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Take a Walk in Koreatown!

Jan 07, 2020

Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s most culturally diverse areas, so you have a chance to experience not only Japanese culture during your time in the city but many others as well. One place to stop by during your travels in Shinjuku is Koreatown, a walkable distance away from Odakyu Shinjuku Station. Buy popular Korean skincare products, makeup, and food and get a taste of Korean culture while in Japan. Experience diversity while in the big city!

What to Do in Koreatown

Koreatown started as a place where Asian immigrants, primarily those from Korea, would settle when they came to Japan. It eventually became known as a place to get competitively priced Asian food and cosmetics. When then Korean pop culture boom known as the Hallyu Wave started in the 2000s, many Japanese people fell in love with Korean culture and Koreatown began to attract tourists from many different demographics.

Okubo-dori Street is Koreatown's main street. This street is lined with shops featuring Korean cosmetics, K-pop idol goods, and delicious food. You'll truly be immersed in this different culture! Many shops are open until late, and there are even some that are open 24 hours a day so you can spend all day exploring the town.

Try Flavorful Korean Cuisine

Koreatown is the best place in Japan to try authentic Korean cuisine.

Korean dishes that Japanese people are familiar with such as dak-galbi (spicy stir-fried chicken), tteok-bokki (spicy stir-fried rice cakes), samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), and buchimgae (savory Korean-style pancakes) are available at many restaurants at reasonable prices. Restaurants often have a wide array of dishes made with on the menu, including dishes that are not so spicy, so there’s something for everyone.

An exciting part of Koreatown are the food stalls that line the streets. If you’re only in the mood for a snack, then stop by one and pick up a treat to go! Commonly found food stall treats are hotteok (sweet Korean-style pancakes) and deep-fried cheese dogs, like the one seen in the picture above. Munch on one of these snacks while walking around Koreatown! Another popular snack in patbingsu, Korean-style shaved ice that is topped with tons of fruit. Stop by a spot offering patbingsu in the summer!

You can also find Korean supermarkets in the area that carry kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), seaweed, instant noodles, sweets, and alcohol. If you want to try cooking your own Korean food, then picking up authentic ingredients from a supermarket in Koreatown is a must!

Must-buy Cosmetics

Korean cosmetics and skincare products are always a hot commodity, and you can find a wide selection of them in Koreatown. Korea is world-renowned for its skincare, and you can find many items that work well and are competitively priced. If you're into skincare, then Korean products are the way to go!

Although you want to experience Japan to the fullest during your trip, one of the highlights of Shinjuku is the mix of cultures. Take a walk to Koreatown to experience another part of Asia while staying in Japan. Try authentic Korean cuisine and pick up some world-renowned Korean cosmetics for a reasonable price. Enjoy your time in Shinjuku to the fullest in Koreatown!