In Kichijoji, the moment your feet touch the ground you’re within walking distance of any kind of place that you can imagine. Located amid the western suburbs of Tokyo in Musashino City, Kichijoji plays host to an array of lovely coffee houses, live jazz, swan boats, theaters, a zoo, and shops that engage the imagination. With a warm and inviting atmosphere — in part thanks to one of the capital’s most cosmopolitan and friendliest communities — Kichijoji is a magical place to explore with friends, family or by yourself.
History and Background
Interestingly, the name Kichijoji derives from the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and posterity, “Lakshmi,” known as Kichijoten in her Japanese Buddhist form. The temple dedicated to this goddess, Kichijo-ji, was originally located in Bunkyo-ku before being lost in a fire in 1657. After the fire, new land was provided for those whose homes had been destroyed. In memory of their lost home, the relocated residents decided to name the new village after their beloved temple, Kichijoji.
Nowadays, Kichijoji is a regular feature on various lists of the best areas to live in the Tokyo metropolitan area, notably winning the top spot on Japanese real estate giant Suumo’s annual survey in 2017. Though it was beaten by Yokohama this year, Kichijoji is still one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods for home seekers.
Things to Do
In the heart of Kichijoji lives Inokashira Park, a haven of trees, a gorgeous giant pond which gets filled with sakura petals in spring, and a bridge that is reminiscent of the one in "Spirited Away."
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