Kichijoji is one of those Tokyo neighbourhoods that gives you a small town feel in the big city. As you can reach the area just under 30 minutes by train from Shinjuku or Shibuya Station, it is well worth a visit if you are looking for an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, cafés and a peaceful walk through the park. Here are some spots and shops in Kichijoji I’d like to recommend, as well as some pictures to give you an impression of the vibe of the place.
The Heart of Kichijoji: Inokashira Park
Very close to Kichijoji Station is Inokashira Park, home to the Studio Ghibli Museum and Inoksahira Park Zoo. But the park itself is with its large pond is worth a visit, too. It’s a favourite spot for picnics, and on sunny weekends it is filled with boats that are for rent. Since I went to the park on a somewhat overcast weekday, most of the boats were patiently waiting on the dock, and there were no picnickers to be seen. The colourful and quaint Benzaiten shrine close to the pond, as well as all the cute elderly couples who indulged in some birdwatching, did make the walk around the pond worthwhile. Also, I learned that the pond with its seven sources used to provide drinking water to Edo and later Tokyo until 1898.
Artre Shopping Mall & Nakamichi Dori
Close to the park and Kichijoji Station, there is a vast food court that belongs to the rather stylish Artre Shopping Mall. There is an extensive selection of eateries, so it’s tough to make your pick. Following the recommendation of my guidebook, I opted for delicious cake and a cold brew at Rose Bakery.
From the food court, it’s only a few steps to Nakamichi Dori, a small shopping street in Kochijoji. There you will find a bunch of boutiques selling all kinds of pretty things – from porcelain and stationary to other nicknacks – find some suggestions towards the end of the post. But, Nakamichi Dori is also an excellent place for some people watching; I did see an old woman carrying a living owl on her head in the street after all.
I could not resist and had to explore the side streets around Nakamichi Dori, and I suggest you do the same. Here are some more impressions from my trip to Kichijoji.
5 Kichijoji Shops on and around Nakamichi Dori
Find a selection of shops I particularly liked on and around Nakamichi Dori. But, there are much more worth visiting.
This store sells a big range of second-hand ceramics and other kitchenware. There are two stores Nakamichi Dori, and I suggest you check out both if you are interested.
Another antique shop that sells beautiful old things, albeit mostly from Europe.
A gallery store that sells beautiful and unique lifestyle things by Japanese designers – you can see their range of products on their website to get a taste!
Here you can find interesting, and well-designed things from housewares and clothes to baskets and other accessories. The shop is located on the street running parallel to Nakamichi Dori.