Enjoy Tokyo like a local


Voted as Tokyo’s most livable area for an impressive seven years in a row, Kichijoji is the kind of place you can leave your inhibitions behind and embrace your casual self.

The streets are full of cafes, restaurants and shops just like in Shinjuku or Shibuya, but without the hustle and bustle. Instead, the pleasant Inokashira park, which is a popular destination for cherry blossom viewing during spring is on a short walking distance from the station.

From savoring Tokyo’s most popular menchi-katsu (fried minced meat) to enjoying live performances at homey jazz-kissa (jazz cafes), Kichijoji has something for everyone.

The Sunroad shopping street boasts countless budget stores from drugstores to shoe retailers ideal for (window) shopping. The narrow alleys of Harmonica-cho are a holy ground for those that seek for cozy local restaurants and bars with a retro flare that transports you back to simpler times. Chic cafes and fancy shops can be found on the way to Inokashira Park where locals and tourists alike enjoy their day by taking a refreshing stroll.

Whatever your objective may be, Kichijoji will have numerous options for it with its classic, yet contemporary charm that spans many eras and defies everything conventional.

Inokashira Park

A Day in Inokashira Park, Kichijoji

The four seasons of Japan are on full display in Inokashira Park, which is the next stop of Kichijoji station. This charming park is beloved by locals and visitors alike for not only its sheer number of unique attractions, but for its striking natural beauty and inviting charm. But one of its most beloved star attractions is its lush cherry blossom trees which come alive in springtime and cascade over the ponds.

A Relaxing Ride in Inokashira Park Peddle Boats

Peddale boat at Inokashira Park

For a romantic date, the Inokashira Park offers the opportunity to peddle boats on its central pond. The rental fee for a normal boat is 600 yen, but for an additional 100 yen you can upgrade it to a beautiful swan boat.

For a romantic date, the Inokashira Park offers the opportunity to peddle boats on its central pond. The rental fee for a normal boat is 600 yen, but for an additional 100 yen you can upgrade it to a beautiful swan boat.

A small advise to young gentlemen: don’t be stingy and impress your date by going for the swan boat!

However, be careful as there are rumors that this date could mean the end of your relationship. Benzaiten, a god enshrined at the nearby shrine apparently gets jealous at all the happy couples once in a while and puts a curse on them! Even if this is pure superstition, is your relationship strong enough to overcome it!?


More Activities in Inokashira Park, Kichijoji

Inokashira Park

The park also houses an aquatic life park, a sculpture museum, an amusement park, and a zoo. With more than 170 species living in the zoo, there is no shortage of exotic animals to visit. Notably, the zoo was home to Japan’s oldest and most famous elephant, Hanako, who comfortably spent 69 years at zoos in Japan ever since she was sent to Japan at the age of 2 from Thailand as a gift in 1949. She broke the longevity record in Japan and passed away in May 2016, but her lasting memory lives on strongly with odes to her life adorning the zoo and park.

Poignantly, seasonal flowers are always on full display in the Wild Grass Garden, Camelia Garden, and Japanese Garden. Inokashira Pond is a big draw for bird watchers who come see the water-bird exhibit. The impressive pond’s seven springs supplied Kanda Waterworks with drinking water for the whole of Tokyo during the Edo era. The most famous spring of which is known as Ochanomizu, of which the Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu held in regard as the very finest drinking water and ideal for making the perfect cup of tea.

Kichijoji Station
Access: Kichijoji Station (JR Lines and Inokashira Line) can be reached within 20 minutes by train from Shinjuku or Shibuya