Kichijoji (吉祥寺) is considered to be Tokyo’s No. 1 residential area in terms of popularity, which stems from the fact that it is a lovely area that isn’t too far from the hubs of Shibuya and Shinjuku. It is also known for Inokashira Park, a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo. There are many local Japanese-style restaurants, shopping malls, bars and cafes so much so that you can find everything you need here.
In this feature, we focus on some of the best eateries in Kichijoji after a brief introduction to Inokashira Park.
Inokashira Park (井の頭公園)
Opened around 100 years ago in 1917, Inokashira Park is a great place for relaxation and recreation. Located in the center is Inokashira Pond where people can enjoy boating. Over 500 cherry trees bloom in spring making it one of the top parks for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo.
The trees around the lake are especially beautiful making for a striking contrast between the cherry blossoms and the water in spring. There are loads of other things to enjoy in the park as well such as a zoo with animals ranging from squirrels to elephants, optimal forest walking paths, and the Ghibli Museum.
Lumiere has gained immense popularity due to its signature dish Shaved Ice on Fire (yaki-kakigori). Just a few minutes from the station, the eatery has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You can choose between a variety of shaved ice, kakigori, a loved summer treat in Japan.
The shaved ice is covered with meringue, hot rum is poured on top of it and then lit for a few seconds to add a burnt or browning effect. A must try in summer!
Mizuiro No Hana (みずいろの花)
One of the cutest cafes in the area, Mizuiro No Hana is operated by one person. Mizuiro is light blue and the whole cafe is decorated with this color. It feels like you have entered the world of a fairytale.
The walls of the eatery are a lovely, calming blue giving you the feeling of being in a young girl’s room that is decorated with contrasting white elements that look like clouds. Even the ceiling has a touch of white dried flowers and stars, creating a warm and relaxing atmosphere. The food and drink menu here uses flowers that can be eaten in the season. As you can see, very cute and scrumptious.
Kooriya Peace (かき氷 ぴぃす)
A popular shaved ice shop that has been filmed many times by Japanese TV shows is Kooriya Peace (かき氷 ぴぃす). In addition to the magnificent appearance of the shaved ice here, it is very yummy resulting in a never-ending stream of customers. This restaurant is about 4 minutes away from the station. The menu changes seasonally featuring seasonal ingredients that are fresh.
In October, due to Halloween, the flavors incorporated are pumpkin and black sesame.
In winter, the must have is Strawberry & Cheese flavored shaved ice and the Apple Pie Rare Cheese.
The atmosphere and staff are both friendly and welcoming. Make sure to have your camera ready for the best looking shaved ice you’ve ever seen.
Giant Tempura Don at Kanekoya Kichijoji
A famous tempura restaurant that started in Nihonbashi with a branch in Kichijoji that serves a bowl of rice topped with plenty of tempura. The deep-fried tempura is already seasoned, so you don’t have to add any sauce. It has a rich, intense flavor which is quite addictive.
The piece of anago (conger eel) is larger than the width of the bowl. In addition, the tempura includes scallops, seaweed, squid and two shrimp. A satisfying bowl for any seafood lover. The surprise was seeing an onsen egg in the form of tempura. Look at the creamy yolk!
Niku Dress Kaisendon (肉ドレス海鮮丼)
A5 grade wagyu beef served on top of rice and garnished with fresh salmon roe and sea urchin, Niku Dress Kaisendon is a must visit. Under the meat is also negitoro (tuna minced with Welsh onion leaves) and an onsen egg. Slightly on the expensive side, this bowl is totally worth the money.
A perfect balance between beef and seafood, you can finish it in ochazuke style. Add bonito broth to let the meat and rice soak in the soup. An absolute winner.
There are many other fun things to do in Kichijoji other than eat delicious food. Hopefully you get to try some of these places in the near future.
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