Kichijoji Tokyo Japan
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Explore Kichijoji in Tokyo – Full Area Guide You Have To Read!

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September 23, 2020

This quaint suburb right in the midst of bustling Tokyo is considered a diamond in the rough. Whilst it is surrounded by towering neighbours, Kichijoji still maintains a friendly neighbourhood vibe. This may be the reason why locals regularly vote it as one of the most desirable suburbs to live in Tokyo.

Kichijoji is where you’d want to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s where you imagine taking a leisurely stroll under the afternoon sun. It’s where you’ll most likely come across couples going on romantic dates by the lakeside. It’s also got some of the best coffees in Tokyo (apparently!).

Take a break from the high-density cities and spend a day in this leafy town. We’ve curated a spectacular list of activities and foodie hotspots for you below. Read on and start building that itinerary!

The Best Things to Do in Kichijoji

Stroll Around Inokashira Park

Kichijoji Tokyo - Inokashira Park 1

Locals will generally refer to Inokashira Park as the symbol of Kichijoji. This expansive park is home to a picturesque pond. It’s also lined with many sakura trees which makes it a popular spot during the spring season.

Aside from strolling around the park, there are plenty of activities to participate in here. One of the most popular includes renting a giant swan boat and paddling out onto the lake with your loved one. This is probably the number one date option here!

Kichijoji Tokyo - Inokashira Park 1

Aside from that, you can spot people of different ages here simply enjoying the sun and foliage here. People watching, sipping on coffee, and picnics are incredibly common. Like you can see, it’s one of the best spots to see Sakura in Tokyo!

Address: 1 Chome-18-31 Gotenyama, Tokyo 180-0005, Japan

Visit the Studio Ghibli Museum

Kichijoji Tokyo - Studio Ghibli Museum 2

For the many Studio Ghibli fanatics out there, the Studio Ghibli Museum is a great way to admire some of Hayao Miyazaki’s greatest works. Photography is not allowed inside the museum itself, but you’ll forget all about your camera when you set eyes on the magical world inside. There is even a short film shown at the theatre of the museum that will display something you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Kichijoji Tokyo - Studio Ghibli Museum 2

It’s geared more towards the younger crowd but let’s be honest, Studio Ghibli has touched the hearts of people of all ages.

Book your tickets to Ghibli Museum here >>

Harmonica Yokocho

 

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Have you heard of yokochos? They literally translate to alleyways off of a main street, and there are plenty of them in Japan! They’re usually filled with small yakitoris, bars and cozy restaurants.

Harmonica Yokocho is situated outside of Kichijoji Station and is quite a hidden gem. Most people will make their way to Omoide Yokocho which is in the bustling Shinjuku. For those visiting Kochijoji, Harmonica Yokocho is just as great of a yokocho experience!

Kichijoji Tokyo - Harmonica Yokocho

Like many yokochos, it is tame and usually quiet during the day but it completely transforms at night. As the sun sets, lanterns will slowly begin to light up along the alley way, signifying the start of the day for some!

This yokocho is extremely popular for after-work drinks and conversational dinners. We highly recommend that you restaurant-hop to fill your stomach, and then bar-hop for the full experience! You’ll be rubbing shoulders with salarymen as you make your way down the alleyways, and who knows, maybe you’ll make some new friends too.

Musashino Hachimangu Shrine

Kichijoji Tokyo - Musashino Hachimangu Shrine

What is a visit to a Japanese city without a visit to the local shrine? The Musashino Hachimangu shrine located in Kichijoji is a particularly special one. According to the locals, this is where you would go to completely refresh yourself.

Kichijoji Tokyo - Musashino Hachimangu Shrine

If Inokashira Park is not ‘green’ enough, a quiet stroll through this shrine should put you at peace. Unlike the city it’s situated within, this place looks and feels secluded and intimate. We recommend heading here after a full day of exploration to reflect and wind down.

The Best Cafes in Kichijoji

Colonial Garden

Colonial Garden Kichijoji

This European-inspired cafe is one of the best spots for Instagram. It’s situated in a colonial-style building, surrounded by towering trees. With big glass windows that let in lots of sunlight, it’s simply breathtaking.

