Towards the "Granny's Harajuku"
Sugamo Station in northern Tokyo is located between Komagome and Otsuka Stations. It is also only 30 min walk from the Ikebukuro district and Sunshine City.
Sugamo station was inaugurated on April 1, 1903, and today nearly 80,000 passengers pass through it every day. This medium-sized station is served by two lines:
- The Yamanote Line which loops through Tokyo is operated by JR East.
- The Mita line connects Meguro station to Nishi-Takashimadaira station, managed by Toei, the Tokyo Metropolitan Transport Bureau.
As in many Tokyo stations, an ATRE shopping center has been built around and above the station. It is home to many shops, restaurants, and even a bakery.
A little out of the center of Tokyo, the Sugamo district has kept a more traditional identity and is mainly frequented by elderly people. It is one of the last quiet places in Tokyo where it is good to take your time.
The Sugamo district is also known for its mascot, a little white duck. You will find it in particular in the mailboxes around the station. It is said that to have happiness and success in love, you have to go caress the animal's plush posterior and make a wish!
- Discover: Top 5 Yamanote mascots
To the north of the station is a long shopping street, Jizō-dōri, popular with older ladies. And if the Sugamo district is known as "Harajuku for grandmas", the Sugamo equivalent of Takeshita-dôri is Jizo-dori!
And there are around 200 shops lining the street. You will find Japanese sweets, fashion items, and miscellaneous items at rather low prices, ideal for bringing back memories of your stay.
You will also find these street shops selling exclusively scarlet-colored underwear.
It may sound strange but it comes from the Japanese tradition which says that wearing red clothes would allow you to age in good health. As the district is particularly inhabited by older people, these shops have multiplied there.
A five-minute walk from the station is Kogan-ji Temple. The particularity of the temple lies in the statue of Togenuki Jizo, watching over the health of all, being there.
The temple has only been in the neighborhood since the 19th century, but a legend has settled in the collective imagination around the statue.
People line up in the temple to wash the statue with hand towels, which they then press against their ailing bodies in hopes of relief. If you have knee pain, you will have to wash the knee of the statue by making a wish and legend has it that you will be relieved.
And many other things
The district is particularly known for its flea market. Indeed, every day in 4, that is the 4, 14, and 24 of each month, a matsuri is organized in the Jizo-dori, in the adjacent streets, and up to the Kogan-ji temple. Between clearance sales and market, the stands are crowded together and the street is always full. It is also an opportunity to taste local specialties: daigaku imo (fried sweet potatoes), okonomiyaki, yakitori, or the famous shio daifuku (a bite filled with red beans).
Not to be missed, Rikuji-en Garden is located halfway between Komagome Station and Sugamo Station. And if the "garden of 6 poems" is not the most popular with tourists, it is one of the most beautiful in the capital. We particularly recommend the illuminations organized every year around the cherry blossoms in spring and around the red maple leaves in autumn.
The Sugamo district
Discover the Yamanote, Tokyo's iconic subway line:
- Tokyo station
- Nippori Station
- Uguisudani station
- Ueno Station
- Okachimachi Station
- Akihabara Station
- Kanda Station
- Yurakuchō Station
- Shimbashi Station
- Hamamatsucho Station
- Tamachi Station
- Ebisu Station
- Shibuya Station
- Harajuku Station
- Yoyogi Station
- Shinjuku Station
- Shin-Okubo Station
- Takadanobaba station
- Ikebukuro Station
- Otsuka Station
- Komagome Station
- Tabata station