A town with face-to-face communication [Sugamo]
Sugamo station is served by the JR Yamanote, and Toei Mita Lines. In comparison to Harajuku, famous for its youth fashion and culture, Sugamo is often called the “Old Ladies’ Harajuku”. As the name suggests, there is a large selection of clothing or foods suited for older generations. “Shio-daifuku”, salt pounded rice cake that contains sweet red-bean paste, in particular is one of the most popular sweets in Sugamo.
In addition, “Jizo” (Ksitigarbha in Sanskrit) statues are dotted throughout the town. They are an embodiment of the Bodhisattva Vow from Buddhism, and also a guardian spirit according to folk beliefs. Of all the sites, the most famous temple is Koganji, which houses “Togenuki-Jizo”. At this temple, people who wish for good health queue in front of the statue of the “washing deity”. It is believed if you wash the same part of the statue as is painful on your body, your illness will go away.
Sugamo has a busy shopping street not only for older generations but also young people, families or foreigners. Therefore, local speciality stores still remain, many of which cannot be seen so much in other cities in Tokyo these days. For example, you can buy Nori (dried laver seaweeds) from Nori shops, or tea leaves from tea shops, etc. Becoming a regular at these shops is a real treat.
Sugamo, a city with great access to transportation, and filled with Japanese cultural traditions carried on from the past to the present. Why not try living there?