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Updated: May 17, 2019
The upscale neighborhood of Futako-Tamagawa in southern Tokyo—separated from Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture by the Tama River—is home to Rakuten's global headquarters. There are also gleaming shopping malls, a sizeable park, and in a sign of gentrification, a host of third wave coffee roasters and cafes.
The neighborhood of Futako-Tamagawa frequently appears near the top of opinion polls of the best places to live in Tokyo, and for good reason. Conveniently located just 15 minutes away from bustling Shibuya via the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line, you can embrace its laid-back atmosphere while taking in the scenic Tama River and Futakotamagawa Park. There are also several department stores with popular brands for your shopping fix—including Takashimaya which, when it opened here in 1969, was the first suburban department store in all of Japan. Devote some time to explore the shopping street outside the station's east exit, where you will find traditional shops existing alongside hyper-modern ones.
Directly connected to the Futako-Tamagawa Station is a massive shopping center that has been drawing trendy shoppers since it opened its doors in 2015. If you are a shopaholic, you will enjoy the nearly 200 stores over four blocks, including many of Japan's favorite retailers. The mall is known to have one of Tokyo's best food halls, which is ideal when you are feeling a little hungry.
The park, located just beside the Tama River, is not only equipped with the typical facilities of a neighborhood park—among them jogging and cycling paths and a small outdoor playground for children—but also a Japanese garden. The tranquil Kishin-en, with a restored century-old traditional Japanese house, is easily the park's centerpiece and will transport you away from contemporary Tokyo back to a bygone era.
Take in the breeze with a picnic or a brief stroll along the scenic Tama River, which stretches 138 kilometers through Tokyo and the neighboring Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures. If you are visiting in summer, go for the Tama River fireworks festival that is one of Tokyo's most popular fireworks events. Two teams on opposite banks of the river—one in Tokyo and one in Kawasaki—compete to put on the best show.
Many know Tsutaya as one of Japan's leading bookstores, but not many realize it has ventured into electronics. Dubbed the "home appliance store where you can buy a lifestyle", Tsutaya's first such store in Japan—stylish like its T-Site in Daikanyama—stays true to its roots. Besides home appliances from televisions to microwave ovens, you will also be able to pick up books and stationery here. The store also holds events and demonstrations that enable you to personally try out the appliances before you decide whether to buy them.