstreets, where you’ll find the charming antiques shop Carboots and cosy coffee shop Mocha.

Daikanyama really comes into its own with its bars and restaurants, so end your day at the speakeasy-like Débris or modern Mexican venue Hacienda del Cielo.

Don't miss The annual Sarugaku Matsuri takes place in early November and features food trucks, market stalls, workshops and activities like stamp rallies. You’ll find it around Daikanyama Hillside Terrace, just a three-minute walk from the station.



You wouldn’t think that an area once known as Tokyo’s ‘Wall Street’ would be considered a cool neighbourhood. But Kabutocho has left its former stuffy image behind and reinvented itself as a hub for trendy bars, bistros and breweries.

Right next to Nihonbashi Station, Kabutocho is a maze of alleyways dotted with stately neo-baroque buildings and humble traditional shops. Venture into this inviting labyrinth and you’ll find an incredible collection of cafés, restaurants, bars and shops. Set aside a day and lose yourself in this fascinating, ever-changing neighbourhood.

The perfect day Get your caffeine fix at Switch Coffee in the hip K5 building. Next up, browse exquisite Japanese stationery at Haibara, which has been in business for more than 200 years. Take some respite from the urban trappings with a stop at Fukutoku Shrine, nestled near the Coredo Muromachi shopping centre. For dinner, casual bistro Neki is sure to satisfy. Then stop for a night cap at Ao Bar (cocktails) or Brooklyn Brewery (beer) in Hotel K5, a former bank building from the 1920s. Or, if you prefer something more quintessentially Japanese, sip on freshly brewed sake at Heiwa Doburoku Brewery Kabutocho.

Don’t miss The Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri is a massive festival famous for its colourful parade. Expect to see around 2,000 participants marching through the streets and performances from traditional dance troupes. The festival takes place every year in late October.

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