A Walk in the Charming Inokashira-Koen Neighborhood
Just one station away from one of Tokyo’s trendiest and popular towns, Kichijouji, is a peaceful yet extraordinary area. Inokashira-Koen Station is just at the tip of the infamous Inokashira Park, most loved for its beautiful Cherry Blossoms in the Spring. This is the setting of our latest property, Neighbors Inokashira-Koen.
Kichijouji is an Indie town with plenty of delicious places to eat welcoming standing bars and shopping from department stores to fashionable refurbished finds, it is full of excitement. While not nearly as large as Kichijouji station (JR Chuo Line and Keio Inokashira Line), Inokashira-Koen Station does have its own charm likened to that of a Ghibli film. (Speaking of which, the Ghibli Museum is actually located a short walk from here as well.)
Rather than take the about 15-minute walk from Kichijouji Station, I decided to check out the quaint area of Inokashira-Koen Station on my way to Neighbors Inokashira-Koen.
The station itself is quite small, but as soon as you get off the train you are met with beautiful vibrant greenery just beyond the large windows.
I have heard from locals that if you follow the small stream behind the station you will reach a large open field, unknown to the visitors of Kichijouji. Neighbors are often here to enjoy an afternoon nap or throw a ball with their kids.
Just out of the station, to the right is the entrance to the tranquil and lush Inokashira Park.
Just along the park, there are numerous cafes and small restaurants.
A blues acoustic guitar melody lead me to one specific cafe, “Yoimachigusa,” “Evening Primrose”.
The owner, Kaya is very friendly and always has a spare guitar ready for anyone who wants to try. The cafe offers a variety of drinks from hand drip coffee, fresh traditional matcha and even a Goya (bitter gourd) and banana smoothie. Of course I had to try the smoothie, which was refreshing and paired very well with the banana.
The cafe also serves as a gathering place for artists of all backgrounds. It was originally exclusively a gallery but now displays artwork, jewelry and even live performances. Local Japanese artists to Native American Flute players and even Italian opera singers have performed here. You are sure to meet someone interesting while enjoying the very uniquily down to earth atmosphere. The 2nd floor is also used as a Yoga studio. The space is small and comfortable and the teacher very gentle, so it is a great spot for first timers as well.
After spending a relaxing time at the cafe and around the station, it was time to head towards the property. Right at the beginning of that path there is a convenience store, Japan Post ATM and more small shops. A peaceful yet convenient walk home.
Most of the path is straight with a turn to the right. There is plenty of greenery on your way home too.
The neighborhood is quiet with many large homes and families.
Cars generally don’t come down the path either so it is a stress-free walk home.
Finally after turning you enter a small path that really does look like a scene from a Miyazaki film.
Just out of the small path, and right before reaching the property, there is another convenience store and even a small Bento shop with home made boxed lunches.
It takes about 6-8 minutes or so to reach the property from the station. The large Zelkova tree and greenery will welcome you home.
The neighborhood around the property is very peaceful with elementary schools and kindergartens nearby, so you can be sure it is a safe neighborhood.
While not as active as Kichijouji the many shops in the area were humbling and were so welcoming you feel right at home.
The local Keio Inokashira line stops at Inokashira-Koen Station. If you have a bit of time in the morning you could sit all the way to Shibuya or change in Medaimae to go to Shinjuku.
Kichijouji is always close by for more shopping and excitement, but coming home to such a relaxing and peaceful area, maybe stopping by for coffee or even some Yoga at the end of the day with a Social Apartment community? – That is definitely one of the best ways to end a day.