My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: April 2, 2018
Just a few stops south of Shibuya on the Tokyu-Toyoko Line, the trendy residential district of Jiyugaoka is a maze of narrow streets with a European ambience dotted with stylish cafes, bakeries and fashion and interior shops. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy Sweets Forest, serving a collection of specialist confections from around the world with a cute forest theme. There are plenty of surprises in store, from the Parisian-style streetscapes to La Vita, a miniature version of Venice, with a canal and gondola. If you tire of shopping, ride a Tokyu-Oimachi Line train to nearby Todoroki Ravine Park: a quiet green oasis with a temple, waterfall, burbling river and a dramatic red arched bridge.
Access the area from Jiyugaoka Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line and Oimachi Line.
From Haneda Airport: 50 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: Two hours five minutes by train.
From Shinjuku: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya and transfer to the Tokyu Toyoko Line for Jiyugaoka. Travel time: 25 minutes.
From Tokyo: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya and transfer to the Tokyu Toyoko Line for Jiyugaoka. Travel time: 45 minutes.
There are wide pedestrian promenades on the south side of the station, shaded by cherry trees and dotted with park benches and fashionable cafes for relaxing and al fresco dining. Marie Claire Street and Green Street are perfect for a leisurely stroll, with locals as stylish as Parisians. On the north side, you'll find a cluster of smart interior and lifestyle stores such as Acme Furniture, Idee Shop and Today's Special. Explore the narrow side streets filled with small, independent boutiques, cafes and galleries.
Jiyugaoka is a mecca for sweets lovers, from the "healthy" options at Hara Donuts to the sugary fantasies at Sweets Forest. The latter's forest theme is accented with quirky touches like faux cherry trees and light fixtures made from cooking tools. If you're after something more traditional and Japanese, you can enjoy seasonal wagashi sweets and matcha tea at Kosoan, a beautiful teahouse with tatami floors and large windows overlooking a Japanese garden.