About Kagurazaka and access info
Kagurazaka is a town located in the east of Shinjuku city of Tokyo.
Apart from the crowded streets around Shinjuku station, Kagurazaka is in a quiet area with an imperial palace moat nearby, small streets/shops, universities, and so on.
Kagurazaka town and stations on the map
There are several train/metro lines and stations you can visit Kagurazaka with from other areas and stations in Tokyo.
History and Attractions of Kagurazaka
Unlike the rest of Tokyo that has been dramatically redeveloped, the town of Kagurazaka and its stone-paved back alleys mostly remain what they looked like in the Edo Period.
The rise of its Geisha district brought to Kagurazaka dedicated masters of performing arts who established training houses here to pass on the traditions.
In the prewar time, Kagurazaka had many theaters where the arts of storytelling were actively practiced.
After the war, the French started finding residence in this neighborhood that somewhat reminded them of Paris, whose culture united with that of the Japanese in harmony and created the unique atmosphere of Kagurazaka.
Things to do and sightseeing places in Kagurazaka
Kagurazaka town mixed with modern and traditional has various things to do and attractions.
Here are some overviews of them that will help you to know more about the town before visiting.
Restaurants and food
Strolling in the small alleys and main street in Kagurazaka town, you will find a variety of restaurants and shops to eat.
Not only Japanese traditional restaurants, but you can also find modern Japanese and even multinational places like the following.
(Japanese Kaiseki restaurants)
Kaiseki or Kaiseki-ryori is a traditional multi-course Japanese style dinner.
Recently kaiseki is a type of art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of the food.
Moreover, only fresh seasonal ingredients are used and prepared in the ways aiming to enhance their flavor for Kaiseki-ryori.
Also, local ingredients are often included as well.
Finished dishes are carefully presented on the plates that are chosen to enhance both the appearance and the seasonal theme of the dishes.
They are beautifully arranged and garnished, often with real leaves and flowers, as well as edible garnishes designed to resemble natural plants and animals.
Not only Japanese traditional style, but Kagurazaka town also has the sophisticated atmosphere of Paris unite and live in harmony.
That is related to the fact that there are schools and government agencies of France in the Kagurazaka town area.
Therefore the town has many french restaurants where you can enjoy the French atmosphere.
(Many Japanese food restaurants)
Of course, you can find most of the different kinds of famous Japanese food and restaurants in Kagurazaka.
The town of Kagurazaka is popular more for adults than for the youth. For that reason, there are mainly luxury restaurants being popular for the citizens and the people working here.
But of course, you can find some casual places to enjoy Japanese foods like Yakiniku/Teppanyaki, Sushi, Ramen, Izakaya, Soba as well.
Temples and Shrines
In the Kagurazaka town area, there are more than ten small and large shrines and temples around.
2 of them are the main venues at our annual festival and we would like to introduce a bit.
Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji temple
This temple was first founded in 1595 by Tokugawa Ieyasu who is a famous shogun(political leader).
It has been a symbol of the neighborhood of Kagurazaka ever since moving to the current location in the late 18th century.
You can visit here for praying every day and can enjoy the concert and performance at our annual festival.
Akagi-jinja shrine was founded in 1300 as a Shinto shrine.
It’s enshrining the guardian spirit of Kagurazaka and its town areas.
The modern and stylish building of the shrine made of wood and covered with glass was newly constructed and designed by Kuma Kengo who is a renowned architect in 2010.
You can visit here every day for praying, shopping for the amulets and etc and even resting in the stylish cafe beside the shrine.
At our annual festival, you can come here and enjoy the Japanese traditional instrumental concert too.
Festivals and events
Not only our festival (“Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edo Tour”), there are several annual festivals and events in Kagurazaka town.
We would like to introduce some of the famous and unique opportunities.
(Kagurazaka Matsuri: Hozuki-ichi and Awa-odori Dance Festival)
This is an annual summer festival held in Kagurazaka in July.
The First 2 days of the festival(Wed. and Thur.) are for “Hozuki-ichi” which is a Japanese traditional summer festival to sell the lantern plants.
In addition to the traditional plants, there are a lot of food stalls on the streets, which is also the biggest attraction for this festival where you will enjoy tons of delicious Japanese local and international foods.
The second half of the festival (Fri. and Sat.) is for Awa-odori Festival originally from Tokushima Prefecture.
Participants perform the fluid and graceful dance on the main street of Kagurazaka.
This festival started in 2007 is mixed with the Halloween event and the cat cosplays.
Both adults and kids are putting on the makeups of the usual Halloween style and cats and joining the parade.
Kagurazaka town is related to Soseki Natsume who is a Japanese famous writer known for his “I am a cat”(Wagahai Ha Neko de Aru) book.
Organizers of this festival combined Halloween and Cat and started this festival.
Places to stay in Kagurazaka
Kagurazaka town is not known very much as a place to stay when traveling in Tokyo, but there are still a few places to stay.
You can find a quiet and luxury hotel mainly for the families/adults, or the modern style casual hostel mainly for the youth.
Staying in Kagurazaka is not the usual way of traveling in Tokyo, but you will definitely have a different experience in this historical area and atmosphere.