As the theme of the summer was to visit Kita-ward area, I visited two areas of Kita ward which were (1) Itabashi Area and (2) Jujo Area on 15th September 2018 (10am~5pm). Regarding the requirements of the contents in accordance with the project theme, I visited to 3 routes in the Itabashi Area and 5 routes around Jujo Area. The summer itinerary is presented as below.

Itinerary 1: Itabashi Area

Itabashi area were visited as the first location of the day on 15 September, where three routes were taken to visit the area; Route 1 Nakamarukaen(株式会社中丸花苑) Route 2 Marumiya Tea (茶の丸美屋) Route 3 Kikuhiro(有限会社きくひろ). The area has begun to observe after crossing the JR Itabashi Station. After walking for about 10-15 minutes from the JR Itabashi Station, I reached at 滝野川市場通り(Takinogawa Street Market) where two targeted shops were located (1) Nakamarukaen(株式会社中丸花苑)(2) Marumiya Tea(茶の丸美屋). I found Takinogawa Street Market (滝野川市場通り) have different types of local shops, where we can find different types of foods, clothes, vegetables, flowers, beauty salons and Japanese popular souvenirs such as green tea etc. in a reasonable price. This street market was quite impressive for me as a foreigner. In the street market, I found many things on one small street that I needed. It was an interesting place where I could spend few hours to visit different shops and also enjoy different games at the game center.

Takinogawa Street Market (滝野川市場通り)

Route 1
At Takinogawa Street, first I visited Nakamarukaen(株式会社中丸花苑)flower shop. The flower shop is located at the center of the Takinogawa Street, which helped me to find out the street market in a very short time. Generally, the flower shop itself is very beautiful because of so many colors of flowers that we can see in the shop. The Nakamarukaen(株式会社中丸花苑)flower shop was beautifully decorated with different kinds of colorful flowers which were attractive. I spent around 15 minutes observing the flowers and other plants and take many pictures. The shop had many kinds of beautiful indoor plants, various flower’s bouquets and different shapes and sizes of flower containers. Most of the flowers had common prices like any other flower shops, but I found that this small flower shop had more varieties of flowers than other flower shops.

Nakamarukaen(株式会社中丸花苑)flower shop

The shop is located at the accessible location of the street market. The shop is small but it contains varieties of flowers that attracted many customers. Personally, I am very happy to visit that place, if I’ll get a chance to go there again I will definitely visit that shop and buy some flower.

Route 2
After visiting Nakamarukaen flower shop, I went to Marumiya Tea shop which is located in front of the flower shop. The Marumiya Tea shop was the center of attraction of the day for me. I have never visited any tea shops before in such details and this was the first time to observe a tea shop in such a manner. It was quite mesmerizing while observing different types of Japanese tea, traditional teapots, cups, souvenir goods and cultural toys (doll). I spent around 30~50 minutes in the tea shop and I was able to talk with the tea shop owner about the detail information of teas. The shop had different varieties of teas that I never knew before like Cherry flower tea, Burdock Tea, Garlic tea and many more. A price is also very reasonable compared with other tea shops. The owner was very humble and he let all his customers to have a taste of tea. I also tasted delicious Japanese tea. I found out that the shop was awarded many times because of its popularity and I guess for the quality of tea.

I tried to find some local product which is produced in Kita ward but I did not find any products and the owner also mentioned that most of the Tea come from Kansai and other areas. The owner said that most of teas in the shop cannot be found in other shops. I observed many items including teapots, souvenir and culture representative items in details. Those items were fascinating to attract any customers apart from tea. I bought two packages of tea that was one for me and another was a gift for my friend’s mom. Later I found that the shop owner kept some extra tea bags as a gift for me, it was quite impressive which made me thinking to go again to buy some different teas.

Varities of the Tea Shop Marumiya Tea(茶の丸美屋)

Cherry Flower Tea / Japanese Tea pots and cups

Tea Shop was the most adorable shop on that day among all the other visited shops. I believe that the other foreign customers also would love to go this shop because of its tea varieties, reasonable price, and representatives of Japanese culture to some extent and the hospitable service of the owner. I would like to recommend this Tea Shop to my Japanese tea lover friends and those who want to get a souvenir from Japan. I guess this Tea Shop is one of the most popular shops in the Takinogawa Street Market (滝野川市場通り).

