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Tokyo/Suginami

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Tokyo : Suginami
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Suginami (杉並) is in Tokyo, west of Shinjuku.

Understand[edit]

Suginami is mostly a residential area which will provide a great view of real Japanese living in Tokyo. The area's main points of interest are the clothing shops and nightspots of Kōenji (高円寺) and the antique shops of Ogikubo (荻窪) and Nishi-Ogikubo (西荻窪).

Get in[edit]

JR Chuo Line and the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line both connect Shinjuku to Ogikubo. Also JR Chuo line, JR Chuo Sobu line and Tokyo Metro Tozai line you can go to Kōenji, Asagaya, Ogikubo and Nishi-Ogikubo. Be careful! During weekends and holidays Rapid service on JR Chuo line does not stop at Kōenji, Asagaya and Nishi-Ogikubo.

Ōme Kaidō (青梅街道) is a main street which connects Shinjuku to the western burbs, running through Kōenji and Ogikubo. Straight down Ōme Kaidō, Kōenji is a ten minute drive, 45 minute walk or ¥1600 taxi from Shinjuku Station.

See[edit][add listing]

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  • Suginami Historical Museum (杉並区立郷土博物館), 1−20−8 Omiya, Suginami-ku (Near Wadabori Park), 03-3317-0841, [1]. 9AM–5PM, Closed Mon. It is small but has some interesting findings from the prehistoric and historic times. ¥100.  edit
  • Myōshōji Temple (妙正寺), 3-5-10 Shimizu, Suginami-ku, 03-3399-6076, [2]. Myoshoji Temple built in 1325. However, the original temple is no longer intact and the current temple was rebuilt in 1646. Myoshoji Park and river are named after this temple.  edit
  • Myoshoji River. The Myoshoji river is near Myoshoji temple. This river starts from Myoshoji pond in Myoshoji park. This river eventually meets the Kanda River. There are cherry trees along this river, making it a nice place for hanami in spring.  edit
  • Myoshoji Park (妙正寺公園), 3-21-21 Shimizu, Suginami-ku, 03-3312-2111, [3]. This big 12,444 sq. meter park has a quiet atmosphere as well as nice cherry blossoms and camellias. The center point of Myoshoji Park is the Myoshoji Pond, with a fountain in the middle and lots of waterfowl swimming.  edit
  • Suginami Public Hall ("杉並公会堂,), [4]. A public concert hall for around 300 people. Holds periodic musical and other performances (see website).  edit
  • Suginami Animation Museum ("杉並アニメーションミュージアム" address="3295,), [5]. 10AM–6PM, Closed Mon. Offers the history of Japanese animation, describes the principles and explains how animation is made, and gives forecasts on its future. With digital workshops, exhibitions, theater, and library. Free.  edit
  • Omiya Hachimangu Shrine (大宮八幡宮), 2-3-1 Omiya, Suginami-ku, 03-3311-0105, [6]. 10AM~5PM. This is a shrine in Omiya, built in 1053. Many people call it the "Navel of Tokyo" because it lies in the center of Tokyo. It is said in particular that people go to pray for an easy child delivery in pregnancy. It's also a nice cherry blossom spot.  edit
  • Zenpukuji Park, 3-9-10 Zenpukuzi, Suginami-ku, 03-3396-0825, [7]. This park is near Tokyo Women's Christian University. There is a lot of greenery and it is well-known for water lilies in the pond in June. Also has boat rentals.  edit
  • Shōan Inari Shrine(松庵稲荷神社) is a shrine which was built in 1934. It is located along the Itsukaichi Street. They have summer festivals and every fall, they distribute sweet potatoes which were harvested in fields nearby, and baked in the precincts of the shrine. They also have a little shrine on the left side of its torii, which offer prayers for a mummy of a fox.
  • Shōan Inari Shrine (松庵稲荷神社), 3-10-3 Shoan, Suginami-ku, 03-3332-4856. A shrine which was built in 1934 and located along Itsukaichi Street. They have summer festivals, and every fall they distribute sweet potatoes which were harvested in fields nearby, and baked in the precincts of the shrine. They also have a little shrine on the left side of its torii, where prayers are offered to a mummified fox. Free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Kōenji (高円寺). A district that has many used clothing and other shops and restaurants, as well as "live houses" where bands play all genres of music. After the war many temples and shrines were moved here and now there are many walking tours to visit them.  edit
  • Tokyo Kōenji Awa Odori (阿波おどり), [8]. The Tokyo Kōenji Awa Odori is held yearly on the last Saturday and Sunday in August. About 1.2 million people show up to eat, drink and watch 188 groups (or 12,000 dancers) perform the Awa dance to lively music and parade through the nine routes set up along the Shotengai station-front street. It is the second largest Awa Odori festival in Japan, after Tokushima.  edit
  • Wadabori Park (和田堀公園), 2 Chome-23 Omiya, Suginami-ku, 03-3313-4247, [9]. is a large park in Omiya that runs along Zenpukuji River. It is a popular place for groups and families to barbecue. There is a small pond, restaurant, and fishing tanks. There is also a children's park for bicycle training in a safe area with street signs and traffic signals. There is a traditional thatched roof house near the park as well. Kingfishers have their habitats in this area which is very rare in a city. It's a fifteen minute walk from Nishieifuku Station on the Keio Inokashira Line, parking facilities available.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Kōenji has a long shōtengai that is well-known for its vintage clothing and bohemian-style shops. It more or less begins adjacent to Kōenji Station and runs up to Ome-Kaido (Ome Highway) and Shin-Kōenji Station. It is composed of two sections: Pal Shopping Mall [17] and Kōenji Look [18].

