Take a nostalgia walk: Top 3 Things to Do at Kagurazaka
Everyone admires Japan for its ability to make both traditional and modern world perfectly exist together. While Tokyo is mostly known for its hectic pace, some of its parts continue to serve as treasures of Japan’s past. Shinjuku, one of the busiest and complicated area in Tokyo offers an historical experience.
You can have a taste of traditional Japan by visiting Kagurazaka!
Walking along Kagurazaka is a treat to your senses. You will see Japanese temples and houses from old periods, admire Japanese craft items and taste and smell Japanese cuisine! Below are the things you can do during a day tour in Tokyo’s Kaguzaraka:
1. Visit the temples and geishas’ houses
Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji Temple
During the commercial and cultural development of Edo period (1603-1868), the belief on the god of treasure, Bishamonten grew. Japanese used to visit this shrine to pay respect to one of the Seven Gods of Fortune in Buddhism. Today, it is still known as a god of fortune that can fight off evil.
Akagi Shrine, Akagi café
A combination of old and new – a shrine with a café. People can take a rest at the café inside the temple after visiting the shrine. If you are a student that needs blessing, you should visit the god of Akagi Shrine. Aside from giving dedications for studies and arts, its god also wards off evil and prevent fires. You will also enjoy the kawaii lucky charms that you can take home. Being known as one of the temples during the Edo period, many locals often go here.
Kagurazaka is just outside the outer defense of Edo castle making it a popular entertainment district during that period. An entertainment place in Japan is where you can find its famous geishas. Taking a walk at this cobblestone alley where you can see old houses of geishas that survived the time, can bring you back to the Edo period. You might be lucky and spot a geisha entering one of the restaurants.
2. Walk along the narrow alley filled with Japanese shops and cafes
While strolling at Kagurazaka, your sense of smell will be aromatized with the scent coming from the leaves being roasted non-stop using a traditional Hojica Tea Roast machine outside a local tea shop. If you are a matcha lover, you are going to love the tea shops here.
There are many shops that offer items made in Japan. One item that is uniquely Japan is “furoshiki.” Japanese usually use this cloth to wrap their homemade bento. But this cloth is convenient to wrap anything. Bring this home as a souvenir or gift to your loved ones back home!
One of the traditional foods that locals love is soba. And you will be able to find a one-star Michelin noodle place in Kagurazaka. Head out to Kyourakutei for your Japanese soba, udon and tempura craving!
Japan is undoubtedly abundant with natural resources. Coupled with their culinary skills, they produce amazing dishes and develop unusual ingredients. Thus, you can enjoy various local specialties wherever you go around Japan.
But if you are only in Tokyo and still want to taste what other islands in Japan can offer, you should drop by at Rito’s Kitchen. From the name itself “Remote Island Kitchen”, it aims to promote the cuisine of 50 Japanese islands to Tokyo locals and tourists.
With the rural and cozy interiors, it’s the best way to cap off your tour in Kagurazaka!
3. Sit and relax at the 100-year old Canal café
Living up to its charm of relaxing and nostalgic vibe, Kagurazaka houses a 100-year old café with a beautiful view of a river. This cafeteria serves delicious dessert and coffee. This is also a popular spot during sakura season where reservation usually happens months before spring. Canal café provides the calming ambiance you need when you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo city.
With the presence of French schools around the area, Kagurazaka is now famous for French culinary deli. A small bakeshop that serves fresh and delicious bread, can be found near the Kagurazaka station. You can usually see locals lining up for this French treat! Have a taste of Japan and French when you visit Kagurazaka!
Tokyo has so many things to offer that only locals know. They might be more hidden gems like Kagurazaka. More than these places, Tokyo is a repository of cultures and stories that make Japan fascinating to the outsiders.
If you want to understand more about the land of the rising sun, you should join free walking tours hosted by English-speaking and friendly Tokyo locals!
Luckily, Tokyo Localized offer a Shinjuku Night Tour which you could easily join after your afternoon walk at Kagurazaka! You can ask your local guide for tips and anecdotes anything about Japan!
Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!
About the writer
Rocel is a believer of living life to the fullest through creating memories with her loved ones – family, friends and self. One of the things she enjoys doing with them is travelling where they get to experience new cultures, new cuisines, new stories to share and memories to look back. In 2018 alone, she travelled to 5 continents which exposed her to the world’s wonders. After all those trips, Japan is still one of her favorite countries because of its unique and rich culture and natural resources. She lived and studied in Tokyo, Japan for one year where she developed deeper love and appreciation towards the country.