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Kichijoji - Top 10 Places To Visit, From Inokashira Park To Ghibli Museum!


Translated by Greg

Written by 五月女菜穂


Kichijoji is a popular neighborhood that consistently places high on a local survey ranking the most desirable places to live in Tokyo. Today we introduce the top 10 places to visit here, including lush green Inokashira Park, cafes, and charming shops.

Kichijoji - A Town Bustling with Visitors All Year Long

Kichijoji is a highly popular area in Tokyo, and ranks as one of the most desirable place to live in the city, placing at the top of a survey conducted by a real estate company.

Located on the south side of Kichijoji Station is Inokashira Park, the symbol of Kichijoji. In 2017 Inokashira Park welcomed its 100th anniversary, and in particular with the arrival of spring, the park becomes lively with many visitors enjoying the cherry blossoms.

Another highlight is the area's full lineup of sophisticated cafes and shops. As you leisurely stroll around this town you'll be sure to find shops that appeal to you the most.

The writer of this article was actually born in Kichijoji. When I went shopping with my family or went out with friends, it was almost always in the Kichijoji area.

In this article I'll introduce 10 places that you should if you are in Kichijoji.

1. Peddle a Boat in Inokashira Park


Inokashira Municipal Onshi Park is usually simply called Inokashira Park. Just five minutes on foot from JR Kichijoji Station, Inokashira Park is loved as a park with an abundance of greenery by both visitors and locals alike.

Located inside the park is Inokashira Pond. Here you can enjoy a ride on different kinds of boats including the popular swan boat. On weekends and holidays it's bustling with families and couples.

In addition, there's a zoo, outdoor stage, and cafes, so you can spend an entire day just relaxing and walking around.

I also come to the park every year to enjoy hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. For me, the park is a place where I can relax and be at ease.

Municipal Inokashira Park
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Gotenyama 1-18-31 (Information Center) Google Map
Access: 5 minutes on foot from the south exit or park exit of JR Kichijoji Station. 1 minute on foot from the exit of Inokashira Station (Keio Inokashira Line).
Official homepage: Inokashira Park

2. Enjoy a Glass of Sake at Harmonica Alley


Picture from Harmonica Alley, A Kichijoji Landmark: Have Fun Getting Lost!

Harmonica Alley is located just one minute on foot from the north exit of Kichijoji Station. This is a narrow back alley packed with shops lined up side by side, resembling the mouthpiece of a harmonica, which is the origin for the name "Harmonica Alley."

The alley is full of sophisticated and unique eating and drinking establishments, like Harmonica Kitchen, a long standing restaurant and bar, Eihire, a shop boasting delicious sake and fish dishes, and Poyo, a shop specializing in tasty roast chicken.

During the day this is an enjoyable place to go for a walk, but in the evening it becomes even more lively and takes on a different atmosphere.
Exploring the shops and sampling local drinks just like sake enthusiasts and experts do is a great way to enjoy Harmonica Alley.

Harmonica Alley
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Honcho 1 chome Google Map
Access: 1 minute from the north exit of Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: Harmonica Alley (Japanese)

3. Experience the World of Animation at Ghibli Museum


Picture from Going Back To Childhood - A Visit To The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Ghibli Museum, located on the grounds of Inokashira Park, is a place where you will encounter the world of Studio Ghibli, the animation studio famous around the globe.

Characters from famous productions such as "My Neighbor Totoro," and "LAPUTA: Castle in the Sky," are on display at the museum. There's also an area showing you the film locations for many of the films, as well as an adjoining cafe.

Ghibli Museum incorporates all kinds of unique ideas here, making this an amusing spot for both adults and children.

Please be aware that tickets are sold by advance reservation only. Same day tickets are not on sale, and tickets are not sold directly at the museum.

