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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogKorea Town Magic: Five Shin-Okubo Attractions!

Korea Town Magic: Five Shin-Okubo Attractions!

Thuy FangThuy Fang
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August 23, 2023
A Don Quixote in the Korea Town of Tokyo. It has some signage in Hangul.

K-pop became famous in Japan because of its catchy music, fantastic performances, and the unique way fans connect with their idols. As a result, Tokyo‘s Korea Town in Shin-Okubo is always bustling with tourists. Originally a haven for Korean students and laborers in the 1980s, it’s since transformed into a hot spot for locals and tourists alike.

From savory street food and charming shops to K-wave excitement, we’ve lined up the five best things to do. Let’s dive into an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Korean culture!

Head to Korean beauty shops!

Regarding Korean beauty products, their quality can’t be beat! Not to mention, their glamorous makeup styles are famous around the world. So it’s no wonder many people flock to Shin-Okubo to snatch up the latest K-beauty merchandise!

A beauty shop in Korean Town. The name of the place is called The Beauty Shop.
Korean beauty products are famous worldwide. Image via Shutterstock

As you step onto this street, you’ll easily spot numerous stores selling Korean cosmetics, such as The Beauty Shop, Skin Holic, Myeongdong Cosme, and The Faceshop. And don’t be surprised that most sellers and product advisors here are Korean. They can communicate fluently with customers in English or Japanese. This is ideal for beauty enthusiasts when visiting Shin Okubo’s Korea Town, right?

What’s most remarkable is the enthusiastic service provided by the vendors here. They will give you attentive advice on skincare products or cosmetics that suit your skin type and tone. Additionally, they are eager to invite you to try the products firsthand to assess their quality!

Get your favorite K-Pop merchandise!

Some Korean pop merchandise on display.
A lot of shops have merch of your favorite K-Pop groups! Image via Japan Wireless

If your idols are talented boy groups or stunning girl groups from Korea, visiting Shin Okubo’s pop merchandise stores is an excellent place to check out! From posters and photobooks to music albums, T-shirts, and idol-themed fans, everything is available in stores like “Idol Park,” “K-Star Plus” and “K-pop.” Some unique items at merchandise stores include plushies and jewelry inspired by famous idol groups.

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Satisfy your hunger with fried chicken!

Do you know that Korea is famous for this chicken dish? While fried chicken might seem familiar and shared in many places, Korean fried chicken is a class apart, leaving an unforgettable impression on anyone who tastes it. You will always remember Korean fried chicken’s incredible crunchiness and perfect flavor. And you can fully indulge in this dish’s essence at specialized fried chicken restaurants in Shin Okubo. 

A plate of sweet and spicy fried chicken, a staple of Korea Town cuisine.
Korean fried chicken is one of the most popular international foods in Japan! Image via Shutterstock

With numerous chicken flavors available in Korea, Shin Okubo’s Korea Town has them all. Ganjang chicken (soy sauce chicken), Garlic Chicken, and yangnyeom chicken (sweet and spicy chicken) await you to enjoy. 

We recommend these top four chicken spots: NeNe Chicken, Hosigi, Shin-Chan, and Delica Ondoru. These restaurants all serve authentic Korean drinks like beer, makgeolli (Korean rice wine), and soju alongside the food. However, if you don’t consume alcohol, consider having some soft drinks or canned Korean fruit juices.

Enjoy Korean Barbecue!

A person holding samgyeopsal (pork belly) on a bed of lettuce. This is a delicacy in Korea Town.
Korean barbecue-inspired Japanese yakiniku. Image via Shutterstock

In addition to fried chicken, Korean-style BBQ grilled meat restaurants are everywhere in Shin-Okubo! When dining at Korean restaurants here, you’ll be served various iconic Korean side dishes to complement the meal, such as pickled radish, coleslaw, and kimchi. Don’t hesitate to step in and give Korean BBQ a try. Furthermore, you can ask them to grill the meat if you’re unfamiliar with the process, as they are super friendly.

Experience Korugi Massage!

Korugi massage is a traditional facial massage technique straight from Korea. Because people in Japan loved the technique so much, a famous therapist, Chiyo Hayashi, developed it even further. As a result, many people in the country visit these korugi massage parlors for a quick spa day!

A person getting a Korugi face massage..
Korugi massage can help improve blood circulation. Image via Shutterstock

This type of massage offers numerous health benefits, and some of its distinctive effects are boosting metabolism and relaxing facial muscles. On top of that, it helps you look and feel your best!

In Shin Okubo, you can easily find many high-quality korugi massage places that operate 24/7 and provide skilled massage treatments at budget-friendly rates. And one noteworthy option that you don’t want to miss is Kan-no Hogushi. This spot is pretty well-known for its airy private massage rooms. 

Why should I visit Shin-Okubo?

With its unique blend of culture, taste, and relaxation, Shin Okubo invites you to savor every moment in Tokyo’s Korea Town. The activities listed above are a curated selection of seven things you can fully experience for an entire day in Korea Town. So, make sure to try these activities once you visit Shin Okubo.

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