Hidden away right in between tourist-infested Asakusa and the much grittier Asakusabashi, Kuramae gets its name from the all-important rice granaries that lined the streets here during the Edo era. As rice was literally money back in the days of the shogunate, the neighbourhood attracted plenty of wealthy merchants and other successful Edoites, many of whom took up residence in the area. Later on, Kuramae morphed into something of a centre for craftspeople – an aspect that's still very much present, especially with the recent increase in young designers and other creatives calling the area home.
Affordable rents and active support from the Taito ward authorities have backed up this influx of up-and-coming talent, making Kuramae a hotbed of hip 'made in Tokyo' shops, trendy eateries and hipster coffee shops. Co-existing with and feeding off the many venerable handicraft businesses already in the area, the newcomers are breathing fresh life into this comfy riverside 'hood. Follow us on a tour of Kuramae's hottest shops, restaurants and sights, and check out more area guides on our Neighborhoods page.