Tokyo’s retro town! A relaxing stroll in Sugamo and Otsuka

Streetcars roll through the laid-back vibes of the Sugamo/Otsuka area. The neighborhood is easily accessible along the JR Yamanote Line, about five minutes by train from Tokyo’s shopping/entertainment district, Ikebukuro. Filled with beloved local shops, it’s the perfect place to stroll through a leisurely day.

Temple visits and tempting treats on Sugamo Jizo-dori Shopping Street

Sugamo Jizo-dori Shopping Street is a famous sightseeing spot filled with restaurants and souvenir shops surrounding the temple Togenuki Jizo. After wandering through the temple grounds, wander around to find the perfect spot for you.

Togenuki Jizo, a “power spot” for recovery from illness

A local tale tells how a pilgrim once accidentally swallowed a thorn but had it safely removed at the temple. Ever since, Koganji Temple has affectionately been known as “Togenuki Jizoson,” meaning “the Guardian of Splinter-removal.”

At the “Arai Kannon” or “Deity of Washing,” pouring water over ailing parts of your body is said to have healing properties.

Address 3-35-2 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours Main hall 6:00-17:00 (4th, 14th and 24th -20:00), 24 hours entry available in precincts
Regular holiday Open 365 days

Freshly baked dorayaki Senari Monaka

A Japanese sweets shop loved by locals since 1937. Their claim to fame is the “dorayaki” baked onsite, and the most popular flavor is salty red-bean paste butter. Try it once and you’re sure to want more.

Enjoy it for takeout or in the shop with a free tea service.

Address 3-28-8 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours 10:00-18:00
Regular holiday Open 365 days

The birthplace of Sugamo's sensational snack, Ganso Shio Daifuku Mizuno

Salty “daifuku” (rice cake stuffed with bean jam) is the best-seller here, made in-house with obsessive attention to quality, famed for its firm dough, elegant sweet bean paste, and tantalizing accent of salt.

Pick some up as souvenirs, or buy just one for a great snack on your stroll.

Address 3-33-3 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours 9:30-18:30
Regular holiday No fixed holiday

boulangerie Bonheur only in Sugamo! Manna from heaven

With an adorable look and warm expression, “Jizo Bread” is a sweet bun filled with sesame paste.

A variety of other baked goods are also available, including the popular Happy Curry Bread, with its spicy curry roux wrapped in a crunchy exterior.

Address 3-14-17 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours 9:00-Close when sold out
Regular holiday Jan. 1-3

Simple ramen made with care: Mensoan Sunada

Chinese noodles made with only carefully selected ingredients in a light, flavorful chicken stock broth. The Wonton Noodles are highly recommended, a satisfying dish featuring dumplings bursting with meat.

Address 4-24-6 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours Weekdays (No dinner on Wednesday) 9:00-14:00 (L.O.13:30), 18:00-20:30 (L.O.20:00), Sat, Sun, holidays 9:00-15:30 (L.O.15:00)
Regular holiday Thu, other non fixed holidays

The centuries old Kamenoko Tawashi

Made from bundles of natural materials such as coconut fibers, “tawashi” is a cleaning brush of Japan used since ancient times. This shop carries a variety of special goods, including the signature product, Kamenoko Tawashi, handmade by craftsmen using selected materials of the highest quality! Even after using Tawashi in the kitchen, it can still be used long after to clean bathrooms, toilets, or outdoors, for a sustainable cleaning solution!

Address 6-14-8 Takinogawa, Kita-ku, Tokyo
Business hours Weekdays 9:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00
Regular holiday Sat, Sun, holidays

Baths from the past: Otsuka Kinenyu and Sauna New Otsuka!

With a public bath and a sauna attached, you can choose your pleasure upon entering. The mural of the universe painted on the ceiling of the change room adds unique character to this “sento” in addition to its variety of bath options.

In the sauna, bask in high heat then retire to the spacious rest area. Both have hair dryers and amenities to use for free, so drop by anytime empty-handed.

Address 3-38-15 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours Otsuka Kinenyu 14:00-25:00, Sauna New Otsuka 12:00-24:00
Regular holiday Fri

Bar hopping at Otsuka Norengai!


Skewer-grilled meat, seafood, gyoza and a wide range of other options await at the izakayas in this complex that brings together ten renovated folk houses. At night, the light of paper lanterns takes us back to a nostalgic time not so long ago.

Address 2-28-7 Kita-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours Varies depending on the store
Regular holiday Varies depending on the store
The information herein is as of November 2023
I am Sana, born in Tokyo. I love travelling, dancing, drinking, very spicy food, sauna, thrill rides at amusement parks, camera, and monozukuri(handcraft), which tells me that I am curious about many things. There are more than 1,500 spots/places on my travel bucket list. I am going to provide information while enjoying myself!

Tokyo Article

Shopping Article