The Tsukishima top 10
Runners love this riverside route that provides smooth surfaces, challenging staircases and captivating views. However, features like the pretty scenery, lush upper level with plenty of shade, and lack of heavy traffic also attract groups of parents hanging out with their kids, as well as office workers taking the opportunity to lunch with the sea breeze in their face. The Tsukudajima section also includes a nice little park and picturesque canals. Thanks to Frankie Gee for the suggestion!
If you’re feeling a bit down both physically and mentally, a midday visit to this superb sushi shop is just what the doctor ordered. The only item on the lunch menu is the sushi ‘box set’, a combo of five to seven kinds of fresh seafood served over rice. A small dessert is also included, and what completes the experience is the ever-cheerful attitude of the bear-like master: he may have trained at Ginza’s fanciest joints, but he’s brought none of that stiffness to his own shop. Thanks to Neil Johnson for the suggestion!
Featuring more than 100 vendors from around the country, Japan’s largest regular urban farmers’ market is held once every month at the playground in front of the Kachidoki View Tower. There’s always a vast range of veg on offer, while a different speciality fruit, vegetable or other food item is highlighted every month. Farmers also hold workshops and let visitors get involved with harvesting, so there’s bound to be something here for the entire family.
The atmosphere is Showa through and through at this ever-popular neighbourhood izakaya famed for its gyu-nikomi (a miso- and soy sauce-based entrail stew). Plenty of other old-school Japanese pub food choices are also found on the menu, while most patrons wash it all down with bottled beer, highballs or nihonshu. It’s best to arrive well before the opening time of 5pm if you’re looking to get in right away, and trying later in the evening may mean up to a two-hour wait. Thanks to @shitamachi66 for the suggestion!
Located on Tsukishima’s ‘Monja Street’, these senbei rice cracker specialists boast an impressive selection of savoury snacks, with everything from dried vegetables to classic dagashi stacked high on the shelves. If you’re looking for a cute souvenir, choose the cat-shaped crackers that come in five different flavours and are soft enough to bite into without spilling crumbs all over your shirt.
If you’re feeling a bit beat after all the strolling, take the narrow passage from ‘Monja Street’, head past the small indoor temple and up the stairs to this unpretentious but clean and welcoming bathhouse featuring saunas and a ‘healing’ open-air bath. Rental towels are available, as are old-fashioned bottles of flavoured milk, and the place stays open until midnight – you’ll be more than ready for bed after a couple of hours here.
Sure, it’s a standing-only bar, but you’ll find nothing but top-level gourmet goodies on the menu at this upscale watering hole. The master brings in the freshest ingredients every day to create some truly delicious snacks and dinner dishes – make sure to try the box-style sushi to go with your cup of Dassai sake or jug of beer. Note that this place also fills up rather quickly, and only stays open for four hours every day.
All right, you’ve come to Tsukishima to sample Tokyo’s infamous soul food, but can’t decide which one of the more than 50 monja eateries is the best one for you. Not to worry, the knowledgeable guides at the Monja Info Centre will provide you with a map of the restaurants, educate you on how to cook the sticky delicacy and answer any monja trivia questions you may have. Unfortunately enough, they won’t tell you which place has the tastiest creations: you’ll have to find that one out for yourself.
It may be small, but this art space on the north side of the area is well worth a quick visit. The gallery holds pieces by artists like Hiroshi Senju, renowned for his large-scale waterfall paintings that have been displayed in museums and at art shows all over the world, and occasionally hosts exhibitions by up-and-coming local talent. Housed on the ground floor of a shiny high-rise, this is a nice place for taking a break from the city. Thanks to Lumie for the suggestion!
Founded in 1837 and still going strong, Tenyasu specialises in tsukudani, a kind of simmered and preserved food that’s been a staple of area residents since the Edo era. Around a dozen varieties are available here, with seaweed-based choices making up the majority, but we recommend the strongly flavoured, slightly sweet shrimp (pictured). Prepare to pay around ¥600-¥800 for 100g – a reasonable price for eating like a true Edoite.