Things to Do in Tokyo: In the Eyes of Creative Youth

By Guest Blogger Jane Ayako

Tokyo is quickly becoming a hotspot for young people all around the world. This comes as no surprise as it's thriving with various insta-worthy cafes, unique art exhibitions and cool places to shop. When visiting Japan for the first time, of course it's essential to see the popular destinations but sometimes it's nice to see the more local areas too. To make the job of researching the fashionable places to go easier, here's a breakdown of a few fun places to visit, that are popular with the younger generation of Tokyo. 

Art

Japan has always been renowned for being one step ahead in terms of creativity. Tokyo’s newest and arguably, most popular art exhibition at the moment, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum created by TeamLab is a perfect example of Japanese creativity. 

This digital museum located in Odaiba, urges its visitors to explore, wander and utilise their senses. Gorgeous artwork of flowers, waterfalls and night skies are brought to life and you're encouraged to interact with the artwork on display. Enjoy a traditional and illuminated tea in the tea room or have fun bouncing around giant inflatable balloons. This exhibition is not only memorable and revolutionary, but you'll be able to get the perfect instagram photo here. 

Remember to book in advance as TeamLab’s Borderless is the hottest ticket in town right now. You can book tickets through their website

Address: 東京都 江東区 青海 1 3 8 お台場パレットタウン, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan 

 Inside TeamLab Borderless

Inside TeamLab Borderless

Shopping

One of the best things about Tokyo is the amount of places there are to shop. If you want to revamp your wardrobe or collect some figurines, then Tokyo is the perfect place to do so. Currently, the most popular places to go shopping include Harajuku, Ikebukuro and Akihabara. However, these places tend to get very crowded quickly and after a while you start to see the same shops appearing again and again. 

If you want to try somewhere a little different, a place with character and somewhere which is ‘up and coming’, then pop over to Shimokitazawa. Shimokitazawa is a district in Setagaya which is filled with thrift shops, cafes, music halls and much more. This is the place to go if you really want to embrace the youth culture of Tokyo. What makes Shimokitazawa so special its cool and relaxing atmosphere. The people working in the shops are super trendy and you'll get to see the creativity of Tokyo’s youth first hand. With a wide range of vintage clothes stores to explore, you are guaranteed to find something unique when thrifting here. There's something for everyone. You can find clothes and vintage goods for dirt cheap or visit one of the more pricey shops to nab yourself some nice second hand designer wear.  

 The famous 'garage' at Shimokitazawa. Filled with thrift stands and handmade jewellery

The famous 'garage' at Shimokitazawa. Filled with thrift stands and handmade jewellery

A Good Cup of Coffee

When walking around Shimokitazawa, make sure to make a quick pit stop at W/O Stand. This is the place to get that ‘cool coffee shot’ for instagram. They offer a large range of soda based drinks and have unique coffee concoctions. The interior of the shop itself is minimalistic and screams trendy with its neon lights and collection of Kaws figurines. 

W/O Stand has many branches across Japan and what makes it so different from other coffee shops is its artistic vibe. Each of the W/O Stand shops has a different sketched logo. You can purchase merchandise such as make up bags and stickers with the logos on them. This coffee shop is the perfect blend of art and coffee. 

Address: 2-26-10 Kitazawa Seatagaya-ku, Tokyo

 One of the cool drinks served at W/O Stand

One of the cool drinks served at W/O Stand

Nakano Broadway

If you're a lover of all things anime and manga, you may feel an urgency to rush straight down to Akihabara. Akihabara, the ‘electric city’ of Tokyo does have an exciting energy to it, but wouldn’t it be nice to explore somewhere with a similar vibe but quieter? 

Nakano Broadway is a great alternative to the electric city. It is a shopping complex is filled with vintage manga shops and figurine shops, visitors can easily find original items here to add to their collections. After you are done looking at all the vintage character goods, you can head down to the bottom of the complex and walk around a local food market. Nakano Broadway is a great place to explore all the animes, mangas and characters truly loved by Japan’s youth.

Address: 5 Chome-52 Nakano, Tokyo 164-0001, Japan

 Nakano Broadway is filled with unique vintage goods

Nakano Broadway is filled with unique vintage goods

Night Life

Tokyo is the destination of choice for those who enjoy a party and a drink. The nightlife in Tokyo can best be described as vibrant, as it's stacked with karaoke bars, clubs and drinking bars, and you'll be able to find entertainment throughout the night.  

One place you may want to visit is a bar named the Whales of August in Shibuya. This quaint bar is tucked away in one of the many side streets of Shibuya and you have to go down a flight of stairs to get to it. Once in you can order movie themed cocktails and even ask the bartenders to make a cocktail of your favourite film, such as The Totoro, a chocolate liqueur based cocktail. Although this secret bar costs 500 yen to enter it's completely worth it to live your movie dreams. 

Address: 28-13 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

 The Cinderella Cocktail at the Whales of August bar, Shibuya 

The Cinderella Cocktail at the Whales of August bar, Shibuya 

Tokyo, a hub of creativity, fun and excitement for those in their youth. All you need to do is explore and walk off the beaten track to find the many wonders Tokyo holds.