I had some shopping to do yesterday so I was debating between Tokyo Station and Kichijoji. Due to the Covid-19 situation I opted for Kichijoji because I thought it would be a little less busy, and therefore easier to adhere to social distancing. I made four main stops: Inokashira Park (for fresh air and enjoying some photography), Nishi Matsuya (if you have a child in Japan this is your go-to place), Yuzawaya (a huge fabric and craft store), and Nana’s Green Tea (for their excellent lunch sets).
If you want to read more about Kichijoji go here!
Looking For Hydrangeas in Inokashira Park
Spoiler alert: I didn’t find any. I think it was just too early, but due to all of the rain we’ve been having lately the park was showing some extraordinary shades of green. I walked around and enjoyed pretending to be a photographer.
I love this bright red shrine to water goddess Benzaiten, it’s one of my favorite parts of the park. I have heard that there is an urban legend attached to it that the goddess is a jealous type and will cause couples who visit the park to break up! I don’t think there’s any reason to fear though, people love attaching the jealous trope to legendary women but I think an awesome water goddess has no reason to be jealous of us bumbling humans. I’m sure she has better things to do with her time.
Outside of urban legends Benzaiten is associated with everything that flows. Examples would be water, music, and conversation. So go ahead and give her a visit.
Nishi Matsuya (西松屋) Affordable Store for Children’s Clothes and Goods
From the time I was pregnant I loved this store, and they have them all over Japan! They have good quality clothes for children that aren’t ridiculously priced like other places, and they also have some snacks, toys, and maternity goods. Whether you live in Japan or are just visiting, this is the place to go if you need something quickly.
The Nishi Matsuya in Kichijoji is located in the Yodobashi Camera building.
Yuzawaya – For Craft Supplies in Japan
Craft stores always make me go a bit crazy. I mean, think of all of the possibilities! Let’s make all of the things! This time I didn’t spend my time browsing and daydreaming but went straight for what I needed. Name tags for my sons futon for his hoikuen (public preschool in Japan).
This Yuzawaya is in the Keio building, attached to the train station, so it is easy to get to.
Nana’s Green Tea for a Matcha Latte and Awesome Lunch Set
Lunch set’s are a lifesaver in Japan (and all over the world, I suppose). You don’t have to calculate how much you have to pay if you want a drink, or soup, or dessert because it’s all included. Nana’s Green Tea specializes in matcha drinks and desserts and the menu for that alone is huge. You could literally sit here all day and enjoy endless matcha wonders (you would probably get pretty sick though). Their food menu is also the bomb and changes seasonally.
I ordered an ahi poke set with warabi mochi (which I thought was made from rice but google just informed me it is made from Bracken starch and dipped in kinako – sweet toasted soybean flour) for dessert. Tuna! Avocado! Matcha! I was in heaven. The total came to about 1,500 yen, which is a bit steep for lunch but the quality makes it worth it.