Nishi-Ogikubo (西荻窪), one station down from Ogikubo, has a good selection of antique (骨董 kottō) shops with reasonable prices, but they're scattered over a fairly large area. Ask at the station for a map.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Baan-Esan, 2F Mitsuwa Kaikan, 3-33-15 Kita Koenji, Suginami-ku, 03-5327-3629. 5PM-3AM. A trip to Thailand just a minute's stroll from Koenji Station's south exit. Located on the Koenji shotengai, they serve good-sized portions of traditional Thai food but not at Tokyo prices. Most dishes are ¥580 and great for sharing. The service is less than stellar, but the Thai woman in charge of the kitchen makes the wait worth it.  edit
  • Miyagawa (みやがわ), (About twenty meters past the 2nd Taishō, adjacent to the tracks just west of the south exit). Another yakitori-ya. It is small but has outdoor seating for about eight, and is arguably some of the best yakitori you can find. Decorated with rock and blues paraphernalia spanning from the 1940s, it's got friendly staff, good prices and great food. Miyagawa has a 40 year history, the current owner took it over from his father.  edit
  • Taishō (やきとり大衆酒場 大将), 4-27-10 Koenjiminami, Suginami-ku (Right across from Kōenji Stn south exit), 03-3312-1047. A popular open-air yakitori restaurant. Cheap and good, it's crowded late into the night with the young and old working on tomorrow's hangover. Just look for the big red sign and tables made from milk crates. Two other locations of Taishō are also near the station: one about 100 meters west of the station adjacent to the train tracks out the same exit, and another about two blocks straight north of the north exit.  edit
  • Ebisu Yakitori, 3-11-5 Nishiogiminami, Suginami-ku (1 min walk from JR Nishi-Ogikubo Stn), 03-3332-2955, [10]. 1PM-12:30AM. Don't let the glitzy photos on the website fool you. This branch consists of a sometimes changing string of tiny storefronts, kiosks, and rickety tables in the alley running west from the south exit of the station. Get ready for a raucous and very crowded and chaotic but fun experience. Per piece fromas low as ¥90.  edit
  • Harukiya (春木屋), 1-4-6 Ogikubo, Suginami-ku, 03-3391-4868, [11]. 11AM-9PM. A great place to get authentic Tokyo-style Shoyu Ramen in the part of Tokyo where it started.  edit
  • Echigo Tsuruya (越後鶴屋), 3-38-20 Shoan, Suginami-ku, 03-3335-0450, [12]. 9AM–6PM, Closed Mon. Makes a rice cake (おもち Omochi) in Nishiogikubo which is popular among the locals, with some famous people also visiting there frequently. It is famous for a Japanese sweet called Ichigo-Daifuku(いちご大福), where they wrap strawberries and red bean paste with rice cake. They use sugar called Wasanbon which is made by the Japanese method of making sugar. Products which are made for each season or festivals are also famous.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • B-Glad (ビーグラッド), 2-16-13 Koenjiminami, Suginami-ku, 8PM–5AM. A large restaurant-bar just north of the intersection of Ome-Kaido and the main street leading to Kōenji Station. The menu is a blend of Japanese and Western dishes (pasta, salad, pizza, yakitori) ranging from ¥450-1200. Located in the basement, it's extremely spacious by Japan standards, with comfortable seating, free billiards, and two electronic dart boards. Highballs are ¥550 and beer ¥600. Very friendly staff and 50s music.  edit
  • Bar Rumhead (バー ラムヘッド), 3-11-10 2F Nishiogiminami, Suginami-ku, 03-3333-8009, [13]. 6PM-2AM, Sun 5PM-11PM. Rumhead is a nice small Caribbean oriented bar located near the Nishi-Ogikubo Station, with countless brands of rum. Nice Caribbean music from the 1960s and 70s. ¥600~.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • The Koenji Guest House, 2F,3F 3-22-2 Koenjikita, Suginami-ku (1 min walk from Koenji Stn on the Chou Line), 080-3416-9048, [14]. The place has 7 rooms (4 single and 3 double) all efficiently laid out. There may be noise from nearby bars on weekends. ¥2500.  edit
  • Koenji Junjo Hotel (高円寺純情ホテル), 4-40-20 Koenjiminami, Suginami-ku (2 min walk east of Koenji Stn), 03-5929-7581, [15]. checkin: 15; checkout: 12. A guest house opened in 2018 with wood panelled interiors and using Japanese futon. Has five rooms (two singles, two doubles and one triple). With free wi-fi and AC. ¥5500~.  edit
  • Hotel Ark Tower Koenji (ホテルアークタワー高円寺), 2-4-3 Koenjikita, Suginami-ku (Next to Koenji Stn), 03-3310-5111, [16]. checkin: 15; checkout: 11. Offers a slightly larger single room (about 12 sq. meters) with free mineral water and wi-fi. With optional ¥800 breakfast ¥7700~.  edit


Routes through Tokyo/Suginami
NagoyaTachikawa  W noframe E  Tokyo/NakanoTokyo
Mitaka  W noframe E  Tokyo/NakanoTokyo/Shinjuku



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