Thrifty living in Tokyo

Thrifty Living in Tokyo Guide

Living in Tokyo, renowned for its bustling streets and vibrant culture, can be both exhilarating and financially challenging. However, with a bit of savvy and strategic planning, you can make the most of your time in this dynamic city without breaking the bank.

Mastering Public Transportation

To save serious money, consider using public transportation in Tokyo instead of owning a private car. The system is highly efficient and precise. With trains and metro, you can reach any part of the city quickly and avoid traffic congestion. For even greater savings, get yourself a prepaid card like SUICA or PASMO. These cards eliminate the hassle of buying a new ticket for each ride, and SUICA even offers discounts on fares.

Navigating the Grocery Stores

To save money on food and groceries, explore your neighborhood. Often, you’ll discover small shops or fruit and vegetable stands with prices much lower than those in larger supermarkets. Keep in mind that these prices may change almost daily based on supply. When shopping at supermarkets, it’s recommended to go later in the evening for discounted bento boxes, vegetables, and fruits. While these items can’t be sold the next day, they remain perfectly fresh and delicious. Additionally, many stores consistently offer lower prices than their competitors, so always check out Don Quijote, Gyomu, and OK supermarkets for better deals.

Dine on Dime

Eating in Japan is already more affordable than in many other countries, but there are still ways to save. For better deals, consider dining out during lunch hours, even if it means enduring some lines—lunch specials are consistently excellent. Explore budget-friendly eateries like Sayzeria for pasta and pizza, Torikizoku for inexpensive yakitori, and Shabuyo for all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu. When visiting izakayas, opt for places where you won’t be charged for a seat; you can inquire about this at the entrance or check the establishment’s Tabelog page if you can read Japanese.

Community Events and Festivals on Budget

If you are looking to take part in Tokyo’s cultural events and festivals, we recommend checking portals such as Tokyo TimeOut, Metropolitan, and Tokyo Weekender for plenty of information about cheap or even free events taking place that week.

Secondhand Shopping


Secondhand shopping in Japan is incredibly popular, appealing to people of all ages. In addition to the charming independent secondhand and vintage stores, there are entire retail chains dedicated to used clothing and accessories. You can find secondhand shops throughout the city, even in upscale areas like Omotesando Street. However, if you want to dedicate a day to thrift shopping, head to Shimokitazawa and Koenji.

Utilizing Technology for Savings


Another way to save some money is by using the Internet. Join Sayonara sales groups on Facebook and register on websites like www.jmty.com. Here, you can find a variety of items, from small kitchen appliances to furniture and electronics.

Budget Accommodation Tips

If you need a short stay, consider hotels and hostels slightly outside the city center. Tokyo’s excellent transportation system makes it easy to reach main attractions from residential areas. For longer stays, opt for an apartment—a more budget-friendly and spacious choice compared to hotels. It offers added privacy and a chance to experience local living.

In conclusion, living thriftily in Tokyo is not only possible but also a rewarding approach to fully immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. By embracing cost-effective choices and maintaining an open mind, expats can craft lasting memories without breaking the bank in this lively metropolis. So, whether you’re exploring hidden gems or indulging in local experiences, navigating Tokyo on a budget can be a fulfilling journey, proving that frugality and rich experiences can go hand in hand.

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Japantigers is not a good service

A warning post!

Japantigers is not a good service. Do not use the services of this company.

We wouldn’t recommend using this company. Our experience was really bad. They were late, and the furniture we got didn’t look like the picture at all—it was torn and dirty. They said they’d deliver, but they left most of the stuff outside the building, making us carry it up four flights of stairs. The service was not good, and the people from the company were unprofessional and rude. The products were also not good quality. Please do yourself a favor and avoid this company and look for other options.

We hope, that by avoiding their services, you will save yourself some headaches.

10 Tokyo unique cafes!

10 Tokyo Unique Cafes

Tokyo is a paradise for themed cafe enthusiasts, offering a variety of options like animal cafes, hobby-based spots, and more. Dive into an unforgettable experience with our top 10 Tokyo unique cafes!

Alice in Fantasy Book


Step through the entrance, and you’re whisked into a vast picture book, lost in Alice’s enchanting world. Beyond the captivating ambiance, savor exquisite cuisine—fine cheeses, and curated wines by a sommelier. Ideal for celebrating birthdays or anniversaries with special courses and a delectable sweets buffet.

Address: 1-6-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku

2D Cafe

Another picture-like cafe is 2D cafe located in Shinokubo. This cafe plays with your eyes and mind with a neat optical illusion: the entire space looks like a flat, two-dimensional illustration. The monochromatic black-and-white setting transports you into a manga comic panel, with all-white furniture convincingly resembling 2D illustrations, complete with black sketch outlines. While flower pots, cushions, and curtains may seem real, they are just drawings on the walls. It’s a delightful spot to savor boba tea or Korean shaved ice.

