Tokyo Places Trainspotting

Trainspotting and Shitamachi Exploring in Sugamo and Otsuka

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Over the weekend my mini rail fan and I headed out for some trainspotting and shitamachi exploring in Sugamo and Otsuka.

How or why my little Kaiju has become such a rail fan remains a mystery to me. But, this was a course that I had been planning since I did a report/filming for a project back in November 2018.

About Sugamo and Otsuka

Sugamo and Otsuka, both stops in the northern corridor of the JR Yamanote Line, are quintessential Tokyo shitamachi (下町) neighborhoods with a homely, retro feel. Gone are the mile-high skyscrapers and crowds of people scrambling to get to their next destination. Instead, the people of Tokyo’s shitamachi have a welcoming, laid-back vibe.

I have a deep appreciation for Tokyo’s shitamachi (downtown areas) and if you’ve seen an English language article about shitamachi spots like Edogawa, Sugamo, Kameido, or Shibamata, there’s a pretty good chance that it was written by ME!

Shameless self-promo aside… onto the photo diary of our weekend outing!



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Teni W.🎌Baby Kaiju Blogさん(@wadateni)がシェアした投稿

The “Harajuku for grandmothers,” Sugamo has long been known as the hangout spot for Tokyo’s older generations. But, in recent years it’s a popular destination for youth thanks to its convenient location, wallet-friendly meals, and Instagram-worthy snacks like black ice cream and soft serve drenched in honey.

Sugamo’s main delight — shio daifuku. A salty rice cake filled with crushed sweet red bean paste and coated with lots of flour.

READ: 3 Must-Try Traditional Japanese Sweets in Tokyo (Live Japan)

Head to Sugi for creamy soft serve topped with honey

READ:  Japan Travel With A Toddler: My Top 10 Wanderlust Spots

Sugamo is famous for lucky red underpants…

…But the bargain hunter in me couldn’t resist picking up a few undergarments for little Kaiju!

Togenuki Jizo-ji temple attracts visitors who wish do to Arai Kannon (洗い観音).

Kannon, the Buddhist deity of compassion and mercy, relieves you of your physical ailments when you wash her.

Take a ride on the Toei Arakawa Line from Koushinzuka Station to Otsuka Station.

Renamed the Tokyo Sakura Tram in 2017, it’s a popular mode of transportation during the cherry blossom season

Most people think of cherry blossoms when they hear “Toei Arakawa Line.”

… But, for me, it’s all about the roses!



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Teni W.🎌Baby Kaiju Blogさん(@wadateni)がシェアした投稿

Next to Sugamo on the Yamanote Line is Otsuka. Its streets are filled will Showa era shopping arcades (商店街 | shoutengai).

The courtyard is a wonderful place to relax!

Not too far away (<100 m) are the platforms for the Tokyo Sakura Tram…

…You can guess how long we stayed here!

Until our next Tokyo trainspotting adventure…


Tokyo-based beautyholic and content creator. Mom to a monster and a furbaby. Driven by intense wanderlust and powered by limited edition snacks and drinks from Japan.

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