Jiyugaoka: A Different Kind of Tokyo

11 June 2015

On Carys’ recent visit, she wanted to visit less touristy places since she’s been to Tokyo before. This short trip, she simply wanted to relax and explore less mainstream places. Specifically, she requested for “quaint neighbourhoods” in Tokyo.

I’m a master host, so what she wants, I deliver! *flex*  (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧

When you search for a quaint neighbourhood in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa 下北沢 is typically the top search result. But I’ve already brought her there before and I also don’t think it’s that great.

Then I came across Jiyugaoka 自由が丘.

We headed there and both of us ended up loving the place! (Carys loved it so much that after she flew back the next day, she went to search online for apartments in the area LOL)

I’ll attempt to show you Jiyugaoka through pictures, but to be honest, I didn’t take as many as I’d have liked to be able to demonstrate the beauty of the place, since I was more focused more on enjoying the place and my company :)


Right outside the station

Branched-off alleys to explore :)

This is one thing I really like about Jiyugaoka – There is a long space carved out down the middle of the spacious walkway and filled with lots of benches so people can sit and relax. There are several trees as well, which provides some shade and adds to the atmosphere :)

A charming point about Jiyugaoka is that the train travels on the same level. Recall seeing in dramas where the protagonists wait at the train crossing for the train to pass? You can do it here too! Hehe.

When the barriers of the train crossing are lifted

We spotted this shop and were laughing so hard at the signboard.

As you can see, this shop is a “collaboration between New Zealand and Japan”, right? Then why does the signboard have NEW ZEA for New Zealand, but only J for Japan?

It’s like they paste paste paste the letters, then at letter A, they suddenly realized…

“SHIT!!! We don’t have enough space!”

Then just haphazardly ended off with a + J.  LOLOL.

Otherwise they can just do NZ + J right? Everyone knows New Zealand as NZ rather than some halfhearted New Zea… lol.

Ahem, anyway, pardon the digression.

We love Jiyugaoka because it was so relaxing, wandering leisurely about a lovely neighborhood, turning into random small lanes, poking our heads into the many random shops in the area. We also chanced upon a lovely cafe, which I will share in an upcoming post! [post is up here!]

There are hardly any other tourists in the area, which makes it feel like you’re in Japan even more. (you know, not very Japan-like if you are just surrounded by other tourists, jostling with them, can understand every word they say and basically see their un-Japanese behaviour)

I happily recommend this place for a leisurely afternoon seeing a different side of Tokyo :)

To access this place, just take a train to Jiyugaoka station! It’s just 10 minutes from Shibuya by train!


  • Reply Shu 17 August 2015 at 5:07 am

    my brother also recommended me to this area. he stayed here for nearly 2 weeks on his last visit to tokyo. i will definitely be keeping this in my sept agenda!

    • Reply Rin 18 August 2015 at 11:21 am

      Yep, definitely a nice place to spend an afternoon. I approve! Haha

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