Address: 1-7-5 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku

Shogi Cafe Cobin

Shogi Cafe COBIN is a welcoming haven for shogi lovers of all levels. Whether you’re an experienced player or a complete beginner, this cafe is the perfect spot to dive into the world of shogi at any time. Don’t fret if you’re unfamiliar with the game – the friendly staff is ready to explain the rules and assist you in finding a game partner, especially if you happen to be visiting solo. Everyone is invited, from parents and children to couples, to learn and revel in the enjoyment of this traditional Japanese game. While the cafe specializes in offering a cozy space for shogi enthusiasts, it’s important to note that the menu consists exclusively of a delightful selection of drinks. However, you can bring your favorite snacks along to complement your gaming experience.

Address: 3-35-14 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku

Rewild Outdoor Tokyo

Rewild Outdoor Tokyo is a city-center haven where you can immerse yourself in the camping experience. The interior, adorned with faux grass and hanging greenery, creates a forest ambiance. Relax in hammocks, borrow a grill for sandwiches or marshmallow roasting. Immerse yourself in the sounds of birds and a running river instead of music.

Address: 2-1-13 Nihonbashikayabacho, Chuo

Chanoma

Chanoma, a concept cafe with branches across Japan, aims to provide comfort and relaxation, allowing you to escape the hustle of the city. Adorned in clean white decor with comfortable mattress seats, you can stretch your legs and unwind. Indulge in high-quality, healthy Japanese meals to nourish both your soul and body.

Address: several locations in Japan

Mominoki House Ueno Shop

For ultimate relaxation, explore Mominoki House in Ueno. Primarily a massage store, it features a cafe where you can enjoy a drink alongside a soothing foot bath. The store, designed in the Showa era style, draws inspiration from the public baths of downtown Asakusa. While indulging in the footbath, experience a quick 5-minute massage starting from just 550 yen.

Address: 4-5-2 Ueno, Taito

Tokyo Snake Centre

Welcome to Tokyo Snake Centre, Japan’s inaugural snake cafe. Immerse yourself by not only observing but also touching and, as they claim, finding healing through these fascinating creatures. For an extra fee, personally feed one of the 100 snakes in the shop. And, as it is a cafe, treat yourself to a drink or snack. A visit to the snake center guarantees a remarkable and unforgettable experience.

Address: 6-5-6 Jungumae, Shibuya

Pepper PARLOR

At first glance, it might seem like your regular spot to grab lunch or savor a delightful parfait. But here’s the twist – this is a one-of-a-kind place where you get a taste of the thrilling future where humans and robots coexist in harmony. Picture this: robots teaming up with our staff to deliver top-notch hospitality that goes beyond the ordinary. These bots are not just here to assist; they’re here to add a sprinkle of fun and entertainment to your experience.

Address: 1-2-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya

FabCafe Tokyo

FabCafe is a global creative community with locations in cities like Taipei, Barcelona, Tokyo, and more. What sets this cafe apart is its unique offering of 3D printing and laser cutting equipment. The flagship location, FabCafe Tokyo, established in 2012, is a haven for those seeking meticulously crafted drinks and food. Indulge in the coffee brewed with single-origin beans or savor dishes showcasing seasonal vegetables, all complemented by delectable sweets from the skilled pastry chef. The menu reflects the unwavering commitment to quality, making FabCafe a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Address: 1-22-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya

Plarail Cafe

Plarail Cafe – a haven for toy train enthusiasts and anyone with a soft spot for trains or toys! This cafe is a dream come true, boasting an extensive collection of trains. Among them, you’ll discover rare and unique models that add a special touch to the atmosphere. The cafe showcases replicas of trains from various Tokyo lines, including iconic monorails like the Disney Resort Line Monorail. International Plarails also make an appearance, featuring models such as the Bangkok BTS Siemens Modular Metro and the Hong Kong MTR M-Train. Plarail Cafe is more than just a train haven – it’s also a cafe. Indulge your taste buds with some delightful offerings, including the Keikyu Line special ice-cream dessert, making your visit a treat for both the eyes and the palate.

Address: 7-19-11 Nishiogu, Arakawa

Azabudai Hills

Your Ultimate Guide to Azabudai Hills

Explore the newly opened Azabudai Hills complex—a hub encompassing everything from trendy clothing shops and diverse restaurants to schools and residential apartments. This post serves as your ultimate guide to Azabudai Hills, providing essential information you need to plan your visit.

Shopping

Azabudai Hills boasts an array of the world’s premier and luxury brands, including Dior, Bottega Veneta, and Hermes. In addition to these renowned names, you’ll discover more casual options such as UGG and Lululemon. Beyond clothing stores, the area is home to diverse offerings. For instance, a well-known Kyoto-based bookshop “Ogaki” has inaugurated its first Tokyo branch here. The space encompasses a cafe and art zone, providing a comfortable setting for leisurely reading and the experience of uncovering a book.

Dining

Hills House Dining 33

Hills House Dining 33, a French bistro by Chef Seizo Mikuni, features a menu that emphasizes seasonal ingredients, known for its rich flavors and appealing presentation. The bistro prioritizes societal awareness, using local Tokyo produce for healthy cuisine that caters to both the mind and body. Situated on the exclusive high floors of Azabudai Hills, the restaurant provides panoramic views, making it a versatile choice for various occasions, be it casual outings, family gatherings, or business meetings.

