Around My Home: Kagurazaka, Little Kyoto in Tokyo

Posted on Posted in Daily Life, Travel

If you find yourself in Tokyo, but daydreaming about the picturesque shrines, temples and gardens of Kyoto, then Kagurazaka – a little Kyoto in Tokyo – should be the next stop on your hit list. Thanks to the local French schools and a large French population, Kagurazaka is often known as a trendy ‘French Quarter’. But, and it’s a big ‘but’, there is a side of Kagurazaka which has remained somewhat inconspicuous. Not only does it have many cafés and boutiques, it also has a spectacular array of outdoor spaces and a traditional Japanese feel.

 

This will be the first of several posts highlighting my favourite things in and around Kagurazaka.

 

A Fusion of Traditional and Modern

Situated in Shinjuku, between a fork in the Kanda-gawa river, Kagurazaka’s centre is also home to a cluster of stores selling a wide-range of modern and traditional goods. Although Kagurazaka was prominently known in the 1900’s for its multiple geisha houses, it has evolved into a fantastic fusion between modern day living and historic culture. 

 

Coffee

 

In Kagurazaka, you will still find ladies wearing kimono shuffling along the main high-street, as well as the traditional Japanese restaurants and Geisha houses.

 

Umbrellas at a store in Kagurazaka

 

Kagurazaka is my home (at least for now), but before I moved here I had limited knowledge of the area. Being in the busy district of Shinjuku, I feared that the neighbourhood would lack the intimacy that I had recently grown to appreciate in Yokohama. However, as Yoda once said, “fear is the path to the dark side”, and I needn’t have worried. Because, what I love about Kagurazaka is how ‘local’ it feels.

 

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Kagurazaka offers books and coffee – heaven.

 

 

Take a Walking Tour of the Neighbourhood

Always one for chasing cute scenery, the Iidabashi-Kagurazaka-Waseda neighbourhood has quickly become my favourite place to hang-out. If you are tired of the hecticness of Tokyo then I highly recommend a walk from Waseda Station through to Iidabashi. I’ll write a post to connect the dots on this in July.

 

On the next post I will write about my favourite Japanese Garden near home, Shouseikaku. Hopefully it will become one of your favourites too!

 

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Take a walking/cycling tour of Waseda-Kagurazaka-Iidabashi

 

 

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