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With travel and tourism around the globe continuing to flourish, it’s easy to forget that there’s so much more to a city than what a guidebook has to say. To make your experience in Tokyo truly unique, be sure to check out these incredible place in Tokyo only the locals know about.
BnA Hotel is located in the artsy hipster neighborhood of Koenji. The name stands for Bed & Art Project, and that’s exactly what this unique accommodation tries to combine. The artsy boutique hotel had each room designed by local artists, allowing visitors to stay inside a literal work of art. And even if you’re not looking for a place to stay, you can still delve into the Tokyo art scene and support local creators by checking out the onsite art gallery, bar, or rooftop lounge.
Marunouchi Naka-dori is a quiet, upscale shopping street in Chiyoda Ward that somehow gets left off a lot of visitors must-see lists. The street is lined with mature trees, cobbled lanes, and both domestic and international luxury brand shops. The area is also famous for its rotating lineup of public art.
After Tsukiji, Adachi Market is the largest seafood market in Tokyo. Held in Kita-senju, the Adachi Market is opened to the public only six times a year (on the second Saturday of odd numbered months). If your visit happens to coincide with these dates, it’s a great opportunity to see how the market works behind the scenes and explore Japanese food culture from a different perspective. But if not, you can still enjoy the fresh ingredients year round at the market’s Uogashi Shokudo, a series of small eateries catering to market workers and visitors.
Todoroki Ravine is a little slice of unspoiled natural beauty in Tokyo, about 20 mins from Shibuya Station by rail. The wooded park is split by a manmade ravine that makes its way down to the Tama River. When you’re done with your hike, there’s a collection of impressive statues at the nearby Buddhist temple, Todoroki-fudoson.
Mejiro Teien is not as talked about as the more famous Rikugien or Hamarikyu Gardens. This small but beautiful strolling garden hosts seasonal celebrations as well, such as their luxury cherry blossom extravaganzas, where a hefty entry ticket gets you bottomless drinks and snacks for the evening.
Check out Tsutaya Books’s Daikanyama T-site instead of Tokyo Midtown or Roppongi Hills. This complex is more of a book palace than your everyday bookshop. The structure itself is constructed exclusively from interlocking T shapes (its partial namesake), with the impressive Magazine Street connecting them. Browse books and magazines from around the world, shop Japan’s largest video collection, or take part in the regular events held here.