Hills House Sky Room Cafe & Bar

For a more relaxed vibe with Azabudai Hills views, check out Hills House Sky Room Cafe & Bar. By day, grab a light bite or savor coffee with pastries crafted by their pastry chef. By night, the space transforms into a bar, offering a diverse range of alcohol and captivating Tokyo night views.

Sushi Saito

Sushi Saito has consistently earned three stars in the Michelin Guide Tokyo since 2010. Owned by Takashi Saito, this renowned restaurant has delighted the taste buds of food enthusiasts in Japan and around the world, showcasing sushi elevated to an art form. It reflects Saito’s passion to make sushi, a cornerstone of Japanese cuisine, more accessible. The aim is to introduce the genuine taste of fish to children, the future custodians of sushi, and to mentor young chefs in carrying on and evolving the sushi culture. Indulge in the heart and soul that Takashi Saito’s apprentices put into crafting each sushi.

Alchemy

Alchemy began in 2011 as Bali’s pioneer organic juice bar. Over time, it has evolved into a versatile brand advocating for healthy eating as the cornerstone of well-being, resonating with a supportive community. At the core of their offerings are thoughtfully chosen ingredients sourced from sustainable suppliers, brimming with essential nutrients and vitality. Alchemy fosters your physical and mental health through plant-based meals that prioritize deliciousness.

Eightablish

Eatablish is a vegan restaurant offering a variety of desserts like cakes and ice cream. Meals such as pasta and soup also can be found here. What is so special about Eatablish is their dedication to nature. They use organic ingredients whenever possible. In addition to serving lunch and afternoon tea, they also suggest you enjoy their Apero time with a selection of natural wine and Japanese sake. You can explore this place for original products and thoughtful gifts. The packaging design crafted by Akiko Kawamura adds a personal touch to the offerings.

Intertwine KM Yamajin

Intertwine KM Yamajin stands out as a distinctive winery and sake shop curated by Kenichi Ohashi, the sole individual in Japan holding the esteemed title of “Master of Wine.” Furthermore, guests have the opportunity to indulge in the expertise of Motohiro Okoshi, a leading authority on pairings, who orchestrates the unique experience of “component pairing.” This meticulous process precisely matches MW Select wines with sake, offering a truly one-of-a-kind tasting experience.

Arabica

“Arabica” is a world-famous specialty coffee brand. It was founded by a Japanese owner in Hong Kong in 2013, with the flagship store opening in Kyoto in 2014. With the slogan “See the world through coffee,” the brand has expanded to over 150 stores in 20 countries and regions around the world in its 10 years of existence. “Arabica” is passionate about coffee, design, and broadening horizons globally. Azabudai Hills branch is their first venture in Tokyo. Enjoy a cozy atmosphere on our open-air balcony seating.

Entertainment

TeamLab Boardless

The Mori Building Digital Art Museum: Epson teamLab Borderless, a collaboration between Mori Building and teamLab, has welcomed around 2.3 million visitors from over 160 countries and regions worldwide within just one year since its opening in Odaiba. “TeamLab Borderless” stands as a “museum without a map,” crafted by the boundary-defying art group teamLab. The art collection transcends traditional limits, extending beyond individual rooms, interacting with other works, being influenced by them, and blending seamlessly. Now, with its move to Azabudai Hills, an even more advanced array of artworks will be on display, featuring many new pieces and works not yet released in Japan.

Shueisha Manga Art Heritage

The “Manga Art” gallery, brought to you by the publisher Shueisha, showcases uncompromising art prints crafted with the finest materials and cutting-edge techniques. Supervised by manga artists and publishers, these limited edition works are not only guaranteed in quality but also boast recorded provenance through the NFT blockchain.

Facilities

Keio University Preventive Medical Center

Keio University, Japan’s premier private university, has launched a clinic at Azabudai Hills. The clinic is open to both Azabudai Hills residents and the general public, specializing in preventive diagnostics and medicine. Rest assured, you will receive a personalized medical check-up with a focus on dialogue, coupled with highly accurate medical technology.

The British School in Tokyo

Another global institution in the area is The British School in Tokyo (BST), currently catering to nursery and primary school students. The vision is to relocate the Showa campus to Azabudai Hills, fostering a closer-knit international community for children and their parents.

Janu Tokyo

The only hotel within Azabudai Hills, Janu Tokyo introduces 122 guest rooms, eight restaurants, and a 4,000 sqm spa and wellness center to a new landmark building designed by visionary architects Pelli Clarke & Partners. Through connection, inspiration, and exploration Janu Hotel invites you to experience a more soulful way of living.

Remarkable illuminations in all of Japan

Remarkable Winter Illuminations in All of Japan

Winter in Japan is a magical time, adorned with enchanting Christmas and winter lights. Explore these illuminated wonders across the country for unforgettable family memories. Here are some of the most remarkable winter illuminations in all of Japan.

