Kichijoji is located in the west of Tokyo and is viewed as one of the trendiest parts of the capital. Most famed for its expansive Inokashira Park, the town is also an artist’s wonderland with unique arts and crafts available on every street corner. Much quieter than central Tokyo, Kichijoji is just one 15-minute train ride away from both Shibuya and Shinjuku, giving you direct access to a whole new side of Tokyo. While home to the renowned Inokashira Park and Ghibli Museum, there are plenty of things of the beaten track to discover in this quirky district, so take a look at these 30 must-dos!
Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets that can come in many forms but are most commonly made from mochi (餅; a sweet soft rice cake) and anko (餡子; azuki bean paste). Very different to western sweets, wagashi are surprisingly delicious and a new experience for your taste buds.
Have a go at making your own in a local’s house then, once your sweets are all ready to eat, slip next door to a traditional tea room. Tea rooms are special square rooms designed specifically for tea ceremonies. Watch the preparation of matcha green tea before being served up a nice warm cup of it for the perfect accompaniment to your wagashi.
Booking details: Try Wagashi (Japanese confectionery) making & Matcha, Tokyo
There are relaxing hot baths all over Japan but if you want to get the healing qualities to go with it, you’ll need to visit a natural hot spring – an onsen. With just a few real onsen in Tokyo, it can be hard to search out the ones that use naturally mineral-rich water. Kichijoji’s black water onsen contains minerals said to give your body a good detox, leaving your skin and your mind nice and fresh.
It’s good to fill up on a nice healthy Japanese meal after chilling out in the onsen to finish off your relaxing day. Little tip – Remember to take your jewellery off before getting in the baths and don’t put your head under water!
Booking details: Go to a Popular Hot Spring near Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo
Traditional Japanese flower arranging, known as ikebana in Japanese, has been around since the 7th century. Ikebana isn’t just about throwing some flowers into a vase, it’s seen as an art form and spiritual practice that focuses on reflecting the balance between humanity and nature.
Visit an old Japanese house to learn more about the history and techniques of ikebana before being guided through the process of creating your own perfect arrangement.
Booking details: Experience Ikebana in Tokyo!
Located a little outside of Tokyo, Kichijoji’s main draw for tourists is its beautiful Inokashira Park. However, wander the little back streets away from the park and you’ll find yourself away from the visitors and mingling with the locals. Go on an adventure through Kichijoji’s street dedicated to harmonicas, visit temples, a hot spring and of course don’t miss out on its beautiful park with a local walking tour of the area.
Booking details: Pop Round & Check Out the Best “Blind Alley” of Tokyo!
Typically the samurai would perform a dance before going into battle. In Kichijoji, you can have the chance to watch a performance of the traditional samurai dance which involves moving around stealthily with a sword. After getting an insight in the style, you can then dress up yourself and learn some samurai moves yourself!
Booking details: 10% OFF Dress up like a samurai & enjoy samurai dance, Tokyo
Let’s not lie, one of the main things that has brought us to Japan is the irresistible food. While you’re here, you want to make the most of all the Japanese cuisine that just isn’t the same back home. Exploring all the restaurants will, of course, keep your bellies full and happy for most of your stay but how about learning a bit of Japanese cooking yourself?
A three-hour cooking class in Kichijoji will teach you some of the best home-cooked dishes. Have a go at whipping up some sushi rolls, tempura, okonomiyaki (Japanese omelette), miso soup and teriyaki chicken.
Booking details: Experience Japanese home style cooking class in Kichijoji
I’m sure you’re all familiar with origami which is the artistic folding of paper into 3D objects. Now, imagine the beautiful folding of material and you’ve got yourself furoshiki wrapping. Furoshiki is a piece of square piece of cloth often finished off with a beautiful Japanese design. Furoshiki cloth can be used to wrap up all sorts of objects, from books, tissues and wines.
Learn how to wrap things in this unique and beautiful way. This is the perfect (environmentally-friendly) way of wrapping the gifts you take home.
