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Side Dish Delights: Exploring Okazu Yokocho in Taito City



2024.03.28 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, inbound tourism adviser and consultant, long-term Japan resident, outdoor activity enthusiast and all-round pretty normal guy.

Located near Torigoe Shrine, the enchanting alley also known as Okazu Yokocho captures the essence of old Tokyo, beckoning visitors to explore its 230 meters brimming with historical intrigue and culinary delights. "Okazu Yokocho" derives its name from the multitude of town factories that once populated the area, where workers and their families frequently dined due to its convenient locale. Today, it preserves the nostalgic ambiance of yesteryears, serving as a testament to resilience and community spirit.

As you traverse Okazu Yokocho, its narrow alleys reveal an array of quaint shops and eateries, each a testament to the street's enduring legacy. Despite its modest size, Okazu Yokocho boasts over a century of history, and its buildings have survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Tokyo Air Raid, standing as silent witnesses to the passage of time.

What truly sets Okazu Yokocho apart is its eclectic blend of tradition and modernity. From century-old confectioneries to trendy shaved ice shops, the street offers a sensory journey through Tokyo's evolving culinary landscape. Its nostalgic ambiance has even attracted the gaze of television dramas, turning its quaint buildings and narrow alleyways into a stage for cultural exploration.

At the heart of Okazu Yokocho stands an enigmatic statue, recognizable for its distinctive features, yet without an official name, now a beloved mascot whose origins remain shrouded in mystery.Its presence adds to the street's allure, drawing visitors deeper into its enchanting embrace.

Nearby, a yakatabune (houseboat) dock invites visitors to enjoy the cityscape from the river. Cruising on a yakatabune is a serene way to appreciate Tokyo's skyline, adding a touch of elegance to the experience.

Just as adding a delicious side dish enhances the flavor of a meal, exploring Okazu Yokocho adds a delightful dimension to your tour of Taito City. This charming destination, filled with culinary wonders and nostalgic charm, serves as the perfect complement to your Taito City adventure. Whether you're a culinary enthusiast, a lover of local culture, or simply seeking a taste of Tokyo's past, a leisurely stroll through Okazu Yokocho promises an unforgettable experience. So why not treat yourself to this tasty side dish and discover the magic that awaits in its historic streets?

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