Kagurazaka Neighborhood Guide

Posted by on November 29, 2019 – Life in Japan
coto japanese kagurazaka neighborhood tour guide

Kagurazaka Illustrated Neighborhood Guide with Sample Tour Plan

coto japanese english tokyo kagurazaka tour guide map

 

Click here for a Sample 1 Day Walking Tour

Restaurants

Iidabashi Sakura Terrace

CANAL Cafe

Peko-chan yaki Fujiya

Kinozen

Kagurazaka Gojuban

Shopping

Shopping mall RAMLA

NOREN souvenir shop

Sōmaya stationery store

A shop called cat post office

Attractions

Atami-yu Public bath

Zenkokuji Temple

Akagi Jinja

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1 Day Walking Tour

 

Read the full itinerary below

①Ruin of Ushigome-Mitsuke – the starting point of Kagurazaka tour.

②Peko-chan yaki Fujiya Café and NOREN Japanese souvenir shop.


③Kagurazaka-dori Avenue (神楽坂通り) – 15 minutes walking on a historic street.

④Atami-yu – A public bath where you can experience Japanese sento.

⑤Geisha Alley to Kenban-yokocho Alley.

⑥Fushimihibuseinari Shrine – A traditional shinto shrine.

⑦Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji Temple  – A Japanese Buddhist temple

⑧Hyogo-Yokocho Alley

⑨Sōmaya 

⑩Akagi Jinja

 

Want to chill out and slow down in the mega-city of Tokyo? Kagurazaka (神楽坂) is called the “Little Paris of Tokyo”. (東京の小さなパリ) It’s a good place to take a walk and enjoy the unique, exotic atmosphere.  It is called little Paris due to its high concentration of authentic French restaurants and bakeries.

Kagurazaka is like a big tree with many branches.

The Kagurazaka-dori Avenue (神楽坂通り) is the tree-trunk and the alleys are the branches and twigs.

If you venture along a branch, and you may find unexpected surprises on its buds and leaves.

Today, let’s explore this neighborhood, where Japanese and European cultures exist in harmony.

First, we start from Coto Japanese Academy, and we’ll take a 3-minute walk to ①the Ruin of Ushigome-Mitsuke (牛込見附跡). Built in 1936, this historic spot in front of Ushigome Bashi (bridge) is one of the 36 Edo Castle mitsukes (江戸城三十六見附; the outer defenses of the castle gate) of the Edo Castle. It’s also called Maple Gate (楓の御門).

After crossing Ushigome Bashi, we can see Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station Exit B3 on the right. There are ②Peko-chan yaki Fujiya Café (不二家) and NOREN Japanese souvenir shop next to it. It’s the only Fujiya Cafe where they sell Peko-chan shaped obanyaki (Japanese pancakes filled with filling such as red bean paste and sweet custard cream.)

Saka (坂slope) is the space that connects the secular and the gods. On the left side of Kagurazaka-dori and down the hill, there is a public bath called ④Atami-yu(熱海湯). It’s a Miyatsukuri style building (宮造), built by professionals who owned the techniques to make temples. A geisha cleans herself in the bath and walks along the ⑤Geisha Alley (芸者小道) to Kenban-yokocho Alley (見番横丁). Kenban (見番) is an office for the Geisha. They pray at the ⑥Fushimihibuseinari Shrine (伏見火防稲荷神社) before they go to work. In the peak period of the past, there were about 600 geishas. Nowadays, despite its small number, there are still 12 geishas in Kagurazaka area.

⑦Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji Temple (毘沙門天 善国寺) was built in 1595. It’s been popular since the Meiji Era, especially on the Ennichi days (temple festival); 5th, 15th and 25th of each month and visitors form huge crowds. It’s also popular among ARASHI fans. The fans write down their wishes on the ema to win concert tickets, for example.

