Living in Kichijoji: What is it Like For Foreigners?
Located in the west to Tokyo, Kichijoji is considered one of the most desirable areas to live in. In fact, it has been included in the ranks for multiple years.
Kichijoji proves to be popular among foreigners as well. Mainly from China and Korea, foreign residents come from more than 70 countries, contributing to the area’s lively atmosphere.
So why is Kichijoji such an attractive area? Read below to find out.
Kichijoji - The coziest community in Tokyo
One reason for Kichijoji’s popularity is its easy accessibility. Kichijoji Station not only belongs to the Chuo and Chuo-Sobu line, but also connects to the Tozai line and Inogashira line. This enables local residents to go directly to popular areas such as Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Shimokitazawa.
Another reason is that, despite it being close to the heart of Tokyo, Kichijoji has a cozy atmosphere rarely found in the metropolis. Near the station is a shopping district that is reminiscent of the post-war Showa period, famous for affordable shopping and dining options.
- From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Rapid Line to Kichijoji Station (30 minutes)
- From Shibuya Station, take the Keio-Inogashira Rapid Line to Kichijoji Station (15 minutes)
- From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo Rapid Line to Kichijoji Station (15 minutes)
1. Inokashira Park
The 100-year old Inokashira Park is one of Tokyo’s most stunning parks. It is home to the Inokashira Pond, the Inokashira Park Zoo, Inokashira Benzaiten Shrine, and other facilities.
The 400,000 square meter park is also a host to multiple events throughout the year. The Kichijoji Music Festival is held every April, just in time for cherry blossom viewing, while an anime event is held every October. It would take more than a day to properly visit all facilities the massive Inokashira Park has to offer.
Directions: 5-minute walk from Kichijoji Station, 1-minute walk from Inokashira-koen Station
2. Ghibli Museum
A must-go place for anime lovers is the Ghibli Museum. Located in the south of Inokashira Park, the museum provides a momentary escape from the real world. The facility includes permanent exhibitions which showcase the history and process of animation, temporary exhibitions, a small theater, a cafe, and other enjoyable activities.
More than just an ordinary museum, the facility provides its visitors a chance to live inside the Ghibli universe. An unforgettable experience awaits you here.
Directions: From Mitaka Station, ride a bus directly to the museum, or take 15-minute walk from Mitaka Station’s South Exit
3. Harmonica Yokocho
What used to be a black market after the second World War has developed into a small shopping district. However, its atmosphere still brings a sense of nostalgia to old visitors.Local residents spend their nights having a drink or two in one of the street’s izakaya (Japanese pub), a must-try experience for tourists and foreign residents.
Furthermore, the area sells all sorts of foods and clothes for affordable prices. You can spend all day, and all night, in Harmonica Yokocho and can still discover something new on your next visit.
Directions: 1-minute walk from Kichijoji Station
Why foreigners live in Jiyugaoka
1. Easy access from central Tokyo
Kichijoji can be accessed directly from various parts of Tokyo and Chiba prefecture, enabling residents to commute with ease.
For instance, it is a thirty minute train ride to Tokyo Station, the main office district of Japan. Furthermore, it is a fifteen minute train ride to Shibuya Station, near one of Japan’s liveliest streets.
2. Lively commercial area
Kichijoji Station is surrounded by numerous commercial facilities. Apart from three large shopping districts (Harmonica Yokocho, Sunroad Shopping Street, and Nakamichidori Shopping Arcade), multiple commercial buildings are concentrated within the same area.
With abundant options for entertainment, shopping, and dining, you will never get tired of this lively area.
3. Calm residential area
Kichijoji is a family friendly area due to its large amount of elementary and junior high schools. The nearby Inokashira Park is also an attractive location for families to have picnics and play with their children.
Due to its easy accessibility, Kichijoji is connected to stations of famous universities such as Hitotsubashi University, University of Tokyo (Komaba Campus), Waseda University and more. For this, many university students live in the area. There is also a Japanese language school for foreigners nearby the station.
Although not a luxurious area, Kichijoji is definitely a cozy and comfortable place to live in. The Showa-period atmosphere is completely different from the urban streets of central Tokyo, a must-try experience for anyone coming to Japan.
With so much to offer, you will never get tired of Kichijoji.
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