Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Saturday in Kichijoji

Lately, the Kichijoji neighbourhood has been topping all the "Most Desirable Places to Live" lists in Tokyo. It's always been such a lively, old-school area, filled with secondhand shops, cafes, tiny alleys lined with eateries, the green and lush Inokashira Park, and now it has all the trendy boutiques and shops you can imagine. Even though Kichijoji is so close to me, I never think of going there, which is ridiculous considering how great it is, and so much better for shopping and coffee than crowded Shibuya and Shinjuku.

One spot I never miss in Kichijoji is Rose Bakery, for their hearty, organic breakfasts and selection of teas. I had a scrambled eggs plate with savoury scone, and rooibos cinnamon tea. I skipped their delicious carrot cake as I was so full, and went for a stroll around the neighbourhood. Yesterday was a combination of scorching heat and rain, but it was easy to avoid around the covered shopping arcade.

I was introduced to this famous katsu restaurant called Satou, where people queue to get a taste of their Matsuzaka beef. You can also reserve and sit inside for a proper meal, but we chose to take out some of their menchi-katsu, which is practically a breaded meatball. It was the most delicious, juiciest meatball I've ever had, complete with huge chunks of onion and the right amount of seasoning. Thankfully the queue was not too long, only a few minutes, but sometimes it takes over an hour. I highly recommend getting in the queue (you can't miss it, right in the middle of the shopping arcade, where it crosses with a street) and trying their katsu. We couldn't wait to get home, so we ate it right in the street.

Since it was too wet to go for a picnic at Inokashira Park, I scoped out the shops and did a bit of shopping at Uniqlo. I'm really liking their current collections, they turned it up a notch with the styles and quality of fabrics. I've always thought of Uniqlo for basic t-shirts and lounging clothes, but I really like their latest designs, it looks really good (read: expensive) and tailored, unlike their usual pajama-like dresses. Somehow Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, also owns J Brand and Theory, so maybe there's influence there? And everything is like, under 2,000 yen!

No trip to Kichijoji would be complete without a stop at the taiyaki stall for a take out, cream-filled fish-shaped cake (that we also ate in the street). You can try making it at home, I love this video demonstration.

Uniqlo patterns
Steak House Satou

Don't miss it

A Croc-filled queue
Waiting card for the katsu

A bag filled with goodness at Satou



spajonas said...

I had friends that lived in Kichijoji and agree that it is one of the best places in the city!

Amelia said...

Agh do you know - I spent ages trying to locate Kichijoji after HK colleagues recommended I take a look. Your write up and photos are lovely, v.v.envious that this is your local neighbourhood!
Amelia xxx

Kelsey D said...

I had to leave a comment after reading this post. I stumbled across your blog while looking for breakfast places in Kyoto. I live near Higashi-Nakano station, so I visit Kichijoji often. I've only been in Tokyo for a few months, though hopefully it turns out to be a long stay. I love Inokashira Koen, and you even mentioned my favorite taiyaki place! I can't go to Kichijoji and not get it. I could never tell what the long queue by the taiyaki place was for, and now I know! I'll be sure to try some menchi katsu next time I go. Thanks for the recommendation :D