13th Grimm Forest Illumination

Every year, from late November to January 3rd, the Grimm Forest transforms into a magical wonderland. Immerse yourself in the charm of the Grimm Forest as it comes alive with a breathtaking display of lights. The castle illuminations transport you to a fairy tale realm, creating a captivating experience for both children and adults alike. From 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the entire forest sparkles with the radiance of 600,000 dazzling light bulbs.

Address: “Grimm Forest”, Shimotsuke City, Tochigi Prefecture

Period: 2023.11.26~01.03 (17:00~21:00)

Otaru Snow Story “Blue Canal”

Illuminations add a romantic dash of color to the cold season. During this season, the Otaru canal is specially illuminated with 10,000 blue LED’s. Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere during the ‘blue hour,’ that enchanting time just after sunset when a hint of blue lingers in the darkness. Don’t just witness the magic—become a part of it and join a popular Otaru Canal cruise ships, bedecked in radiant blue lights, as they gracefully navigate the canal.

Address: Otaru Canal Asakusa Bridge to Chuo Bridge, Otaru City, Hokkaido

Period: 2023.11.01~01.31 (sunset~22:30)

Winter Sakura Light Up

While Hirosaki Park is renowned for its breathtaking cherry blossoms in spring, the magic doesn’t end with warmer weather. Did you know that even in winter, the cherry blossoms make a stunning appearance? Just imagine cherry blossom branches delicately covered in snow, illuminated to create a mesmerizing scene that mimics the full bloom of spring. It’s a winter wonderland that captures the essence of the iconic cherry blossoms in a whole new light. We recommend visiting this place from late December to mid-February when the snowfall is in full swing.

Address: 1 Shimoshiroganecho, Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture

Period: 2023.12.01~02.29 (sunset~21:00)

Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden’s “Osaka Castle Illuminage”

Get ready for a spectacular journey through time at Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden! Witness the enchanting “Osaka Castle Illuminage,” where the rich history and iconic attractions of Osaka come to life through dazzling illuminations against the backdrop of the majestic Osaka Castle tower. Each light display is a visual journey through the vibrant heritage of this iconic city. Engage in the fun with participatory illuminations designed for all ages! From displays that respond to your movements to a whimsical “light see-saw” waiting for you to ride.

Address: Osaka Castle 2, Chuo Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture

Period: 2023.11.22~02.24 (17:30~21:30)

Kansai’s Largest “Natural” Illumination “Rosan Illumination”

Get ready to be captivated by one of the grandest natural illuminations in Kansai, as “Rosan Illumination” unfolds at the picturesque “English Garden Rosan Berry Tawada” in Tawada, Shiga. Marvel at the breathtaking light production that seamlessly blends with the enchanting natural scenery. The main area, adorned with 100 trees and a captivating clock tower, bathes in a mysterious silvery glow, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.

Address: English Garden Rosa and Berry Tawada, Tawada, Maibara City, Shiga Prefecture

Illumination “Hikari no Sumika” Fountain Laser Show

Prepare for an enchanting evolution of the winter illumination experience at Tokinosumika. “Hikari no Sumika” has transformed to offer even more wonders, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere for visitors. Step into a world surrounded by approximately 400 fantastical lanterns, setting the entrance aglow with magical hues. Traverse through one of Japan’s largest light tunnels, where every step is a journey through a winter wonderland. Elevate your experience with a visit to the paid zone, featuring the “Highest Fountain Show in Japan”. Marvel at water, light, and sound uniting in a dynamic collaboration. The fountain soars to an impressive height of 150 meters, creating a spectacle that will leave you in awe.

Address: Toki no Sumika, Gotemba City, Shizuoka

Period: 2023.10.06~03.10 (16:30~22:00)

Laguna “Light of Life” Illumination

This year, Lagunasia’s illumination theme is “Light of Life.” Explore three distinct areas—Land, Sea, and Sky—where a captivating world and story unfold before your eyes. Additionally, for a limited time, don’t miss the spectacular La Rêve de Noël fireworks show! Experience a Lagunasia winter like never before with a blend of fireworks, fountains, imagery, and special effects. Alongside other attractions, enjoy a Christmas market and a projection mapping show. Come and make memories in the simple magic of Lagunasia’s winter festivities.

Address: Laguna Ten Bosch, Kaiyocho, Gamagori, Aichi

Period: 2023.11.03~04.07 (sunset~)

Best Illuminations in Tokyo

Best Winter Illuminations in Tokyo

Explore the magic of Tokyo’s winter nights with the Best Winter Illuminations in Tokyo. From dazzling displays to enchanting light shows. Discover the city’s most captivating and festive spectacles that illuminate the season with a touch of wonder.

Keyakizaka Illumination

“Keyakizaka Illumination” transforms Roppongi’s tree-lined avenue into a silver wonderland. About 800,000 LED bulbs illuminate the surroundings, spanning 400 meters. Capture the spectacle near “Tiffany” and “Roppongi Tsutaya Bookstore.” While visiting, explore vibrant illuminations at Roppongi Hills 66 Plaza, adding festive colors to the atmosphere. Experience the holiday spirit in Tokyo!

