All About Japan

Picture-Perfect Hidden Gems in Tokyo

| Deeper Japan , Secret Tokyo

As one of the world's most popular travel destinations, it's hard to keep things secret in Tokyo. But in a city so huge there's bound to be more than the usual sightseeing spots—and we've scoured the depths of Instagram to find them! Tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the sprawling city we all know and love, here are ten hidden gems in Tokyo!

Todoroki Valley

Tokyocheapo posted this photo of Todoroki Valley, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Shibuya. While some picture Tokyo as a concrete jungle, they may be surprised to find out it also does a great job of keeping greenery and parks within the city limits. This little oasis is a breath of fresh air.

Arakawa Amusement Park

This colorful ferris wheel, snapped by Kelseyy1213, is located in Arakawa Amusement Park, which is a great spot for families with children. It's cheap to enter (only ¥200 for adults, ¥100 for children), it has lots of kid-friendly rides and it even has a petting zoo! It's been open since 1922 and has been a source of joy for many families around Tokyo. Plus there's plenty of restaurants and street food en route from the station!

Koenji Back-Alley Bars

Moska_studio really captured a moment in time with this illuminated nighttime shot of a back-alley bar in Koenji, which is a great alternative if you're looking for something more low-key and thrifty than Shinjuku's Golden Gai. Exploring its backstreets is an authentic, local treat, and you're bound to find bars worth raving about.

Jiyu Gakuen

Tokyo_behindthedoor really found a unique place in Tokyo unlike any other. Inspired by Yoshikazu and Motoko Hani's intent to provide students with a free education in a homey atmosphere, famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Jiyu Gakuen Miyonichikan with his assistant Arata Endo. Today it's open to the public as an event space, and it's a must-visit while roaming around Ikebukuro.

Honey mi Honey Café

This deliciously pink photo was taken by Erirose_0305, and it really gives you a vibe of what kind of stores are in Harajuku. Thousands of people pass through Takeshita Dori every day, and it's so easy to miss all the fun hole-in-the-wall shops. This particular café is located on the second floor of a fashion boutique store in a backstreet about seven minutes from the main street. It's a unique place to recharge your batteries, and it's off the beaten path!

Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery

Carolgg notes that some roads are closed to traffic on Sundays for pedestrians to enjoy, and what better way to do so than at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery! The gallery houses 80 paintings, both western and Japanese-style, and you can learn about Emperor Meiji and key points in his life. The architecture is complemented by the immaculate row of trees lining the street that leads up to it.

Mother

Coco.vw found a really special bar in Shimokitazawa. Its earthy, almost Hobbit-like entrance is very similar to what you'll find inside! Everything is made of real wood and the people are warm. They hold English exchanges and are very welcoming to foreign visitors, so it's the perfect place to make new friends.

Le_polyedre clued us in on this hidden tea house called Kosoan in Jiyugaoka. It's a very traditional tea house that's easy to overlook, since it's tucked away and has very little signage. They have matcha, coffee, amazake, shaved ice and other treats. Their menu is in English, so don't be shy if you want to stop by!

Moineau

#hiddentokyosecrets #moineau

A post shared by Horacio Vacaseydel (@vacaseydel) on

If there's one thing Tokyo knows how to do, it's put food and art exhibits together in an incredibly classy manner. Vacaseydel was kind enough to share this hidden gem that's right next to Ueno Zoo. It's pretty difficult to find, considering its size and location. The food they serve looks as good as the art on display, and it has a nice, relaxing atmosphere any time of year.

Hanegi Park in Matsubara

Haneking_official is the official Instagram of this park found not far from the Higashi Matsubara Station. It's a large park with a baseball field, tennis court, playground and even a tea house, and is the perfect place to enjoy hanami. The Setagaya Ume Matsuri is held every February, during which beautiful plum blossoms spring to life!