Ningyocho, literally means "doll town", is remains of old downtown of Edo period. The name came from the fact that there were many doll makers in the town because the "doll theater" was very popular at that time. It is now an attractive district in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, where you can enjoy Japanese traditions. So, here is must haves when you come to Ningyocho!
Take either Hibiya or Toei Asakusa subway line and get off at "Ningyocho Station".
1. Feeling "shitamachi"
Shitamachi (下町) is a downtown area of Edo period (1603~1868). There remains beautiful, traditional streets and a traditional atmosphere. You will feel as if you are in an old Japanese movie. As the other areas of Japan, Ningyocho is very clean too, so you will have a great and relaxing time just by walking around.
2. Shopping at Amazake Yokocho
Amazake Yokocho is a street with a great atmosphere. They are well-known for its many long-standing stores selling Japanese traditional crafts, sweets, and snacks. You can enjoy buying souvenirs or doing an eating tour.
3. Visiting shrines
There are 8 shrines within the little Ningyocho district. They are not very big, but the charming shrines have been cherished for centuries as they are said to bring good luck.
The most famous shrine is Suitengu shrine, which is known by many visitors who come here to pray for easy childbirth or for their children.
4. Visiting Okannonji temple
As well as the shrines, they have a temple called "Okannonji". It is also not a huge one, but it's a beautiful temple surrounded by the old stores.
5. Eating delicious food
Ningyocho is actually a mecca of authentic Japanese cuisine, as they have a bunch of old-established restaurants. There are many famous restaurants which people often line up for. You can enjoy the nostalgic interior decorations too while eating great dishes.
Here are some recommended restaurants.
Ningyocho Imahan is one of the most popular one, which is specialized in sukiyaki and shabu shabu menu. If you are a beef lover, you must try it.
Tamahide is another restaurant with a waiting line. It is the birthplace of a Japanese popular dish called "oyakodon", which is made of chicken and eggs simmered together and then topped over a bowl of rice.
6. Watching a cute puppet show in the clock
There is a huge marionette clock that performs a "puppet show" automatically every hour between noon and 7:00.
Ningyocho is such an amazing place to experience Japanese traditions in the middle of the busy city of Tokyo! You should visit and explore the town!