Golden Gai, the Soho district loved by the cultured

If you are looking for bars in Tokyo, Golden Gai is a must-visit. Nearly 300 small restaurants can be found in this area of Kabukicho in Shinjuku. It was founded around 1950 after World War II and became famous in the 1960s as a gathering place for writers, journalists, filmmakers, and other cultural figures. The area temporarily became a ghost town around 1991 due to violent acquisition of land by the real estate sharks, but with the subsequent opening of new stores by young people, it is now a popular spot among Japanese people to enjoy a retro atmosphere that retains the elegance of decades past.

Each and every restaurant in Golden Gai is unique. You can choose the one that best suits your taste, such as "Inoshikacho" with its interior that evokes an old Japanese atmosphere, or "DEATHMATCH IN HELL," a hard-core bar with a B-movie and metal theme. You can also choose according to the atmosphere of the restaurant, such as "ALBATROSS G" with its bright red interior and shining chandeliers, or "totobar," where you can enjoy original fish dishes and a large variety of sake in a cramped but cozy space. Even if it is your first time at any of these restaurants, the staff will warmly welcome you, and you’ll get along with other Japanese customers and have an exciting time. Come and try to find your favorite go-to restaurant in Golden Gai.

Retro train ride to the azure scenery

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Hitachinaka City in Ibaraki Prefecture is brimming with retro charm and abundant nature. The Hitachinaka Kaihin Railway Minato Line, which runs along the coast from the center of the city, is a line that has supported the local people for more than a century. From the windows of the train, visitors can enjoy the tranquil rural scenery of Japan and encounter unique retro trains. Hitachi Seaside Park, located by the sea, is famous for its beautiful seasonal flowers. From mid-April to early May, the park is known for its azure scenery of nemophila flowers in full bloom. Come and enjoy retro trains and rural scenery in the suburbs, just a short distance from Tokyo.

Travel back in time to a bygone era at a retro hot spring

If you want to enjoy a hot spring in the retro atmosphere of old Japan, we recommend Tamagawa Onsen in Saitama Prefecture, which is close to Tokyo and takes about two hours by train from central Tokyo. The building was created in the image of the 1960s, and is surrounded by a nostalgic atmosphere with natural hot springs that spring up from 1,700 meters underground and a terrace inspired by public baths. In addition to the hot springs, try toys, Dagashi, an old Japanese snack, and local cider from all over the country in a store reminiscent of Japan a few decades ago. The cafeteria offers menus featuring local seasonal ingredients, as well as menus inspired by old-time coffee shops and stores, making it a perfect spot for Instagram photos. To get there, take a cab from the nearest station, JR Myokaku Station, or rent a bicycle and enjoy the peaceful countryside.


Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Katsuta Station

Tamagawa Onsen

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