When living in Japan, you won’t need to purchase a plane ticket to visit Korea: enter Shin-Okubo, Tokyo’s very own Koreatown. Conveniently located just one subway station from Shinjuku (or about 20 minutes on foot), this trendy neighborhood is always filled with young locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re hunting for all the K-beauty products of the 10-step skincare routine, a spicy bibimbap (rice bowl) topped with even spicier kimchi, or just want to jam out to K-pop music blasting from every storefront, Shin-Okubo is an excellent place to immerse yourself in a youthful mix of Seoul and Tokyo.
History and Background
South Korean immigrants first moved into Shin-Okubo around 1983, when Japan opened its doors to foreign exchange students. Back then, it was an inexpensive neighborhood overshadowed by the commercial and economic city of Shinjuku that was just south of it. Over the last few decades, many South Korean immigrants have followed suit and settled in the Shin-Okubo area.
It wasn’t until a huge boom in over-the-top Korean TV dramas that K-drama merchandise was practically flying off the shelves of the Shin-Okubo stores ("Winter Sonata" marathon, anyone?) More recently, the K-pop and K-beauty craze continues to support the popularity of the capital’s mini Korea.
Things To Do
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