Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Suginami Ku
This page is for locations in the Suginami Ku area of Tokyo. This neighborhood is not part of my book Tokyo Stroll.
For users of the Organic Maps, Maps.Me and Google Maps apps the items below have bookmarks you can import into those apps to make navigation easier.
Much of what I am listing on this page is north or south of four stations on the Chūō Line. The stations are listed below in the order of from east to west: Kōenji Station, Asagaya Station , Ogikubo Station , and Nishi-Ogikubo Station. Unlike the US where major commercial developments are usually on major roadways the commercial centers in Japan are usually near train stations with residential and smaller shopping areas radiating out from there. This means that I am able to organize the entries in this page by the nearest station. One of the things Suginami Ku is known for is the number of animation studios that have been based in the area over the years. That is reflected in some of the interesting places found there.
Kōenji Station Area (Chūō Line (Rapid) and Chūō-Sōbu Line)
If you are into yōkai this second floor shop is one place you may want to visit in the Kōenji Station area. The shop has a wide variety of yōkai themed items. If you can put an image of a yōkai on it or shape it into a yōkai it is likely to be here. Posters, clothing, figures, masks, cups, keychains, pins, plates, etc. Some are consignment items in rental boxes. The stock turns over constantly so new items always appear, just like yōkai, when you don't expect it. They even have a small event space.
Horinouchi Myōhōji (堀之内妙法寺)
A large Buddhist temple complex founded in the Edo Period as a Shingon Buddhist temple, it later became a Nichiren temple. Hiroshige included it in his series of prints of the famous places of Edo. Part of the complex was damaged in the Great Kantō Earthquake but it was not harmed in WWII. Some of the structures are designated as cultural assets by the government. Among these are two gates; the Niōmon, which has statues donated by shōgun Tokugawa Ietsuna, and the Tetsumon, an iron gate with Western style elements designed by Josiah Conder in 1878. The design, with its polychrome phoenix, is very unusual for a Buddhist temple and became a popular attraction at the time. Many of the other buildings area also designated as cultural assets. There is also a monument to the writer and novelist Ariyoshi Sawako who lived nearby and often visited the temple. Some may think this is a little unusual as she was a Christian, however she is said to have loved the temple grounds.
Asagaya Station Area (Chūō Line (Rapid) and Chūō-Sōbu Line)
A self proclaimed "otaku bar" for fans of popular culture. Anime, manga, games, and films. The bar is not only decorated with various anime/manga etc, items they also host game competitions, speakers, song competitions, and more. The owner is Kimura Keisaku an actor who also has worked on many tokusatsu programs doing visual effects.
Asagaya Pearl Center Shopping Street (阿佐谷パールセンター 商店街)
A typical covered shopping street much like those found in various cities in Japan. The proximity to the Asagaya Station makes this one easy to visit. The street has a long history, from being part of a road to Kamakura, a pilgrimage route to the Buddhist temple Myōhōji. The Sobu streetcar line connected this area to the center of Tokyo in 1922, the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 resulted in many moving to this area. After WWII the locals redeveloped the area near the street and solicited proposals for a new name, Pearl Center in English was chosen. The roof was added in 1962.
Ogikubo Station Area (Chūō Line (Rapid) and Chūō-Sōbu Line)
Inazuma Cafe (イナズマ カフェ)
A small two story cafe with the walls decorated by various creators of anime and manga. This is quite appropriate given the high number of anime studios ion the neighborhood. They have a kids menu and even one for dogs, yes pets are welcome.
Suginami Animation Museum (東京工芸大学 杉並アニメーションミュージアム)
Since 2004 this museum has hosted displays on animation. There are three parts, one on history which includes a large timeline, another is on the processes used to make animation including a small recording studio, and there is an exhibit of original images of several types used in animation which changes every few months. There is also a small library and theater. Part of the signage is also in English, admission is free, reservations are required for groups of 6 or more, the entrance is on the third floor.
Nishi-Ogikubo Station Area (Chūō Line (Rapid) and Chūō-Sōbu Line)
An antique shop with a good variety of items founded in 1982 and located in a neighborhood with about 60 other small antique stores. Here you will find art, kimono, small objects, furniture, etc.
Created October 30, 2022 | Content last updated August 23, 2023