Period: November 6 (Monday) – December 25 (Monday), 2023
Time: 17:00 – 23:00
*Lighting start time may vary on the first day only.
Location: Roppongi Keyakizaka Street

Marunouchi Illumination


In its 22nd year, the Marunouchi Illumination adorns Tokyo Station and Marunouchi Nakadori. Over 1.2 million champagne gold LED bulbs illuminate 360 street trees, creating a stunning atmosphere. From late November to Christmas, Gyoko-dori will also be aglow. Walk through Marunouchi, and immerse yourself in the winter cityscape.

Period: November 16, 2023 (Thursday) – February 18, 2024 (Sunday)
Location: Around Tokyo Station and Marunouchi Nakadori Street

Disney Animation

Disney animation-themed Christmas illuminations brighten up the Marunouchi area, gracing not only the Marunouchi Building but also several other buildings in the vicinity. Infuse the city center nights with a dreamy spectacle, reminiscent of a fantasy story.

Period: November 16 (Thursday) – December 25 (Monday), 2023
Locations: Marunouchi Building, Shin-Marunouchi Building, Marunouchi Oazo, Marunouchi Brick Square, etc.

Tokyo Skytree Town Illumination

Tokyo Skytree Town is set to host a breathtaking illumination event with around 460,000 twinkling light bulbs celebrating Christmas. Amidst the festive atmosphere, an impressive 8-meter-tall Christmas tree, draped in snow, awaits. Accompanied by lively music and light projection mapping featuring the beloved character “Sorakara-chan,” the event promises a magical experience. Explore various locations to witness the enchanting glow of special Christmas-themed lighting, fully immersing yourself in the spirit of the season.

Blue Cave SHIBUYA

“Blue Cave SHIBUYA” transforms the area from Shibuya Koen Dori in Tokyo to the zelkova trees in Yoyogi Park into a mesmerizing winter wonderland bathed in vivid blue light. Experience the magic of approximately 770,000 illuminations, creating a fantastical atmosphere. This year marks the debut of a Christmas market featuring around 20 stores. Enjoy the illumination while shopping for a variety of gourmet food and miscellaneous goods.

Period: December 1 (Friday) – December 25 (Monday), 2023
Location: Yoyogi Park zelkova trees from Shibuya Koen Street

Omotesando Hills Christmas Illumination 2023

One of the world’s largest Christmas trees made by a 3D printer has appeared inside Omotesando Hills in Tokyo. The tree is made up of approximately 500 “snowflakes” that emit a clear glow, illuminating the interior of the facility with their gorgeous sparkle. A special sound and light production with the theme of “Ice and Fire” is held every 20 minutes, so be sure to check it out when you visit.

Period: November 9 (Thursday) – December 25 (Monday), 2023
Location: Omotesando Hills

Shinagawa Illumination 2023 with XR City

“Shinagawa Illumination 2023 with XR City” will be held at Shinagawa Season Terrace, Shinagawa Konan area, and other areas, where illuminations with a “waterside” theme will be held. A fantastic space of sparkling blue light spreads out, including a grand staircase that resembles a gentle water surface. You can also enjoy a collaboration with “XR City,” where a virtual whale appears when you hold your smartphone over it.

Period: December 1 (Friday) – December 25 (Monday), 2023 *Canceled in case of stormy weather
Location: Shinagawa Season Terrace and 6 other spots in the Shinagawa Konan area

Hibiya Magic Time Illumination 2023

“Hibiya Magic Time Illumination 2023” will be held in the Hibiya area, centered around Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, with its gorgeously colored illuminations based on the concept of “magical moments.” Seven trees will be decorated in the Hibiya Step Plaza and Grand Staircase area in front of Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, enveloping the area with colorful illumination lights.

Period: November 16, 2023 (Thursday) – February 14, 2024 (Wednesday)
Location: Hibiya area (Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, Hibiya Nakadori, Hibiya Chante)

TOKYO DOME CITY SHOW Illumi

The 2023 theme for Tokyo Dome City’s illumination is “LOL” (SHOW). Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere featuring animated light gimmicks, playful decorations, and interactive spaces designed for laughter with family, friends, or even solo enjoyment. Curated by comedian Shohei Nagata of Chocolate Planet, the area showcases unique performances, including “Theatrical Illuminations,” providing an opportunity to savor the glimmering lights while experiencing the humor akin to a comedian.

Period: November 21, 2023 (Tuesday) – February 29, 2024 (Thursday)
Location: Tokyo Dome

4 exceptional soba shops

4 Exceptional Soba Shops

Soba, the buckwheat noodles, not only tantalize the taste buds but also boast a plethora of health benefits. From whitening and skin-beautifying effects to fat-burning properties and preventing lifestyle-related diseases. Soba stands out as a nutritional powerhouse in Japanese cuisine. In this post, we’ll explore 4 exceptional soba shops that are set to redefine your perception of this culinary staple.

