Last updated on May 29th, 2017 at 03:35 pm

Discovering Tokyo architectural neighborhoods.

Tokyo has many faces. On one hand it is very technologically advanced and on another it is incredibly traditional.

When I came to Tokyo for the first time I was taken by surprise with its architectural contrast. In suburbs, or even a bit away from forever busy downtown, Tokyo looks like a scene from an old black and white movie. It seems like a different city.


If you are staying for more than a week I encourage you to go for a stroll in one of the neighborhood like that.

Are you coming to Tokyo for the first time? Prepare yourself with this post!

The suburbs represent a densely packed mini cities with single family houses that most of the time also feature some kind of a mini green garden.

Tokyo is not a concrete jungle.

Despite buildings everywhere, Tokyo has lots of greenery. There are many parks, gardens and other green spots one can enjoy on a hot day. In fact the place where I have seen the most of wildlife in the city was Tokyo.

During summer I was lucky to spot a snake three times. They were all different snakes and in different spots.

Tokyo suburb architecture

Below pictures were taken around Shimura- Sanchome metro station which is about 20 min subway ride North from downtown area. I have also included some interior images.

It is fascinating…

I have decided to omit any western culture inspired globalized design and architecture and focus on pure traditional scene. Of course not all people in Japan live like this but some do and I find it fascinating.

In general modern Japanese architectural style is extremely optimized and rather blant. I can’t call it beautiful. However, it is not ugly either. If you look at it in a mass of buildings then it becomes interesting. I guess you should come and see for yourself.

Tokyo suburb architecture

Tokyo suburb architecture

Tokyo Architectural style

The last images represent the simplicity and forever evolving minimalism that Japanese strive for. Since square footage is a luxury in most cases, Japanese tatami, a foldable bed, is the best solution for space optimization.

Tatami consists of two mattresses (as you can see on the picture on the right). The bottom one works as a firm base and the top one is the cushion one. I slept on them when we visited Kyoto and stayed in Tokyo for the very first time for three months. Best sleep of my life!

I can definitely see the appeal of a king size bed that once can simply roll away into a closed when the guests arrive.

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 Hope you enjoyed the post! Have you been to Tokyo? Do you have any neighborhood tips? Please leave a comment right below!

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I hear the world calling, and I just can't ignore it! Affordable options and insider tips are one of the few things I cover on this blog. Who doesn't love a good travel hack? Travel better and more often with mine! :)


  1. Great minds think alike – this is exactly what I enjoy in Tokyo! I also love all the little minding streets full of bars and restaurants. Have you been to Asagaya? Some lovely little ones round there – all quiet and low-rise. It’s over to the West. Now I’ve seen these photos from Shimura- Sanchome, I’ll have to explore there too!

    • Hey, Caroline! Thank you so much for stopping by! OMG, now I simply have to go to Asagaya! Thank you for this recommendation.

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