Shin Okubo: Tokyo’s Korea Town

I’ve heard people rave and rave about Shin-Okubo: Japan’s largest Korea Town. Easily accessible on Tokyo’s Yamanote line, I went there today not quite knowing what to expect. The moment I stepped out of the station, I felt like I was transported to a different country. 

To the right of the station you will find all those Korean shops at Shin-Okubo is so famous for. As you walk to the left – away from Shin-Okubo station and towards Okubo station, you’ll find all the foreigners from all the other Asian countries. So this is where they’ve all been hiding? I was wondering where all the ‘other Asians’ were. 


I found an Indian/Middle-Eastern grocer with a kebab shop attached. Hey – why not? I haven’t been to an Indian grocer in ages, so I was super excited and bought some spices. I even saw jelebis. I approve. Having said that – the products have no prices on them. Err… Why? Are you sure we’re still in Japan?

When I went up to pay, the guy at the cashier was trying to talk to me – why does this always happen when I meet other brown people? I kept my conversation brief because I know what big busy bodies some people can be…


Vietnamese Dinner 

I ended up at Vietnam Chan for dinner. I was more in the mood for Korean food, but my partner in crime highly recommended this place so I decided to roll with it. And boy was I glad I did. 


The decor is very lime green for some reason. Not sure why, but I didn’t mind it. Vietnam Chan is a cosy unpretentious kind of place. And it was busy. Really busy. The service was a little on the slow side, but the food was worth it. 


I also ordered an avocado shake for the first time in YEARS. It’s a pretty popular drink in many Southeast Asian countries. It’s sweet – not savoury. You should DEFINITELY try it if you get the chance. It’s yum yum yum. 


But for me the highlight of the meal was the soft shell crab with onions. It was so… mmm… mmm… mmm… 


To finish, I had a durian ice cream. I was REALLY REALLY REALLY surprised to find this on the menu. Also very popular in Southeast Asian countries – but it definitely isn’t for everybody… 


Tokyo’s Korea Town 

And then it was off to Korea Town to do some ‘sightseeing’. And boy were there things to see. The shops were full of things I hadn’t seen before. Packs and packs of face masks sold in bulk. 


Cucumber shaped face gel. I can’t help but do a schoolgirl giggle at the choice of packaging… 


Bunny shaped mist. No idea what this is for…but I like bunnies.


Pictures of Korean celebrities.

And the obvious avalanche of Korean restaurants. There seems to be a current trend and obsession with spicy pork and cheese. I approve.


I have no doubt I’ll be heading back to Korea Town soon. 

Till next time, Shin Okubo. 

Author: Dipa

Tarot Tales from Japan

6 thoughts

  1. The wisdom I grew up when I was younger was, if you encounter an Eastern European and they start getting chatty, run. It’s only a question of seconds before they will pump you for information or ask you for favors. As told by countless Eastern European relatives. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And if you’re not, why not? Is anything wrong with you?

        And my personal favorite, that look of utter pity because you will die a lonely person (or your 47 cats will eat you, whichever comes first). 🤡

        Like

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