Retro Shibuya Bars: Hidden Gem Tour in the Heart of Tokyo

By Emily Suvannasankha
Updated: November 17, 2022

Have you ever wondered what delicious Japanese foods and drinks are hiding off the beaten path in Shibuya, Tokyo? Come on this food tour with Shizuka and Kyle as they discover Shibuya bars that revive the past and explore secret spots that only locals know about! This eating and drinking tour of Shibuya's retro backstreets includes stops at a tachinomi standing bar, a must-try ramen shop, Shibuya's Niku Yokocho ("Meat Alley"), and a dagashi (old-fashioned Japanese snack) bar. What surprises will Shizuka and Kyle find on this local food tour in Tokyo?

Book the Retro Shibuya Food Tour >>

Hidden Gems of Shibuya: Retro Standing Bars, "Meat Alley" & More!

Shibuya is one of the busiest wards in Tokyo, known for its trendy fashion stores, famous sightseeing landmarks, and iconic shopping destinations. Some of the most well-known tourist attractions are easily accessible from Shibuya Station, such as busy Shibuya Crossing and the beloved Hachiko statue. But there's no shortage of surprising Shibuya bars, restaurants, and izakaya in this packed district, so why not use your time in Shibuya wisely and check out some secret, authentic hole-in-the-wall spots?

Shizuka and Kyle join their tour guide, Asami, for a bar crawl through the back streets of Shibuya, starting with a traditional Japanese style of standing bar, a uniquely chair-less experience where you stand at a table and guzzle down a pint of beer—then onto the next bar! This tachinomi style, common in Japan, is perfect for quick bar-hopping!

A man and two woman clink beer glasses outside a standing bar in Shibuya, with red hanging lanterns outside

Next up is a notable ramen shop, revered among locals for their incredibly delicious ramen recipe. It's so well-loved, there's often a huge line around the block. Shizuka and Kyle wax poetic about this savory Chinese-style shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, with tender pork and thick broth. Watch the video to find out who wins the slurping contest!

Ramen noodle pull out of a bowl of intense and flavorful shoyu ramen

After the ramen, they head off to Niku Yokocho, or Meat Alley, an indoor marketplace with nearly 30 small izakaya known for their mouth-watering meat dishes. Asami recommends an izakaya that's famous for their incredible chicken! And to their surprise, Shizuka and Kyle discover a chicken dish that doesn't look like chicken at first, but blows them away with its flavorful chili and garlic seasoning.

Last but not least, the tour's final stop is a dagashi bar that sells traditional Japanese penny candy and snacks! These cheap but delicious novelty sweets delight Shizuka and Kyle, transporting them 40-50 years into the past and filling them with childlike whimsy. Find out about this dagashi bar's secret "hit or miss" game using snacks in the video!

Two sticks of Umaibo snacks on a white plate at a Japanese dagashi bar in Shibuya

Join a Food Tour of the Best Retro Shibuya Bars and Eateries

Want to experience the nightlife of Shibuya's back alleys yourself? Book the Retro Shibuya Food Tour, where you'll be personally guided through the best nostalgic eateries and bars in Shibuya that has to offer for 3 intensely delicious hours! Gain a deeper appreciation for Shibuya's cuisine and satisfy your appetite with this unique selection of drinks, local dishes, snacks, and desserts. Escape from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya's touristy areas and eat like a local; you'll be glad you did!

Watch Shizuka try amezaiku (Japanese candy sculpting) and visit a frightening Namahage-themed restaurant! Subscribe to the Japan by Food YouTube channel to keep up with our latest food adventures.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Emily Suvannasankha
Masquerading as a grad student in Linguistics, Emily can typically be found counting the minutes ‘til her next peach chūhai. She has two years in Nagoya before her need for jumbo peanut butter sends her crawling back to the US.
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