Booking details: 25% OFF Join a furoshiki wrapping workshop
This one hundred-year-old-park is one of the main attractions of Kichijoji and very popular as a “hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) spot. The river of the same name used to be the local area’ main water supply until a better system was put in place in 1898.
This lovely green area is the perfect place for a picnic, a stroll, or to simply relax after a day of shopping. It’s one of Tokyo’s nicest parks.
If you’re looking for great shopping without the crowds of Harajuku and Shibuya, you don’t even have to leave the station! Kichijoji is home to a variety of shops and department stores, so if you’re there for the shopping, you may not have to go very far at all right after you arrive.
This underrated temple is a serene slice of peace amidst the shopping frenzy. Snap some pictures of this relatively little-visited place with its immaculate architecture.
If you’re a fan of live jazz, Sometime is unmissable for visitors to Kichijoji. This piano bar pulls in a crowd every night of the week with live performances and great food. Be sure to check it out if you’re in Kichijoji for the evening.
Famous cat cafes in districts such as Akihabara and Shinjuku tend to get crowded really quickly, but there is also a nice cat cafe in Kichijoji! Pet cats and drink coffee at Carico Cat Cafe, a heaven for feline lovers!
Kichijoji’s Yokocho is a group of alleys overflowing with bars and small shops, and a great place to explore in the evening. It’s not only home to restaurants and bars, but also souvenir shops, salons, and even fortune tellers! If you have a couple of hours to spare, spend it walking around this interesting alley and see what adventures you come across.
This cool shop is built in a garage style with a Volkswagen bus in the front. All of their freshly-baked pizzas are just 500 yen, and as the restaurant is family-run, it’s pretty friendly and quirky! If you’re in the mood for pizza, definitely check this store out.
* day 213 ぴーたーくん編② * うさぎのランチボックス🎶 このようにして、うさぎを詰めております😀 * 2枚目は、ぴーたーくんソロ。 なんとなく、よくファッション誌とかである「待合せ中の彼女がこっちに気づいた瞬間」みたいじゃないですか？！(設定細かめ笑) * さて、今日はストーリーにあげた通り、動物病院に初めて連れて行きました🏥夜間の緊急時も対応してくれるので、一度は行ってみたいと思っていたのです🌃 * 歯やお腹、●を看てもらい、健康にはお墨付きをいただきました🙆歩いていけるし、取り合えず、こちらにお世話になろうと思います☺️ * 先生からはキャリーから出たぴょんを見て「君ちっちゃいねー！」って言われました(最近、言われ慣れた笑)。やはり小さいのか。。。 * 昨夜アドバイスくれたうさ友さん達、ありがとう🙆🎶お金も全然足りましたー💰 * 帰りは、先日、自宅の近くで見つけた目立たない小さな芝の生えた公園で30分くらい#うさんぽ して帰りました🐰 * うさんぽ中、通りがかりの、おばぁちゃんと、おじさんが寄ってきて、可愛いねーと撫でてくれました💡大人でも話しかけてくる人、いるもんですね🙄
Most people think of Ueno when it comes to zoos in Tokyo, but there is also a small place to see animals in Kichijoji! It’s slightly different from a regular zoo because it mostly exhibits local wildlife and tropical birds, not larger and more exotic animals. It’s more like a petting zoo, where you can also hold guinea pigs and rabbits. Nearby, there is also a sculpture museum, a small library, and a botanical garden.
Sunroad is a shopping street and arcade, perfect for families and those looking to do some souvenir shopping. It’s also good on a rainy day as most of the street is under a roof.
Ever heard of Japanese manga cafes? If you find that you’d like to relax without leaving Kichijoji, bad weather spoils your plans, or you missed the last train, a manga cafe, also sometimes called an internet cafe, is a perfect place to sit, use the internet, read, and enjoy a beverage. Media Cafe Popeye offers private booths and shared areas for you to use the internet and take a time out. It’s open 24 hours a day.
This small temple was founded in 1663 and is located right next to Sunroad. It’s a great place to find a little tranquility among the crowd. It gets really beautiful in the springtime with the blooming cherry blossoms and there are also gravestones and statues to see along the road leading to this holy building. The bon odori, or dancing festival, also takes place here every summer.