Arabiki Soba Toki

Arabiki Soba Toki offers a delightful culinary experience that seamlessly fuses tradition with innovation. The star of the menu is the Arabiki soba noodles, balanced in texture and flavor absorption. The customizable toppings, from succulent beef to crisp vegetables, allow for a personalized touch. The warm and inviting ambiance, coupled with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, enhances the overall dining experience. Affordable prices, attention to detail, and a sophisticated take on traditional soba make Arabiki Soba Toki a hidden gem.

Address: 2-14-3 Yooyogi, Shibuya

Teuchi Soba Tsune

Nestled in a quaint alley in Asakusa, the discreet charm of Handmade Soba Restaurant Tsune belies its popularity among locals, and rightly so. This hidden gem beckons with a distinctive selection of soba noodles and an array of enticing side dishes that set it apart. For those inclined towards a softer texture, the Seiro Mori Soba is a delightful choice, while aficionados of a heartier bite will appreciate the Thick Inaka Soba. For an adventurous palate, consider a mix of the two, allowing you to savor distinct flavors alongside a refreshing glass of cold beer.

Address: 1-17-1 Azumabashi, Sumida

Otoineppu TOKYO

Otoineppu is known as one of the very few restaurants in Tokyo that serves Otoishifu Soba, called this way after the small village, where it’s made, Otoishifu, which is the least populated town in Hokkaido. This is a very rare type of soba that is only made there. It has a black appearance and it is thick like the ultimate country soba should be. Otoineppu also features the delicate Sarashina Soba, crafted from the white center of buckwheat grains. Beyond its rarity, Otoineppu boasts affordability during lunch hours and transforms into an evening haven with a comprehensive course menu. Indulge in both Otoishifu and Sarashina soba varieties, complemented by an array of traditional Japanese small dishes for a culinary experience that transcends the ordinary.

Address: 3-6 Funamachi, Shinjuku

Tsukesoba Azuchi

Last but not least is Tsukesoba Azuchi which has two branches in Tokyo. Despite their casual appearance, these establishments offer an extraordinary dining experience. Just like their counterparts, Tsukesoba Azuchi takes pride in specializing in unique, freshly ground buckwheat flour, enhancing the aroma of their noodles. A distinctive feature of this establishment is its meticulously crafted soup, simmered from chicken bones until it achieves a rich and flavorful perfection. The dedication to quality extends to their seasonal menu, ensuring a diverse range of flavors that will entice you to return time and again.

Address: 4-18-9 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku

1-26-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku

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Best pizzas in Tokyo

The Best Pizzas in Tokyo

Pizzeria Ciro

A branch of Pizzeria Ciro in Higashinakano is an authentic hidden gem. As soon as you walk through the door, you’re transported straight to Napoli. The interior and overall ambiance exude an unmistakable Italian charm. However, the real magic begins when you savor their pizza. Fresh out of the oven, it boasts a thin crust, generous fillings, and impeccably balanced seasoning. It’s nothing short of perfection! What’s even more remarkable is that this culinary delight comes at an incredibly affordable price. All these factors combine to establish this pizzeria as one of Tokyo’s finest, if not the absolute best, pizza destinations.

Address: 3-8-3 Higashinakano, Nakano

PST Higashi Azabu


Pizza Studio Tamaki is a renowned boutique pizzeria, even earning recognition in the Michelin Bib Gourmand guide. Within its cozy confines, you’ll discover a lineup of beloved classics like Margherita, Marinara, and Quatro Formaggi. What sets PST apart is its commitment to incorporating seasonal ingredients into its menu and pizzas. While these artisanal creations may not come at a bargain, their unforgettable and distinctive flavors will leave you more than satisfied. The unassuming interior design, deliberately understated, ensures that your attention is undividedly devoted to the star of the show – the pizza.

Address: 1-24-6 Higashi Azabu, Minato

Pizzeria da Peppe Napoli Sta’ Ca”

Napoli Sta’ Ca” gained fame for its star-shaped pizza, and believe me, it lives up to the hype. If you find yourself here, ordering it is a must. But it’s not just the pizzas that shine; the pastas are equally delightful and boast flavors you won’t encounter elsewhere. The ambiance inside exudes Italian charm, transporting you from Japan to a quaint corner in Italy. Trust me, it’s not just a meal; it’s an experience.

Address: 1-11-4 Azabudai, Minato

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Tokyo is a culinary gem that brings the authentic taste of Naples to the heart of Tokyo. Renowned for its simplicity and dedication to traditional Neapolitan pizza, this charming pizzeria is a haven for pizza enthusiasts. The crust achieves the perfect balance of chewiness and crispiness, while the toppings showcase the freshest ingredients, creating a symphony of flavors. The menu is a celebration of classic pizza varieties, each crafted with precision and love. The atmosphere mirrors the warmth and coziness of an Italian trattoria.

Address: 4-4-7 Ebisu, Shibuya

DevilCraft Gotanda

If you’re craving the hearty goodness of American-style deep-dish pizzas, DevilCraft Gotanda is a must-visit. It’s not an exaggeration to claim that their deep-dish delights surpass even those found in the birthplace of this dish—Chicago. Beyond the exceptional pizzas, the menu boasts other tempting treats, with the Buffalo chicken wings standing out as a particular highlight. DevilCraft Gotanda doesn’t just deliver on taste; it transports you with its unique Japanese twist on American vibes, making you feel like you’ve stepped into an international haven.

