10 Best Things to Do in Sangenjaya

sangenjaya gorilla To do in Tokyo
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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Welcome to Tokyo, a city of incredible depth and incredible balance between old fashioned and modern. If you enjoy this unique blend of eras and vibes, you simply cannot miss out on the charming neighborhood of Sangenjaya. The name means “3 tea houses”, however these 3 tea houses have since closed unfortunately due to causes such as war and fire. Fortunately, the area has grown to be a wonderful, diverse area. Nestled in Setagaya ward, this delightful district offers that blend of old and new, as well as traditional and trendy. From hidden gems to local hangouts, Sangenjaya has it all. Not to mention, it’s the home of the college, Temple University, that your favorite author has graduated from! So, know that you’re getting only the best recommendations. Without further ado, let’s see what “Sancha” has to offer!

1. Sankaku Chitai

Prepare to get lost (or found) in the labyrinthine streets of Sankaku Chitai. This buzzing part of Sangenjaya is the place to be after work (or class) with its dynamic assortment of establishments. Wander through the narrow alleys and you’ll stumble upon a treasure trove of vintage boutiques, quirky cafes, and vibrant Izakaya. Even during the daytime it’s a nice little adventure! Don’t be afraid to explore the hidden nooks and crannies—the best experiences often lie off the beaten path. So, get lost in Sankaku Chitai and let your spontaneous spirit guide you!

2. Sky Carrot (Carrot Tower)

For a breathtaking panoramic view of Sangenjaya and beyond, make your way up to the Sky Carrot observation deck in Carrot Tower. This towering skyscraper not only offers a fantastic view but also houses various shops, cafes, and even a theater. Capture the perfect Instagram-worthy shot of Tokyo’s skyline, sip a cup of joe at a trendy cafe, or catch a show for some entertainment. Sky Carrot is your gateway to a soaring experience in Sangenjaya!

3. Find the Gorilla

Makoto Takashima, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Flickr

Feeling a little adventurous? Go on a gorilla hunt in Sangenjaya! No, not a real gorilla, but rather a “hidden” (it’s quite large) gorilla statue. This quirky statue is perched atop a building, silently watching over the neighborhood. The challenge is to find it, it’s more fun than you’d think! As you meander through the streets, keep your eyes peeled for this unexpected primate surprise. Spotting the gorilla is like finding a hidden gem and will undoubtedly add a touch of whimsy to your Sangenjaya adventure. It also served as an indicator that a personal favorite, but now closed, hamburger restaurant was nearby. However, we will talk about that a little later!

4. Setagaya Park

Escape the bustling city streets and unwind in the tranquil oasis of Setagaya Park. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque gardens, breathe in the fragrant blooms, and let the peaceful atmosphere wash over you. But the real highlight? A pleasant ride on the mini locomotive that chugs its way through the park. Hop aboard and let your inner child rejoice as you enjoy the scenic views and the nostalgic charm of a mini train ride. It’s a delightful experience for travelers of all ages!

5. Grab a Delicious Burger

Burgers in Japan? You would be surprised! Sangenjaya has no shortage of delectable dining options, but if you’re craving a juicy burger, head straight to one of the local burger joints. Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering creation that blends Japanese flavors with classic American-style burgers. Whether you prefer a towering masterpiece with all the fixings or a minimalist approach, these burger havens have got you covered. It’s the perfect fusion of culinary cultures that will leave your taste buds cheering for more! “Homemade” was a personal favorite (the one near the gorilla) but the next best option is “Ten Fingers”- be sure you have a good grip!

6. Suzuran Dori Street

This is another vibrant area that might be compared to the Sankaku Chitai area we talked about before; it’s got a bunch of shops and Izakaya, as well as other establishments. It’s definitely a place to check out at night or in the early evening and grab some bites and drinks! Its iconic red and yellow sign hanging above the entrance is a surefire way to know you’re in the right spot. 

7. Saishoji Temple

Immerse yourself in the serenity of Saishoji Temple, a hidden gem tucked away in Sangenjaya. This Buddhist temple exudes tranquility and offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a moment to admire the elegant architecture and explore the peaceful gardens. This temple is also known as Kyogakuin and Meao Fudo, and is one of five Fudo temples from the Edo period. Be sure to check it out if you go to the Sky Carrot!

8. Kissaten Seven

Indulge in a quintessentially Japanese experience at Kissaten Seven, a traditional Japanese-style coffee shop. Step inside and you’ll be transported to a bygone era, with retro decor and the smell of fresh coffee filling the air. Savor a meticulously brewed mug, paired with a delectable pastry or a light snack. Take your time, relax, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this charming establishment. Kissaten Seven is the perfect spot to unwind and recharge before continuing your Sangenjaya exploration.

9. Taishido Hachiman Shrine

Discover the rich spiritual heritage of Sangenjaya at Taishido Hachiman Shrine. This Shinto shrine holds great significance for the local community and offers a glimpse into Japan’s ancient beliefs. Marvel at the intricate shrine architecture, explore the peaceful grounds, and if you’re lucky, you might witness a traditional ceremony or festival taking place. 

10. Gyoza Shack

Last but certainly not least, satisfy your cravings for delicious dumplings at the iconic Gyoza Shack. This humble eatery is a local favorite, serving up mouthwatering Gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) that will leave you wanting more. Choose from a variety (14 different types!) of fillings, each bursting with flavor, and savor these delectable bites alongside a refreshing beverage. The friendly atmosphere and the scrumptious Gyoza make Gyoza Shack a must-visit spot for any food lover in Sangenjaya. 

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Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo, where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English-speaking guide! 

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Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

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Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!

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