Kichijoji (吉祥寺 Kichijōji) is a western suburb of Musashino, Tokyo. The general area also extends into Mitaka. The highlight is Inokashira Park, with long walking paths surrounding a lake. The park is filled with both cherry trees and maple trees, making Inokashira Park an excellent choice for both flower viewing in the spring, and seeing the autumn colors in the fall. Kichijoji once enjoyed a reputation as an artists' colony, and today it is filled with stores from little boutiques to the big department stores. Kichijoji seems to attract everyone, from upscale shoppers, hip-hop dancers practicing in the train station to musicians playing live music in the park and at the many live houses in the vicinity.
Kichijoji is on the JR Chūō Line (中央線) and Sōbu Line (総武線) from Shinjuku Station, and the Inokashira Line (井の頭線) from Shibuya Station. Chūō trains depart from Tokyo Station on platforms 1 and 2 (30 minutes; ¥390), and from Shinjuku on platform 10 (15 minutes; ¥220). Avoid the Chuo Special Rapid (中央特快) and Ome Special Rapid (青梅特快), which do not stop here.
Kichijoji is also the terminus of the Keio Inokashira Line (京王井の頭線) from Shibuya. This is the best way to reach Kichijoji from Shibuya (18 minutes; ¥200). The local train takes a long time, so it is often worth waiting for or switching to the express train.
Bus service connects Kichijoji directly with Narita Airport and Haneda Airport. Pick up the bus on the east side of the train station, underneath the JR tracks. Reservations are highly recommended during peak times, with tickets available at the Odakyu Bus ticket window (小田急バス案内所) on the north side of the station, across from Sun Road. Buses for Narita depart once every hour or two, take 90-120 minutes depending on traffic, and the one-way fare is ¥3000. Buses for Haneda run in the morning and evening, cost 50-90 minutes, and the one-way fare is ¥1200.
When arriving in Kichijoji by bicycle, parking is a concern. The police are vigilant about bikes parked illegally, particularly near the station and in busy areas. Illegally parked bikes might be tagged with a warning or impounded. There are numerous bike parking areas. The easiest to find is a 24h multi-floor bicycle parking area about 30m north of Yodobashi Camera. This parking area, and many of the others, has the first two hours free and ¥100 for 12 hour segments thereafter.
- 1 Kichijoji Art Museum (吉祥寺美術館), 1-8-16 Kichijoji Honcho, ☏ . Information is only available in Japanese.
- 2 Kichijoji Plaza (吉祥寺プラザ), Kichijoji Honcho 1-11-19 (50m west of the north Sunroad entrance.), ☏ . A small movie theater. Adults ¥1800.
- 3 Kichijoji Theatre (吉祥寺シアター), 1-33-22 Kichijoji Honcho, ☏ . A live show venue. Shows are only in Japanese.
- Kichijoji Anime Wonderland. A large animation festival that occurs in mid-October every year. English-language tours of the festival may be available from tour operator H.I.S.
Stores in Kichijoji range from galleries and boutiques that are an outgrowth of the area's artist colony past, to the department stores Marui and Isetan. Foreign chains such as Tower Records, Oshman's sporting goods and Lush have set up shop here as well. Sunroad is a long, covered shopping arcade on the north side of the station. Wind through narrow alleys of goods shops and yakitori restaurants in Harmonica Yokochō, also on the north side. Nakamichi Street, northwest of the station, has boutique stores and mid-range restaurants. If you're looking for bohemian-styled clothing or accessories, the alleyways running directly between Kichijoji Station and Inokashira Park is arguably the best place in Tokyo to begin your search.
- 1 Yodobashi Camera, 1-19-1 Kichijoji Honcho (Just north of Kichijoji Station on the right.). A famous Japanese department store selling computers, components, cameras, household appliances, and pretty much anything electronic.
- 2 Yuzawaya, 2-1-25 Kichijoji Minamicho. A huge handicraft shop adjacent to the station. There are three floors of toys.The dedicated shopper may find interesting souvenirs on the fabric floor.
- 3 [dead link] Onao (On the fourth floor of Loft.), ☏ . A nice selection of traditional Japanese paper and related souvenirs.
- Zool, Kichijoji Minamicho (several shops south to the train station). noon-8PM. Men's and women's vintage clothes shop.
- RAG TAG, minamicho 1-8-6, ☏ . 11AM-8PM. Vintage clothes shop for popular brands.
