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Guide to Koenji Tokyo’s Retro Hub | 5 Fun Things To Do At Koenji, Tokyo

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Koenji is the best place to eat and shop cheap. And also you’ll find some amazing sights in Koenji, Japan. So here’s a guide to Koenji Tokyo’s retro hub! Check out the best things to do and places to eat and shop at Koenji

Embark on a nostalgic journey through Koenji, Tokyo’s retro sanctuary, with this comprehensive guide.

Discover the fun and quirky activities that await in this bohemian neighborhood known for its vintage vibes, eclectic shops, and vibrant street culture that make it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

where to shop in koenji

Best Things To Do In Koenji 

Visit Local Shrines at Koenji 

Okay, so you may not think that going to shrines can be very interesting. 

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However, believe me when I say that the shrines in Koenji are one of a kind. Koenji is known for its historical shrines. 

These shrines have a rich history attached to them. Not only that, but they are also quite photogenic. 

One of the shrines that you need to visit is the Mabashi Inari Shrine.

Koenji things to do

The shrine has three beautiful and majestic torii gates that take you inside the shrine. When you walk through it, you also have to walk over a little bridge. 

The entire walk towards the main grounds of the shrine is extremely relaxing and soothing to the mind. You will love the shaded pathways that are lined with vermilion lanterns.

One of the torii gates is made of stone and it stands out from the other two. 

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It has stunning carvings of dragons on each of its sides that is known as soryu, which translates to paired dragons. 

In this torii, you can see that one dragon is ascending while the other one is descending. 

There is a wide belief that if you make a wish while touching the rising dragon, your wish will reach the heavens above and it will be fulfilled. 

However, it is not as simple as it sounds. You need to figure out which is the dragon that is climbing up. 

Related: Best Museums to visit in Tokyo

Best Place to Shop at Koenji 

We all love to shop, and when it comes to shopping, Koenji is a great hub. 

There are so many thrift stores here in Koenji that you can check-out. These thrift stores are pretty gain when it comes to getting quaint products at quite a bargain. 

There are such pretty second-hand thrift clothing items that you can get here. 

The items that you find at the thrift stores here are priced well and they are also in pretty good condition. Two of my favorite thrift stores in Koenji are Lover Soul and Sokkyo. 

Lover Soul is known for its range of the 60s and 70s retro clothing items that are all available at excellent prices. 

koenji shopping

Sokkyo, on the other hand, is known for its authentic vintage experience. 

Here, you will find all the trends that are ruling the fashion world. Most of these clothing items have an American origin. 

You can also find vintage clothing items here from the 1920s to the 1990s.

You can check out the Kirakuya store if you are looking for vintage kimono. 

koenji tokyo

You can also find kimonos with unique motifs and patterns here. These are known as Mame Budou. If you are looking for vintage beaded bags, you can find them as well here. 

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You can find a lot of rare items here that will make you very proud of your collection. 

Koenji is also a paradise for a music lover. 

Enjoy the Tunes at Live Houses

You can check out Rare Records if you are looking for some of the best items in the music world. 

They mostly have rock, but they also have a pretty fascinating soul section that you must check out. 

See the Famous Awaodori Festival

Awaodori has a rich history that goes back 400 years. It is a traditional dance of Tokushima. 

The dance started off as a festival to revive the small shopping streets of Koenji. 

However, over time, it has become one of Tokyo’s major summer events that see over 10,000 dancers and over 1,000,000 viewers. 

Thanks to this popularity, Koenji is known for this Awaodari festival. 

koenji festival

You should definitely visit Koenji during this time period to enjoy the whole vibe of this place and to dance to the tunes during this time. 

Live houses are a huge part of Koenji’s culture. 

These live houses are extremely popular there and are loved by tourists. Most music tastes of people are taken care of here. 

Whether you love rock or jazz, you can enjoy them to the fullest here. One of these live houses is Jirokichi. 

It is an extremely cool place that is located in a house that has over 40 years of history. 

Where To Eat at Koenji 

Koenji is the place to eat even when you are on a budget. 

There are tons of cheap eats, coffee shops, and bars. Eating in Koenji has a whole different vibe to it. 

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Just grab a seat here and you can enjoy all the delicious food items here. 

You should check out the Hattifnatt Koenji cafe for a unique experience. 

It is a very cute cafe with a very beautiful interior design. There are such pretty and colorful illustrations inside the cafe that make you feel very happy from the inside. 

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There is also a treehouse that you will surely love exploring. Trust me, this place will bring out the kid in you. 

And that’s not all. Walk around the streets of Koenji to find some of the most quaint cafes and eateries. Nothing over here will disappoint you.

How to Reach Koenji

From Haneda Airport, it takes approximately 1 hour by Train to reach Koenji whereas, from Narita Airport, it takes 2 hours. You can take JR Chuo line station which is quite close to Koenji. You can also take the Shin-Koenji Station on Tokyo Metro Marunouchi to visit the main tourist spots in Koenji which is just 15 mins away. 

From Tokyo station board the JR Chuo line to Koenji station which will take you about 15 mins to reach Koenji.

Things to Do in Koenji: FAQs

Which are the best sushi shops in Koenji?

To enjoy scrumptious sushis, you can go to Hayashi, Hama Sushi and Sushizanmai Koenji. These restaurants are top-rated for sushi in Koenji town.

Which are the best Koenji thrift stores?

Lover Soul and Sokkyo are the best thrift stores in Koenji. These stores have high-quality trendy clothing at affordable prices.

What is koenji famous for?

Koenji is famous for hip eateries, bars and underground music scene. It’s also known for the famous Awa Odori Festival that happens every year in the month of August. Koenji is known to be the “coolest Tokyo neighborhood”.

Where can I find vintage clothing shops in Koenji?

Koenji is known for its vintage clothing stores where you can find clothing from the 1920s to the 1990s. Kirakuya is the most popular store for vintage clothing in Koenji.

The best of Koenji!

Koenji is a retro hub that is so full of amazing places to explore. This is a place that will fill you up with experiences. If you love quaint places and a very retro vibe that transports you back in time, you really should visit Koenji. 

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