Address: 2-7-8 Nishigotanda, Shinawaga

Pizzakaya

For those embracing a gluten-free lifestyle or simply looking for a twist in your pizza, Pizzakaya is a culinary haven nestled in the lively Roppongi district. This cozy restaurant caters to diverse dietary preferences by offering gluten-free crust options for most of its pizzas. Beyond the pizza spectrum, Pizzakaya extends its hospitality with a selection of gluten-free and vegan dishes, ensuring a satisfying experience for all. The menu, thoughtfully presented in both Japanese and English, eases communication, and the English-speaking staff adds to the welcoming atmosphere. If you find yourself yearning for a Western meal in Tokyo without compromising dietary choices, Pizzakaya is the place to be.

Address: 3-1-19 Nishiazabu, Minato

Pizza Salvatore Cuomo & Bar Shinjuku

Finally, don’t overlook Pizza Salvatore Cuomo & Bar in Shinjuku if you’re craving a sumptuous Italian feast. This spot transforms into a delightful buffet during lunch, offering an array of freshly cooked delights, including pizzas, pastas, appetizers, and desserts. The quality of the food is consistently impressive, with the option to request a custom pizza if you’re on the hunt for that perfect flavor. Beyond the delectable dishes, the atmosphere exudes warmth, the service is top-notch, and the pricing is unbeatable, making it an all-around winner for a satisfying Italian dining experience in Shinjuku.

Address: 1-26-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku

Check out our other foodie recommendations:

The Best Bagel Shops in Tokyo

 7 Best Ramen Shops Recommended by Local

Yanaka Ginza, a hidden gem in Tokyo

Yanaka Ginza – a Hidden Gem in Tokyo

Welcome to Yanaka Ginza, a hidden gem in Tokyo that offers a delightful escape from the bustling city life. Nestled in the heart of the city, this historic district retains an old-world charm that will capture your heart. Join us on a cute little adventure as we explore the enchanting streets of Yanaka Ginza and discover what makes it so special.

Morning Meanderings 🌞

Start your day with a leisurely walk along Yanaka Ginza’s narrow streets. The morning is the perfect time to soak in the neighborhood’s serene atmosphere. You’ll notice charming wooden houses, friendly locals, and the faint scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting from cozy cafes.

Shop for Souvenirs 🛍️

Yanaka Ginza is known for its quaint shops and traditional crafts. Pop into local stores to find unique souvenirs like handcrafted ceramics, traditional Japanese sweets, and vintage kimono accessories. Don’t forget to visit the adorable cat-themed shops – this area loves its feline friends!

Try Local Delicacies 🍡

Yanaka Ginza is a food lover’s paradise. Sample freshly made taiyaki (fish-shaped pastries filled with sweet or savory fillings), savor mouthwatering yakitori (grilled skewers), and enjoy matcha-flavored treats at charming tea houses. The friendly vendors will make you feel right at home.

Visit Yanaka Cemetery 🌸

Take a peaceful stroll through Yanaka Cemetery, a tranquil oasis in the heart of Tokyo. The cherry blossoms in spring and colorful foliage in autumn make it a picturesque place for a leisurely walk. Keep an eye out for the resident cats – they add an extra touch of cuteness!

Admire Street Art 🎨

Yanaka Ginza is home to some fantastic street art. Keep an eye out for murals and graffiti that add an artistic flair to the streets. They often reflect the neighborhood’s unique character and history.

Enjoy a Retro Vibe 🕰️

As you explore, you’ll notice retro vibes all around, from Showa-era architecture to charming old-school barbershops. Embrace the nostalgia and capture some Instagram-worthy shots of the vintage signs and storefronts.

Yanaka Beer Hall 🍻

Wrap up your day with a visit to the Yanaka Beer Hall. This cozy pub serves up local craft beers and a friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to relax and toast to your Yanaka Ginza adventure.

Yanaka Ginza is a place where time seems to stand still, and every corner exudes charm and warmth. It’s the perfect destination for a cute and leisurely day in Tokyo. Whether you’re shopping for unique souvenirs, enjoying delicious treats, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, Yanaka Ginza promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with fond memories of Tokyo’s timeless neighborhood. So, put on your walking shoes, bring your camera, and prepare to fall in love with Yanaka Ginza’s irresistible cuteness! 😻🌸🏮

YOUR BEST GUIDE TO MUSASHI-KOYAMA AND TOGOSHI GINZA

the best bagel shops in Tokyo.

The Best Bagel Shops in Tokyo

When it comes to satisfying your carb cravings, Tokyo might not be the first place that comes to mind. However, the city’s bagel scene is quietly gaining momentum, offering a delightful fusion of Japanese precision and the classic chewy, doughy goodness you’d expect from a great bagel. Join us on a delectable adventure as we explore the best bagel shops in Tokyo.

