My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: March 16, 2023
Located within Shinjuku, the small neighborhood of Okubo caters to Tokyo’s international community, with a flourishing Korean and Muslim population. Fans of K-pop and Korean food will enjoy strolling through the country’s largest Korea town, which has a similar intensity as the sub-culture capital of Akihabara, only the focus is on all things Korean.
Nearby is Islam Yokocho, a street of markets, restaurants, and a small mosque catering to Tokyo’s Muslim population. Residents from across Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East come here to purchase Halal foods, spices, and enjoy dining and socializing with friends. The international atmosphere of Okubo provides a worthwhile glimpse into the lives of the city’s non-Japanese residents.
The closest access point is Shin-Okubo Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Okubo Station, accessible via the JR Chuo Line and the JR Sobu Line is a five-minute walk away.
From Haneda Airport: 55 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: One hour and 40 minutes by train.
From Shinjuku Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line approximately 5 minutes to Shin-Okubo Station.
From Tokyo Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line approximately 30 minutes to Shin-Okubo Station.
Located on Okubo-dori, the Korean town in Shin-Okubo is the largest in the country, and a mecca for those in search of spicy street food, K-pop trinkets, karaoke, and BBQ. There are also numerous Korean markets selling Korean spices and ingredients.
There are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy favorites like Korean barbeque or hotpot, or try popular dishes such as chimaek and dak-galbi. You’ll also find vendors selling Korean street food, such as hotteok pancakes. Enjoy shopping and eating in the afternoon and early evening, then visit one of the K-pop clubs to dance to popular hits coming out of Seoul. While wandering the streets, you might even run into an up-and-coming K-pop group.
Tokyo’s Muslim population comes to Islam Yokocho to find Halal ingredients and enjoy meals from their home countries. Walking down the street, you’ll come across restaurants serving Indonesian and Malaysian food, along with South Indian favorites like biryani.
Many stores on the street sell spices and other foodstuffs difficult to obtain elsewhere. With the vast majority of residents in Japan ethnically Japanese, this is one street where you’ll encounter people from a wide range of ethnicities and backgrounds congregating together.