Annyeonghaseyo. You've reached K-Town.
Shin Okubo is a cozy little neighborhood located within Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward and is easily accessible as one of the stops on the Yamanote train loop. Arriving at the station, you’ll immediately begin to notice something a little different. Unlike most of the Tokyo metropolitan area, many signs in Shin-Okubo are are trilingual: Japanese, English, and… Korean.
Welcome to Korea Town!
Shin-Okubo is well known for its extensive Korean community. Mainly popular among Tokyoites for its Korean foods, K-pop, and Hallyu pop-cultures, Shin-Okubo is often likened to as a smaller, Korean version of Akihabara.
One of the key landmarks of this area is Okubo-dori, a shopping street located near the station, and the surrounding side streets which are lined with all kinds of small shops selling Korean food and pop culture items. There are also quite a few Korean restaurants for you to visit along the way, so if you’re after spicy foods like kimchi, Korean barbecue, and bibimbap (mixed fried rice), your gourmet prayers will be answered.
Don’t feel like eating out or would prefer to try Korean-style cooking at home instead? There are tons of markets that sell Korean ingredients, alcohol, and pre-made foods for cooking.
Besides shops, markets, and restaurants, Shin-Okubo actually has some pretty unique forms of after-hours entertainment. Head to a K-pop Cafe where you can scoff sweets while jamming to your favorite K-pop tunes, or visit a Boyfriend or Girlfriend Bar and pay to chat to the good-looking guys and girls inside. Shin-Okubo has loads of Korean-themed bars and clubs too.
The area is very popular for young korean street performers and boy/girl bands who are looking to break into the Japanese musical industry, so there`s plenty of free entertainment to take in as you’re strolling the streets.