Although Tokyo is a super modern city filled with high rise buildings, efficient trains and even robots…it is still a very historical city. Tokyo loves to mix the old with new meaning that you’re never far from historical sites in Tokyo. Many of these sites are extremely famous, such as Asakusa and Kawagoe, but they are often full of tourists and it can be hard to experience the historic atmosphere of the are. That’s why we have decided to create this list of historic areas in Japan that tourists rarely visit (hidden gems), allowing you to truly experience the atmosphere of Tokyo’s historical areas!
1. Ome (青梅）
Ome is a beautiful and historic area located in western Tokyo. It can be accessed very easily via the JR Chuo Line which will take you straight to Ome Station. Ome is perfect for those who love nature as there is TONS of it! From rivers to forests, the surrounding areas in Ome are truly beautiful and are perfect for a hike. The town itself is also very beautiful with amazing architecture and tons of small shrines and temples.
Being in the amazing town transports you back to historical Japan and really makes you forget that you’re in Tokyo! If you’re looking for a relaxing break away from the city or want to see some of Japan’s amazing nature and historical architecture, Ome is the place for you!
Although Chofu has a modern shopping area with a large train station, the town is also home to one of Tokyo’s most historical temples as well as tons of traditional shops surrounding the area. This temple is also in the middle of a large forest, making it a great place for nature lovers! You can really feel Tokyo’s history in Chofu and can get some great souvenirs there too, so it’s well worth the visit!
Another great thing about Chofu is that it is super close to the center and can be accessed via the Keio Line from Shinjuku. This means that you can experience historical Tokyo without venturing too far away from the center! If you go to Chofu, don’t forget to check out Jindaiji temple!!
Fuchu is situated fairly close to Chofu and is a beautiful town full of history and amazing views of the cherry blossom in spring! The whole town is very quant and it is resemblant of Tokyo’s traditional ‘Shitamachi’ areas! After you have explored the local shops and taken amazing photos of the cherry blossom, don’t forget to visit Fuchu’s amazing shrine: ‘Okunitama Shrine’!
The shrine is very large and it’s architecture is truly amazing! Another great thing about the shrine is that it is never busy, meaning you can get amazing shots of the shrine without crowds of people in all your photos! Other than the shrine, Fuchu is home to some amazing parks all perfect for viewing Tokyo’s cherry blossoms! If you’re looking for a quiet town, rich with culture…you have to go to Fuchu.
Yanaka Ginza is a very historical shopping district in Tokyo that looks and feels completely different to the center of Tokyo! All the shops are small, independent and look like they were built years ago (which they were!). Walking around the town allows you to experience a side of Tokyo that you’re not able to experience in the center making it well worth the visit!
If you visit the area, I’d recommend trying out the independent restaurants and food stalls located there. The food is truly authentic and some of the tastiest in Tokyo!
Kagurazaka is probably the smallest area on this list, but if you’re interested in the history of Geisha in Japan then this is the place for you! This district used to be one of the largest geisha areas of Tokyo with almost all the shops being geisha houses and different types of bars. Although nowadays it is mostly full of bars and small restaurants, you can really feel the atmosphere of what is was like at that time- especially at night!
The roads are very narrow, the shops are very small and the whole area is fairly dimly lit; adding to the atmosphere! This is a great area for those wanting to get some great photos whilst in Japan.
Take the Chuo-Sobu Line to Iidabashi Station.
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Otaku in Tokyo is a travel website dedicated to helping your trip to Japan with tips and information on where to visit. With particular focus on real life anime locations, pop culture and Tokyo’s hidden gems!
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