- 10 min read

A Day in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Enjoy stylish art, street food, and traditional dining in one of Tokyo’s hidden gems

Shinagawa City rests along Tokyo Bay and is located south of Tokyo’s city center.

This area is recognized as one of Tokyo’s 23 special wards and is home to a flourishing art culture, delectable restaurants and street food, traditional vibes, and contemporary chicness. Given its diverse offerings, Shinagawa serves as the perfect setting for a day (and night) in the city.

Follow me on a journey through this vibrant neighborhood, and discover some of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets.

Morning, TENNOZ Isle

Waterside view with T-LOTUS M (an event space) and PETALS TOKYO (a hotel) in the center
Waterside view with T-LOTUS M (an event space) and PETALS TOKYO (a hotel) in the center

I started my day in style with a trip to TENNOZ Isle. This up and coming art town is situated on Shinagawa’s eastern, oceanside border and boasts a trendy collection of shops, galleries, event spaces, restaurants, and cafes. The isle features a variety of street and public art and also has numerous boardwalks where you can enjoy refreshing strolls with the sea breeze.

TENNOZ Isle’s closest station, aptly named Tennozu Isle Station, is on the Rinkai and Tokyo Monorail Lines and is within walking distance from most of the area’s popular attractions.

Bond Street

“The Shamisen” Shinagawa 2019―Tennoz Art Festival 2019 / Artwork by ARYZ
“The Shamisen” Shinagawa 2019―Tennoz Art Festival 2019 / Artwork by ARYZ

First, I kicked off my artistic adventure with a walk down Bond Street.

Bond Street, a short seven-minute walk from Tennozu Isle Station, is a stylish area lined with renovated warehouses filled with shops, art studios, and more. Here, you can admire a variety of street art in a nature-touched, urban environment.

WHAT CAFE

WHAT CAFE's entrance
WHAT CAFE's entrance

After enjoying some leisure exercise, I stopped by WHAT CAFE, also located on Bond Street, for brunch.

This spacious, 800-square-meter facility is more than just a cafe and acts as an art gallery where contemporary artists can display and sell their creations. The cafe periodically changes its exhibitions throughout the year and hosts art-related events—creating a communal space where a variety of visitors, including regulars and passersby, can appreciate diverse art together.

The cafe offers a rich variety of drinks, such as coffee, lattes, and craft beer, and features a flavorful menu of savory dishes and desserts.

WHAT CAFE's art gallery
WHAT CAFE's art gallery

Upon arriving, I placed my order and then leisurely explored the day’s art. The works’ unique compositions transcended language, and I found myself wondering what memories or emotions inspired the artists. Since I arrived shortly after the cafe opened, the facility was exceptionally quiet, transporting me to a peaceful environment of contemplation. Once my meal was ready, I returned to my table and enjoyed the dish’s well-balanced flavors, while of course getting my caffeine fix! The cafe’s nourishing meal, coupled with its visual intrigue, provided an invigorating start to my day.

Business details

PIGMENT TOKYO

PIGMENT TOKYO's entrance
PIGMENT TOKYO's entrance

PIGMENT TOKYO is a multi-functional creative space located about a three-minute walk from WHAT CAFE. This combined art supplies shop, lab, and workshop facility is home to seemingly every color imaginable and sells an assortment of pigments, paints, brushes, paper, tools, and more. Even if you do not consider yourself an artist, the store’s imaginative interior is bound to inspire you. One of PIGMENT TOKYO’s most popular offerings is its paint workshop in which participants create their own paint!

An impressive wall of color
An impressive wall of color

After admiring TENNOZ Isle’s art from an outside perspective, it was time for me to explore my inner creativity with PIGMENT TOKYO’s paint-making workshop. After selecting the base pigment for my color—I opted for a bright orange—I listened to the instructor’s guidance and explanations of the tools. His demonstrations were clear, so minimal speaking was necessary. With a large glass mixing tool, I crushed my pigment and added two more shades, to create a custom color. The experience allowed me to experiment with color theory and left me with a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir.

WORK SHOP "Make Your Own Watercolors"
WORK SHOP "Make Your Own Watercolors"

However, the mental stimulation and surprising physicality of the workshop left me hungry again. So, it was time to find some more food.

Business details

  • Address: TERRADA Harbor One Bldg. 1F, 2−5−5 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 140-0002 (Google Map)
  • Business hours: 11am–7pm
  • Closed: Monday
  • URL: https://pigment.tokyo/en

Watch our adventures!

Late Afternoon, Togoshi Ginza

Togoshi Ginza
Togoshi Ginza

At 1.3km long, Togoshi Ginza is Tokyo’s longest shotengai (shopping street) and is home to approximately 400 shops and eateries. The bustling road is characterized by its friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere and is a frequent destination for residents and tourists. Amongst the street’s nostalgic storefronts and modern shops, you can peruse an array of wares, from clothes to furniture to antiques. Togoshi Ginza is also renowned for its tabe-aruki culture, which translates to “eating while strolling.” In other words, street food!

The street closes to vehicle traffic from 3pm to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 2pm to 7pm on Sundays and holidays. Togoshi Ginza is about a one minute walk from Togoshi Station on the Asakusa Line and a five-minute walk from Gotanda Station on the Asakusa, Ikegami, and JR Yamanote Lines.