For more details on how you can buy your tickets, refer to this article: The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka - Information on Booking Tickets and Access.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
Address: Tokyo, Mitaka, Shimorenjaku 1-1-83 (Inokashira Park-west side) Google Map
Access: 15 minutes on foot from the south exit of Mitaka Station (JR Chuo Line), or take a community bus (fare required) headed to the museum from the same south exit.
Official homepage: Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

4. Have Fun Shopping at Sunroad Shopping Arcade


Picture from 7 Shopping Spots in Kichijōji, Everyone's Favorite Town

Sunroad Shopping Arcade, one of Kichijoji's main streets, is located directly outside the north exit of Kichijoji Station. The arcade is lined with 150 shops, including fast food chains, ramen shops, shoe stores, drug stores, and supermarkets.

The arcade is regularly visited by many local shoppers.

The Kichijoji area also has many commercial facilities and department stores including Atre Kichijoji, which is directly connected to the station, and Kirarina Keio Kichijoji, which opened in 2014.
People who like shopping won't be able to get enough of this place!

Sunroad Shopping Arcade
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji, Honcho 1 chome Google Map
Access: 1 minute from the north exit of Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: Sunroad Shopping Arcade (Japanese)

5. Iseya - Eat Delicious Yakitori at This Famous Shop


Picture from Kichijoji-18 Shopping Places Including Stationery, Daily Goods, and Coffee Shops (Chinese language) .

If you're looking for a well-known yakitori restaurant in Kichijoji, Iseya is where you should go. There are three Iseya locations in the Kichijoji area.

Iseya Sohonten was established in 1928, and first operated as a butcher shop. For many years the shop continued to do business in this old building, but in 2008 it was remodeled.

In addition, located right beside Inokashira Park is Iseya-Koenten (park location), a large location with 350 seats. This is a popular spot that's always busy with customers.

The yakitori on the menu is reasonably priced at 90 yen per skewer. The skewers pair well especially well with alcoholic beverages. If you'd like to sample yakitori, then this is a long standing shop that I highly recommend dropping into.

Iseya Sohonten
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Shimorenjaku 1-2-1 Google Map
Access: 5 minutes on foot from the south exit or Inokashira Park exit of Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: Iseya Sohonten (Japanese).

6. Sample Juicy Menchikatsu at Kichijoji Sato


Picture from Kichijoji-18 Shopping Places Including Stationery, Daily Goods, and Coffee Shops (Chinese language) .

While walking through Kichijoji's shopping arcade, you'll undoubtedly see a line in front of a shop. That line is in front of Kichijoji Sato, a store selling meat and prepared food items. People in line are waiting to buy ganso (original) maru (round) menchikatsu that are sold for 240 yen apiece.

Made from 100% high quality wagyu beef, the menchikatsu (*1) are packed with a good savory flavor. This is a highly popular item with many repeat customers.

If you purchase more than five menchikatsu, the per item is reduced 200 yen each. On weekdays, purchases are limited to twenty menchikatsu per person, and on the weekend limited to ten per customer.

Why not drop in and try tasting one of these delicious snacks during your walk?

*1 menchikatsu: a tasty snack consisting of a patty made from ground meat and onions, dipped in Japanese-style bread crumbs and then deep fried.

Kichijoji Sato
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Honcho 1-1-8 Google Map
Access: 1 minute from the north exit of Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Park)
Official homepage: Kichijoji Sato (Japanese).

7. A Relaxing Visit at Cat Cafe Temari No O-uchi


Picture from Cat Cafe Temari No O-Uchi: A Visit to the World of Cats (Kichijoji)

Cat Cafe Temari No O-Uchi is a place where you can play around with adorable felines. The cafe's atmosphere makes it feel like you've just stepped into a story book. There is no time limit here, so you can spend a leisurely afternoon with the cats.

The shop offers their own special drinks and homemade sweets, so cat lovers might want to stay here all day long!
They also opened up a sister shop called Temari no Oshiro Cat Cafe (Japanese), so please check out this location as well.

In Kichijoji there's also a cafe that allows customers to encounter owls, called Musashino Cafe & Bar Owl Village.

Cat Cafe Temari No O-uchi
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Honcho 2-13-14 3F Google Map
Access: 5 minutes on foot from the north exit of Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: Cat Cafe Temari no O-uchi (Japanese).

