Shopping street protected by Jizo
To make their shopping a more pleasant one, benches and other recreational facilities are installed throughout the area. The original reason for Sugamo's popularity is found at Koganji Temple halfway down the shopping street. The small temple is home to the highly popular Togenuki Jizo statue, which depicts the popular Jizo Bodhisattva and is thought to help heal ailments.
Even though there are a lot of elderly here, there are some shops that cater to the youth. On the 4th day of every month, there is a stall fair conducted, so it is a chance to learn about new shops. Not far from the shopping street, near Koshinzuka Station, Sugamo Koshindo Festival is held every spring. In addition, near JR Sugamo Station, there is Shinsei-ji Temple, dedicated to a jizo (Buddhist deity).
Enjoy famous spots
Sugamo has several famous spots. Rikugi-en is a Japanese garden which was headed by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu by permission of the fifth shōgun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and is a typical example of a garden from the Edo period. Kyu-Furukawa gardens used to be Mutsu Munemitsu's residence and are famous for their rose garden. Asukayama Park was a place where shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune planted many cherry trees.
Somei cemetery has graves of Takamura Kotaro, a famous poet and Futabatei Shimei, famous writer and translator of Russian literature. Many celebrities are buried here, among them Osamu Tezuka, famous manga writer, regarded as the "God of Manga".
Train: The closest stations are Sugamo station on JR Yamanote line, Mita line and Koshinzuka station on Touden Arakawa line.
Bus: Get off at Togenuki Jizo-mae or Sugamo Yon-chome bus stop.
Car: Gokokuji Interchange on Ikebukuro line of Metropolitan expressway or Akabane-bashi interchange on Chuo-Loop Line of the Metropolitan Expressway.
Image Gallery: Sugamo