Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°38’47.97″ N 139°39’12.72″ E
Worth it? Yep.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑
Setagaya is a small residential town in southwest Tokyo. There’s not a huge amount to do, but it’s still interesting. There are several large parks in the area. There are also interesting museums.
The city was founded in 1947 after World War 2. It was also part of the 1964 Olympics.
The Tama River runs east-west a few miles to the south of the town.
Things to Do
There’s not a huge amount to do in Setagaya, but if you’re in the area, it’s still worth a stop. For such a small town, you can easily have a full day here. You can stroll around the small town center, and stumble down some charming side streets.
The main attraction is Carrot Tower (Kyarotto Tawā in Japanese) – a tall mixed-use complex + shopping mall. The name was chosen by a children’s contest. In addition to offices + stores, it also houses the game company Game Freak, creators of the Pokémon series of games. In the basement of Carrot Tower is another train station – Sangen-Jaya Station.
Wakabayashi Park + Setagaya Park
The main attractions in the area are 2 large parks: Wakabayashi Park + Setagaya Park. There are numerous other smaller parks in the area as well.
Just a few miles east of the station is Setagaya Park. The huge park has a fountain, a walkway, and lots of greenery.
Gōtokuji Temple + Setagaya Castle
About a mile west of the town’s center is Gōtokuji Temple with a huge garden and a cat shrine. It’s worth a stop if you have time for a short walk.
Just south of the temple are the ruins of Setagaya Castle.
At the very south end of the town on the banks of the Tama River is another small temple with some historical artifacts called Zenyōmitsu-ji.
There are 4 large museums in Setagaya: Setagaya Art Museum, Setagaya Literary Museum, and Seikadō Bunko Art Museum, and Hasegawa Machiko Art Museum. This site has links + info about all the museums in Setagaya.
About 2 miles to the southwest of the town center is Kinuta Park – another huge park + home of Setagaya Art Museum.
About 3 miles to the northwest around 35°39’53.44″ N 139°37’10.32″ E is the Oya Soichi Bunko Library – a small private museum containing a huge magazine + book collection of the late social critic Oya Soichi, who died in 1970.
Although Setagaya is a small town, there’s still enough to do to make it worth a quick stop. Be sure to check out the side streets, the parks, and museums.