Those looking to relax with some local craft beer are in luck! At Craft Beer Market, you can try beer from a menu that is always changing, as well as some tasty food items such as dumplins, mabo-dofu, sausages, and chicken. This hip bar has an informal and friendly vibe, so be sure to make a stop here.
— 山野楽器 サウンドクルー吉祥寺 (@SCrew_kichijoji) November 19, 2017
Are you a guitarist or interested in learning to play a musical instrument? Sound Crew in Kichijoji has an impressive collection of guitars, keyboards, saxophones, and music CDs, every musician’s dream! It might even be a good place to grab a few music-related accessories as souvenirs.
If you’ve seen Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, you may remember that Chihiro crosses a river to reach the spirit world. The river and bridge that inspired this magic moment of the movie is in Kichijoji, so be sure to check it out while you are in Inokashira Park.
Tokyo is known for its futuristic gadgets, and Kichijoji is no exception when it comes to great stores to check out computer accoessries, household items, video games, and more. Be sure to visit the area’s Yodobashi Camera and Yamada Denki, both of which have a good selection of electronic goods that’ll keep gadget lovers entertained!
— 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 (@GhibliML) July 8, 2017
Fans of Studio Ghibli can’t miss this! Just past Inokashira Park is the Studio Ghibli Museum where you can see models from the movies, browse for merchandise, and eat themed food. It’s a lovely trip for Ghibli fans on a rainy day.
Grabbing souvenirs is an important part of your trip, and Kichijoji has a lot of unique and cool souvenirs that you’ll love. Visit shopping streets such as Sunroad and Harmonica Yokocho and keep an eye out for local goodies that would make great gifts. Yuzawaya Department Store also has a good selection of souvenirs.
It’s easy enough to see a movie in Japan if you don’t speak Japanese. As long as the movie was originally in English, just ask for “jimaku” (subtitles).
Catching a movie is a great idea if your plans were spoiled by rain or you’d like to sit down and relax for a while. Going to the cinema in Japan is quite exciting because, unlike most other countries, you can buy beer, chicken, and even curry to eat while you watch the film. In Kichijoji, there are several cinemas including Kichijoji Toa Kogyo, Baus Theater, and the Kichijoji Plaza.
If you’re a temple and shrine enthusiast, then why not visit the six temples and seven shrines around Kichijoji to pray for good luck to each of the gods? You can take your own personal board with you to collect a stamp at every stop and see some beautiful Japanese architecture. Check out the link below for an itinerary!
Ever wanted to try karaoke, one of Japan’s most loved pastimes? In karaoke booths, you can rent a room just for yourself and your group, and there are plenty of songs to try including Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese. There are also songs in Tagalog and other languages.
Be sure to try it while you’re in Japan! Karaoke is cheapest in the daytime, but there are also sets that include alcoholic drinks if you want to make a night of it. Karaoke buildings in Kichijoji include Karaoke Ban Ban, Big Echo, and Karaoke Room Uta Hiroba.
For a pleasant look at art in a gallery, visit the Kichijoji Art Museum. Here, you’ll see photographs and paintings collected from various artists and interesting sculptures, and there are interactive activities available, too, such as workshops. This is perfect if you’re in the mood for a quiet walk around a gallery admiring beautiful artworks.
Considered to be one of the best internet cafes in Tokyo, Gran Bagus Cyber Cafe does not only offer internet usage and manga comics, but also party rooms, luxury karaoke, darts, billiards, and simulation golf! You can have fun for hours in this place!
Gadgets and souvenirs are good, but is there anywhere in Kichijoji to get clothes and shoes? The answer is yes! This great district is home to some department stores, including shops mentioned earlier in Kichijoji Station and additional ones such as Parco. Shopaholics will never get bored in Kichijoji, a great place to shop without the crowds of central Tokyo.
This little trip out of central Tokyo is sure to provide you with an enriching local experience that will leave you feeling like you’ve seen another side of Tokyo. As well as seeing the popular sights, come away feeling like you know that little bit more about Japan and its fascinating culture!