Japan Tokyo Sugamo

Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street

‘Granny’s Harajuku’ brimming with tradition and elder-centric vibrancy

Photo of Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street, Japan (Walking down Sugamo by George N)

Tokyo’s Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street is a blend of contemporary commerce and traditional practices favored by the senior community. This 800-meter street hosts over 200 shops, offering clothing, traditional food, and items tailored for older residents.

About Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street

The street, known as “Old Ladies Harajuku” or “Harajuku for Grandmas,” reflects the slower pace and welcoming atmosphere of an older Tokyo. Its accessibility, with a flat and accessible environment, allows visitors of diverse ages and abilities to enjoy its variety.

Maruji, a local shop famed for its red items, including red underwear, symbolizes luck and longevity in Japanese culture. The color red is often associated with the 60th birthday, a milestone celebrated as a new beginning, and red clothing is traditionally gifted for this occasion.

The focal point of the street is Koganji Temple, with a history that can be traced back to 1596 and was later moved to Sugamo. The temple’s “Togenuki Jizo” statue, believed to have healed a samurai’s wife, is now a site where the elderly wash the Arai Kannon statue, seeking their own miraculous cures. On the 4th, 14th, and 24th of each month, the temple’s festival draws visitors to participate in the healing traditions.

Sugamo’s historical significance is further highlighted by its connection to Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, who resided in the neighborhood post-shogunate era. His presence adds historic depth to the area.

While perusing Sugamo Jizo Dori, visitors can indulge in the district’s traditional sweets, such as shio-daifuku - salt mochi rice cake. Additionally, a visit to the Togenuki Jizoson Koganji Temple offers a chance to observe or engage in health prayers, enriching the cultural experience.

In essence, Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street is a lively cultural center that blends the past with the present, offering insights into the lifestyles and customs of Tokyo’s older generations. It welcomes visitors to participate in the local spirit, discover unique shops, and connect with the traditions that render the district a distinctive and integral part of Tokyo’s cultural landscape.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street

JY 11

Sugamo
 JR Yamanote Line + 1 more

 5-10 minute walk (600m)
N 14

Komagome
 Namboku Line + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.3km)
M 24

Shin-ōtsuka
 Marunouchi Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.5km)

Around Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street

Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street

Shopping Street in Tokyo

open 10am - 6pm
closed Irregularly

Address

地蔵通り, 東京

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Updated 21 Feb 2024 • Report an error

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