There Is More to Tokyo Than You Think! Explore This Underrated Area of the City!

  • When planning a trip to Tokyo, most travelers automatically include the popular districts of the city in their itineraries. Places such as Shibuya, well known for Shibuya Crossing; the huge neighborhood of Shinjuku, notorious for its red-light district; Ginza, known for its high-end boutiques; and Akihabara with its innumerable maid cafes and otaku shops, are on top of many people’s must-visit lists. However, one area that is also great for foreign tourists but often overlooked is Shinagawa.

    Shinagawa Ward is a major transport hub that can easily be reached via various modes of transportation, including the bullet train, and is accessible from Haneda and Narita Airport by train or bus. Despite this, it seems as if not many visitors to Japan are aware of what Shinagawa has to offer, thus skipping it completely.

    Shinagawa boasts numerous shopping malls, hotels, and embassies. But aside from those, did you know that you can also enjoy Japanese food, culture, and sightseeing in Shinagawa? Watch the videos below and discover what beautiful spots and exciting activities await you in this lesser-known area of Tokyo!

    1. Taste a variety of street food at Tokyo’s longest shopping district

    Spanning 1.3 kilometers, Togoshi Ginza in Shinagawa is dubbed as the longest shopping street in Tokyo. More than 400 local shops and stalls offering different kinds of Japanese goods line the street, giving you a chance to enjoy the real gourmet loved by locals. However, be careful not to confuse this place with Ginza where luxury shops aplenty. The two are completely different!

    As shown in the video, some of the delicious street food you can find here are yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) and karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Don’t forget to try croquette (“korokke” in Japanese), Togoshi Ginza’s signature food, which is a breadcrumbed fried food roll usually containing mashed potatoes or ground meat! About 20 stores sell their own versions of croquette, so you are sure to find this crispy street food while walking.

    The shopping street is adjacent to Togoshi-Ginza Station, just 15 minutes away from Shinagawa Station.

    Click here for Togoshi Ginza’s website.
    Click here for a map.

    2. Experience traditional Japanese culture at a Buddhist temple

    After enjoying a variety of street food, you can find peace and refuge at this Buddhist temple in Shinagawa. Officially known as Kimyozan Yogyokuin Nyorai Temple, Nyorai Temple is actually a combination of two different temples – Yogyokuin and Nyoraiji – that were merged together in 1923.

    Unlike most temples that house only one Buddha, Nyorai Temple is famous for its five three-meter-tall wooden statues of the Great Buddhas. It is believed to be exceptionally powerful and a lot of people come here to worship.

    The temple is about a 10-minute walk from Magome Station or Nishi-Oi Station. Located in a quiet area of Shinagawa, it is perfect if you’re looking for a tranquil place amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

    Click here for Nyorai Temple’s website. *Japanese only
    Click here for a map.

    3. Enjoy a horseracing event in the heart of Tokyo

    Did you know that horse racing is a popular sport in Japan? A large number of races are held in the country each year, and many Japanese people spend a day at the tracks, betting on horses and having fun.

    In Shinagawa lies Tokyo City Keiba also known as Oi Racecourse. It is especially busy on weekends when races and a flea market are held.

    If you want the complete experience, you can bet on your favorite horse, too! Betting is simple even for first-timers or those who don’t speak Japanese. In between races, you can also treat yourself to a plethora of comfort food available on site as shown in the video.

    Tokyo City Keiba is right outside of Oi Keibajo Mae Station, about 20 minutes away from Shinagawa Station.

    Click here for Tokyo City Keiba’s website.
    Click here for a map.

    4. Find souvenirs at a huge shopping mall

    If you are looking to buy gifts and souvenirs for your loved ones or for yourself, Gotanda TOC in Shinagawa is your best bet! Among the many shops you can visit here are popular Japanese brands such as UNIQLO and Daiso. Since there are many restaurants and cafes inside the mall, you can also take a short break here.

    Just an 8-minute walk from Gotanda Station, this shopping complex is a definite one-stop shop for all your needs! If you’re not in the mood to walk, how about taking a free shuttle bus from the train station to TOC?

    Click here for Gotanda TOC’s website. *Japanese only
    Click here for a map.

    5. Savor Japanese food while admiring the night view of Tokyo

    Fully enjoyed shopping? What better way to end a day in Shinagawa than with a boat cruise overlooking Tokyo’s famous landmarks?

    With Funasei, you can enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the Sumida River for about 2 hours and 45 minutes while having authentic Japanese cuisine. Be prepared to see amazing views of Odaiba’s Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Skytree!

    The Japanese food served during the cruise includes appetizers, a sashimi boat, seasonal rice, noodles, and dessert. They also offer freshly cooked tempura as shown in the video!

    Tatami mats are laid on the floor of the boat, adding to that traditional Japanese feel. Each boat also has an exterior and/or upper deck, giving you unbeatable views of the Tokyo skyline!

    This cruise departs from Funasei’s port, which is approximately a 15-minute walk from Shinagawa Station’s Konan Gate.

    Click here for Funasei’s website.
    Click here for a map.

    Shinagawa area is easily accessible!

    As mentioned earlier, Shinagawa Station is a transport hub and is easily accessible from different parts of Japan. Major train stations in the city such as Tokyo (about 10 minutes), Shibuya (about 10 minutes), and Shinjuku (about 20 minutes) are within easy reach. Bullet trains also stop at Shinagawa Station, so visitors from the farthest regions of the country will have no trouble coming here.

    In addition, Shinagawa Station is a direct train ride away from Haneda Airport (about 20 minutes) and Narita Airport (about 70 minutes). You can totally drop by as soon as you land in Tokyo or before you catch your flight back for a last-minute day trip!

    As for getting around Shinagawa, you have nothing to worry about because transportation within the area is a breeze! Aside from the train, you can also choose to explore by bus or even by bicycle!

    Click here for access information on Shinagawa.

    Although not as famous as other areas of Tokyo, Shinagawa offers equally beautiful spots and amazing experiences to travelers of all kinds. There is no need to go to different parts of the city just to enjoy Japanese food, culture, shopping, and sightseeing – everything is available here! Hopefully, the videos we shared in this article shows how much fun it is to spend time in Shinagawa.

    *This article was written in cooperation with Shinagawa Ward.

    Would you like to stay in Ginza? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

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