Shin-okubo in Tokyo is the second largest Koreatown in Japan and is often called the “Myeong-dong of Japan”. It is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood crammed with everything Korean from cafes to restaurants, beauty shops and salons to K-pop goods stores, and a lot more. Every day, the streets of Shin-okubo is packed with tourists and locals speaking in Korean language that strolling around would probably make you feel like you’re actually in Korea.
Here are the top 6 things you can do in Tokyo’s Koreatown to make your experience more fun:
01 | Make your own perfect Samgyeopsal
Forget about ramen or sushi for a while and plunge yourself into some Korean cooking. Try samgyeopsal (pork belly), a popular Korean dish grilled alongside slices of vegetables and paired with their staple food, Kimchi.
Don’t know where to go? I recommend Tonchan, a famous Korean food chain in Japan. Affordable. Delicious. Satisfying.
02 | Hunt for your Holy Grail Cosmetics and Skincare Products
Korean cosmetics and skincare have taken the world by storm and if you’re a K-beauty enthusiast like me, I’m sure you know what i’m talking about — SPF-infused makeup products, 10-step Korean skincare routine, pH-balancing toners, snail glass skin vs. honey skin beauty trends, cleansers for your skin type, and so on.
03 | Gush over your favorite K-pop stars
It’s not surprising anymore to hear someone going crazy over their favorite K-pop idols. Blame it on all these K-dramas and K-pop music. I mean, come on. . .they can dance, sing, rap, act, and almost have these perfect looks that make you question your existence.
So yeah, if you’re into K-pop, then you’ve found your heaven on earth.
04 | Try some Korean food items
Explore a Korean grocery store and check out their spicy noodles, chips and crackers, tea, gochujang or hot pepper paste, and even the famous soju which is Korea’s version of vodka with low alcohol content. Don’t worry if you can’t read Korean, most of the staff can communicate in English so you can always ask for assistance.
05 | Sing your heart out
If you want to avoid the crowd, a karaoke over food and drinks would be a good choice. Sing and dance to your favorite K-pop songs, and of course, bring your friends to make the experience more fun!
06 | Stroll around
And lastly, just explore. This needs no explanation. If you stroll around, you’ll discover more amazing and fun things to do around Tokyo’s biggest koreatown, Shin-okubo!
How to get to Shin-okubo:
Take a train to Shin-okubo Station (JR Line). Upon exiting the station, turn right and walk down the street. You’ll start seeing many Korean shops in less than 2 minutes.