Last updated on November 5th, 2017 at 04:58 am

Discovering Tokyo architectural neighborhoods.

Tokyo has many faces. On the 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 the 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.

Tip:

If you are staying for more than a week, I encourage you to go for a stroll in one of the neighborhoods 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 features some 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 the wildlife in the city was Tokyo.

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

Tokyo suburb architecture

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


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Japanese suburbian architectural style is fascinating.

I have decided to omit any western culture inspired globalized design and architecture and focus on the 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 exceptionally optimized and somewhat blunt. 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 see the appeal of a king size bed that once can 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! :)

2 Comments

  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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