Japan Tokyo


‘Grandma’s Harajuku’, attracting those who cherish the past in a modern metropolis.

Photo of Sugamo, Japan (Walking down Sugamo by George N)

Sugamo, a district in Tokyo, offers a window into Japan’s cultural heritage, featuring the cherished Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street.

About Sugamo

Located in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, Sugamo holds a special place in the hearts of many, particularly the elderly. Its popularity among older generations gives it the nickname “Grandma’s Harajuku,” in contrast to the youthful fashion district of Harajuku. Sugamo’s cultural fabric is woven into its community and the everyday lives of its residents and visitors.

The centerpiece of Sugamo is the Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street, named after the beloved Jizo statues believed to protect children and travelers. The street is a convergence of nostalgia and the liveliness of a local market, with shops selling traditional goods such as kimono, Japanese sweets, and tea.

Koganji Temple, with its revered Togenuki Jizo statue, stands as a significant cultural landmark, attracting visitors who seek blessings for health. The temple becomes particularly bustling during the market days on the 4th, 14th, and 24th of each month.

While Sugamo’s history includes the Sugamo Prison, its cultural identity persists vibrantly. The district maintains Tokyo’s multifaceted character, where history and community coexist.

The slower pace and inviting atmosphere of Sugamo provide a respite from the city’s modernity. The area’s street food, particularly the shio daifuku, is a must-try for visitors.

Beyond the main shopping street, the side alleys of Sugamo reveal small temples, traditional bathhouses (sento), and quaint shops that offer a deeper dive into the district’s cultural essence.

Seasonal festivals and events, like the Sugamo Noryo Matsuri summer festival with its dance and music performances, add to the area’s charm.

Sugamo is a district where visitors can engage with the cultural traditions and community spirit that define this distinct part of Tokyo.

Upcoming Events what's happening around Sugamo

🌸 Cherry Blossom Predictions
Thursday, 21 March - Thursday, 11 April 2024 (predicted)

Cherry blossoms (sakura) started blooming in Tokyo on March 29, 2024, and are expected to reach their peak around April 4.

Petals typically fall within about 1 week of the full bloom unless the weather causes them to drop earlier.

For more information, see our complete Cherry Blossom Predictions 2024 guide.

Updated 29 Mar 2024
Event listings are sourced from public information, and may be incorrect or outdated. Always consult the official website for full details.

Around Sugamo

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