8. Eat Tasty Miso-Based Cuisine at Soybean Farm


Picture from Soybean Farm In Kichijoji: Come Try Western Fusion Miso Cuisine!

One of Japan's representative seasonings is miso. At Soybean Farm, they sell about 30 different kinds of miso from all regions of the country.

The miso is sold by weight, starting from 100 grams, so you can easily buy your favorite variety.

At the adjoining restaurant you can sample various miso-based cuisine, like roll cabbage miso soup and saikyo (Kyoto-style) miso cheese cake, to name just two of the many dishes available.

The menu is full of items which dispel the conventional image of miso being a seasoning only for Japanese-style cooking (washoku). Please enjoy the various kinds of miso foods sold here.

Soybean Farm
Access: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Honcho 2-15-2 Google Map
Access: 6 minutes on foot from the north exit of Kichijoji Station (Keio Inokashira Park)
Official homepage: Soybean Farm (Japanese)

9. Find Cute Handmade Gifts at HATTIFNATT


Picture from Kichijoji's Cute Picture Book Cafe HATTIFNATT

Located just ten minutes from Kichijoji Station, HATTIFNATT is a shop that combines a cafe and an adjoining general goods store inside a renovated traditional Japanese home.

The shop was playfully built with children in mind, so the door at the entrance is only 130 centimeters high, and the cute and colorful interior is reminiscent of a fantasy story book world.

Items handmade by various artists completely fill up the space in the general goods shop. The wooden boxes (above picture) become part of a series of little shops inside the store, and each one displays an artisan's original creation.

All of the goods are unique and special in their own way, so you'll definitely find something you like here. When you visit this shop you'll soon be immersed in an atmosphere that feels like a treasure hunt!

HATTIFNATT Kichijoji No O-uchi
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji, Minamicho 2-22-1 Google Map
Access: 10 minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: HATTIFNATT (Japanese).

10. At MARKUS Buy Made in Japan Household Goods


Picture from MARKUS: A Japanese Hand Crafted Household Goods Shop

At Kichijoji's select shop, MARKUS, traditional crafts from all corners of the country lend a contemporary air to this space, and there are many superbly designed items gathered here.

This is an ideal shop to come to look for lacquerware, pottery, and other every day Japanese tools.

If you take a look at Markus Instagram, I think you'll soon be able to see that the goods here are filled with the care of the craftspeople from all over Japan who made them.

The high-quality and elegant items can make great souvenirs.

Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji Honcho 2-18-15, Musashino Country Heights 112 Google Map
Access: 6 minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station (JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line)
Official homepage: MARKUS (Japanese)

How Do I Get to Kichijoji?

Next, we'll introduce the main access routes to Kichijoji Station.

1) It's only 15 minutes from Shinjuku Station via the JR Chuo Line (Rapid Service)!

You can easily get from Shinjuku Station to Kichijoji Station by taking the JR Chuo Train Line. The Chuo Line's Rapid Service stops at six stations along the way and takes about fifteen minutes. The one way fare is 220 yen. The Chuo Line has different trains such as the Commuter Special Rapid and Chuo Special Rapid, so the stations that they stop at differ. Before boarding, please check to make sure you have the correct train.

2) It takes 18 minutes from Shibuya Station via the Keio Inokashira Line (Express)!

You can also get to Kichijoji Station from Shibuya Station by taking the Keio Inokashira Line. The express service stops at five stations and takes about eighteen minutes. The one way fare is 200 yen. Since Shibuya Station is the Keio Inokashira Line's first station and Kichijoji Station is the line's final station, you should be able to take this route without any difficulties.

Enjoy the Unique and Entertaining Kichijoji

Kichijoji is a small town where you can explore the spots mentioned in the article in about half a day. Compared to Shinjuku and Shibuya, Kichijoji is more compact and easy to navigate, which is one of its special features.

While referring to this article as a guide, make sure to have a wonderful trip to Kichijoji!

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.