Area Guide

[Tokyo] Omoide Yokocho (思い出横丁): A Cultural Haven in Shinjuku

Experience the Essence of Post-War Japan at Omoide Yokocho: A Beloved Alleyway Known for Yakitori, Shochu, and Cultural Heritage

Experience the essence of post-war Japan in Omoide Yokocho, a beloved alleyway situated at the west exit of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station. Initially a barren land after World War II, the region flourished as open-air vendors started vending goods and food to passersby. Despite a destructive fire that razed everything, the Lucky Street emerged as a black market where vendors sold their wares partitioned by wooden boards.

With Shinjuku functioning as a bustling hub for people and goods from adjacent areas, vendors turned to grilled offal as a means of livelihood. In the 1950s, yakitori cabarets emerged, where patrons could enjoy shochu while relishing yakitori, a type of grilled chicken, in the company of hostesses who provided exceptional customer service.

Over time, Omoide Yokocho has continued to evolve while preserving the cultural heritage of post-war Japan. Today, it boasts around 60 food and beverage establishments, as well as ticket shops, totaling approximately 80 shops in all. The district remains a vital component of Shinjuku’s local culture and a preferred destination for tourists seeking to immerse themselves in the ambiance of the Showa era.

When visiting Omoide Yokocho, you will encounter a convivial and inviting drinking district with hidden gems where you can savor delicious and reasonably-priced drinks and long-beloved cuisine. It is the perfect spot to unwind and socialize with friends or even indulge in a relaxing drink alone. Do not miss this unique and unforgettable experience that celebrates the enduring legacy of post-war Japan.

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