Route 3
The Kikuhiro was the last visited destination of Itabashi area on that day. Kikuhiro was more close to the JR Itabashi station compared to the other two targeted destinations. After visiting the Tea Shop at Takinogawa Street Market, I went to Kikuhiro Restaurant. The restaurant was nearby the station, it is located one side behind of the main road. The restaurant seemed very popular, because it was fully occupied when I reached there. Unfortunately, I could not enter the restaurant and only able to observe from the outside. I couldn’t read the entire Kanji letter that was written in front of the restaurant, food menu and the description of food price. I took a look at price of food according to the available pictures in the front door menu board. The Kikuhiro restaurant is representing the local Japanese cuisine and it looked interesting and delicious.

Popular Japanese Restaurant Kikuhiro(有限会社きくひろ)

Other visited shops in the Takinogawa Street Market (滝野川市場通り).
I planned to visit only above mentioned three routes in the Itabashi area but some other shops attracted me to visit, where I spent plenty of time. One of the attractive shops of Takinogawa Street Market was old and small game center where it contained very old types of game which we cannot find in big game centers. I played the old Japanese game with Janken machine and other game machines; the game was very cheap and interesting. At the game center, I spent around an hour with one of my friends. At the other hand, besides other shop, most busy shop I found was the Dumpling shop 餃子の店、I observed that many customers bought dumpling and that reason drew me to visit that shop and tempted me to buy two types of fried dumpling. Apart from that, I visited clothes shops and fresh vegetable shops.

The overall visit experience at Itabashi area was remarkable. Many shops and restaurant were representing the Japanese culture and tradition. The Takinogawa Street Market (滝野川市場通り) was amazing to visit which fascinated me to visit back once again if I have time. I thoroughly enjoy to visit and shopping in that area again. Some inconveniences also were there like the written language in every shop’s description which was difficult to understand for those foreigners who don’t speak Japanese more.

Itinerary 2 Jujo Area

After visiting the Itabashi area, I moved to Jujo area around 1.30pm with one of my friends. I often go to the Jujo shopping district (商店街), I like to hang around that area and explore the shops to find out interesting and unique things. Jujo shopping street is one of my favorite shopping streets around Tokyo. We can find many Japanese traditional things in small area such as famous fried food, clothes, recycle items, Japanese green teas, jewelries, beauty cares, beauty products, fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, Japanese sweets and crackers, restaurants, halal foods, Asian cuisines and many other varieties.
At Jujo, I visited 5 routes where the Route 1 is Daikichi Hanten(大吉飯店) Route 2 Jujo Ginza 十条銀座: (i) Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku (食工房しゆうさく)(ii) Musashiya Kashiten (有限会社むさしやお菓子店) Route 3 十条仲通り:(i) Kamataya(蒲田屋)、Route 4善光寺、Route 5富土見銀座十条.

Route 1
At Jujo, first we went to Daikichi Hanten to have our lunch. Daikichi Hanten is Chinese restaurant; the restaurant contains verities of Chinese cuisine. The Daikichi Hanten is very near from the Jujo station.

Chinese food is very famous around Tokyo because of its variety, perfect balance of food and its reasonable price. I found Daikichi Hanten is one of them, where we can enjoy different varieties of Chinese delicacy.

The restaurant Daikichi Hanten (大吉飯店)and menus

I enjoyed the flavor of food with reasonable price. The restaurant is decorated with some Chinese culture, which we can easily identify by its colors and the style of the decorations. The service and the hospitality of the restaurant are quite impressive. We ordered two varieties of food set Ramen (lunch set) and Tantan men (single item), a price of food was quite average as other Chinese food. The flavor of foods was good. We spend around an hour in the restaurant. Overall impression of the restaurant was quite good and I enjoyed my lunch time.

