Memory Lane (Omoide Yokocho)
A series of narrow lanes that run alongside the north of Shinjuku railway station, Memory Lane has been a part of Tokyo life for decades. The ‘unofficial’ nickname, ‘Piss Alley’, refers to the lack of public facilities that once blighted the street, but you’ll be glad to know that after a renovation in the 1990s this is no longer an issue!
The best way to enjoy the street is to throw yourself into the throng and go with the flow. Locals and tourists alike cram into the various tiny restaurants to try yakitori skewers, ramen and udon noodle dishes, all washed down with a cold beer. If the idea of going it alone makes you nervous you can join a foodie tour with an experienced local guide to get the most out of your Omoide Yochoko experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most restaurants in Memory Lane have a small cover charge.
- The alleys are narrow and crowded and may be difficult to navigate for people with limited mobility.
- You may have to search a little harder for vegetarian options but some restaurants do offer vegetarian dishes.
How to Get There
Memory Lane is located just a few hundred feet from the west exit of Shinjuku railway station. The area is best explored on foot.
When to Get There
Memory Lane is best enjoyed in the evenings. It starts to get busy every night from around 6 pm onwards when locals and tourists alike crowd into the alleys to try the street food. Try to leave big bags back at the hotel as space is limited.
Visit Shinjuku Goen A breath of fresh air in the bustling and sometimes chaotic Shinjuku district, the Shinjuku Goen park has winding paths that travel past trees and quiet pools, offering a welcome sense of space. It’s also one of the most popular parks in Tokyo to visit during the cherry blossom festival, or hanami, that takes place every year in late March/early April.
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