Photo: © cinnamonellie

Showa retro vibes in the nostalgic Tokyo neighborhood of Shibamata

By cinnamonellie, grape Japan

Shibamata (柴又) is a nostalgic neighborhood full of charm.

It's also highly underrated.

Many tourists prefer going to the big city and choose more flashy areas such as Harajuku or Shibuya, overlooking this beautiful temple town.

Located in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward, Shibamata is accessible and not too far from downtown Tokyo, as well as Chiba Prefecture. Surrounded by vivid greenery and major rivers, including Edogawa, Katsushika is the place to explore if you are into temples and natural settings.

Shibamata also has its share of Buddhist temples and old-fashioned streets overflowing with fun shops, food stalls, and a nostalgic atmosphere.

Here are a few of the main attractions you might want to visit when taking a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo:

1. Shibamata Taishakuten Temple

Photo: Nesnad, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Shibamata Taishakuten Temple (柴又帝釈天), formally known as Daikyo-ji (題経寺), is close to the train station and richly decorated in beautiful, detailed wooden carvings, all of which have withstood the passage of time. The artists who contributed to these carvings also helped with the construction of Toshogu Shrine (東照宮 Toshogu), one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Nikko.

Furthermore, the temple, surrounded by a superb Japanese garden, is at the end of the Shibamata Sando (柴又参道), a famous shopping street full of restaurants, gift shops, and stalls selling traditional delicacies.

Google Maps

2. Yamamoto-Tei

Photo: © cinnamonellie

Located in the backstreets of Shibamata, very close to the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple, you will discover Yamamoto-Tei (山本亭), the former residence of businessman Yamamoto Einosuke (山本栄之助).

Photo: © cinnamonellie

You can enjoy a cup of tea and traditional sweets at an affordable price and also spend a relaxing time while admiring the splendid garden view and the beautiful architecture of the building.

Google Maps

3. Tora-san Museum

Photo: © cinnamonellie

Shibamata is also famous for being the filming location of the famous 男はつらいよ (Otoko wa Tsurai Yo, "It’s tough being a man") film series starring Kiyoshi Atsumi as Tora-san (寅さん), a kind-hearted vagabond who is always unlucky in love. With a total of 48 installments released between 1969 and 1995, it holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running movie series starring a single actor.

Fans can eat at the restaurant featured in the movie and enjoy the museum dedicated to the series.

When stepping into the Tora-san Museum, you will feel like you have been transported back to the Showa Era.

Google Maps

4. Haikara Yokocho

Photo: © cinnamonellie

If you are a fan of dagashi (inexpensive Japanese snacks and candies), Haikara Yokocho (ハイカラ横丁) is your place to go. The shop also looks like a retro movie, colorful with a nostalgic touch, so it is the perfect location for taking Instagrammable photos, too.

You can also find an infinite number of treats, including old-school snacks that many Japanese people grew up with.

My Japanese friends are always super excited when visiting Haikara Yokocho and end up with a bag full of treats every time we go. Most of the time, we eat them sitting down by the river while reminiscing about the good old days.

Google Maps

If you plan on visiting Shibamata, remember to go around the many retro streets and discover the many old-fashioned building. Also, remember to grab some local delicacies and gifts on your way back to the train station.

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© grape Japan

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This is a great little district of Tokyo to explore for a few hours. Too hot in summer, but well worth the time during the rest of the year.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hey, Tora-chan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's Tough Being a Man?

Is that even allowed in these times of gender diversity???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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