Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Tokiwasō Area
This page is for locations in the Tokiwasō Area of Tokyo. This neighborhood is not part of my book Tokyo Stroll.
For information on Tokyo Stroll and this web supplement see Tokyo Stroll Supplement home page
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.
This is the area where Tokiwasō once stood. There was nothing fancy about Tokiwasō itself, it was a rather ordinary two story apartment building that was constructed in 1952 and demolished in 1982. What made it noteworthy is its place in the history of manga. In 1953 it was recommended by editors from the publisher Gakudōsha to a young Tezuka Osamu who was looking for a stable place to live in Tokyo to avoid having to commute to and from Takarazuka. As I said it was nothing fancy. The rooms were small, most roughly 3 x 3 meters (9 x 9 feet) with a closet and entryway. There was a shared toilet and a kitchen that was also shared, to bathe tenants would use a local bathhouse. In 1954 Tezuka moved to larger lodgings in Namiki House in the Zōshigaya neighborhood. Besides Tezuka several other manga creators moved in, some would become superstars in not only manga but also inspiring anime and even crafting television shows. For this reason ordinary locations in the neighborhood would sometimes appear in their manga and may be listed below.
Nearby train stations are: Ochiai-Minami-Nagasaki Station on the Toei Ōedo Line, Higashi-Nagasaki Station, and Shiinamachi Station both on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.
Children Raising Jizō / Kosodate Jizō-son (子育地蔵尊)
This manifestation of Jizō is said to help raise children. Kosodate Jizō statues are found in many locations. This particular one is on a small plot of land and is estimated to be about 300 years old. It appears in Tokiwasō Monogatari by Tezuka Osamu.
Futamata Police Box aka Minami-nagasaki kōban (目白警察署 南長崎交番)
A rather ordinary kōban, located at the junction of Mejiro Dōri and Minaminagasaki Dōri. I include it here as it is a landmark to keep an eye out for as you navigate the neighborhood.
A local temple which is about 500 years old, built to house a statue of Jizō by locals. In the Edo Period the grounds also housed a school, medical clinic, a court for disputes, and a playhouse. The temple gate is an unusual one in the yakuimon style, the gate is a designated cultural property of Toshima Ward. On the grounds you can find an unusual statue, the Manga Jizō (マンガ地蔵). this Jizō state incorporates several design elements related to manga. The aureole is in the shape of a G-pen nib, the robes are decorated with onomatopoetic words that one finds in manga, the shakujō staff of the statue is in the shape of a pen, and this Jizō faces the former location of Tokiwasō. Next to it you will find a statue of the famous manga character Doraemon.
This small chūka ryōri, Japanese style Chinese food, restaurant with its distinctive yellow awning appears in many manga. It was frequented by the residents of Tokiwasō who would often also have rāmen delivered to them. On the walls are autographs from some of the famous customers and later celebrities who visited the restaurant.
Shiinamachi Station (椎名町駅)
This local station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line has items related to Tokiwasō in the form of an information board, murals, and a gallery.
Tokiwasō Manga Station (トキワ荘マンガステーション)
A small exhibit space and reading room devoted to magazines, including reprints, and manga by the creators associated with Tokiwasō.
Tokiwasō memorial / Tokiwasō Atochi (トキワ荘跡地)
A monument installed in Minami-nagasaki Hanasaki Park in 2009. The monument is topped with a replica of Tokiwasō and has a series of plaques with caricatures and signatures of many of the manga artists who lived in that famous apartment building with Tezuka in the middle.
Toshima City Tokiwasō Manga Museum (トキワ荘マンガミュージアム)
This museum opened July 2020 in Minami-nagasaki Hanasaki Park. This is a very detailed reproduction of the original Tokiwasō building, down to the rust on some of the fixtures, and great effort was put into making the stairs creak like the old ones did. Some rooms have exhibits, the rooms occupied by Yamauchi Jōji, Mizuno Hideko and Yokota Tokuo have been reproduced to show what they looked like when the manga artists lived in them, some windows have panels made to give a view from the time the building stood, one has an old TV playing commercials from the 1950s and 60s. On the ground floor there is a lounge with books about the tenants, an exhibit area, and a ceiling panel that was removed before the demolition with a drawing on it by Osamu Tezuka of his character Sapphire and a self caricature.
Toyoshimaku Tokiwasō-dōri oyasumidokoro (豊島区トキワ荘通りお休み処 )
A two story information center, exhibit space, reading room, and shop selling Tokiwasō area related goods that opened in 2013 in a former rice shop, the building itself dates from 1939 and also contains a replica of Terada Hirō's room in Tokiwasō.
Created October 2, 2023 | Content last updated October 3, 2023