[Travel] Shin-Okubo: Little Korea In The Heart Of Tokyo

Shin-Okubo at sunset

While most of us K-pop or K-drama lovers dream to visit Korea in some other way to see Kimchi-land with our eyes, a little paradise can be found even in the heart of Tokyo. Yes, you read that right, TOKYO!

Just a stop away from the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku Station, is a bustling enclave named Shin-Okubo, which is the Korean town of Tokyo. Once you get off the train, signs in Japanese, Korean and English greets your eyes.

Korean drama advertisements at Shin-Okubo Station

But the most intriguing thing about this place is that even Korean dramas which will be aired on Japanese television stations are advertised at the train station here. So much Korean overload already!

Idol Park, a K-pop merchandise store

Once you exit the station, walk to the right and you will see Idol Park on your left. Yes, you are officially in Korean town! Eyes on the road please, you don’t want to be knocked down by a cyclist while drooling at those K-pop goods on sale!

Care to try some delicious fried chicken? Suzy and Lee Jong Suk approves!

As you walk on, the smells and sounds (K-pop hits of course) will instantly transport you to South Korea, though you are physically in Tokyo. Definitely must try the delicious fried chicken!

Holika Holika cosmetic store in Shin Okubo

Not to mention, Korean skincare brands also have a great presence here. Holika Holika has the only stand alone store in Shin Okubo, whereas other brands can be found in K-Plaza 2, or smaller cosmetic stores.

K-Plaza houses a grocery store in K-Plaza 1. Stop here for Korean groceries. K-Plaza 2 houses Skin Garden, and stocks many Korean skincare brands.

Below is a scene at a Korean cosmetics store in Shin-Okubo. You won’t miss out on the Korean shopping experience as the promoters here are pretty much the same chatty ones you get in Myeongdong, South Korea 😛

Korean cosmetic store in Shin-Okubo. Pic credit: shichijyuuni.com

Walk further into Shin-Okubo and you’ll see plenty of stores selling K-pop merchandise. Some do sell albums and Korean skincare products on the side too.

Star Shop, another K-pop goods store

The K-pop goods sold here are pretty much the same as those you can get in South Korea, though it’s a slight tad bit pricier because everything is in yen. At the time this article is written, the rate is RM3.50 for every 100 yen. Fancy some high quality K-pop posters under RM20? Now you know where to get them!

K-pop merchandise for sale in Shin-Okubo. Pic credit: shichijyuuni.com

The Korean shopping experience doesn’t stop at K-pop goods, Korean skincare, or Korean food, because you can even get Korean fruits here in Tokyo itself! Came across these juicy looking persimmons but could not buy them because of the bulk I’d have to lug around town. Totally regret not buying them 🙁

Korean persimmons on sale in Shin-Okubo

One last thing you should know that you can find in Shin-Okubo is… the courier service store! Yamato Transport, also known as Ta-Q-Bin in Malaysia, has a store located in this neighbourhood. So if you are planning to buy a lot of Korean stuff here and can’t bring it back home, you always have the option of sending it home in a package!

Yamato Transport, a courier service store, is located in Shin-Okubo

Last but not least, the nightlife in Shin-Okubo is pretty cool. When most of the stores in Tokyo close at 9pm, you can always come to Shin-Okubo for some shopping, late-night snacks and coffee. Most stores in Shin-Okubo close around 10pm to 11pm. Even the K-pop goods stores looks great when lighted up at night, so if you fancy a stroll at night, do make a stop here.

K-pop goods store lighted up at night

For coffee lovers, or better still, fans of K-drama ‘Coffee Prince’ should find their way here to the cafe named after the famous drama starring Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye. Enjoy a cup of coffee here, and soak up the Korean culture.

Coffee Prince cafe in Shin-Okubo

Have you enjoyed reading about the Korean town in Tokyo? Stay tuned for our next article on the K-pop scene in Tokyo!

2 thoughts on “[Travel] Shin-Okubo: Little Korea In The Heart Of Tokyo

  • May 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Hi nice post. Have you seen Korean make up Chosungah 22 in shin-Okubo? Thank you

    • May 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Karen, we’re glad that you loved the post on Shin-Okubo. While walking around Shin-Okubo to do some Korean skincare shopping, we spotted brands such as Holika Holika, Tony Moly, Missha, Etude House, Skin Food, Nature Republic, etc. but did not spot the make-up brand Chosungah 22. This trip was way back in October 2015, so they might have it now. Why don’t you take a trip to Shin Okubo and find out? You might enjoy the Korean culture and environment in Shin-Okubo at the same time. We wish you the very best of luck in finding your cosmetics products! 🙂

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