Selected as one of the best place to live in Tokyo, the district of Den-en-chofu is not your typical Japanese neighborhood.
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.
For those visiting Japan, I would highly recommend the bread and pastries at Kobeya Kitchen. Shops can be found at many JR stations and few hours prior closing they usually offer up to 30% discount.
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.
7 thoughts on “Tokyo Neighborhood: The Suburb Garden of Den-en-chofu”
Den-en-chofu was where I grew up as a little baby! I used to always accompany my mom to Precce (you have a picture in your post!) to get groceries, then we’d walk all the way back home. It’s an incredibly beautiful area, with definitely much larger homes than the rest of Tokyo. And it was peaceful, from what I remember, so it was a little get-away from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown Tokyo. I’m glad you liked it! My last visit was a few years back, but I’m planning on visiting again in another few years—when I’ll be studying in Japan for my International Relations major. 🙂
must be nice to grew up in a town like Den-en-chofu. it’s like having the best of two sides of Tokyo- the quiet and the crowded 🙂
Exquisite post ,the pictures are amazing.Thank you for your efforts to post them.Cheers.jalal
We lived in Denenchofu in the early 1960’s, and, last week on a vacation to Tokyo, I went back to see if I could find our old house. The neighborhood around the station has many more shops and stores than it did 50 years ago, but it is even more charming than I remember it. Only 30 minutes from Shibuya, Denenchofu is (and, was) a great place to live. If I win the Lottery, buying a house there is at the top of the list. (P.s. I found the old house).
it must be a wonderful feeling to revisit your childhood neighborhood. How was your old house?still the same?
If you won a lottery and purchase a home at denenchofu, can I come for a house warming? 🙂
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