Kagurazaka is a popular town for grownups. Although it is located in the middle of Tokyo, it has a calm atmosphere and retains aspects of the Edo period (1603-1868).
- Kagurazaka flourished as a Hanamachi district from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the Meiji period (1868-1912). “Hanamachi” is a district where Geigi (Geisha) live and work. They are entertainers who entertain guests with traditional Japanese dances and songs. The cobblestone backstreets still retain the atmosphere of those days.
- There is a facility near Kagurazaka called the Institut Français, which is where the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the official language school of the French government are located. As a result, Kagurazaka is home to many French residents and French restaurants, making it the Little Paris of Japan.
My favorite is “Les Clos Montmartre”!
- On the main street of Kagurazaka, cars go one way. The direction of the one-way traffic changes between morning and afternoon, so when you go outside after having lunch, the direction of the cars may have changed. Also, during the daytime on Sundays and during lunchtime, the street is for pedestrians only, and cars are not allowed to pass. Please note this if you drive there.
10:00 Iidabashi Station
Let’s start from Iidabashi station. (JR Chūō–Sōbu Line “Yellow”, Tokyo Metro [Tozai Line “Sky blue”, Yurakucho Line “Gold”, Namboku Line “Emerald”], Toei Ōedo Line “Pinkish ruby”)
If you are coming by JR, take the west exit, turn right and go down the street. Across the intersection and you will find yourself in Kagurazaka. If you are coming by the Tokyo Metro or Toei Ōedo Line, take exit B3. (Note that there are only stairs at the B3 exit, so please be careful if you have suitcases, strollers, or wheelchairs.)
10:10 Explore Kagurazaka
Around the entrance to Kagurazaka (at the bottom of the hill), there are souvenir shops, Japanese tableware shops, and kimono shops. Enjoy strolling around. (Recommended restaurants and shops are introduced in 1-Day Trip to Kagurazaka (Tokyo) Part 2 .)
11:00 Early Lunch at Tsujihan
Tsujihan is a seafood bowl restaurant. It is very popular, and people may already queue up on weekends before opening time. The reason for its popularity is that it is not just a seafood bowl, but you can enjoy it in a different way by adding soup in the middle.
*There may be people lined up at different restaurants in the same building. If you get in line, ask the person last in the line, “Are you in line for the seafood bowl?” If they don’t seem to understand English, show them the sentence below.
For detail, please jump to the article below!
Tsujihan (Seafood Bowl Restaurant) in Kagurazaka, Tokyo
12:00 Explore Kagurazaka Again
You will see a red temple a little up the hill from Tsujihan. When you come to the front of the temple, you will see a red mail post. Looking to the right, you will see a small secret path. It looks like just a gap between buildings, but it leads to a back street. The back streets also have a nice atmosphere, so be sure to explore them.
*Be careful not to forget the way you come; Google Maps will be helpful.
When you return to the main street, go up the hill again. You are at the end of the main street when you reach the intersection. (If you still have energy and time to spare, it is fun to explore the upper areas. There are fewer stores there, but you can find unique stores there too.)
12:30 Go Down the Hill
On the way back, take the back streets spontaneously and stroll down the hill.
My recommendation is “かくれんぼ横丁 (かくれんぼよこちょう / Kakurembo Yokochō)” (which translates to “Hide and Seek Alley”).
*Go down the main street, and you will see a building with Family Mart (CVS) and Royal Host (Restaurant) on your left. Turn left there; after 40 meters, you will see a cobblestone staircase on your left. Go up the stairs. There will be Kakurembo Yokochō.
13:50 Take a Break at CANAL CAFE
At the bottom end of Kagurazaka’s main street, cross the intersection and turn right to find CANAL CAFE.
As you enter, there is a restaurant building on your left where you can eat Italian food such as pizza and pasta. To the right is a café selling drinks, cakes, and snacks. There are many tables, so you can sit wherever you like. (The system is to buy a drink before taking a seat.) On a nice weather day, you can even take a boat ride. (¥1,000 / 40min, 1 – 3 people)
CANAL CAFE (Japanese)
Continue Reading for restaurants & shop recommendations >>
1-Day Trip to Kagurazaka (Tokyo) Part 2
Check out 1 Minute Sightseeing in Kagurazaka Secret Path | Vlog for the video!