, 2022-10-05 23:01:15,
This article is part of a guide to Tokyo from FT Globetrotter
One step out of Shin-Okubo station and you will find yourself in Koreatown, a bustling Tokyo district exploding with energy. The noise and crowds may be a little overwhelming for first-timers, but the area is a gold mine for fans of Korean street food and barbecue, sweets to die for and beauty products. Upbeat hits by K-pop superstars such as BTS and Blackpink play from street-facing speakers, luring you into stores selling Korean pop-culture merchandise — from tumblers, paper fans and key chains to mouse pads emblazoned with your favourite band member’s face.
As a longtime lover of K-pop, I like to explore Shin-Okubo, either alone or with fellow fans. The recent Hallyu wave, otherwise known as the rise in global popularity of Korean pop culture, has given the neighbourhood a burst of vitality, despite strained Japan-Korea relations. Its streets are often awash with young people and it has become a key sightseeing spot that is just as worthy a visit as more famous destinations like Shibuya or Harajuku.
The area can be a lot to take in at once, so why not make a day of it and shop and eat…
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