Koenji (高円寺/こうえんじ), like Shimo Kitazawa, is a trendy town with many cheap shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Koenji is known as a counter-culture area and features some great second-hand book and music shops. Come here in the evening for live music.
Budget travel tips
The best way to experience Koenji is to walk around the station. You can spend hours just taking in the sites. Check out the map below for a recommended route.
Koenji has many cheap shops, so get your souvenirs, clothes and so on here.
Unbelievably cheap, but real pizzas can be found at Sempre Pizza (from 350 yen).
How to get there
From Shinjuku station, take the Chuo line (orange JR line) or Sobu line (yellow JR line) to Koenji station (6 mins, 150 yen).
From Tokyo station, take the Chuo line (orange JR line) to Koenji station (20 mins, 200 yen). You need to change at Shinjuku station on weekends.