In summary, it is a neighborhood of trees sprawled across the main street with many detached homes styled in neo-classical Japanese, Swiss and Edwardian architecture, making it home to some prominent and famous personality ranging from former prime minister, singer, manga artist and baseball player.
Though considered as part of Ota Ward in southern Tokyo, accessing Den-en-chofu is easy for those coming from Kanagawa Prefecture via Tokyo Toyoko/Minato Mirai lines. Even the train station itself adopted the “western” vibe that the neighborhood was known for.
Basing on my many trips across the country, Den-en-chofu has to be the first place that I visited as far as I can recall where residences are fairly bigger than the usual housing size. You might ask what is a typical housing size in Japan? Let me answer that by saying that I live in a 20 sq.m apartment, with crazy monthly rental fee.
There is nothing much to do or to see in Den-en-chofu. The neighborhood is not built to promote anything touristy, it is what it is, a suburb with supermarkets, retail shops and restaurants to cater for the residence need.
I was very curious about this neighborhood, hearing frequently from my Japanese collegues how amazing it would be to live in Den-en-chofu, so when I went to Tama river, I decided to make a side trip and see for myself. With clearly nothing much to do, I’m quite thankful that there is a Kobeya Kitchen for some coffee and strawberry shortcake break.
Over-all, Den-en-chofu is an example of a neighborhood built on a need of the people to move away from the crowded central city to a more relaxing suburb.