Kagai route

Feel atmosphere of Kagai and development of this town. This route takes you mainly to narrow, typical Japanese-style alleys(Necessary time about 45 minutes)



①Jinai park~Hyogo-yokocho

Starting point is Jinai park near Kagurazaka-ue intersection. Jinai park is said to be a origin of Kagurazaka kagai and there were whorehouses of Gyooganji temple in the Edo era. Walking up stone pavement here then turning left, you will be at Hyoogo-yokochoo. Here is one of the most authentic places in Kagurazaka, where you can find ryootei (a Japanese style restaurant) Yukimoto, and Wakana which is inn for scriptwriters(now temporally closed).


When you reach Karukozaka from Hyoogo-yokochoo, turn right. Walk straight and cross over Honda-yokochoo intersection then look at the right hand side to find black-colored fence. It is Uwotoku, a famous ryootei. If you watch it from the other side of the street, you grasp its construction as a whole. They say some famous Japanese novelists in the Meiji era visited there.

③Ex.Tokiwaya main house

Return to Honda-yokochoo and head for Kagurazaka-doori, then shortly you can find ex.Tokiwaya main house on your left (registered tangible cultural assets). Though it may be difficult to directly see it because the house is a little bit set back from the street and there is a parking before the entrance, it is a gorgeous two-stories wooden building constructed just after the WW2. If you walk in the narrow path at the opposite side, there is another ryootei 'Maki'.


After you see ex.Tokiwaya main house, return a little bit and turn right into the alley, then you are now at Kakurenbo-yokochoo, where a lot of ryootei did business in the past. Look at the ground which is covered by many small stone tiles. There are only three specially designed tiles among them (Heart, Star and Diamond) so enjoy trying to find them if you have time. For details, refer to this website (http://shinjuku-loupe.info/p/topic/320), but sorry it is written only in Japanese. It is a good idea to have lunch in this area as there you find some fantastic restaurants.


At the exit of Kakurenbo-yokochoo is located ryootei Chigetsu. Getting out of the alley, turn right and go forward. Sawaya, at a left side of the intersection with Kagurazaka-doori, was a long-established shop since the Taishoo era (about 100 years ago), and they once sold combs or hairpins to Geisha. At the left hand side of Kagurazaka-doori, there is another long-established shop Sukeroku. They sold their original shoes and bags, which were loved by Geisha very much. The shop's history is longer, it started in Meiji era.

⑥Tokyo Kagurazaka union (Kenban)

Walking up the Kagurazaka-doori a bit, then turn left to Kenban-yokochoo. Just after you pass a small Inari shrine(there are statues of fox in front), you can find a building of Tokyo Kagurazaka union (It is also called Kenban.) on your right hand side. As the second floor of the building is a space for Geisha to practice musical instruments and dancing, you may hear the sound of Shamisen (3-strings guitar-like instrument) or Japanese songs played or sung by Geisha if you are very lucky.

⑦Atami hot water

If you turn left to walk into narrow path at the Kenban building, it makes a right bent to become downsteps with a good atmosphere. The bottom of the steps, you reach a small street called Oguri-yokochoo. On your right there is a beautiful building of Atami hot water. This place was not only often used for shooting TV video but also often used by Geisha to wash their bodies before the job.

⑧Wakamiya Hachiman shrine

Oguri-yokochoo and its surrroundings once was an area of many ryooteis, and you still feel a kind of special old-day's atmosphere. But more and more fashionable bars and restaurants appear, too. At the end of Oguri-yokochoo, please turn left and go on, then you will reach Wakamiya Hachiman shrine. Though the building is modern, its foundation date back to 12th century. This shrine is deeply respected by a lot of people in the world of Kagai.


After you visit Wakamiya Hachiman shrine, go back and head for Kagurazaka-doori by passing Oguri-yokochoo and Kenban-yokochoo, then the alley makes a right bent. There is a large apartment building on your left, but there was the largest ryootei in Kagurazaka called Matsugaya in this location. Unfortunately it is difficult to imagine old days from ordinary building.

⑩Zenkokuji temple

Now you are already close to Kagurazaka-doori. When you reach the street, the left hand side was Zenkokuji temple(Bishamonten). Here is the center of current prosperous Kagurazaka. This is the end of the route. Good job today!