When planning a semester abroad, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. It’s even easier if you’re going to a place with as much life, vibrancy and culture like Japan! On top of that, a semester gives you a lot of time to find super cool and unique spots that many major travel sites skip over in favor of more touristy options. However, sometimes it’s hard to start exploring a new place the way a local would. To help you from completely freaking out from all the things the city has to offer, we’ve made a short list of five amazing ways to start you off on seeing Tokyo, Japan the way a local would!
Eat At Tsuta Ramen
Ramen is a food staple in Japan, and this tiny ramen shop is said to be the best in the city! Customers can eat a bowl of ramen in the tiny noodle shop while watching employees make noodles from scratch! Because people will queue up for hours to get a bowl, make sure you don’t come on an empty stomach!
Probably the best thing about Tsuta Ramen, is that one bowl of ramen costs around seven dollars! When studying abroad, money can be tight, so finding a cheap place with authentic food and amazing reviews can be pretty harsh on your wallet, but this restaurant truly is a student abroad’s dream with its authentic cuisine and cheap price!
Tsuta ramen is located at 1 Chome-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0002.
Visit the Yayoi Kusama Museum
Started by the contemporary artist herself, the Yayoi Kusama Museum has been called a pearl within Shinjuku. This museum was commissioned in Shinjuku and remained a mystery until it’s website launched in August of 2014. The five-floor museum includes environmental installations, Kusama’s stand-alone works, as well as a reading room with a terrace! This museum seems perfect for modern art lovers, and will probably not be over-crowded with other tourists, making it perfect for a day where peace and quiet are needed to save you from the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you’re dying to see for yourself, the museum is located at 107 Bentencho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-0851.
Try Onibus Coffee
Specialty coffee shops have become a budding trend in Japan, so what better way to relax and work on any assignments, or meet up with new friends than to spend some time at a cozy coffee shop in Nakameguro. The concept of the owners is to have the coffee be made by people who can connect with others. The shop features a cozy interior with wooden furniture and Japanese old-fashioned windows. The outside includes a terrace for customers to spend some time in the sun surrounded by plants!
Onibus coffee is located at 2-14-1, Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku Tokyo 153-0051.
Visit New York Bar
If you’re a fan of Sofia Coppola movies, you will love New York Bar at Park Hyatt! Featured in her movie, Lost In Translation, this is the perfect place to visit for a chill night out, even if you’re not a fan of the director! Take in the beautiful view of Tokyo at night while enjoying a cocktail and listening to live jazz music.
The Park Hyatt in Tokyo is located at 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku Tokyo, Japan, 163-1055.
Go Shopping At PARK
Japanese street fashion has evolved past the hyper-colorful decora styles that most people think of when they think of street fashion in Japan. Take a look in PARK, a popular clothing store in Shinjuku that fashionable locals have been frequenting. Opened in 2014, PARK’s motto is “fashion x otaku x creation” meaning their clothing feature a lot of anime-inspired work by independent designers. If you’re a fan of fashion or Japanese geek culture or both, PARK is definitely a place to shop!
You can find PARK at 150 -0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 3 Chome −15 −8 shan buru 15 207.