7 Less Famous and Less Crowded Places to Visit in Tokyo for the Golden Week

The Japanese people are known for being so hardworking they rarely take a holiday off. In an effort to encourage their people to take a rest, the government allocated a series of holidays known as the Golden Week. During this period, people all over the country enjoy much-needed time away from the corporate world in order to grab some precious moments with family and friends.

The Golden Week is a time that most tourists would want to avoid when visiting Japan, owing to the huge number of people traveling and visiting popular places. Navigating through the crowd can be challenging, not to mention hotel and flight prices can be costly. If you have already booked your flight to the Land of the Rising Sun, however, then there is no reason to back out.

Exploring Tokyo during this time of year can be a novel experience, with many events and festivities taking place. It is still possible to make the most out of your visit if you steer away from crowded places and choose the less famous spots in the capital city.

Visit Tokyo’s Hidden Gem

Although the capital city is known for its futuristic characteristics, with modern and high-tech architecture, there are several historical sites to visit for a refreshing experience. Yanaka is found at the heart of Tokyo, but unlike other tourist attractions in the city, it has a local vibe and an unspoiled atmosphere.

There are available guided walking tours that let you experience the old town and charming neighborhood of Yanaka. The shopping street of Yanaka Ginza houses a lot of local restaurants that can give you a taste of Japan. Street food and shopping stalls are also abundant.

Experience Hanayashiki Amusement Park

Known as Japan’s oldest amusement park, Hanayashiki is tucked in the little corner of Asakura District in Tokyo. The place was initially a scenic garden and was later developed into an amusement park with twenty-two attractions and exciting rides.

The place is a nostalgic treat for history buffs with its historic streets retaining the appearance of Japan of old. You can take a ride at the country’s oldest roller coaster as well as merry-go-rounds and mini Ferris wheels. Of course, to avoid the crowd, you may enjoy Hanayashiki BBQ instead. It’s pretty close to Senso-ji Temple, letting you explore Asakusa without having to ride far.

Indulge Your Love for Books in Jinbocho

Fondly called the Book Town, Jinbocho is located in the small, unpretentious college neighborhood of Chiyoda. It houses around 180 book-related establishments, making it a bibliophile’s dream destination. It is also known as the publishing hub of Tokyo.

At Jinbocho, explore secondhand bookshops where you might find rare manuscripts, vintage magazines, and worn yet precious books at half the price or less. Although most of the books are in Japanese, there are several shops that sell foreign books for travelers like you.

Enjoy the Serenity in Todoroki Valley

If you want to have a taste of nature, then Todoroki Valley is the perfect place for you, with its lush greenery and mossy stone shrines. It is known for its quiet communion with nature, from the rushing creek to the singing birds, which can give you the peace and quiet that you crave. Todoroki Valley has a walking path that traces the creek, goes past small colorful bridges and gardens, and ends at a Buddhist temple.

It is a nice change from the bustling and crowded streets of Tokyo, but not so far away that you have to spend agonizing hours on the train or bus.

Explore the Charming District of Shimokitazawa

Famous for its young and trendy vibe, Shimokitazawa in Tokyo is full of character yet laid-back enough for people who don’t like the city feel. Its narrow streets are lined with restaurants, bars, theaters, and music venues that reflect Japanese culture. You can also do your shopping for souvenirs in the quirky shops where you can buy vintage records, secondhand clothing, and other unusual finds that will make a great gift for loved ones back home. The best deal? Shimokitazawa can be explored on foot.

Plan a Unique Visit to the Parasite Museum

Not many tourists would want to gawk at a record-holding tapeworm and other parasite specimens. The Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo is not for the faint of heart, but if you want a fascinating yet strange experience, it’s a great spot for you. The place is a private research facility established in 1953. It boasts more than three hundred exhibits of parasite samples, drawing tourists with an appetite for science and research. It is advisable to visit the place before you have had your lunch though.

Discover Bargain Souvenir Finds in Koenji

An often less-populated part of Tokyo, Koenji is not a usual tourist destination, but it does have a lot of places to eat and a shopping street known for secondhand clothing. If you want to buy souvenirs without breaking the bank, this place is best suited for your needs. You can find thrift shops selling trinkets and vintage items for ideal souvenirs. Of course, you can also buy Japanese candies and other edible food souvenirs to bring home, from chocolates to biscuits.

Tokyo is already a crowded place even if it is not peak season, but with careful planning, you will be able to experience the capital city without too much stress. There are a lot of spots in Tokyo that are within walking distance from one another, so visiting them is a good idea if only to avoid the crazy traffic and lengthy hours in public transportation.