Set just outside of Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, Sangenjaya is a little more laid-back than its buzzing counterparts. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. From chic cafes to vintage shopping, Sangenjaya offers an eclectic experience worth investigating. That’s why we’re breaking down the 10 best things to do in the area with this handy guide. Time for a walk off the beaten path.
1. Get Your Fill at Sangenjaya’s Burger Street
Craving a juicy hamburger? Then this is where you want to be. Burger Street is exactly what it sounds like, an area filled with burger shops serving up genuine hamburgers bound to impress. Stop in Detroit Meat Choppers for a healthy helping of beef and cheese, plus some thick-cut fries. They also have a full bar to help you wash it down. Or try Fungo, a burger joint that offers a little more variety in their burger selection and also does sandwiches. You won’t leave Burger Street hungry.
Burger Street in Sangenjaya
Tokyo is filled with mouth watering food, from domestic delicacies to international cuisine. However, the hamburger trend…
- Detroit Meat Choppers
2. Take a Stroll along the Setagaya Line 世田谷線
Opposite the train tracks of the Setagaya Line lies Gōtokuji Temple 豪徳寺, which is brimming with maneki-neko, the beckoning cats of good fortune. It makes for some adorable pictures. If you continue down the line, then you’ll run into all kinds of stylish cafes. Attic Furniture is an antique shop and cafe that lets you sit among the warm atmosphere created by the display items. Then there’s Your Daily Coffee, a low-key shop that sells coffee and specialty drinks, in addition to small bites, sweet or savory.
Top 10 of the Best Cafes in Sangenjaya
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3. Go Shopping at the Boroichi Fair ボロ市 in Kamimach
This is a local event that takes place towards the end of the year along Boroichi-dori, and the street is packed with vendors selling everything from antiques to second hand kimonos to warm treats. If you push through the crowds, then you could potentially find a few hidden treasures of your own, and for a fraction of the price they’d be anywhere else. It’s a shopping experience for the Tokyo savvy.
Boroichi Fair in Tokyo
Setagaya is home to one of Tokyo’s largest flea markets, the Boroichi Fair ボロ市.…
4. Peruse the Ikejiri Institute Design (IID) in Mishuku
Mishuku is a relaxed area a 15-minute walk from Sangenjaya, and the IID is a shared office space for creatives in a renovated junior high school. It’s also home to a diverse array of intimate shops. Tabitote Store offers Japanese handicrafts like tableware and ornaments, and Hakkendo 八犬堂 is a gallery space for young artists and designers. Should you get hungry, Teppan Kitchen Setagaya is a cafe that sells yakisoba and brownies, along with classic cafe drinks. Then there’s the Snowdome Museum, where snow globes of every variety line the shelves, and some are for purchase.
The location also regularly offers a Craft Workshop, where you can try your hand at creating something yourself.
Originally, the workshop's reservation is necessary, but you don’t have to have a reservation, either. If the workshop has open slots, then you simply show up and participate, though some do have fees.
The IID is offered everyday from 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is closed on Mondays.
It’s free to come in and just have a look around, too.
- IID Setagaya Monozukuri School
- Tokyo Setagaya-ku Ikejiri 2-chome 4-5
5. Ride the Mini Locomotive at Setagaya Park 世田谷公園
At a little more than 78,000 square meters, Setagaya Park is large compared to Tokyo park standards.
The park is popular with both children and adults, and the space offers activities for both.
Children will love the Play Park and the Mini Locomotive that chugs through the greenery, as well as the go-kart track and the jungle gyms. The park also features a tranquil fountain for quieter moments. Plus, entry to Setagaya Park is free! The Mini Locomotive will run you 50 yen for ages 12 and under and 100 yen for everyone else, though.
6. Enjoy the Sunset from Carrot Tower
The oddly named orange structure, Sky Carrot, looks more like an industrial building rather than a vegetable. The top of Sky Carrot houses an observation deck, with wide windows and relaxing couches. The Sky Carrot observation deck is the least known to both tourists and locals. While crowds gather around the Mori Art Museum or Skytree, Sky Carrot is relatively quiet and sometimes empty. Both Skytree and Tokyo Tower can be seen from the windows, and lucky visitors might see Mt. Fuji on a clear, winter day. Sky Carrot also has a small restaurant and cafe where visitors can relax and watch the sunset. Entrance is free.Sky Carrot also has a small restaurant and cafe where visitors can relax and watch the sunset. Entrance is free.
7. Experience Japanese Theater
Adjacent to Sangenjaya Station are two theaters where you have the opportunity to experience authentic Japanese performances.
The first is Setagaya Public Theatre, which is on the third floor of Carrot Tower, and the second is Theatre Tram, a smaller venue located on the first floor. Ticket prices range from 5,000 to 7,000 yen, and getting your hands on them isn’t as painful as you might think.
How to Buy Tickets
You can reserve tickets in advance via the theatre’s website.
But they also require you to register and create an account, so it’s easier to just show up on the day of the performance and buy your tickets then.
Same-day tickets are sold about an hour before the performance begins. Setagaya Public Theatre tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter in front of the theater, while Theatre Tram same-day tickets are available in the lobby. These tickets are subject to availability, though.
There’s usually only one performance per day, so check the official website before you head over.
8. Saunter over to Shimokitazawa
It’s about a 30-minute walk over to Shimokitazawa, which is another trendy neighborhood aimed at young people. Chazawa-dori is the street connecting Sangenjaya and Shimokitazawa, and there are a couple of cool spots along the way. One is Nonsense, a cozy little antique shop selling dishes, furniture, and other odds and ends. Another is Zig, a stylish second hand clothing store that has vintage pieces for your perusal.
9. Have a Night on the Town
Sangenjaya has a buzzing nightlife scene that caters to wide range of tastes. From hip cafes to bumping clubs, there’s no shortage of options. Tico is a fun way to begin the night; it’s a standing bar that offers house-made infused liquor. Or you could try Orbit, which is an intimate club venue with live music and dancing. And Borrachos is a Ryukyu Mexican fusion restaurant with a full bar that’s open till late.
10. Go Bar Hopping in Sankaku Chitai 三角地帯
This area of Sangenjaya is a web of tight alleys and soft lights that creates a snug atmosphere perfect for bar hopping. All of the bars are packed elbow to elbow, so it won’t take you long to find your next drink. Izakaya Hoshigumi serves up hot pot and fish dishes in an intimate, yet lively, space. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can try blowfish at Gasa snack bar, where they also serve hot sake with a blowfish fin floating on top.
Just like neighbouring Shimokitazawa, Sangenjaya is one of the most popular districts for young and hip Tokyo residents…