- Baobab: World Kichen Y Musica, B1F, Kichijoji Minamicho 2-4-6, ☏ . Food and music from the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Asia. Dishes ¥500-900.
- Bubuka (ぶぶか), Kichijoji Minamicho 1-2-3 (Turn left coming out of the station's south exit.), ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-midnight. The abura soba served at this ramen restaurant is a welcome break from the usual salty and soupy ramen. Actually ramen not soba, abura soba is served with no soup, but does include the usual green onion, slice of pork, etc. An interesting addition is raw egg (nama tamago). Look for the store with the line in front — it is a popular place. ¥500-900.
- Ichi-en, Kichijoji Honcho 2-17-2, ☏ . If you are in the mood for some gyoza with your ramen, try Ichi-en on Nakamichi Street, on the northwest side of the station. The interior is what you'd expect from a traditional ramen shop. Be sure to try the huge gyoza — they are a cheap meal unto themselves. ¥500-900.
- 1 Matsuzaka-gyū Satō (松坂牛サトウ) (Three minutes from the north exit of Kichijoji Station.). Famous for its deep-fried mincemeat cutlets (menchi katsu) which you can get as take-out, and there's usually a long line of customers spilling out into the shopping arcade.
- 2 Harmonica Quina, Kichijoji Honcho 1-1-8, ☏ . 11:30AM-10PM (last order 9:30PM). In the Harmonica Alley, across from the Kichijoji Station, there is a little shop serving the uniquely Okinawan dish called taco rice. Taco meat and all the usual taco toppings, all over rice. Surprising and tasty! ¥690-¥850.
- 3 Bloomoon (ブルームーン), 2F Kato Bldg, Kichijoji Honcho 1-30-16 (3 blocks SE of Yodobashi Camera.), ☏ . Tu-Sa 5:30PM-1AM, Su 5:30PM-midnight. This restaurant has an eclectic selection of Asian food and international interior decorations. The bizarre mixture of furniture from various countries and of assorted ages makes the mind boggle. Dishes ¥800 and up.
- Capricciosa, Kichijoji Honcho 2-16-12 (Down a small street at the back of Tokyu.), ☏ . An Italian-style chain restaurant.
- 4 DevaDevaCafe, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 11:30AM-5PM. A cozy restaurant serving western vegetarian/vegan food. The staff are extremely friendly. College students sometimes congregate here to study in the afternoon.
- 5 Gono Burger & Grill (ゴーノ バーガー グリル), Green House B1, Kichijoji Honcho 2-10-12 (Next to Carnival.), ☏ . 11:30AM-11PM. Burgers in a wood-and-stone decor. The burgers aren't huge, but for ¥1200, the lunch set includes includes a nice salad and drink bar. Kid-friendly restaurant. ¥1200+.
- 6 Hachijuhachiya (八十八夜), 御殿山1-2-1 御殿山デュープレックスR'S 2階 (From the west entrance to Atre, go south half a block. The restaurant is on the west side of the street on the second floor.), ☏ . 11AM-11PM daily. This restaurant serves western-style vegetarian and vegan sandwiches and salads. Oddly, the atmosphere is more reminiscent of a coffee shop near a college than a restaurant. Lights dangle from long cords from the ceiling and hover just above the table surface. Dishes ¥600-1200.
- 7 Iseya (いせや), Kichijoji Minamicho 1-15-8 (From the south exit of Kichijoji Station take the shopping street toward Inokashira Park.), ☏ . This yakitori (grilled chicken) tavern is a Kichijoji institution, first opening in 1928. The interior scene could be straight out of a 1950s black-and-white movie, full of raucous salarymen drowning their troubles in tall glasses of beer. This is the smaller branch shop; the main shop, housed in a marvelous old wooden building from 1953 to 2006, reopened as the base of a modern apartment tower in October 2007.
- 8 Jiima (じいま), Yuniasu Inokashira 101, Kichijoji Minamicho 2-13-13, ☏ , fax: . This restaurant is small — only room for 20. However, the meat and fish are quite good, and the young and energetic wait staff make for a worthwhile visit. ¥1500-3000.
- 9 Kitchen Coucou (キッチン ククゥ), Kichijoji Honcho 2-17-2 2F (On Nakamichi, above and behind Ichien.), ☏ . This is a small shop that only has counter seating. It serves soup and omurice. The decor has a cute frog theme. ¥1000-2000.
