The Best 5 Backstreets to Explore in Tokyo

Tokyo backstreet Things to do in Tokyo

It is very fun to explore around the big area like Shibuya or Shinjuku in Tokyo but it would be fun to see the local area like backstreets as well. 

In this article, we would like to introduce the best 5 nostalgic neighborhood locations. If you want to experience the local life and enjoy the nostalgic warm feelings, these areas are totally recommended to visit while your stay in Tokyo!


Three small areas Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi are together called Yanesen which is located in Ueno. Since Yanesen was survived from Great Kanto Earthquake and World Wars, you can still enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere which reminiscents of the late 19th to early 20th century.
Go to the Yanaka Ginza Street which is 170 meters long street and there are about 70 stores along the way. You can find the local food stands, clothing stores, supermarkets, tea shops, sweet shops and cafes or restaurants there. 


Visit Nezu Shrine and you will see the many Torii gates lining up.There are beautiful shrines in this area and Torii gates are good place to take some pictures! 

Check out the best tour to fully enjoy Yanaka area with your local knowledgeable guide! Your guide will take you to the great places to stop by and eat. Enjoy delicious foods and the amazing atmosphere.
Yanaka Shitamachi Backstreet Tours



Fukagawa is located in the south end of Tokyo and this area developed when it was bridged to the central part of Tokyo during the Edo period. People used to visit this area to worship at the local temples and many food stalls and restaurants were built during this time. There used to be many Nagaya along the river which is traditional Japanese style terraced house around this area and if you are interested in how people lived in Nagaya before, you can go to the museum.



Araki-cho used to be a Samurai residential area because it was close to Edo castle. Also this area used to be Geisha district where people enjoy the performance or playing games with Japanese traditional dancer called Geisha. Today, you can feel the remains of 1950s-60s atmosphere so if you like the nostalgic area, it will worth the visit. Another fun fact is, lately it has been known as a film location of Your Name directed by Makoto Shinkai and many movie fans are visiting there!



The area is relatively new backstreets where red-light district flourished during the early 20s century. As a part of the name stands for slope (Saka) in Japanese, the main street is on the hill. You can find the stone path which is unique and photogenic around this area and you will find traditional Japanese restaurants on the street. Go to Akagi Shrine which is designed by Kengo Kuma and you will be surprised by its very modern and outstanding style. 


Sunamachi is a large scale outdoor shopping street which was largely grown during the 1950s. The total length of the street is 670 meters and there are about 180 stores. Not only fresh foods such as vegetables, meats and seafoods are available on the street but also you can get some snacks or street foods at good deal. You can try tempura which is lightly buttered fried seafood or vegetables, some chicken skewers called Yakitori or Oden hot pot and of course Japanese sweets too! On the weekend, the street will be full of people with energy and you can enjoy the vibrant mood. 

Check out the local guided tour to learn more history and background of this area. You can walk with English speaking guide and enjoy some foods and drinks on the way! 

Tokyo Local Street Food and Drink Tour @ Sunamachi

Summary of the backstreets in this article:

Location Rarity Finger


Bars Temple






Araki-cho ☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
Fukagawa ☆☆☆ ☆☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
Yanaka ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆☆ ☆☆
Kagurazaka ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
Sunamachi ☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆ ☆☆☆

It will be always a good idea to walk with a guide not only because there is a language barrier you might feel around the local area but also you can make the experience much more deeper. They will show you around where you wouldn’t go otherwise with them. 

Location Tours
Araki-cho N/A (Custom private tour is available upon your request)
Fukagawa Fukagawa Tour: Explore Exotic & Traditional Town in Tokyo
Yanaka Yanaka Shitamachi Backstreet Tours
Kagurazaka Kagurazaka Walking Tour
Sunamachi Tokyo Local Street Food and Drink Tour @ Sunamachi

Go explore the backstreets in Tokyo and get the local experience! 

If you have any questions, you can contact us here and we will happily help you make the best plan for your Japan trip. 

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