On the right side of Kagurazaka-dori, along the winding road, we come to ⑧Hyogo-Yokocho Alley (兵庫横丁). It’s one of the most representative spots in Kagurazaka. You can see it in many Japanese TV dramas. In the middle of Hyogo-Yokocho Alley, there’s Hotel Wakana. It was popular among writers, but it closed down in 2016.

The alleys in Kagurazaka are twisted and complex, because they serve as paths to the hanamachi (“flower town”; entertainment street), or the geisha district. Through these alleys, the guest can secretly and swiftly enter the restaurants without being seen.

We go back to Kagurazaka-dori, and there is the stationery store ⑨Sōmaya (相馬屋). The shop has been selling paper items since 1659. It was the first store to ever sell draft paper in Japan.

Now, we come to the end of our Kagurazaka walk. Last, but not least, we come to ⑩Akagi Jinja (赤城神社) behind Tokyo Metro Kagurazaka Station. The shrine is famous for granting wishes in the entertainment businesses (media) and academia. Akagi Jinja was built in 1300, but it was ruined twice in 1868 and 1945. In 2009, architect Kuma Kengo designed the new Akagi Jinja, and it won the Good Design Award.

Kagurazaka is a place accumulated with people’s stories and memories since 700 hundred years ago. Next time, why not join us for a historical lunch tour in Kagurazaka? We would like to hear your story.

 

Restaurants and Cafes in Kagurazaka

Canal Cafe

Canal cafe is a famous restaurant and cafe that has a history dating back to 1918.  It is actually a boathouse as well – so during the summer you can rent a paddleboat and look at the sakura as part of a romantic date – but plan ahead – this is one of the most popular sakura viewing spaces in the city of Tokyo and lines can be long.

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30~23:00; Sun & Holiday 11:30~21:30

Closing day: 1st & 3rd Monday

Website

Iidabashi Sakura Terrace

Iidabashi Sakura Terrace is a commercial zone where has 26 restaurants and clinics.

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: 6:30 am – 0:00 am (vary by shop)

Website

Peko-chan yaki Fujiya

It’s the only Fujiya Cafe where they sell Peko-chan shaped obanyaki (Japanese pancakes filled with filling such as red bean paste and sweet custard cream.)

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: 10:00 – 20:30

Website

Kinozen

A Long-Established Sweets Shop since 1948.

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: Tue-Sat 11:00~20:00; Sun & Holiday 11:30~18:00

Closing day: Monday

Website

Kagurazaka Gojuban

The Chinese style steamed buns shop was first established in 1957. The flagship shop is located practically opposite the striking Zenkokuji Temple.

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00~22:00; Sun & Holiday 10:00~20:00

Website

Shopping in Kagurazaka

Shopping mall RAMLA

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: 10:00~21:00      Restaurants: 11:00~23:00

Website

NOREN souvenir shop

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: 10:00~21:00

Website

Sōmaya stationery store

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00~19:00

Closing day: Sun & Holiday

Website

A shop called cat post office

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Day: Wed. Thur. Sat. Sun & Holiday afternoon

Website

Attractions

Atami-yu Public bath

The public bath is a Miyatsukuri style building (宮造), built by professionals who owned the techniques to make temples.

Address: Google Maps Link

Operating Hours: 15:00~01:00

Closing day: Saturday

Website

Zenkokuji Temple

Zenkoku-ji Temple (毘沙門天 善国寺) was built in 1595. It’s been popular since the Meiji Era, especially on the Ennichi days (temple festival); 5th, 15th and 25th of each month and visitors form huge crowds.

Address: Google Maps Link

Website

Akagi Jinja

The Shinto shrine is famous for granting wishes in the entertainment businesses (media) and academia.

Address: Google Maps Link

Website

Click the link below for our Kagurazaka Lunch Tour▼

Monthly Events at Coto

This list and map of cafes in Iidabashi and Kagurazaka will help you find a new place to explore nearby Coto ▼

Cafes in Iidabashi and Kagurazaka that are good for Studying

 

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