- 10 La Befana (ラ・ベファーナ), Kichijoji Minamicho 1-10-11 (About 200m S of Kichijoji Station.), ☏ . An Italian restaurant serving pasta and pizza. The restaurant can get packed on Friday and Saturday nights, at which time reservations are recommended.
- Mo-Mo-Paradise, Kichijoji Honcho 1-9-10 (In the Sunroad Arcade), ☏ . All-you-can-eat shabu-shabu is paradise. Although there is no English menu, you'll only need to choose between shabu-shabu and sukiyaki. This place is very large and poorly designed. There are many twisting and confusing corridors. The upside of it being maze-like, other than architectural uniqueness, is that most tables are relatively private. All-you-can-eat for ¥1700.
- 11 Monk's Foods, Kichijoji Gotenyama 1-2-4 (4 min. from south exit along Koen-dori), ☏ . Th-Tu. Buddhist ascetics and quirky jazz pianists alike will feel at home at this cozy "slow food" restaurant. The fare is organically-grown, mostly vegetarian/vegan home-style Japanese. When you sit down, the owner will almost certainly ask if you can read the Japanese-only menu, if you look like you can't. If that's the case, just pick one of the three daily specials — vegetarian, fish, or chicken. Chances are you'll get something you like, along with some other exotic healthy vegetable that you won't like.
- Mo-Para Nabe Zo, Q&K Bldg. 3F, Kichijoji Honcho 2-13-6. Another all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant run by the same people as Mo-Mo Paradise. For the uninitiated, ask to be seated next to one of the glass partitions which describes how to cook in grammatically correct English. Refill on vegetables at a salad bar. ¥1890.
- 12 Richouen (李朝園), Cosmo Building 4F, Kichijoji Honcho (A block north and a block west of Kichijoji Station), ☏ . This is a very large yakiniku place. It has patchwork architecture and tasty meat. ¥2000-4000.
- Shimanchu Shokudo Niraikanai, Kichijoji Honcho 1-23-7, ☏ . Okinawa-themed restaurant and bar. Head downstairs for the Hawaiian-themed bar Jingle-Jangle.
- 13 Unatetsu (うな鐡), Kichijoji Honcho 1-8-21 (From Kichijoji Station, enter Sunroad. Walk north to Matsuya and turn west. Go about 50m and look for the restaurant down a narrow alley on your right.), ☏ . This is a sushi restaurant that specializes in eel, as its name indicates. ¥1500-3000.
- 14 Village Vanguard (ヴィレッジヴァンガード), Kichijoji Honcho 2-20-1, ☏ . A burger and beer joint with a large variety of burgers and international drinks.
- Inokashira Tsuyube Hanare, Kichijoji Gotenyama 1-3-1 (Just outside of Inokashira Park.), ☏ . To get into this izakaya, you'll have to duck to get through the low-clearance door reminiscent of traditional tea houses. Be sure to order the mackerel (saba), which will be brought to your table and cooked by the chef on the spot using a handheld blowtorch. During peak times, reservations may be required.
- 15 Cat Cafe Calico, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-5-7, Yuki Bldg. 4F (From Kichijoji Station's central exit, turn right and look on the left up a busy lane.), ☏ . 10AM-10PM. Enjoy the company of this cafe's 15 cats as you sip your coffee or tea. An outlet for cat lovers who don't or can't keep cats at home, this cafe was covered in news wire reports in late 2007. Entrance fee ¥900, drinks from ¥150.
- 16 [dead link] Medewo & Dine (メデオ＆ダイン), 2-13-6 Kichijoji Honcho (North of Showa-dori across from the Nike store.), ☏ . 11:30AM-11:30PM. Check out the seats and service carts lifted from a Delta Air airplane. Espresso and a brownie ¥400.
- 17 [dead link] Plus 90℃ (ぷらす90℃), Kichijoji Honcho 2-17-2 (Just off the north side of Nakamichi Dori next to Ichien.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-8PM. This small coffee shop roasts beans and sells coffee. The store has beans from several different countries — you can choose which kind of beans you want — and if you sit at the counter, you get a close-up view of the store owner making each cup. The shop serves a few desserts. For the dog walkers there's a small outdoor sitting area.
- 18 Rose Bakery (ローズベーカリー) (By the main entrance of Atre.), ☏ . M-F 8AM-10PM, Sa-Su 9AM-10PM. This is a bakery, restaurant, and cafe. The salads are both colorful and flavorful. There is a large selection of tea, as well as other beverages. There are daily pasta, soup, and sandwich specials. And because it's a bakery, there is both fresh bread and fresh pastries. The carrot cake is notably delicious and otherwise difficult to find. Drinks ¥400 and up, lunch ¥800 and up.
