Shibamata – Tokyo Day Trip


Shibamata is an older area about 30 minutes from central Tokyo on the train. It’s a good day trip or afternoon away from the city, and a complete contrast to the modern side of Tokyo.

The main street is right by the station, and has lots of souvenir shops, Japanese street food and restaurants. We had planned to graze on street food and try lots of things, but ended up going into a restaurant to avoid the rain. The restaurant in the video is a soba and udon shop, nothing fancy, and it was good to experience a quiet, everyday restaurant. Ordering on a vending machine is reasonably common in Japan, because it saves work for staff and reduces costs. The buttons were all in Japanese but the waitress showed us which ones to press.

The floodplain by the river was just like a setting from an anime or game, and felt so spacious and open. It was a refreshing break from the city.

On the walk back we ended up walking through a residential area. I didn’t film it out of respect for peoples’ privacy, but I really enjoyed seeing where people actually live. It was extremely quiet, and the houses, although they’re nothing fancy, looked so picturesque. Japan’s known for its low crime rates, and seeing how people leave belongings outside their houses and bikes unchained suggests it really is true.

Shibamata backstreets

Shibamata backstreets – I don’t know what the giraffe’s doing there?!

How to Get to Shibamata

From Keisei Ueno Station (not JR Ueno Station – it’s a short walk between them and there are signposts), take the Keisei line to Takasago. Then change to the Keisei Kanamachi line to get to Shibamata. It takes less than 30 minutes, and you can use your Suica or PASSMO card for the whole trip.

The whole area and everything we went to is an easy walk from the station.

We spent an afternoon there – you could go for the day if you take a slower pace. There are more temples to explore and longer walks if you have more time, and you can also take the boat across the river.

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