See the two faces of Harmonica Yokocho
2018-04-09

See the two faces of Harmonica Yokocho

Area Guide

Although it may not be as high on the tourist radar as some of Tokyo’s more central areas, Kichijoji is a fascinating neighbourhood and one of Tokyo’s most desirable areas to live. Home to a large picturesque park, cafes, restaurants, plenty of vintage and new shopping outlets and an enviable nightlife it’s one of the city’s most diverse and culturally rich areas. Spend a day or afternoon exploring everything Kichijoji has to offer.

  • Visit Inokashira Park and the Ike Isekigun

    Sitting on the northern side of the station you’ll find a small ramshackle stretch of stores and bars affectionately known as Harmonica Yokocho. Originally built as a flea market during the post-war years, it’s one of the best hidden bar hopping pockets of Tokyo. The area has two faces, making it a fascinating place to visit. During the day explore the small grocery stores and food stands that call the area home, maybe pick up a little taiyaki. Then in the evening be sure to return to embrace the lively booze soaked atmosphere that permeates through the wall of the local standing bars.

    Visit Inokashira Park and the Ike Isekigun
  • Arguably the neighborhood’s most iconic site, Inokashira Park is one of the city’s largest parks and definitely one of the most stunning, especially in spring. Sitting in the center of the park is Inokashira Pond, a long narrow body of water that stretches from north to east. What’s fascinating about the pond is the way it seems to transform with the passing seasons. In summer it’s surrounded by lush green foliage, while autumn brings with it shades of red and gold, but in spring is when it’s at its peak. Large cherry trees hang over the water weighed down by the abundant blossoms, which float onto the water surface painting the most picturesque of scenes

    Visit Inokashira Park and the Ike Isekigun
  • Beyond the pond, the park has plenty to offer, including a zoo, the small Benten Shrine and Studio Ghibli Museum. A museum dedicated to the legendary animation and art of Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli, it’s a popular tourist destination, so if you do plan on visiting it’s recommended you get your tickets well in advance.

  • Stroll down Sunroad Shotengai

    Stroll down Sunroad Shotengai
  • It’s said one of the best ways to really understand the atmosphere and local culture of Japan’s neighborhoods is to spend a little time wandering through their shotengai, and that couldn’t be truer than here at Sunroad and Daiyagai.. A shotengai is pedestrian-filled, undercover walkway typically filled with small, independent and family-run shops and the occasional chain store.

    Sitting at the north of the station is where you’ll find Sunroad shotengai. Filled with an almost untouched, retro charm the shopping strip is home to a selection of bargain food outlets and being Kichijoji an impressive selection of vintage clothing stores and other secondhand goods. Be wary of your time though, as you can easily lose an entire afternoon getting lost in the narrow pathways the weave through the area.

  • Go shopping at Atré

    Go shopping at Atré
  • If you like your shopping to be a little more modern, make your way to Atré shopping mall located inside the station. Here you’ll find a huge range of retail and food outlets covering everything from designer clothing to bento lunch boxes. The mall is pretty big, it’s separated into two wings, the East Building and the Main Building, so if you’re on the hunt for something in particular, it pays to check out the map and plan a little in advance.

  • See the two faces of Harmonica Yokocho

    See the two faces of Harmonica Yokocho
  • Sitting on the northern side of the station you’ll find a small ramshackle stretch of stores and bars affectionately known as Harmonica Yokocho. Originally built as a flea market during the post-war years, it’s one of the best hidden bar hopping pockets of Tokyo. The area has two faces, making it a fascinating place to visit. During the day explore the small grocery stores and food stands that call the area home, maybe pick up a little taiyaki. Then in the evening be sure to return to embrace the lively booze soaked atmosphere that permeates through the wall of the local standing bars

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