Waseda (strictly Nishi-Waseda) is where all the cool kids hang out. And so will you. Waseda is home to its eponymous university and is a hub for young students in Tokyo, hailing from all over the country and elsewhere. Waseda University has produced many prominent figures, particularly writers, and so this area of Tokyo has quite a cultured, artsy vibe—and we like it!
What to eat and drink in Waseda
With students everywhere, Waseda is the place for budget eateries in Tokyo. There are many trendy options and the thing to eat is all that superfood goodness. The area also boasts lots of international cuisine to satisfy all those hungry students too—combining healthy with foreign food so well. Cafe VG is the perfect option for lunch featuring a range of f vegetarian and vegan options.
If it’s pleasant weather and you want that much-needed park and picnic time at the well-known Toyama Park in the neighborhood, then head to Waseda Natural Shop to pick up some natural/organic/good-for-you snacks.
What to do in Waseda
The main highlight in Waseda is the excellent Ana Hachiman-gū Shrine. Located between the university and Toyama Park, it has been said that the foundations of the temple started in 1062. This particular shrine is an interesting example of the mix between Buddhist and Shinto beliefs, with the shrine’s main gate having a clear influence of both. There is also the Hōjō-ji Temple of the Shingon School of Buddhism which is situated on the same grounds. This has been recently renovated and red lanterns and torii gates are now featured. Among all the students and the mayhem of university life, Ana Hachiman-gū Shrine provides some much-needed peace, calm and relaxation for those around.
Where to stay in Waseda
To take you back or indeed immerse yourself with student life, look no further than RIHGA Royal Hotel Tokyo. Located right next to Waseda University, you’re in a prime location for the area, but without all the student noise you might expect—this is Japan after all. It’s a 4-star hotel but we’ve seen rates for under $100USD (off-season of course). There are also great views of the city and of gardens too, depending on which side of the hotel you stay. With excellent reviews, this is the place to go to escape the madness of Tokyo, but to feel like you’re still in a real authentic environment, away from the tourist crowds.
The ever-famous area of Shinjuku isn’t far from Waseda. Here is our guide to the neighborhood.