In addition to the stores listed, we highly recommend some of the smaller hidden ones in Akihabara – it’s not uncommon to find a brand new high-end racing bike in Akihabara’s shops for up to 50% off retail price. Before the pandemic, we even saw a Bianchi touring bike in an Akihabara shop for a mere $600 USD.
There’s not a lot do to here because the town is mostly a high-end residential district. There are however many very cool restaurants and few large parks + complexes worth checking out. The area is known as one of the more upscale areas in Tokyo. It also has many high end car dealerships.
There are several large hospitals to the north, and a large Christian college. Roppongi is to the northeast, and Shibuya is to the northwest, both easily within walking distance.
Get the Metro Hibiya subway line and exit Hiroo Station – the 3rd stop on the line. When you exit to the street you’ll be on Gaien Nishi-Dori which runs north-south.
If you head a bit further south on Gaien Nishi-Dori you’ll come to Ebisu.
The town is pretty simple – one main street running north-south and a bunch of side-streets. Most of the interesting stuff is on the main street. There is also Hiroo Strolling Street (see below).
The biggest reason to visit Hiroo is for the nice restaurants. There are also a few multiuse complexes worth checking out. There’s a wide range of food from Italian, pizza, cafés (there’s a nice Blue Bottle Coffee), sushi and more.
Hiroo Plaza, Hiroo Garden, National Azabu Supermarket
Around 35°39’00.19″ N 139°43’17.13″ E is a large multiuse complex called Hiroo Plaza worth checking out. Right across the street is Hiroo Garden – another small shopping complex. There is also a small free city shuttle bus stop right out front of Hiroo Garden. Both are worth a look.
Around 35°39’02.42″ N 139°43’27.84″ E is a very nice large organic grocery called National Azabu Supermarket.
Hiroo Strolling Street
At 35°39’02.08″ N 139°43’16.63″ E to the west is Hiroo Strolling Street (aka Hiroo Shopping Street) – which comes alive after dark and makes a nice nighttime stroll. Right on the corner is a huge 2-story wine bar/shop called Vinos Yamazaki.
Just a few blocks east from the intersection of Gaien Nishi-Dori and Meiji Dori is the New Sanno Hotel. If you’re looking for a nice hotel in the area, this is it. There are some others which aren’t as expensive, but if you’re looking for pure luxury and nice surroundings, New Sanno is the best in the town.
About 1/2 a mile to the west around 35°39’11.52″ N 139°42’49.09″ E is the very cool Yamatane Museum of Art. This museum has an excellent contemporary clean design inside and out and has a huge collection of ancient art. If you have a few extra minutes and don’t mind the walk, it’s worth checking out.
There are also quite a few ancient temples in Hiroo worth checking out.
Hiroo is a very hip quirky little town. If you’re on the Metro Hibiya Line and have a few free minutes, pop in and take a walk to check it out – especially at night.
Sugamo is a small area in Tokyo north of Tokyo Dome City and south of Itabashi on Rt. 17 (Hakusan Dori). It’s not a large area but still worth a look. The main attraction is Rikugien Gardens 2 blocks to the east (discussed below).
Central Sugamo facing northeast. The station + atré complex is the white square bldg. right of center. Rt. 17 or Hakusan Dori runs north-south. A Beck’s Coffee is the tiny black bldg. next to the small concrete park in the lower right. The main outdoor covered shopping area is just off 17 in the upper center left. Just north of that on the east side of the street is the APA Hotel Sugamo Ekimae (Ekimae means “at the station”). Continuing to head north on 17 for a few miles leads to the small charming micro-town of Itabashi, which just renovated its train station in 2020.There are various other shops + food palaces around the station as shown above.
Facing south on Hakusan Dori just south of the station. TDC is straight ahead.
Sugamo is not a huge area. But there’s still a fair amount to do. The atré complex over the station is worth a look, and Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street (discussed next) is a must-see. You can also stroll the outdoor shops along the streets on both sides for miles. Rikugien Gardens (discusssed below) a few miles to the east is a must-see. It’s one of the most well-known Japanese gardens in the world and in the spring + fall is spectacular. The town that Rikugien Gardens is in – Komagome – just to the northeast is also worth a quick look and isn’t too far.
Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street
Entrance to Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street which veers off to the left west of Hakusan Dori. The street is lined with charming shops, and if you follow it far enough north you’ll come to Itabashi.The entrance is just north of the APA Hotel on the leftaround 35°44’04.41″ N 139°44’12.70″ E.
Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street is a long narrow north-south street which parallels Hakusan Dori in Sugamo. The street is known as a hang-out spot for seniors, but it’s definitely worth a stop for everyone. The street has some very nice food shops with traditional Japanese foods of all kinds. If you keep going north until the end of Sugamo, you’ll come to the charming micro-town of Itabashi, which recently just built a brand new train station. Itabashi is just north of Ikebukuro and is a jumping off point for many other locations on the JR Saikyo Line such as Ikebukuro.
Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street with its charming shops facing north. Well worth a stroll.
Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street approaching Itabashi.
If you head south on Hakusan Dori from the station for a few blocks, there’s a side street around 35°43’52.63″ N 139°44’29.39″E heading east just after the MOS Burger on the left. At the end of this street about a mile down is world-famous Rikugien Gardens – one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the country. It’s a must see. Admission is 300-400¥ or so, but it’s worth it for a couple bucks. While you’re there you can stop and check out the town – Komagome – which has its own JR station. It’s a small unremarkable town, but worth a quick walk. There’s also a very large ancient temple there with spectacular architecture. It also has its own APA Hotel – APA Komagome. See our post on Komagome for more about the town. It’s worth a quick look.
The obvious choice in the area, as we mentioned, is APA Sugamo Ekimae 2 blocks north of the station. Clean, upscale, and relatively cheap at $70-$80/night in off-season, it’s the best bet in Sugamo. There are others around in the area too. Check agoda.com for more choices.
North to Itabashi
Only about a mile north of Sugamo is the small charming town of Itabashi. Several rail lines including JR and the Toei Subway stop there. The JR station is on the Saikyo Line. It’s only about a mile walk north on Hakusan Dori and is worth it if you have extra time. See our full multipart post on Itabashi for more info.
Hakusan Dori and the area around TDC actually have some nice bike lanes – if there are no delivery vehicles parked in them.
Cruising south on Hakusan Dori facing southwest at sunset.
Beck’s Coffee near the station. The Japanese word for coffee is coheé.
The covered shopping street just north of the station facing north. APA Sugamo Ekimae is just ahead.You can also hang a right here to explore some of the backstreets where a good 200¥ coin-locker is located.
The covered shopping street on the west side of Hakusan Dori. Note the Toei Subway entrance on the left.
This MOS Burger is just down Hakusan Dori on the east side. If you turn left just after this shop when heading south on Hakusan Dori, you’ll come to world-famous Rikugien Gardens on the right – and Komagome.
MOS Burger menu. You can actually eat fairly cheap in Japan – under 500¥ (around $5) for a good MOS Burger meal. The company prides itself on fresh ingredients. Our experiences at the chain are generally good.
They even have some fun desserts.
There is also this small guitar school just north of the gardens.
Heading north out of Sugamo on Hakusan Dori to Itabashi in late fall.
The huge temple north of Komagome – eerily silent near midnight.