Route 2
Jujo Ginza Shopping District 十条銀座
(i) Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku (食工房しゆうさく)

Jujo Ginza Shopping Street 十条銀座

After lunch at Daikichi Hanten, we moved to the Jujo shopping district to find another shops and interesting things on the day. We visited different shops in the Jujo Ginza Shopping Street and I bought some popular fried food and fresh vegetables. We spent around an hour at the Jujo Ginza Street and enjoyed our shopping and fried food. After that we visited the Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku (食工房しゆうさく)which is located around the Jujo shopping street. It is easy to access because of its location; the restaurant is located in between of Jujo Ginza but just behind the shopping street. The Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku is a Japanese popular cuisine which contains different varieties of Japanese foods.

Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku

We did not spend much time around the restaurant due to we already had our lunch at Daikichi Hanten. However, I observed the varieties of food, its price and the pictures of main recipes. The Shoku Koubou Shyuusaku (食工房しゆうさく)is a Japanese traditional restaurant and the chicken varieties are the main course of the restaurant. The food price is quite reasonable and affordable for anyone.

(ii) Musashiya Kashiten (有限会社むさしやお菓子店)
The Japanese sweets shop Musashiya Kashiten is located at the Jujo Ginza Shopping Street, so it is very accessible to visit and enjoy the Japanese sweets and crackers. The shop contains verities of Japanese sweets and verities of rice crackers. The shop is very famous for Japanese souvenirs. I observed the varieties of sweets and crackers where I found more than 20 varieties. The best thing of the shop is we can enjoy their sweets and crackers cooking in front of us.

This is a perfect sweets shop to those who want to have traditional Japanese sweets and crackers. I would like to recommend this sweets shop.

Musashiya Kashiten (有限会社むさしやお菓子店)

Route 3
Jujo Nakadori十条仲通り
(i) Kamataya(蒲田屋)

Jujo Nakadori十条仲通りand Kamataya(蒲田屋)

After visiting Musashiya Kashiten(有限会社むさしやお菓子店), my next route was Jujo Nakadori (十条仲通り)it is connected with Ginza shopping street on the left side. However the Nakadori Street contains different verities and environment. I extremely enjoyed visiting this street because of its peaceful environment, beautiful street lights and different Asian cuisines. In the middle of the street the Kamataya 蒲田屋 is located. I found the Kamataya is very popular rice ball (おにぎり) shop in the Nakadori. The rice ball is a Japanese cuisine and one of the favorite snacks in Japan, which is made by rice, other flavor ingredients and seaweed. I found there many foreigners and other Japanese costumers were buying different rice balls. The shop contains varieties flavor of rice balls, the good point of the shops is the size of rice ball in reasonable price. I would love to recommend this shop for those who are looking to eat different flavor of rice balls.

Route 4

After cross the Nakadori Street we can find the Zenkoji Temple善光寺 at the right turning point. After visiting the Kamataya food shop, I left for the next route where I found Zenkoji Temple nearby Nakadori Street after walking around 5-7 minutes. The temple looks small by area and its structure but some people are there to visit the temple. The temple can be another landmark around Jujo area for those who like to observe the Japanese temple structure and culture environment. The temple area is very distinguishable and peaceful for visitor. I did not enter the temple but I spent about 10 minutes around the temple to observe the temple surroundings and left for the next route.

Route 5

I often visited Jujo Ginza Street but I never recognized the Fujimi Ginza Street is separated. After I left the Zenkoji Temple I went to visit the last route of the day Fujimi Ginza Street. It looks quite old shopping street but less crowded than Ginza Street. The Fujimi Ginza Street is located nearby the Ginza Street, we can find after walking around 10-12 minutes from the Jujo Station. I found many verities of shops at the street where I could see some antique shops, recycle shops and many other shops there. The street is very distinguishable, peaceful to walk around and enjoyable to observe the old and antique things.

Fujimi Ginza 富士見銀座

The Fujimi Ginza 富土見銀座 was the last visited route of the day, after visiting all the routes I went back to the Jujo station around 5pm. I thoroughly enjoyed the day at the Jujo area by observing things and enjoying foods. I highly recommend Jujo area to visit and enjoy Japanese food and culture.