Kichijōji has earned a reputation as one of the most ‘liveable’ areas in Tokyo, and it’s no wonder. With its charming parks and variety of dining options, it is easy to see why. It’s also conveniently located not far from tourist hotspots like Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Be sure to explore the tranquil Inokashira Park, a picnic and sightseeing destination just a short walk from Kichijoji Station. While you’re there, take a swan boat ride, visit the Inokashira Benzaiten Shrine and treat yourself to a snack in the charming shops that line the path between the station and the park. For an affordable 400 JPY, you can also visit the Inokashira Park Zoo to see adorable monkeys, guinea pigs, birds and more.
This charming residential area may appear unassuming, but it is full of hidden gems, including 100-yen shops, stylish cafes, welcoming bars, budget-friendly restaurants and more. With origins dating back to the Edo period, Azabu-jūban was originally a modest fishing village. Today, it has transformed into a cosy enclave where you can explore an eclectic mix of shops and culinary delights.
Head to Azabu-jūban Shopping Street, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants ranging from traditional to contemporary, which adds to its charm. Be sure to indulge in some sweet treats – from traditional Japanese sweets such as taiyaki, mochi and dorayaki to European croissants and macaroons.
Jiyūgaoka, which translates as ‘Liberty Hill’, lives up to its name, evoking a sense of freedom as you wander its streets. Often referred to as Tokyo’s ‘Little Europe’, this delightful maze of narrow streets is lined with chic cafes, fashionable boutiques, bakeries and department stores.
This is especially exciting for Doraemon fans. As soon as you arrive at the station, you can’t help but notice that the entire design of the station is a tribute to the robot cat. Why, you ask? Well, because this station happens to be the closest to the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, a museum dedicated to the creator of Doraemon himself.
For a more artistic exploration, head to the Japan Open-air Folk House Museum on the outskirts of Kawasaki City. There’s a wealth of attractions here, from 25 meticulously preserved Edo-era buildings to Sunday workshops where you can learn crafts such as indigo dyeing and straw and bamboo weaving. The collection of preserved buildings offers a fascinating glimpse into history, with traditional farmhouses, samurai residences, merchants’ houses, post-town dwellings, fishing village houses, a shrine and even a Kabuki stage.
A book lover’s paradise, Jimbōchō boasts a rich collection of second-hand bookshops and historic publishing houses. The wide streets are lined with bookstores selling charming old prints, old books with a storied past, and woodblock posters. What sets this area apart is its diversity – as well as Japanese books, you can find English volumes, vintage calendars and even rare DC and Marvel comic books.