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NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Nihonbashi

  • By Yukari Sakamoto
  • Photos by Irwin Wong
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Nihonbashi
Tokyo
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In the heart of the city but off the radar for most tourists, Nihonbashi has a rich history in trade, including being home to Tokyo’s first fish market, Japan’s oldest department store (Mitsukoshi) and the financial district. (Cultural arts, both print and theater, have also flourished here.) Be sure to peruse the cluster of Coredo shopping buildings, where historic shops date back hundreds of years. The zero-mile marker for major roads to other Japanese cities is set in the center of the Nihonbashi bridge.

Meet Yukari Sakamoto

Born in Tokyo, raised in Minnesota and drawn back to the Japanese capital to be closer to relatives, Yukari is the author of “Food Sake Tokyo.” She offers tours to local markets and cooking classes out of her home. On her days off, she can be found relaxing in onsen, or hot springs.

Want to get in touch?

mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Nihonbashi

Taimeiken Ramen
This popular third-generation restaurant specializes in Western-style dishes adapted to the Japanese palate. (The ramen shop has closed while the original building is under construction. For now, diners can go to the temporary location about five minutes away. The original shop is scheduled to reopen in March.)
Taimeiken Ramen, Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 1-12-10
Ozu Washi
Founded in 1653, Ozu Washi has a colorful array of handmade Japanese washi paper and stationery. Register in advance for a craft class.
Ozu Washi, 3-chōme-6-2 Nihonbashihonchō, Chuo City, Tōkyō-to 103-0023, Japan
Takashimaya
This is one of the few remaining department stores with elevators staffed by designer-attired concierges. Pick up a bento box and a beer in the vast basement food floor and take it up to the rooftop for a picnic.
Takashimaya, Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-4-1
Tsuruya Yoshinobu Tokyo Mise
The counter experience at this Kyoto confectionary shop gives visitors a unique treat, literally: Matcha is served with a seasonal wagashi dessert that is handmade before your eyes by a trained craftsman.
Tsuruya Yoshinobu Tokyo Mise, Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-5-5, Coredo Muromachi 3
Mikado coffeehouse
Mikado, with its sunny orange awning, is a retro kissaten, or traditional coffee shop, that is known for its mocha soft serve. The morning service for full breakfast, including coffee with toast and eggs or pancakes, is a bargain.
Mikado, 1-chōme-6-7 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo City, Tōkyō-to 103-0022, Japan
Toyama Kan
Toyama Kan is a boutique representing food and local products from Toyama prefecture, on the Sea of Japan. Get flights of jizake local sake, and sake-friendly bites like pickles and fish cakes, at the picturesque counter.
Toyama Kan, Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-1-8
Yukari Sakamoto
Born in Tokyo, raised in Minnesota and drawn back to the Japanese capital to be closer to relatives, Yukari is the author of “Food Sake Tokyo.” She offers tours to local markets and cooking classes out of her home. On her days off, she can be found relaxing in onsen, or hot springs.
Irwin Wong
Irwin is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in the madhouse that is Tokyo. Though an Australian transplant, he has spent his entire photographic career in Japan and specializes in portraiture and documenting subcultures and ancient traditions. His favorite thing about Tokyo is how vast and unknowable it still seems, even after all this time.

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