Okazu Yokocho in Torigoe



2021.04.29 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Okazu Yokocho, located in Torigoe, Taito Ward. Okazu Yokocho is officially called "Torigoe Hondori Shoseikai", but it is commonly known as Okazu Yokocho. "Okazu" means "side dish" in Japanese, and "Okazu Yokocho" is has its name because it is literally dotted with stores selling side dishes. Torigoe used to be home to many family-owned shops that made hat accessories. It is said that Okazu Yokocho began with restaurants that catered to those families.

Irifuneya-mizukami-shoten sell boiled beans and stew. The glass showcase in front of the store displays platters of side dishes, making it hard to decide what to buy! This simple stew, seasoned only with salt and sugar, perfectly accompanies rice.

Minato-ya is a long-established Japanese sweets shop that started operating in 1931. In addition to Mizu-yokan and Mizu-manju, shaved ice is also popular as a summer-only menu item. There is a wide variety of shaved ice, including fruit syrup and green tea flavored shaved ice.

In recent years, with the development of large supermarkets, the number of shopping streets with small stores has decreased in Japan. However, Okazu Yokocho, which retains the atmosphere of good old Japan, is truly a place where you can catch a glimpse of Japan's history. If you've been to most of Tokyo's tourist attractions or want to stroll somewhere not-so-touristy, this is the place to go.

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