BE A LOCAL Report 2 - Tour to Sugamo, Rikugien Garden, and Yanesen

BE A LOCAL Report 2 - Tour to Sugamo, Rikugien Garden, and Yanesen
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BE A LOCAL is a part of Hub Japan’s service to match local Japanese people and tourists from overseas. This is a report of the day local Japanese hosts took guests to Sugamo, Rikugien Garden, and Yanesen.

BE A LOCAL Report 1 – Tour to Ueno, Meiji Shrine, and Harajuku

We received a request to the plan from a family from Brazil, Renata, Carlos, Claudia, and Carlos. We went to Ueno, Meiji Shrine, and Harajuku on the other day. They requested us to walk along with them for another day. They moved to Kyoto and came back to Tokyo few days after, and we met up again!

As the family had seen major sightseeing spots in Tokyo already, we planned to show somewhere with local feelings. We headed to Sugamo first with Toden (Streetcar) Arakawa Line. Toden Arakawa Line is the only survivor of Tokyo’s streetcar system now.

Waiting for next streetcar at the station

Waiting for next streetcar at the station

Sugamo – Harajuku for the old ladies

Sugamo might not be familiar to many tourists. It is a neighborhood located in the northern part of Tokyo near Saitama Prefecture. Sugamo’s nickname is “Harajuku for the old ladies” in Japanese. The 800 meters Jizo-Dori Shopping Street has lots of shops selling clothes, traditional food, and other products, particularly for older generations. As this is one of the districts survived the bomb attacks during the World War II, many old buildings and shops are still left here. You can feel a totally different face of Tokyo at Sugamo.

The entrance Jizo Dori Shotengai

The entrance Jizo Dori Shotengai. From Wikimedia

One of the attractions of walking along Jizo Dori Shopping Street is street food. We stopped at a Melon Pan, melon flavored bread shop and shared the bread. They all seem to like the melon pan!

Sharing Melon Pan bread at the shop

Sharing Melon Pan bread at the shop

Walking along Jizo Dori Shopping Street.

Walking along Jizo Dori Shopping Street.

Another attraction of Sugamo is Kodaiji Temple, as known as Togenuki jizo. The temple is thought to heal the illness, and that is one of the reasons why Sugamo is a popular neighborhood to older generations.

Kodaiji Temple

Kodaiji Temple

Rikugien Garden in Komagome

In front of the entrance of Rikugien Garden

In front of the entrance of Rikugien Garden

Rikuigen is one of the most famous Japanese garden in Tokyo. The garden was originally a part of the residence of the founder of famous Mitsubishi Group, Yataro Iwasaki. Rikugien is a famous site for viewing cherry blossom flowers and autumn colors. Unfortunately, we are a bit early for autumn color viewing but had a wonderful time in nature.

There was a Shamisen (Japanese instrument) performance

There was a Shamisen (Japanese instrument) performance

In the Rikugien Garden

In the Rikugien Garden

Beautiful gardens

Beautiful gardens

The bridge was very photogenic

The bridge was very photogenic

We spent about an hour in the garden taking pictures, and moved to Yanesen area.

Yanesen neighborhood – Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagaya

We took a subway and moved to Todaimae Station, walked to Yanesen neighborhood. This is one of the few districts in Tokyo where leaves old town, Shitamachi atmosphere. The area still has a warmth of nostalgic atmosphere with lots of old shops and friendly people. 

The famous entrance of Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

The famous entrance of Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

At the shopping street, we enjoyed looking at Japanese crafts shops.

Many shops selling Japanese crafts in Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Many shops selling Japanese crafts in Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Looking at a teapot in Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Looking at a teapot in Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Our stomach was pretty full at this time but there were many delicious looking street foods in this street as well.

After we finish exploring Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street and Yanaka Cemetery, we said goodbye, and it was the end of the day. I had an amazing experience spending time with them and learnt a lot of things about Brazil.

Hub Japan’s BE A LOCAL provides plans to meet locals and experience real Japan. Why don’t you participate in one of the plans with Japanese locals?

Find plans from here => https://hubjapan.io/experiences

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