5 Retro Hangout Spots to Visit in Tokyo
Despite the hardships of the postwar era, Japan embraced prosperity and euphoria in the latter part of the Showa period between the 1950s and 70s. It’s no surprise that this era is referred to as “Japan’s Golden Age”. If you’re keen to experience the Showa era for yourself, come to these retro-chic hangouts wearing your best revival co-ords and be the hippest fashionista!
Image courtesy of Shigenobu Matsuzawa via Gurunavi.
Denkiya Hall is the perfect place to visit if you want to feel like you are in a time warp. This café, filled with Showa-era relics and memorabilia, has been open to the public for more than 100 years! Denkiya Hall’s nostalgia lies in its mid-century decorating, making it the perfect Instagram photo op while enjoying popular staples of Japan from this time period—perhaps surprisingly, that means a Napolitan spaghetti with a melon cream soda!
Image courtesy of Goin’ Japanesque.
Shinjuku 8bit Café
For those wondering whether it’s possible to experience laidback 80s arcade vibes in a densely-packed area like Shinjuku, have no fear 8bit café is just around the corner! This café is the perfect place for you to unwind and play nostalgic retro games! You get several gaming options to choose from: ranging from a tabletop arcade game to retro game consoles! Don’t forget to take your friends along with you so you can annihilate them in a game of Mario Kart over some light bites and drinks.
Image courtesy of Jason Jenkins via Metropolis Japan.
If you want to experience the charms of shitamachi (old Tokyo), take a relaxing little stroll around this hidden gem that locals refer to as “Mon-naka”! Monzen-Nakacho is famous for keeping the Showa-era alive, with its traditional gift stores and wide variety of small restaurants and cafés. Make sure to stop by the Orihara Shoten, where you can purchase dagashi—traditional Showa snacks and sweets—and experience the quaint entertainment district of Tatsumi Shindo.
Image courtesy of Good Coffee.
Seven is quite similar to Denkiya Hall concept-wise, as both places share the same retro nostalgia aesthetic. However, this small coffee shop, nestled in Sangenjaya, offers an eclectic and unique ambience. It’s a kitsch café with a delectably quirky interior—think your grandma’s blue carpet meets old Miyazaki film posters plastered on her green and wood-panelled walls. Be sure to take your snaps in front of the coffee house’s memorable entrance—it’s sure to intrigue your followers!
Image courtesy of Yagara 50s Diner.
Yagara 50s Diner
This little diner located near Dashi-Mae station is the perfect contrast to the Showa-inspired eateries that we’ve mentioned so far. That’s because this 50s casual diner takes you back to the funky side of the era with a prominent Western influence. This place is a must-visit on our list because of its bright and colourful interior of turquoise and neon pink—long-time readers will recognise the classic COMM colours! The best part is, you get to take cute pictures to your heart’s content while sipping fizzy sodas and enjoying huge burgers with crispy fries on the side!
Written by Vania.
Featured image courtesy of Xavier Portela.