Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in West Tokyo

Ghibli Museum

Master animator Miyazaki Hayao, whose Studio Ghibli produced Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, designed this museum. Fans will enjoy the original sketches; kids, even if they’re not familiar with the movies, will…
Top Choice Anime in West Tokyo

Mandarake Complex

This is the original Mandarake, the go-to store for all things manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese animation). Once a small, secondhand comic-book store, Mandarake now has some 25 shops just inside the Nakan…
Top Choice Tempura in West Tokyo

Tensuke

An entirely legitimate candidate for eighth wonder of the modern world is Tensuke's tamago (egg) tempura. We don't know how the chef (who is quite a showman) does it, but the egg comes out batter-crisp on the outsid…
Architecture in West Tokyo

Reversible Destiny Lofts

Designed by husband and wife Arakawa Shūsaku (1936–2010) and Madeleine Gins (1941–2014) and completed in 2005, this housing complex certainly strikes against the mould: Created 'in memory of Helen Keller' the nine u…
Park in West Tokyo

Inokashira-kōen

One of Tokyo's best parks, Inokashira-kōen has a big pond in the middle flanked by woodsy strolling paths. You can rent row boats (¥700 per hour) and swan-shaped pedal boats to take out onto the water (¥700 per 30 m…
Shinto Shrine in West Tokyo

Inokashira Benzaiten

Benzaiten, one of Japan's eight lucky gods, is actually the octet's sole goddess (she's also the Japanese incarnation of the Hindi goddess Sarasvati and a patron of the arts). Her realm is the waters, which is why y…
Steak in West Tokyo

Steak House Satou

This is a classic Japanese-style steak house, where the meat is cooked at the counter on a teppan (iron hot plate), diced before serving and paired with rice, miso soup and pickles. It's also excellent value, consid…
Izakaya in West Tokyo

Okajōki

The yaki-zakana (焼き魚; grilled fish) lunch here is legendary. The fish are roasted around a large central hearth, and are served as a set with rice, miso soup and pickles. There's no English menu, but some common fis…
Museum in West Tokyo

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architecture Museum

This fantastic yet little-known museum has a collection of historic buildings rescued from Tokyo's modernising zeal. Among them are an Edo-era farmhouse, a modernist villa and a whole strip of early-20th-century sho…
Cafe in West Tokyo

Bar Zingaro

Oddly, this cafe, inside Nakano Broadway, from well-known artist provocateur, Takashi Murakami, has zero shock value. It just serves really good coffee (from Shibuya's Fuglen) in stylish surrounds with only a splash…