Maruichi Bagel

Nestled in the heart of Minato ward, Maruichi Bagel is a haven for bagel enthusiasts. Their bagels are renowned for their crispy exterior and fluffy insides. Try the Lox and Cream Cheese bagel for a taste of traditional Jewish deli-style goodness. Alternatively, explore their tempting array of in-house-made spreads, high-quality proteins, and fresh vegetables, allowing you to craft your personalized bagel sandwich to your heart’s content. For those who like to plan ahead, Maruichi Bagel offers the convenience of online reservations, allowing you to secure your preferred bagels a day in advance, ensuring that your visit is met with the satisfaction of your desired choices.

Address: 1-15-22 Shirokane, Minato 

New New York Club

This American-style small shop, with two branches in Azabujuban and Jiyugaoka, delivers an authentic bagel experience. Their bagels are crispy on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside. You can choose from a menu of classic sandwiches or get creative and customize your own bagel creation. In addition to their exceptional bagels, they also offer a selection of beloved American classics like black and white cookies, carrot cakes, brownies, and more. It’s a taste of the USA right in the heart of Tokyo.

Address Azabujuban location: 3-8-5 Azabujuban, Minato

Address Jiyugaoka location: 2-15-14 Midorigaoka, Meguro

Fuji Bagel

Fuji Bagel, a beloved bagel shop, has recently relocated from its original spot in Akabane to the vibrant neighborhood of Hatagaya in Shibuya. Here, bagel enthusiasts can indulge in a range of delectable options. While they do offer the timeless classic plain bagel, their specialty lies in Japanese-style bagels, where the fillings are masterfully rolled in. The flavor selection features choices like salty caramel, matcha, coffee, pizza-style bagels, and beyond. To complement the bagels, homemade cream cheese fillings and scones are also available. It’s a bagel paradise where tradition meets innovation in the heart of Shibuya.

Address: 3-11-7 Hatagaya, Shibuya

Bob Bagel

The inspiration behind this shop stemmed from a desire to introduce the Japanese to the most authentic New York-style bagels. These bagels embody simplicity while bursting with rich flavors and an irresistible texture, achieved only by adhering to the original recipe. At Bob Bagel, you can delve into a delightful array of sandwiches. Of course, the classic lox is a timeless classic, but don’t miss out on the maguro sandwich if you’re in the mood for an innovative combination.

Address: 2-9-22 Shinagawa, Shinagawa

Tanuki Appetizing


Tanuki Appetizing is a gem for bagel enthusiasts in Tokyo. Nestled in a cozy corner of the city and open only for a few select days each month, this charming establishment promises a mouthwatering experience. Their bagels, with a crisp exterior and irresistibly chewy interior, are simply divine. The sandwich selection is equally tantalizing. However, be prepared for a queue that often stretches for hours, but trust me, the wait is absolutely worthwhile for the bagel magic that awaits.

Address: 4-10-5 Kachidoki, Chuo

Tecona Bagel Works

Tecona Bagel Works is a simple nook offering an extensive selection of housemade bagels, including seasonal varieties. What sets this place apart is its commitment to crafting bagels from a variety of flours, resulting in distinct textures and an array of tasteful experiences. If you’re tempted by their sandwiches, it’s wise to arrive early, as Tecona Bagel Works enjoys immense popularity, especially on weekends.

Address: 1-51-12 Tomigaya, Shibuya

Bagel Standard

Bagel Standard is conveniently situated in the bustling vicinity near the Nakameguro River. Renowned for its authentic New York-style bagels, this delightful establishment offers an extensive range of bagels in classic flavors, complemented by a diverse array of fillings. From sweet to savory, vegetarian to meaty, and even vegan options, Bagel Standard caters to a wide spectrum of tastes. While the primary shop resides in Nakameguro, you can also savor a select assortment of Bagel Standard’s bagels at the Sidewalk Coffee Stand in Shimokitazawa.

Address: 3-8-6 Meguro, Meguro

Ozo Bagel

Ozo Bagel is helmed by a skilled chef with traditional New York bagel-making training. These bagels boast a delightful blend of slight crispiness on the outside and a pillowy soft interior, making them a versatile treat that caters to a wide range of tastes. Even the most discerning eaters, including kids, find them utterly delightful. However, it’s advisable to plan your visit wisely, as Ozo Bagel’s popularity often leads to swift sellouts. Arriving early ensures you won’t miss out on these delectable creations.

Boulangerie Ken

Boulangerie Ken sets itself apart from the typical bagel shops, offering a unique take on this beloved classic. While the shape may resemble a traditional New York bagel, the texture is wonderfully distinct, deviating from the conventional norm. These bagels, though different in texture, are exceptionally scrumptious and notably generous in size, even by American standards. A special treat awaits visitors on Mondays, when all the bagels are available at half the usual price, making it an ideal day to indulge in these delectable creations. Boulangerie Ken is more than just a bagel haven. It’s a versatile bakery offering an array of delightful options beyond bagels, including artisanal baguettes, flaky croissants, delectable cakes, and much more. Whether you’re in the mood for bagels or other baked delights, this bakery has something to satisfy every palate.

Address: 2-2-17 Akatsuka, Itabashi