Nihonbashi literally means “Japan’s Bridge,” and has been the center of commerce since the Edo Period. Today, the city has been in constant redevelopment, and there have been many improvements that have paved the way for the city to be revitalized.
If you happen to stroll in Nihonbashi casually you’ll find many interesting things that will catch your fancy. From food, shopping, and entertainment the city has it all. If you don’t have anything to do in particular, why don’t you check out these 10 things to do in Nihonbashi while on vacation.
1. Gather information at Nihonbashi Information Center
Nihonbashi Information Center is a great place to find up-to-date information about seasonal events, famous tourist attractions, popular shops and anything interesting that is happening or about to happen in Nihonbashi. They also handle tours within the city for those who are interested in learning the culture about Japan. Don’t be afraid to talk to their staff and ask for recommendations on where to go while you are in the city.
Address: B1F COREDO Muromachi, 2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
2. Participate in day tours & activities by Omotenashi Nihonbashi
Omotenashi Nihonbashi provides tours for anyone who is willing to take their time and explore the sights and sounds of the city. When you are visiting a city, the best way to learn more about its history and culture is through tours. They also hold events and other activities that are especially aimed to cater to foreign guests. It is a good way to create some memorable moments with your family and friends in Nihonbashi.
3. Fun stationery shopping at Haibara and Yubendo
Haibara and Yubendo are two of the best places to buy souvenirs in the city. Haibara can be considered a unique shop in Nihonbashi. Why? Because it is a specialty shop that sells products made from Japanese paper that will not fail to impress you. Here you’ll find stationary, envelopes, postcards, and many more products that are made from washi paper. Their famous gampi paper is also one of their most highly recommended items.
While you won’t find any flashy or colorful souvenirs in Yubendo, they do have writing brushes made of bamboo, greeting cards, stationery and other interesting items that might strike your fancy. This old-fashioned shop has been around for a very long time and an ideal place to buy writing tools for those who are mastering the art of painting and calligraphy.
Haibara Address: Tokyo Nihonbashi Tower, 2-7-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Haibara Website: https://www.haibara.co.jp/en/
Yubendo Address: 1-6-6 Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Yubendo Website: https://www.yubendo.com (Japanese Only)
4. Have Fluffy Dorayaki at Usagiya
Buying Dorayaki at Usagiya is something that you have to add on your “Nihonbashi to do list.” This popular Japanese confection that looks like two pancakes pressed together and have red bean paste as its filling is something you have to try at least once. The dorayaki is fluffy and has the right sweetness. The perfect snack while you’re strolling around the city.
Address: 1-3-8 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.wagashi.or.jp/tokyo_link/shop/0303.htm (Japanese Only)
5. Taste the flavor of dashi soup at Dashi BAR
Dashi is something that is almost always present in every Japanese dish. The Dashi BAR in Nihonbashi brings it up a notch and offer delicious concoctions made from dashi that will make you want to buy a few of their stocks before going back home. Original products like the dashi-based champagne is an interesting twist to this popular Japanese soup base. Make sure to bring a few of their products back home to impress your family and friends.
Address: Coredo Muromachi 1F, 2-2-1 Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.ninben.co.jp/honten/dashiba/ (Japanese Only)
6. Get the 300-years continuing toothpicks at Saruya
Saruya is another unique store that only sells traditional Japanese toothpicks. With over 300-years of history, this store has seen the many changes in Nihonbashi over time. Even so, some things do not change and that is their high-quality toothpicks.
So what is the difference between regular toothpicks and their products? The only difference between their toothpicks and the toothpicks you use everyday is how they are made. While their regular toothpicks are made by machines, some of their special products like the Jokaku Youji are handmade by specialized craftsmen. It is without a doubt, one of the unique souvenirs that you can add to your personal collection.
Address: 1-12-5, Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.nihonbashi-saruya.co.jp (Japanese Only)
7. Kayak in urban Tokyo
Kayaking is one of the popular water sports that you can do almost anywhere…including urban Tokyo. It may sound weird, but it is actually a very popular recreational activity in the city. All you need is a kayak, a paddle, a life vest and your good to go. Some companies offer these services to those that are itching to tour and see the city from a different perspective.
8. Watch Japanese comedy show at Oedo Nihonbashi Tei
Japanese Comedy has been around since the olden times. A good laugh now and then can greatly improve your mood and health. The Oedo Nihonbashi Tei is a great place to experience Japanese Comedy at its finest. Of course, you need to at least be at the level to effectively understand the Japanese language before you visit the place.
Address: 3-1-6 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.ntgp.co.jp/engei/nihonbasi/ (Japanese Only)
9. View the art showcase at Mitsui Memorial Museum
The Mitsui Memorial Museum is an art museum that houses over 4,000 artifacts owned by the Mitsui Family. This family is famous for being merchants, craftsmen, and industrialists since the Edo Period. It has been designated as one of the important cultural properties in the city.
Address: Mitsui Main Building, 7th Floor, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
10.Visit Art Aquarium (summer only)
The Art Aquarium show is one of the most highly anticipated events in summer in the city. If you combine aquariums, fishes, modern technology and arts together, then you’ll have a dazzling show that is truly a feast for the eyes. The unique aquariums coupled with light illuminations give a surreal effect and serves as the perfect background for the fishes as they swim around minding their own business.
Data is as of April 2019
Thumbnail is from Flickr