There is an extensive menu here which offers everything from jiggly Japanese souffle pancakes to perfectly cooked steaks. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with impeccably dressed families and social media influencers here!

Kooriya Peace

Kooriya Peace

If you’re visiting Japan in summer, you absolutely cannot leave without trying kakigori first. Kakigori is essentially shaved ice dessert – but the Japanese way. Unlike its western counterpart, it’s super light and fluffy with an abundance of flavors to choose from.

At Kooriya Place, you have some pretty elite options. They include strawberry and cheese or even pumpkin and black sesame! Don’t be alarmed by the size. You will definitely want one for each person!

The Original PANCAKE HOUSE

The Original PANCAKE HOUSE Kichijoji

If you haven’t had Japanese pancakes before, you’re missing out! These souffle concoctions taste like what dreams are made of.

They’re super light and fluffy and always aesthetically pleasing. Their bestseller is topped with bananas, berries and maple syrup, but you can choose other toppings as well. Other items to check out here include their famous Dutch baby pancakes which are concave pancakes baked in the oven.

Blue Sky Coffee

Blue Sky Coffee Kichijoji

This adorable cafe is located in the heart of Inokashira Park. It was originally an old house that was renovated into the charming little coffee kiosk that it is today. It’s surrounded by tall trees and beautiful foliage. The theme of nature is evident throughout the cafe with leafy archways and lots of sunlight.

Blue Sky Coffee Kichijoji

In winter, hot wine is on the menu, and in summer, coffee is always hot off the roaster. It’s the perfect coffee shop to grab a pick-me-up, rest under the shade of the trees, and breath in the refreshing smell of nature.

The Best Restaurant in Kichijoji

Chinchintei

Chinchintei Kichijoji

Chinchintei is home to abura soba aka soup-less ramen. If you haven’t heard of this classic Tokyo dish before, you are missing out! Imaging springy noodles topped with fresh simple ingredients such as spring onion, char-shu pork slices, bamboo, and an onsen egg. At Chinchintei, this dish will be absolutely soaked in meat-infused oil for that extra umami.

It’s like ramen but without the boiling soup that comes with it. If you’ve found that you get quite bloated after a bowl of classic ramen, this is an excellent alternative. It looks quite basic on the outside but this place is an institution. There are generally lines of locals and curious tourists here. Expect to wait a little while for this bowl of paradise – it’s absolutely worth it!

Yakitori Tetchan

Yakitori Tetchan

If you’re planning to visit Harmonica Yokocho, head to Tetchan for the first bite! This hole in the wall is tucked deep inside the maze of restaurants and bars. It’s a favourite amongst the locals as well as tourists for its delicious classic recipes and funky interiors

Don’t forget to give some of the drinks on the menu and go! They mix the classics with new-era and you’ll be surprised just how strong their pours are!

Kichijoji Steak House Satou

Kichijoji Steak House Satou 1

If anyone knows how to do steak properly, it would be the Japanese. The Kichijoji Steak House Satou is a testament to this statement. The delicious aroma of garlic and beef will fill the air even before you step foot into this restaurant. Here, expect to savour delicious Matsusaka wagyu meals which can begin from 4,000 yen. They absolutely pack it on here!

Kichijoji Steak House Satou 1

Another reason why they’re so popular is because of the menchikatsu (fried patties) they sell from their ground floor deli. There’s always a line of people waiting here, and for good reason. To make the most of it, we recommend trying the fried patties first before heading inside for the real deal.

On the surface, Kichijoji may look like just another Japanese city. If you look closer, you will see that there are many gems within this stunning area of Tokyo that is begging to be explored. Wind up at the museum and wind down at the park.

Grab a coffee in between paddling boats and exploring shrines. Have souffle for breakfast, snack on fried patties in between meals, smash a bowl of soup-less ramen for lunch, and settle down for some epic wagyu for dinner. At Kichijoji, you can have it all!

If you are looking for other nice neighbourhoods to visit in Tokyo, make sure to also check out Shimokitazawa, Sangenjaya and Yanesen.

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