Favourite off-the-beaten-path spots around Tokyo

After living in Tokyo for awhile, you’ll have exhausted all the guidebook-recommended tourist spots, but that doesn’t mean you should stop exploring!

There is still tons to experience, so let’s share our fav unique/off-the-beaten-path things to do and see.

My recommendation: Gokokuji Temple, a big, beautiful and old wooden Buddhist temple founded in 1681 that rarely gets visitors. The grounds also include a well-cared for cemetery and cherry trees that stun during the spring.

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One of my top spots is Meguro Sky Garden. It’s a park on top of a motorway interchange, complete with a rice paddy, well kept grass and you need to take an elevator up to the 9th floor to access it. The kind of thing you’ll only see in Tokyo.

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I would recommend any of the bars under the bridge at Koenji station. It’s like stepping into a timewarp of 70’s Tokyo. You can almost hear Apryl Fool playing on the radio.


Adding to ryosan, the north side of Koenji station has a lot of small boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars.

Here is a google map I made with some of the general areas - If you follow point 5 to 6, you will find several bars and small restaurants. I have come across a lot of expats in this area so generally, English is not an issue.

Generally the hours in this area are 11AM-2PM and then re-opening around 5PM.


Some of the artwork has already been removed and it’s possible most of the rest might be removed too, but it’s worth taking the trip to Tennozu Isle to see some of the best outdoor murals in Japan. Just look for “Bond Street.” Pow! Wow! to pack a punch in Tokyo | The Japan Times


Definitely interesting to see these less known spots in and around Tokyo, especially with these crowded days coming up. Mrkirkland, I will do your Nakameguro Daikanyama one of these days!