If you want to eat and drink like the locals, these traditional alleyways shouldn’t be missed. Packed with old taverns bringing back the forgotten days of Showa Era, the maze of streets is often crowded with tired salary-man in search of the long-awaited-after-work beer, or tourists, eager to find the best yakiniku in town. The lively atmosphere, the smell of yakitori (grilled and skewered chicken) or the bright red lanterns, they all add up to the beauty of these narrow alleys. Omoide Yokocho, Ameya Yokocho or Yurakucho are just a few worth mentioning.
Omoide Yokocho, or Memory Lane, dates back to the period after the WW2, managing to keep its authenticity despite Tokyo’s rapid development. Located in Shinjuku, the alley is also commonly known as the “Piss Alley”.
Another hidden gem, where you can always find an affordable meal and a cold beer, is Nonbei Yokocho, or also called Drunkard’s alley. This alley dates back to the 1950s and most taverns are open all night.
No matter which one you choose, there will always be a selection of grilled meats, seasonal vegetables or sashimi. So, on your next trip to Japan, be sure to pay these alley a visit and you definitely won’t be disappointed.