What is Kagurazaka
Kagurazaka refers to a slope from the Okubo-dori intersection to the Sotobori-dori intersection along the Waseda-dori, located in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. It has been selected as one of "the Top 100 Historical Sites of Beautiful Japan".
There used to be a hanamachi thriving in the Taisho period (1912-1926). Kagurazaka is said to be the only place in Japan which has reminiscences of alleys unique to hanamachi (geisha quarter). Once you leave the busy main street lined with stores including franchises and walk into a quiet alley, you will find many refined restaurants and ryotei (high-class Japanese-style restaurant) for customers with mature taste. Literary masters such as Ozaki Koyo, and Izumi Kyoka loved Kagurazaka, and their former residences are designated as historic sites by the Shinjuku-ku municipality.
Although an increasing number of high-rise apartments have been constructed in the neighborhood, Kagurazaka is still a place preserving a traditional lifestyle in the urbanity. On holidays and during lunch time, part of the street is vehicle-free pedestrian precinct, crowded with people in the local commercial district.
Kagurazaka has introduced a unique one-way system for vehicular traffic, under which the one-way traffic direction is reversed from morning to afternoon. Regarding the Okubo-dori intersection as uphill and the Waseda-dori intersection as downhill, cars have to follow the one-way from uphill to downhill in the morning and from downhill to uphill in the afternoon, reversely. Drivers need to be careful about the one-way direction. Every summer, the "Kagurazaka Matsuri" festival is held. During the festival, an awa-odori dance parade through the Kagurazaka-dori, a hozuki-ichi (plant "Chinese lantern") market around Bishamonten Zenkoku-ji Temple and other events are held, attracting many spectators. Why don't you visit to enjoy the good old day Japan?
Nearest is Kagurazaka station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai/Line, Ushigome-kagurazaka station on the Toei Subway/Oedo Line, Iidabashi station on the JR Chuo/Sobu Line, the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line/Yurakucho Line/Nanboku Line, or the Toei Subway/Oedo Line. By car, it is very near from Iidabashi Exit on the Metropolitan Expressway Route 5. Don't mistake the one-way direction which is reversed from morning to afternoon.
Image Gallery: Kagurazaka
Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
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