Although my main objective at Togoshi Ginza was to obtain food, I could not help but peek into a few of the local stores. I especially enjoyed browsing the antique and secondhand shops. There were so many quirky and unique items to look at!

Omedetaiyaki Honpo

Okonomiyaki taiyaki
Okonomiyaki taiyaki

Soon my stomach got me back on track, and I sought out my first food stop—Omedetaiyaki Honpo. This Japanese confectionary shop sells taiyaki, which are fish-shaped pancakes typically filled with red bean paste. However, I visited the eatery for its unconventional okonomiyaki taiyaki! Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake layered with cabbage, meat, Japanese mayonnaise, a sweet sauce, and more. The shop’s taiyaki version of this dish was bursting with ingredients, and despite its small size, it delivered big okonomiyaki flavors.

Business details

Kyoto Hou Syu-Mai

Hoshumai (left) and shumai (right)
Hoshumai (left) and shumai (right)

Next, I stopped by Kyoto Hou Syu-Mai, for its renowned shumai, which is a type of traditional Chinese dumpling. This restaurant has been in business for over 40 years and handcrafts its shumai daily. I ordered two pieces of its original recipe and two pieces of hoshumai, which are spicier versions of shumai. After one bite, I was addicted. The dumpling’s soft texture and flavorful pork-green onion filling were smile-inducing. The restaurant has truly perfected the art of shumai-making.

Business details

  • Address: 1-8-1 Hiratsuka, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 142-0051 (Google Map)
  • Business hours: weekdays (11:30am–2:30pm; 4:30pm–8:30pm); weekends & holidays (11:30am–8:30pm) *restaurant may close earlier if it sells all its shumai for the day
  • Closed: irregular holiday (refer to this calendar)
  • URL: https://syu-mai.com

Tsuzumi Dango

Colorful dango
Colorful dango

I ended my savory exploration with a sweet treat at Tsuzumi Dango. This shop, unsurprisingly, sells dango, which are traditional Japanese rice dumplings. The restaurant offers numerous dango varieties, such as dango topped with red bean paste, sweet soy sauce glazed dango, and mugwort dango. I chose the cute tri-colored pink, white, and green dango. The mild and slightly sweet rice dumplings had a satisfying chew and made for the perfect bite to round out my food-filled afternoon.

Even so, more delicious food awaited, as my next activity was yakatabune!

Business details

  • Address: Casa Musashi 1F, 2-5-3 Togoshi, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 142-0041 (Google Map)
  • Business hours: 10am–7pm
  • Closed: irregular holiday
  • URL: https://tsuzumi.co.jp

Watch our adventures!

Evening, Yakatabune

Kanpai!
Kanpai!

Yakatabune are small Japanese entertainment boats that operate along Tokyo’s Sumida River. Typically reserved for evening cruises, these boats are characterized by their traditional designs, delicious multi-course meals, and romantic riverside views. In total, the dining experience usually lasts between 2.5 and three hours. During the excursion, you can admire the sparkling cityscape along the water, as well as over a dozen illuminated bridges. The boat also stops at Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Skytree—both major city landmarks. During these visits, you can access the boat’s roof and enjoy unobstructed views of the scenery.

Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba
Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba

Funasei, a yakatabune operator in Shinagawa, is about an eight-minute walk from Kitashinagawa Station on the Keikyu Main Line and an 11-minute walk from Shinagawa Station, which is a hub for numerous train lines.

Freshly-fried tempura
Freshly-fried tempura

As the sun set, the red glow of the yakatabune’s lantern-adorned exteriors bathed the area in an alluring glow. After boarding the traditional vessel, I sat at my reserved table, which was already set with a beautifully-plated appetizer, and admired the tatami floors and Japanese decor. I ordered a glass of umeshu, or plum liqueur, to pair with the exquisite meal to come. As the boat began its journey on the Sumida River, I was treated to sashimi, vegetable dishes, and freshly fried fish and vegetable tempura. Each piece of tempura was fried immediately before serving, resulting in a pleasingly warm and crunchy bite. Later in the course, I also received flavored rice, chilled noodles, and a small fruit-garnished cake for dessert.

TOKYO SKYTREE
TOKYO SKYTREE

Throughout the ride, I watched Tokyo’s nighttime cityline pass by and even caught a glimpse of Tokyo Tower! When the boat reached Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Skytree, I excitedly went to the roof. After the hearty meal, the night breeze was exceptionally refreshing. From the river, the iconic landmarks reflected in the shifting waters in a surreal fashion, and I watched other yakatabune glide across the dark river. The viewing experience was utterly hypnotizing.

Overall, the lavish meal and unique riverside perspectives completely satiated my body and mind.

Business details

Watch our adventures!

Until next time, Shinagawa City

My exploration of Shinagawa City left me satisfyingly exhausted, yet fulfilled, and I only touched the surface. The area is home to many more exciting and authentic opportunities, and it is impossible to experience them all in one day. Therefore, repeat visits are essential! Also, given the area’s close proximity to central Tokyo and its well-connected train system, Shinagawa City is highly accessible.

I hope my day in Shinagawa City inspired your trip to Tokyo. If you are looking for local vibes, contemporary art culture, preserved traditions, delicious eateries, oceanside vistas, and so much more, be sure to include Shinagawa City on your itinerary!

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