Yokocho—one of Tokyo and Japan’s best kept secrets— are back alleys crammed with little bars and eateries serving traditional Japanese fare. A great place to relax and meet some locals over a beer, takoyaki or yakitori skewer. There are lots of yokocho dotted all over Tokyo, each with its own particular style and atmosphere—fitting to the neighborhood nuance. You’ll typically find all eateries are fairly cheap and almost exclusively Japanese-style cuisine, like yakitori, yakiniku, grilled fish, and some street food favorites like takoyaki.
Pro tip: Experience the best local drinking spots on one of Tokyo’s popular bar-hopping tours.
A selection of yokocho in Tokyo
Nonbei Yokocho in Shibuya
A series of tiny bars sandwiched together just next to the rail tracks—about a 2-min walk from the famous Hachiko meeting spot.
Niku Yokocho in Shibuya
An indoor and entirely meat-themed yokocho—niku meaning “meat” gives it a literal translation of “meat alley.”
Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku
A busy spot near the West Exit of Shinjuku Station—all kinds of eateries and patrons.
Sanchoku Inshokugai in Yurakucho
For a more down-to-earth and old-fashioned feel tucked away just next to the glitzy and expensive Ginza district.
A little more of a trendy crowd seeping in from the surrounding Ebisu/Daikanyama hipster hood, but still very authentic Japanese fare!
Sankaku chitai in Sangenjaya
A very “local” scene as Sangenjaya is a little bit off the beaten track.
There are certain times in the year that can make your visit to Tokyo less than idea.