Kichijoji in Tokyo is attracting attention among foreign visitors as a suburb popular with youth culture. This time, we suggest an itinerary to fully enjoy its appeal in one day. Experience the feel of a suburb that has a mixture of a variety of different spots, old and new.
- 8:30 am: Tokyo Station
- 9:00 am: Breakfast at TarTarT
- 11:00 am: Purchase the specialty menchi katsu at Kichijoji Satou
- 11:30 am: Stroll around Inokashira Park, take a boat ride and enjoy lunch
- 1:30 pm: Visit the stores around the park and Kichijoji Station
8:30 am: Tokyo Station
The day starts at Tokyo Station. It is a major terminal for the Tokaido, Tohoku, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet trains and a station for many JR lines and Tokyo Metro lines including the Yamanote Line, Chuo Line and Keihin Tohoku Line, so is the perfect base for sightseeing. Be sure to check out the station building, which is designated as an important cultural property of Japan.
Travel▶Tokyo Station → Kichijoji Station
Take the Rapid Train on the Chuo Line for 29 minutes and alight at Kichijoji Station. Your first destination is one minute's walk away.
9:00 am: Breakfast at TarTarT
First up, there's breakfast at TarTarT in the atré Kichijoji mall, which is connected to the station. This is a restaurant that serves food made with vegetables, herbs and fruits, most of which are freshly picked in the Kichijoji area. There is a choice of two breakfasts. Full of fiber and vitamins, there's the granola set with seasonal fruit and yogurt, and a drink (760 JPY (incl. tax)). There's also a line for the convenient Original Bread Toast Set, which is easy to carry around (680 JPY (incl. tax)).
▼Estimated time at location: 60 minutes
11:00 am: Purchase the specialty menchi katsu at Kichijoji Satou
You'll also want to stop by at Kichijoji Satou, which is 3 minutes on foot from atré. It is a butcher specializing in domestic Japanese Black wagyu beef located in the Daiya-gai shopping area just outside the North Exit of Kichijoji Station and is so popular it has lines every day. Many of the customers are lined up for the Original Round Menchi Katsu (240 JPY (incl. tax)), a mincemeat croquette made with high-grade wagyu. It is an outstanding item full of the umami (savory Japanese) flavors and the sweetness of the meat. A variety of other deli items are also sold, so purchase some for lunch to enjoy at Inokashira Park where you'll visit next. Of course, you may want to eat the hot menchi katsu before it cools down.
*You are likely to wait for awhile, so be sure to dress warmly in the winter and coolly in the summer. The best time to visit is as early as possible in the morning on a weekday.
▼Estimated time at location: 30 minutes
11:30 am: Stroll around Inokashira Park, take a boat ride and enjoy lunch
Inokashira Park is about a 6 minute walk away, from the other (south) side of the station. It is a large park surrounding Inokashira Pond, a spring water pond, on which you can enjoy a rental boat (700 JPY and up for 60 minutes; closed until late March 2018). The Shizen Bunka-en Gardens on the grounds has a zoo and aquarium, as well as a children's playground, so there is much to see. Once you've enjoyed your boat ride and stroll, find a bench in a scenic spot for lunch.
*Note that it is crowded with people visiting for the cherry blossoms during the cherry blossom season (late March to early April)
▼Estimated time at location: 120 minutes
1:30 pm: Visit the stores around the park and Kichijoji Station
Once you've had your fill of the park, head back towards the station. There are numerous stylish and unique shops in Kichijoji selling a variety of different items, so enjoy browsing. There are many different types of stores, including: Ganso Nakaya Mugendo and Cayhane that sell exotic items; Petit, which sells retro toys such as models of Japanese animation characters; and Sublo, which sells unique stationery. Be sure to check out any store that catches your attention.
▼Estimated time at location: 90 minutes
3:00 pm: Shop on Kichijoji SUNROAD
Kichijoji SUNROAD, a shopping district right in front of the North Exit of Kichijoji Station, is also recommended for shopping. There are 158 shops in the district, including popular big box chain stores such as Yodobashi Camera, Uniqlo and Don Quijote.
▼Estimated time at location: 120 minutes
Take a break at MOMI＆TOY’S Yodobashi Camera Kichijoji Branch
When you tire of shopping, take a break at the crepe cafe, MOMI＆TOY’S Yodobashi Camera Kichijoji Branch. The crepes (330 JPY (incl. tax) and up) are prepared after the order is placed, and are characterized by a fluffy and flaky texture achieved by using plenty of almond powder. The drinks menu (250 JPY (incl. tax) and up) includes coffee, tea, and tapioca drinks.
5:00 pm: Enjoy drinks at Harmonica Yokocho
Your last stop is Harmonica Yokocho, which is just a few steps away from Kichijoji SUNROAD. The name comes from the many little shops lined up on both sides of the road, like the spaces on a harmonica. Just walking around is enough to soak up the chaotic atmosphere of the nearly 100 shops cramped in along the narrow alleys. There are many izakaya and bars including the cozy and welcoming Kopanda, and the yakitori restaurant, Tecchan, which has an interior designed by the famous architect, Kengo Kuma. Have a drink and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this special town.
▼Estimated time at location: 180 minutes
Kichijoji has been voted the No. 1 place in the Kanto Region that people want to live in. Be sure to visit and experience its allure.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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