Destination Tokyo

5 Tokyo neighborhoods getting a lot of buzz

Patrick St. Michel, for CNNUpdated 29th September 2017
(CNN) — Shibuya. Shinjuku. Harajuku. Most Tokyo visitors likely know these neighborhoods, destinations for all things new and noteworthy.
Though they're still worth your time, a new wave of talked-about neighborhoods filled with interesting shops, cozy cafes and hip restaurants has emerged in Japan's capital.
Ready to go beyond the usual haunts next time you travel to Tokyo? These are the neighborhoods generating buzz around the metropolis in 2016 that offer new perspectives on the city.

1. Shoin Jinja-mae

Tucked away in Setagaya Ward, Shoin Jinja-mae is just starting to attract attention.
Yukako Izumi, an editor at Time Out Tokyo, sees a lot to like about the area.
"A shopping district sprawls in front of the train station at Shoin Jinja-mae, lined with popular bakeries, nice bookshops and trendy restaurants," she says.
Among the must-visit spots are Matsuzaki Senbei Shoin-Jinjamae, a restaurant operated by the famous Japanese rice cracker manufacturer of the same name, and Marusho Ariku, a Japanese izakaya known for locally sourced oysters and vegetables.
And new spots are opening up all the time.
"It's a gathering place for people who simultaneously love their town the way it is, but also endeavor to build it into a progressive city," says Izumi.
Matsuzaki Senbei Shoin-Jinjamae, 3-17-9 Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

2. Kiyosumi-Shirakawa

Nothing marks a neighborhood in Tokyo as "trendy" quite like an influx of third-wave coffee shops.
Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, located on the metropolis' east side, has become the destination for those craving high-quality coffee in the capital.
It lured Tokyo's first Blue Bottle coffee shop, a San-Francisco-born cafe that attracts huge lines.
But the neighborhood features an abundance of Japanese spots too, from the intimate Arise Coffee Roasters to the relaxing Monz Cafe.
Beyond beans, Kiyosumi-Shirakawa has seen a rise in boutique bakeries and craft stores, with local media dubbing the area the Brooklyn and Paris of Tokyo.
It's also got some ancient vibes, thanks to the presence of stores and museums that celebrate the city's Edo period.
Kiyosumi-Shrakawa is also home to the absorbing Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, which is now undergoing renovations.

3. Tomigaya

Just northwest of one of Tokyo's busiest destinations, Tomigaya emerged as the latest go-to area over the past 12 months.
"Once overshadowed by neighboring downtown Shibuya, the quiet Tomigaya 'hood has recently reinvented itself as a hipster hub, boasting places like the Norwegian cafe/bar Fuglen, bean-to-bar chocolate shop Cacao Store, and Monocle magazine's retail store and Tokyo bureau," says Annemarie Luck, editor-in-chief of Tokyo Weekender magazine.
Hyped-up stores and restaurants are constantly opening in Tomigaya as of late.
Long lines stretch outside of sandwich shop Camelback, while nearby diner Greed has also attracted a strong following.
"At the same time, it retains its old-school charm with traditional Japanese shops and homes still dotted in between the modern facades," says Luck.

4. Daikanyama

Located on the opposite side of Shibuya from Tomigaya, the Daikanyama neighborhood has long been a trendy alternative to Shibuya's crowded streets. But a recent influx of boutiques and internationally flavored restaurants has added a fresh feel to the area.
The flagship destination is Daikanyama T-Site, which is filled with books, movies and cafes.
It promotes itself as "a library in the woods" and has become a go-to destination for those looking to kick back and relax or get some work done in style.
Daikanyama also houses Log Road Complex, a new shopping center with its own craft brewery and artisanal donut store.
Meanwhile, exploring side streets reveals no shortage of small shops and cafes. At night, Daikanyama Unit features some of the best electronic music events in the city.

5. Kuramae

For travelers with a literary bent there's Book and Bed Tokyo, a hip hostel that lets guests sleep inside a long, wooden bookshelf. Video by Black Buddha.
Located just outside of tourist-favorite Asakusa, Kuramae, on Tokyo's east side, is experiencing a rise in popularity thanks to lower rents, which has attracted young creatives to the area.
Highlights of the laid back neighborhood include The East, a small mall-like complex featuring a coffee roaster, a burger shop and a barber, and Hostel & Bar Lounge Nui., an Instagram-ready budget lodging option/bar.
Kakimori, a stationary store where you can order your own customized notebooks, is also worth a visit, along with the Nakamura Tea Life Store.
Kuramae has a high concentration of fabric stores, including East Side Tokyo, which also sells flowers. Even if you aren't looking to buy, the colorful arrangements are nice to take in.
It's also a great place to take in views of the Tokyo Sky Tree.