Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tokyo Part 3: Shin-Okubo (Korean Boy Band Land)

When I woke up Saturday morning I was excited to see the sun shining! I ate breakfast at the hotel and then headed to Shin-Okubo, which is Tokyo's Korean town.

The first store I visited was Idol Park. They used to have a location on Takeshita in Harajuku, but it's closed now. I didn't like this location as much as the Harajuku one so I was a bit disappointed, but luckily there were other stores that were waaaaay bigger and more awesome! There is no shortage of boy band merchandise in Shin-Okubo!

Star Shop was really good. They had some hilarious stuff, which I wish I could show right now, but I bought something as a present for someone and that would ruin it!

Even the supermarket played K-pop and had a TV with music videos outside. 

Ok, that picture has nothing to do with Korean stuff, but I took it in Shin-Okubo. It's Satoshi Ohno, from Arashi, staring dreamily at chicken. 

That chicken must be amazing.

Now back to Korean stuff...

Those stairs led into a basement of a LOT of K-pop merchandise.

I ate lunch at Miyomi, which has a lot of Big Bang stuff. They have a special Big Bang booth, but I didn't ask for it. But they mostly play only Big Bang videos in the rest of the restaurant anyway.

They have quite a few cheap lunch items. I chose japcahe-don, which was sweet potato noodles with rice. 

I was surprised when they also brought me appetizers. They were all really good. I know the bottom ones were kimchi and salad, but I don't know what the other two were. If you know, please leave a comment!

They had metal chopsticks. I've heard that metal chopsticks are popular in Korea, so I was excited! I thought they were a little difficult at first because they were heavier than I'm used to, but I soon got used to them.

The japchae was soooooo delicious! I really loved my food and for only a little over 900 yen I had a very filling meal. I wasn't even able to finish it all. Even if they hadn't played Big Bang videos, I would have still loved the restaurant.

 Here is a blog with some better pictures: Living the Tokyo Dream: Miyomi

The restaurant is on right side of the street as you're heading away from Shin-Okubo station.

I got some gum as I left the restaurant. I wonder if that's common in Korea.

Caesar Cafe is above Miyomi. I want to go there, too!

The stairs leading up to Caesar Cafe have the names of boy bands on them.

My original plan had been to eat at Miyomi and then get hotteok (hottoku in Japanese) for dessert. I was way too full though, so I didn't.

However, on Monday, before I left Tokyo, I went back to Shin-Okubo to buy a Big Bang concert light and decided to get hotteok then.

I bought my concert light from Idol Park. They had them about 500 yen cheaper than other stores. As I said earlier, that store wasn't as impressive as some of the others, but at least the light was cheaper!

I didn't have a light when I went to the concert last year. I had planned on buying one at the arena but they were sold out! So now I'm prepared for the concert next month!

I walked down the left side of the street and stopped at the first Hotteok stand I saw. The line wasn't moving very fast though so I went down just a little bit further to Po Po Hottoku. It seemed pretty popular.

I chose the honey hotteok. I had read online that the common filling has brown sugar, honey, nuts and cinnamon. I was a bit sad that it seemed like none of the vendors had that kind. But it turned out that the honey one was honey with those other things!

This was soooooooo good. It was warm and gooey and sweet and perfect in the slightly cool weather. I keep craving this... I need to go back! Next time I will eat at Miyomi, then shop until I have room for hotteok. :)

If you're interested in K-pop, I really recommend Shin-Okubo. It's on the Yamanote Line so it's easy to get to. Even if you don't like K-pop, you can enjoy some really good food there. Though you better not hate K-pop because it is EVERYWHERE there. 

I heard Mamcita by Super Junior many many times while I was there. At first I thought it was just ok, but now I like it because it reminds me of a fun day. Though one store seemed to be playing it on repeat. I feel sorry for the employees hearing the same song all day long. They were still playing it when I passed by the next day!


  1. stumbled across your blog, enjoyed reading it! I'm a big fan of Bigbang, I got my light stick queuing up under the hot sun for 2 hours in Singapore, enjoy the concert and I'm heading to Tokyo next month! Can't wait!

    1. Wow, I'm glad I was just able to walk into a store and get it! I was disappointed by the lack of merchandise at the concert last year in Nagoya. They weren't well stocked. :( But at least the concert was awesome! :) Have fun in Tokyo!

  2. Thanks for the mention! Shin Okubo is my favourite place in Tokyo <3

    1. I went to Miyomi because of your blog. Well, someone mentioned it on their blog but didn't know the name, so then I found yours when I searched for a Bigbang restaurant in Shin-okubo. So thanks for the good info about it! :)

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