Sugamo is organized along a long shopping street, called Jizo-dori, known for its stores for the elderly. And this does not mean that the street is not lively ! The impressive number of Japanese specialty shops and restaurants energizes the street, which has an authentic charm. It’s a throwback to the 60s ! Moreover, at the entrance to the street is a typical neighborhood store selling red underwear especially designed for grandparents. You can also stop at Koganji Temple, located halfway along the Jizo-dori street, which is dedicated to health. That might explain why this district is famous among the elderly.
During the Edo period, it was also the first stopover village when departing from the capital. This is why a commercial activity was developed here.
On the other side of the train station is located the beautiful Japanese style garden of Rikugi-en (see post). For all those reasons, I really recommend going to Sugamo as you will experience an authentic Japanese atmoshere that you won’t find anywhere else (and it’s not popular among tourists). That might be the place to buy souvenirs !
Access: From Shinjuku Station, take the Yamanote Line and stop at Sugamo Station (13 min for 170 yens).
Kōgan-ji temple : open everyday from 06:00 to 17:00