- 19 Sough Cafe (サウカフェ), F&W Bldg. 2F, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-17-10 (En route to Inokashira Park from Kichijoji Station.), ☏ . A bright and airy cafe, dog-friendly. Some tables have game consoles to play games or watch a movie.
- 20 Tsuru's Original Roast Beans (自家焙煎 珈琲散歩), Kichijoji Honcho 4-6-1 (On Nakamichi Street across from 7-11.), ☏ . 11AM-7PM. Beans roasted to order, nicely-made lights sweets and a blend coffee to rival them all. Quiet, bright and popular.
- 1 Warp, 1-30-10 Kichijoji Honcho, ☏ . A live house with recording studios available for booking.
- 2 Cheeky (チーキー), B1, 1-30-10 Kichijoji Honcho, ☏ . Tu-Su. Formerly the annex of Warp, now independent. Musicians such as Inushiki and Latyr Sy gather there, and collaborate until the brink of dawn. Time spent there is to experience musical and artistic genius.
- 3 Star Pines Cafe (スターパインズカフェ), B1, 1-20-16 Kichijoji Honcho (Just north of Yodabashi Camera.), ☏ . Open until 6AM. A large club and live house. 2 floors and stage.
- 4 Holic, Keyaki Bldg. B1, 1-1-8 Kichijoji Minamicho (From Kichijoji Station's south exit, turn right.), ☏ . A good selection of imported bottled beers and a couple of Japanese microbrews on tap. The food is better than average, but also a little pricey.
- 5 Jingle-Jangle, B1, 1-23-7 Kichijoji Honcho, ☏ . Fun-filled Hawaiian-themed bar located under Shimanchu Shokudo Niraikanai. Very friendly, English speaking bar staff.
- 6 [dead link] Beer Bar Bicke, 2-13-7 Kichijoji Honcho, Gurandee Bldg 3F (Two blocks NW of Coppice on the SW side of the street.), ☏ . 5PM-midnight. This bar has an extensive collection of international beer.
- 7 Alvorada, B1, 1-32-9 Kijijochi Honcho (From Kichijoji Station's north exit, follow the tracks to the east for five minutes.), ☏ . W-Sa 6PM-1AM, Su 6PM-midnight. A cozy Brazilian-style luncheonette and bar with good food and live music.
- Hub. An English-style pub with locations throughout Japan.
- 10 Koki's House (コーキーズハウス), コーキーズハウス, ☏ . 11:30AM-11:30PM. This pub has many drinks, beers, and food including fries, tacos, pizza, and others. Everything is ¥380.
Hotels in Kichijoji are generally quite expensive. An option some weekend travelers choose is to stay overnight at one of several net cafes near the station. Net cafes won't work for travelers with much luggage or in large groups, and they are not as quiet as proper hotels, but they can be used (by Japanese speakers) in a pinch.
There are many net cafes near the station.
- 1 [formerly dead link] MOOPA, 6F New Center Building, Minamicho 1-4-3 (From JR Kichijoji, take the park exit. You'll see the sign for this place on the building directly in front of you. Ride the elevator up.), ☏ . 24h. This is a medium-sized net cafe. It's reasonably quiet and has a large manga selection. The computers are perfectly functional, though not exactly new. 30 mins ¥200, 3 hours ¥990, 6 hours ¥1680, 10-hour night pack ¥1880.
- 2 MediaCafe POPEYE, 3F Sunroad Plaza Daiaplace, Kichijoji Honcho 1-11-30 (From the NE exit of Kichijoji Station, walk NNE to the traffic light and the walk one block WNW. The station is on the west side of the intersection.), ☏ . 24h. This net cafe has night packs, showers, food vending machines, and couples booths.
- The Ghibli Museum is 1 kilometer away — see Mitaka.
- JR train tickets can be reserved and purchased at Kichijoji Station. The nearest convenient shinkansen hub is Tokyo Station, a direct ride on the Chuo Line.
- The Chuo Line itself continues in the east to Nagoya, but if speed is a consideration, the shinkansen is faster.
- Shiojiri is three and a half hours to the east on the Chuo Line.
|Routes through Kichijoji|
|Nagoya ← Takao ←||W E||→ Tokyo/Nakano → Tokyo/Shinjuku|
|Mitaka ←||W E||→ Tokyo/Suginami → Tokyo/Nakano|